THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine says he will present a detailed report on his administration’s plans for fiscal 2024 in the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, on November 23.
“On the fourth Thursday in November, I believe that is November 23, I will be coming to the House to present, in detailed form, what these policy plans are.
"And I will be joined by the respective secretaries, who will flesh out for you, the public, what are those policies, projects, that will occur in fiscal 2024 so that you will be able to more or less create your own checklist at home,” he said on Wednesday during a post-executive council news conference at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex.
Augustine presided over a meeting of his executive, chief administrator Denese Toby-Quashie, administrators, accounting officers, project officers and representatives of several state enterprises to discuss his administration’s plans going forward, in light of the $2.585 billion the THA received from central government in the national budget to manage the island’s affairs. In June, the assembly requested $4.54 billion.
He said the meeting was essentially a recalibration exercise.
“We spent time looking at what we had as allocated to us and we looked at the funding required to do some of the major projects across the island. We looked at what those priorities are, division by division.
“We looked at how much it will cost and what kind of deficit budgeting we will have to work with for fiscal 2024.”
Augustine, who is also the Secretary of Finance and the Economy, said they also spent some time examining additional funding options that might be available to Tobago to complete its work.
After they have outlined their plans and set projects in motion, Augustine said by June 2024, they will be able to give an assessment of where they are with respect to delivery and the areas they might have difficulty accomplishing.
“The truth is that sometimes, you begin a plan and they delivery is a lot more difficult than you anticipated and things do happen. As the saying goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Saying the best preparation for execution is really good planning, Augustine said at the meeting they also discussed plans to establish a “rainy day” fund to assist the island during financial crises.
He said later this month, he would also update Tobagonians about the status of the contingency fund.