The Economic Programme Oversight Committee, EPOC, will continue monitoring the government’s fiscal targets and performance for at least another year.

EPOC signed an agreement with the government this morning, for the monitoring to continue even after the IMF programme ends in November.

Our Business and Finance Editor, Kalilah Reynolds, reports.

EPOC was originally formed to monitor and report on the government’s performance under the Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, which started in 2013. 

It was continued when the country transitioned to a Precautionary Standby Arrangement with the Fund in 2017.

But with the IMF arrangement coming to an end, EPOC’s original purpose would be over.

However, Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, says the Committee will continue its role until other measures are in place to ensure the government sticks to its commitments.

These include the independence of the Bank of Jamaica, and the establishment of a new Fiscal Council.

Minister Clarke says he expects the new law to make the Central Bank independent will be passed before the end of the fiscal year in March 2020.

And, the Finance Minister says he expects legislation for the new Fiscal Council to be tabled by next April as well.

Dr. Clarke says today’s agreement shows the government’s commitment to maintaining a credible macro-economic path.

Meanwhile, Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, EPOC, Keith Duncan, says they’ll remain strident in monitoring the government’s performance.