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Feb 11, 2009

Round table discussions on 2009/2010 budget draft

Story PictureAnd one more bit on the budget consultations, a round table discussion with key agencies and groups managed under a joint UNDP/UB project and headed by Dr. Carla Barnett concluded the event today. Barnett says consultations were extensive.

Dr. Carla Barnett, Advisor to G.O.B.
“The meetings were held with individual sectors, so they’ve not had a chance to discuss across sectors and there were some issues that sort of came up many times in the discussions and it is those issues that inform how we put the round tables together. So the important things that people wanted to talk about, how we going to deal with this global recession, how we’re going to deal with our young people because our young people are the ones at risk right now so we need to have meaningful programmes and processes that they can participate in. And then the whole issue of public administration and transparency and accountability. So those are the issues that came up in almost every discussion that we had. We’re expecting recommendations to come forward; recommendations for things with relation to the budget, that’s under preparation in the ministry as well as recommendations that are more for the long term. The interesting thing that I found about it is that for most of the discussions that we held, it wasn’t about what more I as a sector or group can get out of the budget or out of government, but how best can we make sure that government is managing well.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“There will be some concrete recommendations that government can make use of. The Cabinet has not yet seen or approved the draft budget; that’s on Friday. We deliberately put it for after this symposium so that when it comes to us on Friday one or two of the recommendations coming out of the symposium may be available to us for incorporation.”

The budget will be presented in the House on February twenty-seventh, just days before the Municipal Elections on March fourth since, according to Barrow, he needs time for the debate in the House and the financial year begins April first.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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