The overall objective of the project is to promote long-term public debt sustainability in The Bahamas by strengthening capacity to manage public debt effectively. This will be achieved through delivery of an integrated programme of technical assistance aimed at strengthening the governance framework for public debt management, bolstering the policy framework for debt management and developing the government bond market.
The key project activities include:
- establishing a strengthened and modernized legal and regulatory framework for debt management to promote accountability, transparency and effectiveness in debt management operations
- setting up of a new Debt Management Office (DMO) by restructuring the debt management functions along functional line in accordance with international best practice
- institutionalising the medium-term strategy for debt management to minimize cost on public debt in the long run subject to a prudent level of risk
- establishing the operational and regulatory framework for the Central Securities Depository for an efficient and safe settlement of transactions in Government securities
- establishing a buyback and exchange programme for government securities to improve secondary market turnover and reduce refinancing risk of Government
- introducing Central Bank repos for effective monetary policy implementation and development of money and bond market and
- establishing guidelines on the issuance of government securities and a non-competitive bidding scheme for improved transparency and greater investor participation in the issuance of government securities.
Project Duration: 3 years from 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2023
Project Budget: USD 835,000
This project is implemented by the Commonwealth Secretariat partnering with (a) Ministry of Finance, The Bahamas, (b) Central Bank of The Bahamas, (c) UNDP, Multicounty Office Jamaica.
Following the final approval of the project, a Project Board consisting of representatives from Government of The Bahamas, India High Commission, Jamaica, Central Bank of the Bahamas, UNDP Multicounty Office Jamaica and the Commonwealth Secretariat has been constituted and the first meeting of the Project Board was held on 17 August 2020.
June 2020 Project Document approved by the Local Project Approval Committee (LPAC).
July 2020 Final approval for project received from UNOSSC and Project Board constituted.
August 2020 Terms of reference of Project Board finalised and Annual Work Plan approved by the Project Board.
October 2020 Draft Public Debt Management Bill 2020 uploaded to The Bahamas, Ministry of Finance website for public consultation from 5 October – 17 November 2020.
Partnership Project Update 2021
The project has continued to deliver reforms for strengthening Legal and Institutional frameworks for the public debt management in the Bahamas. Significant progress has been made in crafting and finalising draft Public Debt Management Regulations and plugging gaps in the area of institutional/organisational arrangements for the public debt management. Activities completed, on track and initiated are as below:
- Finalised Public Debt Management Act 2021 enacted by the Parliament on 30 March 2021. Find out more here
- Finalised Fiscal Agency Agreement submitted to the Government of Bahamas. It is now to signed by the Financial Secretary and the Governor, Central Bank of The Bahamas
- Final report providing blueprint to establish a new Debt Management Office has been accepted by the Government and a new Debt Management Office has been set up within the Ministry of Finance
- Supported development of Job Description (JD) and HR Guidelines for recruitment of new positions. This facilitated advertisement of positions of new Director of the new DMO as per the JD
- Maiden Annual Borrowing Plan developed and published. Find out more here and here
- Public Debt Management Regulation is in the process of finalisation
- A functional manual for new Debt Management is also being finalised
- Work has commenced on CSD Byelaws for settlement of government securities
- Work on formulation of Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) has been initiated. The concerned middle office personnel will also be trained
- Work on development of a Public Debt Bulletin has also been initiated