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Bill seeks to strengthen management of public assets

Bill seeks to strengthen management of public assets

HOUSE of Representatives on Monday approved a Bill for the Office of the Treasury Registrar and Public Assets Management, which will oversee operations of public investment entities and regulate public assets.

Presenting the bill for the second reading in the House, Minister of State in the President's Office - Finance and Planning, Mr Jamal Kassim Ali said the proposed legislation also seeks to promote good governance in public investment entities.

Minister Jamal said the new legislation that repeals the Public Investment Act, 2002, envisages to strengthen administration of public enterprises to operate efficiently and provide superb services.

“Out of the generated profits, they (public investment entities) will pay dividends and other taxes to the government,” the minister said, elaborating that the bill seeks to strengthen management of public assets as well.

It empowers the office of the registrar to investigate or inquire into the operations of public investment entities and summons chairpersons, individual board members and chief executive officers (CEOs) as the office deems necessary.

Under the envisaged legislation, which awaits the president's approval, the treasury registrar will enter into performance contract with chairpersons, board members and CEOs.

It provides for accountability of public investment entities, with articulate strategic plans, performance contracts for CEOs; assessment of performance contracts and performance contracts of board members.

Under the 10-part bill, Zanzibar president is entrusted with the responsibility of appointing the treasury registrar and board chairman. Members of the House approved the bill, saying it has come at the most appropriate period.

"The bill has come at an opportune time amid massive economic reforms and installation of firm control systems for the public funds to propel speedy economic growth," the House's Economic Committee Chairperson, Ms Sabiha Filfil Thani said.

She embraced the bill as an important stage in supervision of public investment entities and strengthened good governance.

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar established the public investment entities for business and social services provision to citizens. Through the Public Enterprises Decree Number four of 1978, the entities were supervised.

But, the changing environment that compelled the government to diversify its investments in various channels, including share purchases, the public investment act was enacted in 2002.

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Author: MASATO MASATO, Zanzibar

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