CARTAC PFM visited Saint Lucia during 16-28 June 2013 to assist the Ministry of Finance with planning and implementing of strategic budgeting reforms, which are to be adopted during the 2014/15 budget process.

CARTAC had previously undertaken a diagnostic of the existing budget process and recommended reforms, including: introducing a formal three year budget and forward estimates process to underpin a medium term expenditure framework and hard budget ceilings; strengthen the application and effectiveness of program and performance budgeting; improve the prioritization of budget expenditures through the application of a number of budget tools to monitor and manage budget allocation decisions more effectively; more effectively integrate the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) within the annual budget planning cycle and process; revised budget documentation to improve budget transparency; and new procedures to strengthen within-year budget discipline.

Saint Lucia accepted CARTAC’s recommendations and for the first time published in their 2013/14 budget, the recurrent forward estimates for 2014/15 and 2015/16.  This provides the foundation for the introduction of ‘rolling’ forward estimates as a key plank in introducing a medium term ‘strategic’ budgeting framework.

During the two week mission, CARTAC undertook a range of training with line agencies to explain the reforms.  A total of 12 workshops were delivered to 22 line agencies with 190 participants.  Participants included permanent secretaries, senior programme managers, finance officers and accounting staff.  The workshops were co-facilitated by senior officials of the Office of the Budget who both formally introduced the workshops and clearly demonstrated to their agency counterparts their strong support the implementation of the new processes and procedures.

Matthew Smith

CARTAC PFM Adviser

 

 

Location: Saint Lucia