Discussions on fiscal transparency were held in Bridgetown during November 6-17, 2006. The IMF staff team comprised Ms. Parry (Head), Ms. Rehm and Mr. Mayes (all from the Fiscal Affairs Department). The mission met with a number of senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, including Minister Mascoll, Mr. Layne (Permanent Secretary), and Mr. Smith (Director of Finance and Economic Affairs). It also met with the Accountant General, the Auditor General, the Clerk of Parliament, and with officials from the Management Accounting Unit, the Public Investment Unit, the Treasury, the Central Purchasing Department, the Inland Revenue Department, the Land Tax Department, the Customs and Excise Tax Department, the Central Bank of Barbados, the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, the Ministry of the Civil Service, the National Petroleum Corporation, the Barbados National Oil Company, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Energy, the Transport Board, the Water Authority, the National Insurance Board, and the Barbados Statistics Service.
The 2005 Staff Lists also lists statutory boards and public enterprises under each ministry, but due to a recent reorganization of ministries, these are not consistent with the list of responsibilities.
A few of these are slightly less than 100% owned by central government. Nine are statutory boards, and the others are companies established under the Companies Act.
Southern Golf and Country Club (6.1 percent), Barbados National Bank (19.7 percent), and Insurance Corporation of Barbados, Ltd. (15 percent)
Further fare reductions for student and elderly are offset by explicit rebates from government, but only up to the point of the set fare.
In 2005-6 the budgeted transfer amount was only BD$7 million, but the supplemental transfer amount is expected to be BD$30 million.
In some cases, such as public guest houses, privatization is simply the sale of the property or assets.
See Benchmarking FDI Climate in the Caribbean, Foreign Investment Advisory Service (IFC and the World Bank), June 2004.
Whoever occupies this position in the Ministry of Finance
Article 16 of the Barbados Constitution protects against seizure of property without provisions in written law.
Parliamentary authorization is permanent under Section 32 of the Financial Management and Audit Act which states that loans given by the Government to government and nongovernment enterprises shall be secured by ways of a loan agreement or debenture mortgage, the terms of which are to be agreed by Cabinet.
According to this report, the objective of having reserves in 2030 equal to at least five times annual expenditures in 2030 was achieved under all but the pessimistic scenario.
The tax framework comprises four main taxes, namely the income tax (LOB CAP. 73), the VAT (LOB CAP. 87), excise duties, and customs duties (LOB CAP.66). These laws describe, among others, tax base, tax rates, tax concessions, and the general principles and procedures relating to tax issues. All tax laws and regulations are published in the official Gazette. Some can be accessed from the web sites of the separate tax departments; most can be accessed from the CARICOM web site (www.caricom.org).
The legal framework for exemptions is extensive, including the Small Business Act, the Industrial Incentives Act, the Fiscal Incentives Act, and Shipping Incentives Act, all of which are publicly available.
Information on all types of tax concessions can be found at: http://www.barbados.gov.bb/finance/pages/taxadmin.htm
The Inland Revenue Department utilizes the National Registration Number of each taxpayer as a Document Locator Number for information processing. (This number is assigned and administered by the Department of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission). This number is also utilized in customs and VAT administration.
While outstanding arrears appear large, to a significant extent these reflect bad debts of longstanding that cannot, under the current system, be written off.
Customs and Excise Department: http://www.barbados.gov.bb/customs
Chapter 3 of the General Orders for the Public Service of Barbados, last revised in 1997.
Budget agencies should be informed of their annual expenditure ceilings at the beginning of the draft estimates preparation stage, however sometimes these are promulgated a few weeks after the issuance of the budget circular.
One deficiency in this area relates to the registration and stocktaking of physical assets. The acquisition and subsequent movements in fixed assets have not been recorded in Smartstream by budget agencies. However, as part of the move to accrual accounting, budget agencies have begun the process of stocktaking, recording and valuing their physical assets.
Tenders are brought in hard copy to the CPD tender box which normally closes at 4:30 on Wednesdays. Strict procedures are in place to ensure that tenders cannot be seen or adjusted before the tender committee opens the box. Late tenders or resubmissions are not accepted.
These are the Public Service Commission, the Police Service Commission, and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. There may be a fourth one for teachers in the future.
The ratio of highest to lowest salaries was 15 to 1 in 1960 and currently is 6.3 to 1.
Invoices are processed immediately before payments are made, which means that the real arrears lag is not recorded. Given the present limitation of the system, it is not possible to accurately assess the extent of payment arrears from the system.
For instance, the Inland Revenue Department estimates that the cost of a tax incentive to encourage investment and savings of cooperative societies is BD$6.3 million and a deduction of home improvement expenditure is estimated to have cost BD$4.08 million in 2004-5. The Land Tax department estimated that the preferential treatment for various groups of taxpayers cost BD$40 million last year (assuming 100 percent collection rate) or around 30 percent of total property tax collections.
Calculated from the first page of the Report of the Accountant General for the Financial Year 2005-2006.
Some commercial bank accounts are used for revenue collection, but these accounts are swept on a daily basis into the treasury single account.
Issues related to the reconciliation of government accounts with the central bank and two commercial banks (BNB and First Caribbean International Bank) which were not resolved at the time the Report of the Auditor General was issued largely reflected timing discrepancies and transactions related to advances.
The PAC is a joint committee of the House and the Senate, and is currently chaired by the Leader of the Opposition and has independent members.
CARTAC is providing assistance in revising GDP data by applying a new methodology.