Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 07, 2023

Data-driven decisions needed in gov’t — Penn

Data-driven decisions needed in gov’t — Penn

Health Minister Marlon Penn has called for decisions to be made on the territory’s budget on the basis of properly informed, evidence-based material.
Penn made the suggestion in the wake of criticisms from fellow lawmakers that decisions were not being taken on the budget on the basis of any proper analysis and figures coming from government department heads and statutory bodies.

“I agree with that wholeheartedly,” the Health Minister said recently. “I’ve always been someone that is pushing that we have proper systems that collect the data so we can make informed decisions, data-driven decisions.”

Penn recalled that he helped to work on the VIRRGIN programme that was established for the financial services sector more than a decade ago — a system he said still remains one of the best in the industry.

“So I came into government with that same mindset, and I think we need to transform the way that we do business in government,” Penn said.

The Health Minister said the government now has a central portal because of the work done a decade ago while he was chair of the e-government committee.

He said work was also done breaking down the silos in government in an attempt to ensure there is coordination between government departments and statutory organisations to facilitate the proper sharing of information.

“But the data is also important for us to make decisions,” Penn said. “We have to build the systems and put the system in place so that you can make, as I said earlier, informed data-driven decisions.

Penn said there is already a framework and foundation in place that can be followed to get systems in place and ensure the government works in a more efficient and effective manner.

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