The process has commenced for the preparation of the Tobago’s House of Assembly’s (THA) Annual Budget Statement by the Division of Finance and the Economy. Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Division of Finance and the Economy, Joel Jack officially issued the ‘Call Circular 2020 document’ on Monday 23 March, 2020, to all Divisions under the THA.
Two units in the Division of Finance, the Budgets Unit and the Economic Management Research Unit (EMRU) will utilise this data returned from each Division to inform the Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure as well as the 2021 Budget Statement Presentation.
“This circular provides Divisions/Departments of the Tobago House of Assembly with instructions to be followed in the preparation of Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the accounting (Fiscal) year 2021.” 1.2, page 1 Call Circular 2020. The deadline date for submission from Divisions is 20 April, 2020. See the documents section for more details.
This circular provides Divisions/Departments of the Tobago House of Assembly with instructions to be followed in the preparation of Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the accounting (Fiscal) year 2021.
The Investment and Public Private Partnership (IP3) Unit hosted a 2-Day Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project Prioritisation Workshop on Feb. 11th and 12th facilitated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The objective was to map the existing PPP candidate projects in Tobago and apply a methodology for prioritisation of the projects based on their socio-economic impact and, their commercial, fiscal and environmental feasibility.
Facilitators were Mr. Marcelo Consolo, Country Office of Trinidad and Tobago; and Mr. Marcos Siqueira Moraes and Mr. Ancor Suárez-Alemán of the PPP Team in Washington DC.
Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Rocío Medina-Bolívar; Secretary of Finance and the Economy, Joel Jack; Chief Administrator, Mrs. Bernadette Solomon-Koroma and Administrator for Finance and the Economy, Mrs. Denese Toby Quashie were also in attendance.
A sensitisation session was held on ‘Day One’ for THA Administrators to promote a deeper understanding of the key concepts and tools of the PPP modality and improve overall institutional strengthening across Divisions, Departments and Agencies. ‘Day Two’ featured project concept presentations on candidate PPP Projects from a couple THA Divisions.
This workshop is part of a series of capacity building exercises facilitated by the IDB in an effort to advance the Assembly’s PPP initiative, towards the successful execution of our development agenda.
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, The Right Reverend Claude Berkley was the featured guest to the Penthouse of the Division of Finance and the Economy, Victor e Bruce Financial Complex when the Division held its annual ‘Thanksgiving Service’ on Monday November 4, to start the activities for Finance Month 2019.
The theme for this 17th edition of the Thanksgiving Service was Appreciating the Times and Seasons’ to which Bishop Berkley focused his sermon on. He thought that Tobagonians have lost and are losing appreciation of their own inbred hospitable nature, a characteristic so naturally gifted to Tobagonians and most evidently witnessed during harvest festivals. Now, he lamented that sociologist will have to proffer an explanation for the development whereby bad customer service is cry in Tobago.
Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Joel Jack thanked all the stakeholders for their support throughout the year, for their recommendations and at times criticisms because the support and feedback assist the Division and the Assembly’s policy.
He said the work of the Division is critically important and the reason why it is tasked with managing and mobilising the resources of the Assembly for the people of Tobago, to ensure the developmental momentum is not constrained.
Secretary Jack praised the work of the Finance Month Committee and in extending Finance Week to Finance Month. He also thanked the media for its presence and the coverage ahead of the Finance Month events.
Administrator of the Division, Ms Denese Toby Quashie stated that the theme was relevant and timely as it touches on the economic challenges that confronts the country today and the energy sector clearly reflects that.
The service had contributions from a worship team led by Simone Woods, Violinist David Frank, a special song by Mariska Melville and singing tributes from the Finance Choir.
Secretary Jack formally declared open Finance Month 2019 as the Thanksgiving Service came to an end.
A media launched was held for the very first time to signal the start of Finance Month (FM) 2019 by the Division of Finance and the Economy. The media launch became necessary as the activities were expanded from the prior ‘Finance Week’ (2 wks) to a month-long activity.
On Friday November 1, Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of the Division of Finance and the Economy, Joel Jack formally opened Finance Month before the invited media and members of staff in the Penthouse of the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex under the theme ‘Advancing Our Economic Growth Through Innovation, Industry and Investment’.
Secretary Jack believes that the Division’s FM calendar has the most significant events from among the list of activities by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). He noted that persons in the past have come from Wall Street to attend for instance, the ‘Business Outlook Conference’ (BOC) as well as persons from the region. He vividly recalled a message from Ken Gordon at the very first BOC which said ‘think big, make it happen’ which he said embraces what the Assembly is attempting to do, in addition to new and innovative things based on the challenges we now face and those to come.
Following brief remarks from Administrator, Ms Denese Toby Quashie, managers of various units in the Division responsible for the major Finance Month events made their presentations: – Ms. Afeisha McKain, Financial Literacy Secretariat (FLS) and host of the ‘Breakfast Meeting’ Nov 7; Ms Tricia Beckles, Strategic Business Support & Development, Tobago Business & Economic Outlook Conference on Nov 12, and the Youth Empowerment Forum on Nov 15. All three events were held at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort. Added this year is a new event under the Youth Energised for Success (YES) entitled ‘Building Opportunities for Sustainable Success’ (B.O.S.S) which will be launched at the Fairways Restaurant.
Secretary Jack praised the work of the organising committee in the Division that has worked tirelessly over the past few weeks in planning the FM 2019 related events. He also paid tribute to the late and former Secretary of Finance, Dr Anslem London who started Finance Week as it then was.`