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Bartlett Assures Of Accountability And Transparency In TEF Operations

Bartlett Assures Of Accountability And Transparency In TEF Operations
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, delivers the opening presentation in the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, April 4
(Media Credit: R. Fraser)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the new arrangements for the administration of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) will ensure accountability and the transparency in the disbursement of funds. He noted that the requisite accounting and administrative systems will be put in place to enable the Ministry and other tourism interests to continue to have full access to project funding and financing for critical initiatives within the sector, as outlined in the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development. Mr. Bartlett said the Accountant General’s Department has committed to providing monthly reports on expenditures, “thereby enabling an even more effective measurement and management of the outcomes that we seek”. “In addition, a mechanism will be put in place to enable the TEF to continue to monitor all projects which the agency funds, even after the TEF funds are placed in the broader Consolidated Fund,” he noted further.

He was delivering the opening presentation in the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, April 4.

The TEF is among several State entities deemed to be generating significant financial surpluses that the Administration has indicated are being targeted for incorporation into the Consolidated Fund.

Acknowledging the concerns raised about the pending arrangements, the Minister assured that money from the Fund will only be used for tourism-related expenditure, as approved by the TEF Board.

“The Finance Minister has given that undertaking. He met with the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association executive and other stakeholders, and he has given his commitment,” he added.

The Tourism Minister also noted that existing and new projects, which in the latter case totalled approximately $6 billion, will be carried out.