This project has been made possible by the funding received from the ‘Commonwealth window’ of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
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 685,000
This project is implemented by the Commonwealth Secretariat partnering with (a) Ministry of Finance, The Bahamas, (b) Central Bank of The Bahamas, (c) UNDP, Multicountry 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.
Previous milestones completed
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.
February 2021 Annual Work Plan for 2021 discussed and approved by the Project Board
March 2022 Project Progress reviewed and Annual Work Plan for 2022 approved by the Project Board
July 2022 The first in-country meeting of Project Board held to review and resolve few implementation issues relating to the Project.
November 2022 Project progress reviewed and Annual Work Plan for 2023 approved.
Partnership Project Update 2023
The project has continued to deliver reforms for strengthening Legal and Institutional frameworks including a policy framework for the public debt management and bond market development in the Bahamas. Activities completed, on track and initiated are as below:
- Finalised Public Debt Management Act 2021 enacted by the Parliament on 26 March 2021. Find out more here
- Finalised Fiscal Agency Agreement accepted by the Government of Bahamas and the Central Bank of the Bahamas in 2021. It is now to be executed by the Financial Secretary and the Governor, Central Bank of The Bahamas
- The Public Debt Management Regulations was developed, finalised in consultation with the MoF and the Central Bank and submitted for approval in 2021.
- Final report providing blueprint to establish a new Debt Management Office has been accepted by the Government and a new Debt Management Office was set up in 2021 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
- The finalised Procedures Manual for the new debt management office was accepted by the Government in 2022
- First Public Debt Bulletin was developed and published on MoF website in 2021 and is being published quarterly.
- Maiden Medium Term Debt Management Strategy(MTDS) approved by the Cabinet and published in 2021
- Second Medium Term Debt Management Strategy(MTDS) supported by the Project was also approved and published by the Government in 2023
- The first and second Annual Borrowing Plan developed and published. Find out more here and here
- Finalized Bye-laws for the Central Securities Depository adopted
- Draft report on Policy framework on guarantees, lending and on-lending being reviewed by the Government
- Draft Guidelines on issuance of Government securities being reviewed by the Central Bank of the Bahamas
- Draft Policy framework for retailing of Government securities being reviewed by the Government
- Work on assessment of Financial Market Infrastructure operations against (global) Principles of Public Financial Market Infrastructure (PFMI) has been initiated