Cabinet approves key proposals


21-September-2012

Public Finance Management

The proposal for a new Public Finance Management Bill 2012 is aimed at harmonising budgeting exercises, improving efficiency, ensuring budget discipline as well as greater accountability in the manner that government funds are spent.

Among the many stricter fiscal control measures proposed in the bill, is also the proposal that all accounts staff in ministries/departments of government are personnel of the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment, in order to provide necessary supervision and control of public finances.

 This would mean that existing accounts personnel in ministries/departments would be transferred under the payroll of the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment and be responsible to this ministry.

Additionally accounting officers will be personally accountable to the National Assembly through the Finance and Public Accounts Committee for the actions undertaken in the expenditure of public funds and all resources received, held or disposed of by the body that they account for.

Under the new law, a Government Audit Committee will be created to function in an advisory capacity to the Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment, and will not conflict with the duties and exercises of the Auditor General.

 The minister will also be able to establish internal audits to review financial management systems of ministries, government departments, agencies, divisions and public enterprises.

The bill will be presented to the National Assembly in October this year.

Financial Services Commission

New legislation is to be drafted to create a Financial Services Commission (FSC) which will oversee all non-banking financial services, as well as the offshore sector which is presently under the oversight of the Seychelles International Business Authority (Siba).

The FSC will replace Siba in name and expand the regulatory functions previously performed by this organisation. A Board of Commissioners will be appointed to the Commission. The work of the Commission will be managed by a chief executive officer and a deputy chief executive officer.
 
New unified insolvency law
 
Seychelles has numerous laws which apply the terms for insolvency of a company, partnership, sole proprietorship or natural person which date from 1853,1972 and 2003.

New legislation is to be drafted that will provide for a single and unified Insolvency Bill which will give more modern terms and procedures for liquidations and bankruptcies.

 This Bill is expected to increase investor confidence in Seychelles by providing new debt recovery tools which in turn should improve access to credit facilities within the banking system.
 
Biometric passports and ID cards

 
The government plans to introduce biometric passports and ID cards for Seychellois nationals next year as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

 Biometric passports and identification cards have computer chips integrated into their structure which hold personal data of the holder in digital format.

 This enables facial recognition, fingerprint recognition and iris recognition among other data that is stored.

The project has been approved in principle while technical and data specifications remain to be examined by the Department of Immigration and Civil Status and the Department of Information Communication Technology.
 
Seychelles Human Rights Treaties Committee
 
The Seychelles Human Rights Treaties Committee will be created with the task of overseeing the Seychelles’ implementation of reporting obligations under the international human rights treaties that it is signatory to. The committee will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General.
 
Technical Committee on Human Trafficking
 
A temporary technical committee will be created for a two-year period to advise the government on measures to be adopted, capacity building and training aimed at combating human trafficking, in particular in relation to failure of remuneration of expatriate labour.

 The committee will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Social Affairs.

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