The Government is set to launch an investment map aimed at making public investment projects more transparent and, ultimately, more efficient.
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The initiative, which is being launched by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was disclosed by project director in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Othneil Hemans, during a luncheon at the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference earlier this week.
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“The investment map is an IDB initiative that helps the Government to track use of resources through a geo-referencing platform. It has been implemented in half a dozen countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. These are at varying stages of development. Jamaica took the leap in 2018, where we saw that this initiative would indeed be a worthwhile one for us to pursue,” Hemans said.
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He added that the actual platform has already been created, and that a prototype has been developed and advanced to an online platform for preview.
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“We are now in the crucial stage of improving the quality of information that flows from the Government on to the platform. The investment map is only as good as the information that is placed or fed into it.
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“We are taking the time to work with the project managers and the ministries to review the quality of the data, to ensure that once the platform is launched to the public, it is without question,” Hemans said.
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According to him, the initiative will improve the quality of information for decision-making in project allocation
“Our elected officials and technocrats will have a portfolio view of all government capital projects being executed. A minister will be able to know what particular investment projects, what road projects or housing projects are actually existing within their particular locale,” he noted
Hemans informed that the investment map will focus on central government projects, with the second phase including information on public bodies
“We will go further to include information from projects that are public–private partnerships and any other type of unsolicited proposals that might come and are part of the capital landscape of the Government of Jamaica,” he said