Reform: The Road to Economic Vibrancy and Resilience

For those who pay attention to national affairs, it is clear that the challenges we face today may still be with us for some time.

Moreover, if our efforts are limited to solutions that require a large amount of money, the problem becomes even more entrenched, impairing sustainable recovery and Stimmy’s performance when the next “good time” emerges. There is a possibility.

There is not much that can be fundamentally done with national finances, but the country needs “fundamental” changes.

How are these achieved? Efforts for true reform. Creativity in execution; boldness to tackle problems. A normalized approach and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

All of these have great value in changing the path to fundamental change in the country. Given where we are, this approach represents a viable foundation on which we can build a new level of economic vitality and resilience.

In a previous article, he said, “… the situation in the Bahamas’ financial problems is very important, and it is very important not to actively seek insights on how to move forward.”

“The credit rating reflects the government’s ability to undertake current policies, not the country’s debt repayment capacity …” he concluded.

The message I tried to convey is that we must be more careful about how we approach the future, and the nature of our situation is the state of our country’s arrangements, the state of our institutions, And by sound standards, it is heavily influenced by inconsistent “normalized” behavior.

This idea informs another statement that was taken up in a long time ago article. “For the success of the current administration, the country must implement the largest series of reforms it has ever seen.”

This applies to all governments that oversee the country in its current state.

The statement is extensive and embodies the challenge. Objectively, we have to accept that there is a lot of truth in it and therefore our attitude must be game-on.

The problems facing the country are not only serious, but also protracted and virtually unique. Only a high level of effective implementation and enforcement will bring about fundamental and sustainable changes in national affairs.

Careful reviews show that the current administration’s ten major categories of “blueprints for change”, especially or basic principles, capture key issues.

However, if your strategy meets limited resources, it often requires changes and adjustments. This is why creativity must dominate the day. We have to pick all the hanging fruits and start trying what needs more stretch. Waiting is not an option.

Understand the context

Why is that so? In most cases, the economic elements of a country are not as flexible as we often suggest in discussions.

National ReviewWritten by ParentsThe editor-in-chief of, said: “Anyone who understands the structure of a government budget needs to manage expectations so that new things do not exceed 15% of the total budget. The balance is essentially fixed or Because it’s committed. “

Needs that can be met by financial means do not simply arise because there is no financial space.

The country’s overall economic fate does not change overnight, so governments need to consistently find ways to “dug tunnels at both ends” and create a more viable path in the shortest possible time. ..

Properly targeted reforms in the face of limited financial resources are the only other means and mechanisms that can achieve this. We must act urgently and creatively.

The conclusions of the Economic Recovery Commission, made by the previous administration, partially state: As a result of the pandemic, some concerns have been highlighted.

“Some people are exposed to barriers to economic growth that can be overcome with modest effort. With much more effort to convince the Bahamans that strategic changes in the way things can be profitable. Some people need abilities. “

Without addressing the recommendations specifically, the statement captures the essence of how governments move their needles towards reform, given limited resources.

A practical and practical approach to identify, accept and fix long-standing problems. Consider and implement issues that require modest effort and low cash solutions. These initiate the necessary conversations with the general public about coordination, outlooks, attitudes or expectations in order to help revitalize the country’s efforts towards national growth.

Take this into account – about $ 700 million in budget will be spent on rewards. Our current debt stocks have interest rates of over $ 500 million.

There are known and urgent infrastructure needs in the areas of energy, education and healthcare.

Given the high inflationary environment, the need for social spending may increase. The recent recession could demand continued high subsidies for poorly performing state-owned enterprises, numbering in excess of $ 400 million.

These three categories alone account for more than 50 percent of total spending. Now consider the fact that spending volatility is limited to about $ 300 million. How can governments begin to make fundamental changes without adopting the ideas supported here? The only option is to wait, which imposes an excessive long-term burden.

Let’s start with a state-owned enterprise

Changes need to be made through a set of policy and practice shifts. It does not require additional spending at first, but it saves costs and drives future growth through more efficient and productive service delivery.

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and government agencies are important starting points. Think of it this way. Due to the inefficiencies of many of these institutions and businesses, there are quite a few places where we are today.

