Tools launched to enable citizen participation in gov’t accountability Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A suite of digital tools is now available to enable Jamaican citizens to proactively engage in the processes to improve public financial management and parliamentary accountability.

The tools were presented at an online forum under the theme: “Mind Yuh Business Ja: Strengthening citizens’ role as a partner in governance and accountability” on Thursday, December 8.

Developed by the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP) in partnership with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), the tools are the output of a European Union (EU) funded project, “Strengthening Public Stewardship and Accountability in Government.” The aim is to strengthen the accountability framework of Jamaica to improve the stewardship of public funds and assets.

“With the “Strengthening Public Stewardship and Accountability in Government” project, PSOJ and JAMP are promoting citizens’ engagement for good governance and sustainable development.

“The EU is delighted to be the main donor and partner on this initiative and I congratulate their teams for the important achievements,” said Marianne Van Steen, Ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica.

According to Jeanette Calder, Executive Director, JAMP, “we have created six citizen-centric digital tools for every Jamaican to use to better understand the work that Government and Parliament do on our behalf and to facilitate an ease of participation in the process.”

Jeanette Calder, Executive Director of the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP)

Three of the tools have existed since JAMP’s launch in 2019, and we are now releasing the national budget tool and a public procurement tracker.

Keith Duncan, PSOJ President, welcomed the introduction of the tools. “These new citizen-centric digital tools will advance one of our key targets in demystifying the mechanics of parliamentary oversight and promoting public engagement in holding our elected officials accountable.”

Duncan added: “We must remain vigilant and engaged in the governance process as we work as a nation to achieve greater growth and transparency. The national visual budget tool and public procurement tracker now bolster the capacity for citizens to be informed and involved in the management of our country.”

With the digital tools, JAMP seeks to harness the power of citizen engagement, monitoring and oversight to improve parliamentary accountability.

“JAMP’s vision is for citizens to play a more active role in holding our parliamentary representatives accountable. JAMP represents the citizens of Jamaica who hold our parliamentary representatives to account in regard to their stewardship of public funds and assets and to ensure that we achieve greater value from our taxes,” Calder said.

She said these digital tools are intended to enable citizens to act on the common concern of improved accountability, with the outcome being that the parliament will ultimately function in the way it should.

Calder also emphasised that citizens keeping a steady watch on our government and holding our leaders accountable for their actions will mean better decisions for the country, improved service delivery and a better quality of life for all.