The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) has instituted a new monitoring framework for the Precautionary Stand-By agreement approved by the board of the International Monetary Fund, IMF on November 11, 2016.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness today (November 21) announced that a tri partite monitoring mechanism will oversee the agreement.
During a press briefing at Jamaica House Mr. Holness said the new monitoring framework will be more balanced in assessing not only the fiscal and monetary indicators but also social and public sector issues as well as growth.
“In addition to reporting on progress with the fiscal, the new mechanism will also report to the public on the progress in achieving the economic growth, public sector transformation and social protection objectives in the IMF agreement. This is essential as real economic growth improves people’s lives. So while we focus on getting the macro numbers right, we must ensure that the growth is felt at the micro level,” said the Prime Minister.
The government has therefore broadened and deepened the monitoring of the new IMF Agreement to include, along with the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (“EPOC”), the Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (“P-STOC”) and the Economic Growth Council, (“EGC”):
- EPOC which will continue monitoring of the implementation of the fiscal, monetary and quantitative performance targets as set out the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) agreed with the IMF.
- P-STOC will monitor implementation of the public sector transformation, public service reform and social protection targets.
- The Economic Growth Council (“EGC”) will monitor implementation of the growth policies, which include some of the EGC’s recommendations that have been accepted, as set out in the MEFP agreed with the IMF as well as the monitoring of growth outcomes.
The Precautionary Stand-By Agreement replaces the Extended Fund Facility Arrangement, which was implemented with a total of fourteen (14) successful reviews by the IMF.
During the EFF arrangement, the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) was established by way of a Memorandum of Understanding with the GOJ, which has expired. While its remit was broader, EPOC ended up focussing on fiscal, monetary and quantitative matters.
However, Prime Minister Holness notes that the Fund Agreement is much broader than these financial targets. “We must achieve the fiscal, monetary and quantitative targets, but we must also achieve the growth, public sector transformation and social protection objectives as well,” he said. He added, “While keeping the principles of transparency, public accountability, and civic engagement, we wish to design the monitoring framework to address the challenges ahead: not only must we maintain fiscal responsibility, but we must transform the public sector, grow the economy and protect the vulnerable. There is therefore a desire to deepen, broaden and diversify the monitoring framework.”
EPOC will be co-chaired by Mr. Keith Duncan, Group CEO of JMMB and Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter and its membership will remain the same; P-STOC will be co-chaired by Mr. Danny Roberts, President of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute at UWI and former Vice President of the National Workers Union, and Ambassador Douglas Saunders, Cabinet Secretary and its membership will include representatives from the unions, public sector, private sector academia and civil society; and the EGC will continue to be chaired by Michael Lee-Chin.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM