by Linda Straker
- Richard Duncan will demit office in latter part August 2020
- Appointed by Governor General in 2016 as first chairman
- FROC responsible monitoring compliance with fiscal rules and targets as stipulated in Act
Richard Duncan who in 2016 was appointed by the Governor-General to serve as the first Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Oversight Committee (FROC) as mandated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), has announced he will demit office as of the latter part August 2020.
“I am disqualified. The law is very clear in terms of how a member can serve,” he said when asked to clarify the circumstances for his decision.
“If you look at the FRA amendment, there is section 2 that speaks to tenure and revocation and it is very clear. It says in subsection 2 that a member of the committee shall hold office for a period not existing 3 years and shall be eligible for reappointment subject to subsection 3,” he said. “In subsection 3 it is very clear. It says in no case shall a person hold office as a member of the committee for a period exceeding 4 consecutive years but a person who has served for a period of 4 consecutive years may become eligible for reappointment after the expiration of 2 years.”
According to the FRA, the specific objectives of this piece of legislation are “to establish a transparent and accountable rule based fiscal responsibility framework in Grenada, to guide and anchor fiscal policy during the budget process, to ensure that Government finances are sustainable over the short, medium, and long term, consistent with a sustainable level of debt, and for related matters.”
To provide oversight of the Act, the FRA created a Fiscal Responsibility Oversight Committee (FROC). This committee is responsible, under section 14 (3) of the FRA, for monitoring compliance with the fiscal rules and targets as stipulated in the Act and reporting to the House of Representatives thereon.
The FROC comprises 5 persons who are appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with the Act. Four persons are nominated by the Committee of Privileges of Parliament in consultation with the Director of Audit. The fifth person is appointed on the advice of the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
The Act stipulates that members of the FROC must possess expertise in the areas of (i) accounting; (ii) business management, having not less than 10 years of experience; (iii) public administration, having not less than 10 years of experience; and (iv) law The nominee from the Governor of the ECCB is required to have expertise in economics.
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