FINSAC Commission gets more money to complete report

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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GOVERNMENT has given the go-ahead for a revised budget of $58.3 million for the completion of the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC) Commission of Enquiry report and has made a recommendation to the governor general that the commissioners be given three more months to complete the work.

The development comes eight months after Cabinet approved the reappointment of the FINSAC commissioners to pave the way for the completion of the report from the enquiry which looked into the 1990s meltdown of the financial sector.

Parliament had approved an allocation of $35.7 million in the first supplementary estimates for 2016/17 in January to complete the report. Speaking at an investment forum at the time, Minister of Finance Audley Shaw said that the commission had been given seven months to finish the report.

Announcing the increased budget at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday, Minister of Information Senator Ruel Reid explained that the timelines for the completion of reports from enquiries such as FINSAC could only be approximated given the volume of work.

“We find that from time to time the only recourse is to ask for the extension…We agonised over this particular decision. What was presented to us was the actual amount of files and work now to be done, which has been costed independently. On that basis, Cabinet was convinced that, yes, the expenditure could be supported, and we feel that this revised budget will finally give us a completed FINSAC report,” he stated.

The FINSAC Commission of Enquiry was set up in 2008 and its sittings held in 2009. The commission's work, in addition to considering the cause of the meltdown, also involves examining the appropriateness of the actions taken and reviewing the operations of FINSAC in dealing with delinquent borrowers.

Cabinet also approved more than $23 million in residual payments to the West Kingston victim compensation committee and gave a one-month extension for the report from the hearings which were held between 2014 and 2015 to be completed.

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