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By Sase SinghA Study in Scarlet is an 1887 detective novel written by British author, Arthur Conan Doyle, who gave Sherlock Holmes to the world.  In that book, one can find the quote from Mr. Holmes, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the data”.Sase SinghGood data can help policymakers identify, plan and implement a transformative programme for national development. Unfortunately our own Bureau of Statistics (BOS) has underperformed for decades. In countries like Trinidad, the quality of data continues to get better and more accessible to the public, but in Guyana data gets more outdated and irrelevant.  Mind you,NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale, this is a trend that I observed since the Jagdeo /Ramotar term in office, but there seems to be no let-up today.If one is to look at the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Guyana and Bureau of Statistics website on November 16, 2015 one will find the latest uploads as follows:•    Ministry of Finance – Half Year 2015 Report.•    Bank of Guyana – Half Year 2015 Report. The September 2015 Quarterly Statistical Bulletin is missing in action.•    And the worst of them all – the Bureau of Statistics – which provides production statistics from 2013?Is this fair to the Guyanese thinkers, academic and policy makers?This is a real criminal act. There has been a serious data gap in Guyana for decades and even though the new Government has been in office only six months, fixing this mess does not appear to be one of its highest priorities.  Without good data, national planning and policy-making is compromised.Publication of statistics that are timely, internally consistent, and comparable across sectors is essential for monitoring our progress as a nation, especially against the list of promises we made in the APNU+AFC manifesto.  There are thousands of people who will hold this government to those promises and when a government is busy,Wholesale NBA Jerseys, it is shocking how swiftly the year 2019 will arrive.  We saw this situation in the Jagdeo /Ramotar governments.  When a politician does not deliver on his promise then it is either a good dose of infantile excuses or downright untruths. This cannot be the path of this Coalition Government.Let us restructure the BOS urgently. The IMF has programmes that help countries rebuild their Statistical Agencies,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, why are we not tapping into those resources?  If you think I am wrong, let us ask the BOS where is the Final 2012 Population and Housing Census Report. Missing in Action Part 2!According to an Act of Parliament in 1991, the Bureau of Statistics is a semi-autonomous body that is expected to do among other functions:•    Conduct censuses (failed);•    Collect, compile, analyze,Cheap MLB Jerseys, and publish socio-economic and other statistical data (two years behind reality).Need I go on?If one fails to carry out one’s primary role, one should have the common decency to resign.  This culture of protecting the boys because they have been around forever is just ridiculous.  In this new dispensation, all Heads of Department have to be held accountable and if they are not getting the political support to complete their jobs, they have to document this situation.We have a country to run, not a cake shop to manage. How will Guyana detect emerging financial and social vulnerabilities if the BOS is all but dysfunctional?The time is now for us to make steady progress at closing the data gaps and adopting higher data dissemination standards.If one should look at the IMF dataset, the last serious piece of country information on Guyana is the 2013 IMF Staff Report.  Are we serious? The 2014 Staff Reports for 13 countries out of the 15-member CARICOM community have already been published.  Even the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere Haiti, has got its act together to support the publication of its 2014 IMF Staff Report. The 2014 Report for Guyana – Missing in action Part 3!I am fully aware that there was a deliberate strategy from key players in the Ramotar Government to bury financial data from 2014 because it would have illustrated, clearly, the weakness in the economy.  But we have a new government now and it is baffling why the opportunity is not being seized to cause the IMF to publish that data set?  Is it because these same players from the PPP era are still dominating key departments in the State machinery?  Can someone wake up, please!It is time for Guyana to publish timely and high-quality macroeconomic data which meet global standards. The greatest retardant of this entire project has been poor leadership and a stone age IT platform in the data aggregation agencies.The Ramotar administration had the audacity to funnel some $600 million through the Public Service Ministry for dubious electoral reasons (now an issue in the Courts),NFL Jerseys Supply, but it had little money to properly house and equip the Statistical Bureau, with very little noise from the leadership at the Bureau.  This has to change. We have got the IMF who is always willing to help countries like Guyana to strengthen the data dissemination capacity.The IMF Board approved funds and technical resources under the enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) to impart stronger incentives such as technical assistance and training to support the most timely publication of critical macroeconomic data.The IMF has some 800 capacity development and training missions planned for 2016 around the world.  Is one of those missions coming to Guyana?  As I said, somebody has to wake up!Please share your feedback with me at [email protected]
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