MINISTERIAL REPORT FOR DEPARTMENT OF CO-OPERATIVES
AND FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ON PERFORMANCE FOR FINANCIAL
YEAR 2008/2009 AND FOCUS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 2009/2010
1.0 Purpose of Ministry Paper
This report is intended to inform Parliament and the public about the performance of
the Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) during the
2008/2009 Financial Year and its strategic focus for the 2009/2010 Financial Year.
To contribute to the social and economic development of the nation, by facilitating
the establishment and regulation of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies as viable
business alternatives and effective social organizations, and protecting all
“To be transformed to position the Co-operatives and Friendly Societies as vibrant
and viable sectors within Jamaica’s socio-economic framework by 2018”.
4.0 Roles and Functions
The Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies has responsibility for
administering the Co-operative Societies Act and the Friendly Societies Act and their
respective regulations. It regulates and supervises credit unions, agricultural
societies and fourteen (14) other types of producer and service societies, plus
benevolent, specially authorized and friendly societies. The Department also plays
the important role of ensuring stability in the co-operative and friendly societies
movements which has a membership of over 1.3 million individuals.
The mandate of the Department is essentially to ensure the safety of societies’
assets and the protection of members' savings and investments and other
stakeholders’ interests. Its functions include:-
Registration of societies and their rules
Inspection and supervision of societies
Annual audits and investigations
Settlement of disputes affecting societies’ business
Suspension of societies’ registrations
Cancellation of societies’ registrations
Dissolution and liquidation of societies
Training, promotion, development, research, planning and capacity
building for societies.
Additionally, the Department monitors and assists the development of the Co-
operative Movement in keeping with Government’s policies as well as global trends
and provides technical assistance to facilitate sustainability of the Co-operative
Societies and Friendly Societies Movements.
The Department is also engaged in activities geared towards educating the youth in
particular and the public in general about economic opportunities that co-operatives
offer. This objective is facilitated by training, research and promotion of essay
competitions in schools, community workshops and participation at the Annual
Denbigh Agricultural Show.
The Department’s programmes are implemented through the delegation of
responsibilities under the respective Sections (Business Units) of the Department, as
Inspectorate: Regulatory Section that conducts periodic inspections and
provides guidance for the entities to operate in compliance with the rules and
Acts under which they are registered.
Audits and Investigations: Commission annual audits for all registered
entities at the end of their financial year and to investigate all suspected and
reported incidences of fraudulent activities.
Research, Training and Development: Facilitates sensitization and training
sessions for all groups that have applied for registration under the Co-
operative Societies Act and Regulations and the Friendly Societies Act and
Regulations. Initiates programmes geared toward promotion and for
sustainable development of these entities.
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5.0 Highlights of Performance/Achievements for Financial Year
Activities Targets Achievements Targets
‘08/09 ‘08/09 ‘09/10
133 Societies 134 Societies for
Audits 120 for 158 years
for 246 years 246 years
Investigations 8 3 4
Inspections 70 80 80 Societies
Pre-Audit Checks 70 97 90 Societies
Analysis of Financial Statements 70 56 56
Liquidations 10 7 in Progress 10 Societies
Technical Support & Business Counseling
Attend Board Meetings,
229 473 Societies 267
Attend Annual / Special General
Interventions 12 Groups Interventions
Facilitate compliance with statutes
Training (Movement) 600 persons 651 persons 600 persons
Training (Staff) 40 persons 45 persons 40 persons
Group Organization 45 35 35
Group Supervision 36 32 25
Development Planning and Resuscitation 4 1 0
Modernization and Standardization of Regulatory
Tools 2 3 3
Operational Assessment 35 28 24
Assessment of Business Plan/Project Proposal 15 Groups 7 7
Assessment of Systems and Internal Controls 38 13
Development of Accounting Systems 34 22
Appraisal of Rules 36 40 35
Special Projects 3 3 2*
310 cases involving 250 cases
Settlement of disputes involving
Rid registers of dormant societies
13 24 20
Registration 35 25 25
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i. Partnership/Collaborations: The Department worked collaboratively with
other entities involved in community development. This contributed
significantly in the formation of thirty-five (35) groups in communities island-
wide, with twenty-five (25) registered as legal entities. The registration of
those societies facilitated projects for community development, rehabilitation
of basic schools, improvement in potable and irrigation water supplies and
income generating ventures in agriculture and craft.
