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TCI Government Faces Expenditure Challenges

Premier reveals only $29 Million Spent Out of $57 Million Budget

MISICK… “onerous processes, insufficient resources, inadequate technology, outdated laws, an unwillingness to adapt by some and bureaucracy are frustrating delivery.” File Photo

The Turks and Caicos Islands is grappling with expenditure challenges as it is revealed that only a fraction of the allocated budget for the capital program was utilized in the fiscal year 2023/2024.


Making his budget presentation in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, April 16, Premier Washington Misick, presented an overview of the government's expenditure, indicating that the total spending for the last financial year amounted to $389.2 million, significantly below the budget by $47.8 million. Of particular concern was the capital program, where a mere $29 million out of the allocated $57.8 million was spent.


“Based on the unaudited Expenditure of the last financial year, our government spent $389.2M.  This was $47.8M below budget. Just $29M of the 57.8 million allocated for the capital programme was spent. We must face the hard facts. we have a capacity problem. We are facing tremendous challenges in developing and implementing big ticket projects, the premier bemoaned.


Premier Misick did not mince words, acknowledging the stark reality of a capacity problem within the government. He emphasized the formidable obstacles hindering the development and implementation of major projects, ranging from cumbersome processes to inadequate resources and outdated laws. Despite the hard work of public servants, these challenges, coupled with bureaucracy and resistance to change, have impeded progress.


“Public servants are working hard, but the onerous processes, insufficient resources, inadequate technology, outdated laws, an unwillingness to adapt by some and bureaucracy are frustrating delivery. That must change,” the premier thundered.

To address these issues head-on, the budget includes targeted allocations for critical initiatives. A $300,000 provision has been set aside for a thorough review of procurement ordinances, aiming to streamline processes and enhance transparency. Additionally, $1.8 million has been earmarked in the recurrent budget for project initiation and development plans.


Premier Misick outlined an ambitious goal of developing project delivery plans a year in advance. By doing so, all essential project components would be identified beforehand, expediting the procurement process immediately following the budget's approval.

 

“In this budget, we have allocated 300- thousand dollars for a procurement

ordinance review. We have also allocated $1.8 million in the recurrent budget for project initiation and project development plans.

 

“Our goal is to develop project delivery plans a year in advance. When done this way, all the essential components of the project would have been determined and the project ready for the procurement process immediately after passage of the budget,” the premier said.

 

In the meantime, Premier Misick stressed the imperative of overcoming expenditure challenges to ensure the effective utilization of resources and timely execution of projects. The government is committed to implementing reforms that enhance efficiency and drive progress in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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