Ineffective governance, the ability of the board and directors to bring about productive change and control, which is not consistently and responsible enough to help build and maintain a healthy and productive working environment and / Or lacking commitment.

Therefore, the history of these institutions and underdeveloped institutional practices will be a drag on progress, even if the country corrects its fiscal intake to the levels envisioned in recent announcements.

Importantly, many of these institutions and institutions are central to the promulgated growth policies, and therefore the quality and extent of their promotion is not optimal at best and, at worst, very effective without change. there is not.

SOE Corporate governance

When a country pursues public fiscal management and fiscal reform, it must also undertake aggressive campaigns for effective strategic management, risk management and corporate governance.

Starting with a semi-autonomous entity, its purpose is to infuse all government agencies and agencies with a new culture of accountability. Adopt internationally recognized public sector standards. Improve operational efficiency and reduce losses.

The government will make best practices common in organizations such as the Bahamas Air, Public Hospital Department, Civil Aviation Department, Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), Waterworks and Sewerage Corporation, ZNS, Bahamas Power and Light, and Bahamas Hotel Corporation. is needed.

Collaborative efforts are needed to transfer the experience and practice of well-managed entities such as NAD to other entities, change organizational culture, and inject corporate discipline to promote more effective results. ..

Those who enjoy the privilege of appointment to provide oversight must be required to develop sound institutional knowledge. Through structured orientation and training, we strive to operate to best practice standards and gain practical experience in corporate governance.

Such movements provide the government with the opportunity to develop effective plans and roadmaps to bring about the long-awaited spillover effect on the central government.

As an important step, the administration has the opportunity to initiate changes that thwart the general practice of appointing / dismissing the wholesale board, with all directors having the same term.

Such changes create some continuity at the governance level of these organizations and undoubtedly facilitate a greater transfer of organizational knowledge and strategic planning.

I won’t pretend to be easy, but you should consider these changes. As part of the development of a broader public sector corporate governance framework, it proves useful to revisit the ideas of the state-owned enterprise bill, which was expected to impose corporate governance and risk management requirements. must.

The ultimate goal is to achieve a more effective entity with optimized revenue, risk management, and sustainable operations that reduce government reliance.

Other important areas

Despite financial obstacles, efforts focused on factors important to financial health are achievable.

The state of public pensions poses a serious long-term challenge for the country and requires urgent attention.

Ranked 119th out of 190 countries for “ease of business” is to fix structural obstacles, paying particular attention to “entrepreneurship,” “credit acquisition,” and “power acquisition.” We are focusing on the urgent need.

The cost and reliability of electricity should be prioritized. This can be quite costly, but due to its ubiquity, you need to start quickly with unmanageable opportunities to trigger cost improvements.

Other areas that do not require significant spending but can be large game changers include an early and consistent focus on the Bahamas Investment Authority by refining decision making and increasing transparency in the approval process. Attract investment, which includes many discussed reconsiderations of how the country adopts concessions.

When done effectively, these can definitely be profitable.

Promoting the redevelopment of Abaco and the Grand Bahama (GB) by supporting and developing autonomy for municipal enterprises could accelerate the recovery of $ 2 billion in GDP lost from hurricane dorians. There is sex.

Sophisticating or redefining the relationship with the Grand Bahama Port Authority can make a big difference in unleashing the potential of Freeport / GB and what the Hawksbill Creek Agreement was expected to bring. ..

You can improve your country’s productivity by changing the priority of education spending to diversify the workforce and improve skills.

With very limited resources and financial headroom, there is important work ahead. Governments can move the country forward and prepare for growth and resilience by creatively addressing known flaws.

Reform is the only viable way to sustainability and resilience.

• Hubert Edwards is a principal of Next Level Solutions Limited (NLS), a management consultancy.He can reach at Hubert specializes in governance, risk and compliance (GRC), accounting and finance. NLS provides services in the areas of enterprise risk management, internal audit and policy and procedure development, regulatory consulting, money laundering prevention, accounting and strategic planning. He also chairs the Economic Development Committee of the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG).This and other articles are available at Reform: The Road to Economic Vibrancy and Resilience

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