The Inter-American Development Bank has approved the disbursement of a US$40-million loan to Barbados in support of the country’s investment in the modernisation of the public sector and increasing the effectiveness of the government.
Barbados will be aiming to improve its economic competitiveness on three bases: (1) greater use of digital channels by both individuals and companies to access public services; (2) greater efficiency in public sector administration; and (3) the strengthening of public sector skills to function in a digital economy.
“Barbados is committed to the digital transformation of public sector administration and to improve the quality of its services with the formulation and implementation of an updated e-government strategy, including training of public sector employees,” a press release from the IDB states.
“Barbados is committed to the digital transformation of public sector administration and to improve the quality of its services…”
“These objectives are aligned with the first pillar of the IDB Group’s Country Strategy with Barbados (2019-23, which proposes promoting fiscal sustainability and greater efficiency in public sector,” the document continues.
The public sector transformation programme also aims to improve the capacity of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment to lead the modernisation process, which includes implementing a cyber security strategy supported by the establishment of a Security Operation Centre.
In addition, the programme should improve the management of human resources in the public sector, including training in disruptive technologies, using a strategy with a gender and diversity approach.
According to the IDB, the transformation programme will primarily benefit the citizens of Barbados who conduct business with both public and private sectors, especially those who have to deal with the high costs associated with accessing public services.
Public sector employees will also benefit from training and, as a result, will have access to employment opportunities, including promotions, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex or disability.
By being better able to manage its human resources and provide services more efficiently, the Government of Barbados will also benefit from the programme.
The IDB loan has a repayment term of 25 years, a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.