The performance audit report on Jamaica’s preparedness for SDG implementation, released by the Auditor General of Jamaica, notes the approval of a National 2030 Agenda Oversight Committee by the Cabinet.
It calls for including the Ministry of Finance and Public Service as part of the National SDG Core Group, and recommends that the Oversight Committee, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Public Service and other governmental entities, guide the development of a comprehensive funding strategy for the preparedness and implementation of the SDGs.
April 2019: The Auditor General of Jamaica has released an audit report on the country’s preparedness to implement the SDGs. The report reveals “notable progress” towards SDG implementation in the country, particularly on establishing an institutional framework and building public awareness. Among other recommendations, the report calls for the development of a comprehensive funding strategy to support SDG preparedness and implementation.
Titled, ‘Jamaica’s Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),’ the audit report was prepared by the Auditor General’s ‘Department of Jamaica’ for presentation to the House of Representatives. It was issued in September 2018, and followed Jamaica’s presentation of its Voluntary National Review (VNR) of progress on SDG implementation at the July session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2018.
According to the report, the audit was carried out to determine the extent to which actions implemented by the Government of Jamaica were adequate to support preparedness for the achievement of the SDGs.
The report notes progress in developing the institutional frameworks for SDG implementation and raising awareness. It indicates that a roadmap for SDG implementation was approved by the Cabinet in April 2017, and a National SDG Core Group, composed of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, was formed in 2017. The report expresses concerns that the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, responsible for the collection and allocation of public revenue, was absent from the Core Group at the time of the audit, adding that its presence would facilitate alignment of the medium- to long-term funding for priority SDG projects with the government’s fiscal programme. The report further notes that the 17 SDGs embodied in Jamaica’s National Development Plan (NDP), also known as ‘Vision 2030,’ were at various stages of implementation at the time of the audit, and 91.3 percent of Jamaica’s national planning documents were aligned with the SDGs.
On raising awareness, the report finds that stakeholder consultations were organized by the government from January 2016 to December 2017, and the Planning Institute of Jamaica executed awareness-raising programmes through town hall meetings, presentations and displays to a “wide cross-section of stakeholders.” It also mentions the preparation of a communications and advocacy roadmap 2019-2022, that outlines specific objectives, actions and targets to be achieved to increase public awareness of Vision 2030 and the SDGs.
On accountability, the report states that a National 2030 Agenda Oversight Committee was approved by the Cabinet to provide oversight of SDG implementation. Committee members include officials from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and other ministries, departments and agencies, along with stakeholders from the private sector, civil society groups and academia.
On financing, the report highlights the lack of a comprehensive long-term strategy to fund SDG priority projects, noting progress on six of the nine sources of funding for priority projects identified in the roadmap for SDG implementation. It indicates that public-private partnerships (PPPs) were a major source of funding, whereas the diaspora bonds and venture capital funding were in exploratory stages when the audit was issued.
On monitoring and reporting, the report notes the absence of a formal monitoring and evaluation framework to coordinate and track progress of systems and programmes to aid SDG implementation. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica established an internal 2030 Agenda committee to improve the statistical capacity for the monitoring of the 2030 Agenda, it says, but the audit did not find evidence that the internal committee had developed work plans to measure, monitor and report on the progress to produce the relevant indicators.
Based on the results of the audit, the report outlines a series of recommendations for the government. Among those, it calls on the Cabinet to consider delegating overarching responsibility for coordinating SDG implementation to a specific entity, and documenting and communicating this information to all stakeholders. It underlines the need to include the Ministry of Finance and Public Service as part of the National SDG Core Group, and recommends that the National 2030 Agenda Oversight Committee, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Public Service and other governmental entities, guide the development of a comprehensive funding strategy for the preparedness for and implementation of the SDGs.
Also in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the Federal Court of Accounts of Brazil (TCU) led a coordinated audit on the preparedness of Latin American governments to implement the SDGs. The audit, issued in 2018, involved Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) from 11 countries, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. It also involved the audit institution of Buenos Aires in Argentina. An IISD SDG Knowledge Hub summary of this report is available here. [Jamaica’s Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): Performance Audit Report] [Coordinated Audit on the Preparedness of Latin American Governments to Implement the SDGs]
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This news story reviews one of the audit reports and activities produced by individual SAIs on the SDGs, as identified by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) as of March 2019. For more information about SAIs, click here.