**Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, M.P.
Minister of Financial Services and Investments**

Minister of Financial Services & Investments Allyson Maynard-Gibson says the ultimate aim of her Ministry is to create more opportunities for Bahamians, through economic growth and restructuring. As such the 2005-2006 Budget for the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments (MFSI) – recently passed in Parliament – serves as an integral part of the government’s overall and ongoing efforts to restructure the Bahamian economy to make it more dynamic, diversified and entrepreneurial.

Economic indicators released by the Ministry of Finance point to the strength of the Bahamian economy, in terms of economic growth, unprecedented foreign reserves and decreasing unemployment. Minister Maynard-Gibson says this is supported by Moody’s A3 ratings and Standard and Poor’s Country equivalent ratings, while the International Monetary Fund is satisfied that the nation is moving towards the target that it has established for a strong economy. A strong economy which, says the Minister, will encourage investment.

**Transformation Initiative**

To facilitate its objectives as outlined in the Budget, MFSI has embarked on a transformation initiative consisting of (a) the integration of programme management to facilitate departmental and sectional deliverables and to ensure that all programmes, initiatives and actions are client-centric; and (b) the recognition of the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in improving service delivery and ministerial operations. In connection with the latter, Minister Maynard-Gibson says this will translate into:

• Assimilation of the Ministry’s databases/information systems.

• Promotion of e-government/e-commerce and enhance public private partnership necessary to propel this initiative.

• The creation, design and implementation of on-line e-citizen services with specific regard to electronic registration and issuance of birth certificates, and the digitization of deeds and documents with the view of improving the execution of information retrieval and service delivery, particularly within the Registrar’s office.

Once this initiative is completed it is anticipated that the Ministry will be able to provide information directly to the Ministry of Finance and other relevant government agencies on investment proposals, Hotel Encouragement Act applications and other issues which fall within its portfolio. This will assist with the collection of revenue and the development of relevant economic statistics that will in turn facilitate economic planning, says Minister Maynard-Gibson.