Sun | May 26, 2024

Chuck desperate for justice ministry to spend available funds

Published:Monday | April 15, 2024 | 12:10 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Delroy Chuck, minister of justice.
Delroy Chuck, minister of justice.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says his ministry has not been able to spend funds allocated by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, despite pleas to his team to do so.

Addressing the launch of the Judiciary Strategic Business Plan for 2024-2028, Chuck expressed confidence that funding will be available to implement the new business plan, as monies allocated to the Ministry of Justice are not being used up.

“In the last strategic plan, we were able to fund everything and, within reason, I hope that we will fund everything in this strategic plan. Over the last five years and more, everything I’ve asked for, for the justice system, I’ve got. The major problem is to spend it,” Chuck said.

“And unfortunately, for the last five years, every year, PS (the permanent secretary) and I, at the beginning, as we’re now doing for this fiscal year and as we did in December and January past, [have been] begging our personnel, be it property, employment, whatever, ‘Please, there is so much money in the system, let us try to spend it’, and we’ve not succeeded.

“So that’s the second reason I think, to the credit of the minister of finance, whatever the justice system has put in, we’ve got; but we at the Ministry of Justice, I must admit, have not been able to spend it.

“But we hope that with this strategic plan that you have, Chief Justice [Bryan Sykes], you will assist us in spending some of the money that we certainly will get at the Ministry of Justice.”

The Strategic Business Plan outlines strategies to be implemented by courts islandwide, which will contribute to the improvement of service delivery.