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Prepared by Shamsuddin Tareq, Alejandro Simone, Koffie Nassar and Anna Viseth.
ECCU countries covered are: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
These figures exclude spending by parastatal entities as well as investments financed through special financing arrangements. There is not sufficient cross country information available to attempt a correction.
For example, labor survey information available for St. Lucia suggests that unemployment has exceeded 14 percent during most of the last 15 years.
According to World Bank (2005a), in most countries the expectation in terms of wage premium is for it to be negative. Wages in the government sector tend to be lower as employees typically have greater job security and enjoy a number of other pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits.
There are two types of government employees in ECCU countries—established and non-established. Employees appointed by the Public Service Commissions are referred to as established employees and cover all types of government employees, including teachers, health workers, the police, and the military. The prevalence of manual processing of human resource information for established workers and the existence of significant non established employment have led to the limited availability of information.
For example, in Antigua and Barbuda, physician absenteeism is reportedly common in public health care facilities.
In some cases, such as in Antigua and Barbuda, pension parameters are especially generous for certain groups of workers including parliamentarians, teachers, and police.
According to a World Bank study (2010), demographic changes alone will increase total health spending needs in Latin America and the Caribbean region by 47 percent over the next 20 years.
In Antigua and Barbuda, there are three different procurement systems for pharmaceutical products in public health facilities reducing the potential for savings from centralized procurement. In St. Lucia, there is a shared perception among several health professionals that certain diseases that lead to high drug consumption could be most cost effective if addressed by public health campaigns to inform the population of the risk factors and how to prevent them. Widely cited cases are diabetes and hypertension.
However, comparison of spending figures across countries can be misleading because of different definition and coverage of such programs.
This section is based on contribution by Marc Silins of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC).
Based on a CARTAC regional IT Study (which included ECCU countries) focusing on the three major PFM IT systems: tax, customs and treasury undertaken over 2008-10.
Note that Grenada is successfully implementing quarterly reviews.
This section draws on various public expenditure reviews undertaken by the World Bank.
These figures do not include capital spending by parastatals or financed under special arrangements (e.g., public-private partnerships) thereby understating capital spending. On the other hand, all foreign financed capital projects are automatically included as capital expenditure in most, if not all, countries in the region. These project expenditure also include some current spending so that this practice results in inflating capital spending.