BVI News

Government to get ‘strict’ on people it owes

Premier Smith. File photo

Premier Smith. File photo

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has indicated that his government will clamp down on persons whom it owes for goods and services.

According to him, protocols regarding the timely submission of claims will be strictly enforced.

“Among other things, we are now strictly following protocols that require timely submission of all necessary documentation,” Premier Smith explained.

“The benefit of following these protocols is that, by doing so, we will ensure the requisite level of fiscal discipline, and ultimately we will have far fewer cases of dis-satisfaction reported on the manner in which we meet our fiscal obligations.”

Persons, over the years, have complained publicly that they are being paid too late for goods and services provided to the government.

But Premier Smith, during his 2017 budget address this month, stated that the situation has improved.

“We also need to keep pace with payments to our creditors, following the supply of goods and services to the government. We are grateful to everyone who does business with the government, and we thank you. I am pleased to inform you that we have made improvements to our procedures that allow us to meet these demands in a more expeditious and equitable way. We expect that all payments would be made to vendors within 30 days of submission to the Treasury.”

The government had blamed its relatively sloppy payment pattern on the slow inflow of revenue from the financial services industry at certain times of the year.

To help address the issue, the administration last year entered into a $25 million line of credit with CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

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