by Linda Straker
- In 2020, government will undertake comprehensive review of its recurrent and capital expenditure
- Procedural guidelines established for investigating financial abuse in public service
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell announced that during the first quarter of 2020, the Grenada Government will undertake a comprehensive review of its recurrent and capital expenditure as part of efforts to improve accountability in the public service.
This was disclosed while he presented the 2020 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure as he spoke about measures to be undertaken in public expenditure reform. “The review will also provide concrete recommendations to strengthen expenditure controls and the institutional mechanism for expenditure management, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending,” he told the house.
Referring specifically to the cellphone scandals earlier in the year in which a number of former public servants including members of parliament had tallied thousands in cellphone use while not serving, Dr Mitchell said the entire fiasco revealed significant expenditure leakages in the system.
“The misuse of cellphones by persons within the system and those who already left the system caused a major embarrassment to the government in 2019. A complete review has been undertaken and we have the results which indicted the persons who are already out of the systems and therefore should no longer have access to the service,” he said, disclosing that steps are being taken with the service provider to recover some of the money.
“We cannot allow systemic failures to manifest themselves through irresponsible expenditure and poor accountability. We must, as a matter of priority, improve our expenditure management systems so that we can protect and consolidate the immense economic gains we have already achieved,” the Finance Minister said.
It was further disclosed that the Attorney General’s office in conjunction with the Public Service Commission has established procedural guidelines for investigating financial abuse in the system with a view to imposing disciplinary measures on public officials found guilty of such abuse.
“These procedures are expected to take full effect in January 2020,” the Prime Minister announced but did not disclose the format of disciplinary measures in the guidelines.