Government’s newly-appointed Business Facilitator has made it clear that while he will seek to improve communication between Government departments and the business sector, he will not act as a tribunal or arbitrator, making final decisions on outstanding matters.
Senator Darcy Boyce, in an address to the Barbados International Business Association last Friday, said: “My role is to ensure misunderstandings are avoided; responses are obtained in a reasonable time; clarifications or explanations are provided as necessary; and that the processing of projects, programmes and business applications receive equitable treatment.”
He stressed that Ministries, departments and agencies of Government would continue to make decisions in relation to the projects, programmes and business applications under their sphere of control.
Senator Boyce explained that in the short-term, over the next six months or so, he would seek to be an active intermediary between the private sector and Government, in order to find “mutually acceptable solutions to the most pressing and extraordinary unresolved cases.”
In the long-term, he said, his goal was to improve and maintain a good working ethos between the public and private sectors.
In an effort to improve government-business coordination, he said, he will be working with his fellow Ministers to have Ministries, departments and agencies do more development and communication of operation timelines and guidelines for the provision of normal services.
“As we get this done, government officers can better set, manage and deliver on expectations in terms of responses and decisions.”
To this end, he disclosed that he would be seeking the agreement of his Cabinet colleagues to have the Facilitation Committee of the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development collaborate with the Office of Public Sector Reform and the National Initiative of Service Excellence.
Their mission will be to work with key departments of Government to redevelop processes that improve the times for delivering service to the public.
The Business Facilitator said that he would also encourage Government departments to meet more regularly with the private sector representative bodies so that complex transactions and cases, as well as upcoming process changes, could be examined, discussed and solved in a mutually agreeable manner.
Senator Boyce stressed the importance of the private sector participating fully in the process if it was to be a success. “While the world is moving faster every day, many decisions still take time to be made. That time lengthens in the absence of sufficient information. Proactive discussions will go a long way to better guidance, quicker responses and better adherence to timelines,” he advised.
He promised that once sufficient background information was provided, he would assist in bringing cases to “the front of the queue” for his colleagues in the public sector to address.