The non-governmental organisations in Grenada have outlined a series of measures to be agreed upon to get its co-operation in the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) to be implemented by the cash-strapped Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration.
Operating under the banner of the Inter Agency Group of Development Organisations (IAGDO), the grouping is calling for the establishment of a high-powered independent Monitoring Group to ensure that government adheres to the things it promises to do as part of the programme.
The IAGDO is part of the Civil Society Organisations that are activiely engaged in discussions with government and the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) on tackling the severe economic and financial situation facing the country.
The NGO’s want to see the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir Dwight Venner heading the monitoring group.
In addition, the non-governmental community is advocating that the monitoring mechanisms include persons identified by government, the private sector, Trade Union movement, Conference of Churches, and the IAGDO/CSO.
Following is the position paper that was released by the Non-governmental grouping on its involvement in the Structural programme aimed at reviving the Grenadian economy.
Proposal to the Committee of Social Partners re Monitoring and Governance considerations for Implementation of the Homegrown Structural Adjustment Programme
• Open Dialogue and Inclusive Participation: The participation of the Inter-agency Group of Development Organisations (IADGO) and the grouping of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Committee of Social Partners is premised on an open dialogue of inclusive participation aimed at concluding a Social Compact which will advance the sustainable development of the country.
• Fiscal and Economic Adjustment Required: That the IAGDO/CSOs understand(s) that a process of financial and economic adjustment is necessary at this time to correct fiscal and structural imbalances in the national economy.
• Transparency: The IAGDO/CSOs expect(s) full disclosure of all documentation relate to the roll-out of the Structural Adjustment Programme, to include but not limited to:-
* Letters of Intent
* Memorandum of Economic Policies
* Short and Medium Term Economic Strategies
* Reports on the Assessment of the Economy by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the European Union.
* Details of Debt Restructuring Committments
The IAGDO/CSOs also expects to be afforded the opportunity to meet with members of the various teams conducting assessments, reviews and all other business pertinent to the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme
• Compliance: IAGDO/CSOs expects the implementation process to be adequately monitored so that the quantitative and qualitative benchmarks, time lines and other performance criteria agreed on, are respected and adhered to.
• Role of Ministry of Finance: The IAGDO/CSOs understand(s) the fundamental role of the Ministry of Finance in exercising effective control of expenditure of ministries, agencies and statutory bodies.
• Role of Debt Management Unit: It is envisioned that an empowered Debt Management Unit will play a pivotal role in ensuring that debt reduction targets are met and monitor the incurring of any additional debt.
In keeping with the principles of inclusive participation, transparency and in order to monitor the compliance of the Ministry of Finance and the achievement of targets, the IAGDO/CSOs recommend(s) the setting up of a monitoring mechanism.
The following is proposed:
• Independent Monitoring Committee: An independent Monitoring Committee be set up to receive, assess and comment on reports in respect to the accomplishment of targets and objectives set out in the Structural Adjustment Programme.
• Composition of Monitoring Committee: The IAGDO/CSOs recommends that the Committee be comprised of the following:
* Chairperson: The Committee be chaired by the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank or his staff designate
* a representative of the CDB and
* suitably competent individuals mindful of gender balance nominated by the Government, the Private Sector Organisations, the Trades Union Congress, the Conference of Churches, and the IAGDO/CSOs. Such nominees may not necessarily belong to any of the organisations that constitute the Committee of Social Partners.
• Reporting: The committee shall provide quarterly reports on the progress of implementation to the Committee of Social Partners and may issue authorised press releases on these reports in consultation with Committee of Social Partners.
• Modifications to Targets and Programmes: Recommendations from the Monitoring Committee will inform modifications or amendments to the Structural Adjustment Programme in consultation with the Committee of Social Partners.
Role of the Committee of Social Partners(CSP):
• Institutionalisation of the CSP: The IAGDO/CSOs recommend(s) that the Committee of Social Partners and its role in the monitoring of the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme be institutionalised for the duration of programme.
• The IAGDO/CSOs recommend(s) that this institutionalisation be given effect via a Cabinet Conclusion.
Inclusion Participation re the Governance, Monitoring/Evaluation Framework of the Structural Adjustment Programme:
The foregoing recommendations are proposed in good faith by the IAGDO/CSOs to be included as an integral part of the governance, monitoring/evaluation framework of the Structural Adjustment Programme for the effective monitoring re implementation and achievement of targets and objectives.