June 14, 2019
Through the Public Financial Management and Performance Monitoring Reform Project, the government digitization effort and other initiatives, the Bahamas Government is actively pursuing transformative reform in the way that the public service operates, the Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Athena Marche said.
“We are committed to upgrading human resource and technical capacity to improve value for money for the Bahamian taxpayers,” said the Deputy Financial Secretary at the National Statistics of the Public Financial Management and Performance Monitoring Reform Project two-day workshop held at SuperClubs Breezes, Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
She explained that during the workshop, Component II of the PFM/PMR Project, led by Nerissa Gibson, Deputy Director of Statistics, will present the first draft of the strategic objectives, mission, vision and core values that will guide Statistical Development in The Bahamas for the foreseeable future via the Bahamas National Statistical System (NSS).
Ms. Marche stated that this draft is the product of collaboration between technical committees from across the public service, and represents an inclusive, comprehensive articulation of the foundation of the NSS.
“The importance of a cohesive statistical system that accommodates the needs of our growing nation cannot be understated.
“Statistics makes up the core of wide range of fields including business engineering, economics, biology, as well as social science and applied sciences. Data and information are imperative for evidence based planning.
“Without relevant, accurate and timely statistics, our development in these areas will be impeded. Policy makers will be unable to recognise areas of success or failure and the public will be unable to hold us accountable for our promises.”
The Deputy Financial Secretary also noted that the challenges the nation faces are complex and require solutions that consider indicators that go beyond GDP.
“We must consider indices related to health, education, ease of doing business, security, agriculture, marine resources among so many others. The National Statistical System will improve the administration’s ability to build data models that reflect the nuances of our economy, develop immigration policies that are in the best interest of the Bahamian people and education systems that will prepare our children to compete on a global level.
“The National Statistical System will directly assist every Bahamian by offering a comprehensive picture of the state of our nation, so that we can make informed decisions about home buying, the job market, or which schools our children should attend for example.”
She said as an additional benefit, the NSS will also act as a catalyst for an industry that centres on the application of statistical methods.
Ms Marche explained that econometrics and business analytics will support the growth of knowledge professionals across the country. These high paying, information based jobs will be needed as the government and private sector seeks to capitalize on the opportunities of Big Data and Open Data.
“As we work together to formulate the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), it is imperative that we remain focused on our ultimate goal of National Development. We thank the technical groups for the draft that will be presented in this workshop and look forward to the finalization of the NSDS,” she said.
Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Athena Marche brought remarks during the opening of the National Statistics of the Public Financial Management and Performance Monitoring Reform Project two-day workshop held at SuperClubs Breezes, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)
By Llonella Gilbert