The partnerships and collaborations with the Jamaica Social Investment
Fund (JSIF), Ministry of National Security (Citizens Security and Justice
Programme), Social Development Commission (SDC), National Irrigation
Commission (NIC) and Local Initiative Facility for the Environment (LIFE)
have enhanced the Department’s impact on critical social-intervention
ii. Youth Co-operative Education: The Department - in conjunction with
parish credit unions – continued its sensitization programme to establish
junior co-operatives in schools and youth clubs, as one of the strategies to
improve awareness and acceptance of co-operatives as vehicles for job
creation, economic empowerment and social mobility. It is envisaged that
such a programme will be complementary to the ongoing Schools Essay
Competition, conducted for students attending primary, all-age, secondary
and high schools.
iii. Schools Essay Competition: The competition continued among primary,
junior high and high school students within two (2) age groups (11 -14 and
15 -17 years). Twenty-eight (28) schools have indicated their interest to
participate in the competition and the award ceremony is scheduled to be
held in June 2009
iv. Co-operative Friends of Jamaica (CFJ): The Department hosted a visit by
the fifteen (15) members of the CFJ (a United Kingdom based benefactor to
the Jamaica Co-operative Movement), during the period May 23 – 30, 2008.
6.0 The Way Forward for 2009/2010
In order to guarantee the achievements of the Department as proposed in its
Corporate and Operational Plans, two (2) major strategies will be implemented.
1. Completion of the reclassification of the Department’s human resources and
filling of vacancies for optimal efficiency of the various Sections
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2. Review of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Plan.
This will focus on policies and programmes that are strategically aligned with
MIIC priorities and outputs reporting framework, commitment to the continual
upgrading and enhancement of Information Technology systems and the
education and training of staff. This would be accomplished through the
A. Set up and configuration of a client/server network
B. Set up and configuration an Intranet within the Department
C. The acquisition of the following equipment, software and accessories:
Six (6) additional computer systems running Windows Vista
Business Edition and Office 2007
Acquire Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition antivirus protection and
appropriate end-users license
Cisco ASA 5505 Firewall Edition Bundle to prevent unauthorized
access to or from the Department’s network.
D. Ongoing IT training and education of staff in new systems and
E. The review of internal IT Policy in keeping with the Ministry’s guiding
F. Centralize Database Management System
G. Investigating the feasibility of E-Commerce Trading by year 2012, with
Co-operatives, Friendly and Industrial and Providence Societies, in
addition to other stakeholders.
Increase organizational productivity through development and utilization of
ICT in office administration. In an effort to increase efficiency and
effectiveness by which personnel of the Department of Co operatives and
Friendly Societies execute their duties.
Increased generation and dissemination of information between the
Department, other Government Agencies/Departments, Societies and other
relevant stakeholders on a timely basis.
Convenient access to important information/data and application program
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across multiple Sections. Remote Offices will save the Department time and
money in daily operations.
Sharing of multiple resources across the entire network reducing the need for
duplication of equipment and accessories.
Using the intranet to replace the traffic of paper and electronic documents
constantly flowing from Section to Section thereby reducing the duplication of
electronic documents and moving towards a paperless office.
Facilitate the submission of Annual Financial Statement via online Form on
the Department’s Website and the collection of other relevant informant from
entities registered under the Friendly, Co-operative and Industrial and
Providence Societies Acts thereby reducing the turnaround period of key
Facilitate the submission of preliminary document to initiate the process of
registration for Friendly Societies, Co-operatives and Industrial and
In addition, the Department will have to:
continue to aggressively pursue interventions with the portfolio Ministries and
stakeholders for final consensus on the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Credit Union
Regulations, amendments to the Co-operative Societies Act, Friendly
Societies Act and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and Regulations;
carry out discussion with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to
facilitate a collaborative/consultative process with friendly and benevolent
societies in soliciting their input to proposed changes to the Friendly Societies
Act & Regulations;
review the deliverables to Societies to ensure that there are costs recoveries
for some services that in many instances in the past were rendered free, or if
charged for were uncollectible over time and had to be written off;
seek to increase its non-tax revenue for services rendered to its clients and
ensure collection on a timely basis. Already, systems and procedures have
been implemented and these will be closely monitored to ensure that the
receivables are collected in reasonable time.
Despite the challenges, the Registrar and staff are cognizant of the Department’s
mandate and are committed t do the best to enhance further development of the
Cooperative and Friendly Societies Movement in Jamaica.
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7.0 Summary of Major Focus for 2009/2010 Financial Year
POLICIES OBJECTIVES STRATEGIES
Facilitate annual Completion of Application of audit Audits available for 246 years
audits for reviewing financial audits as techniques and for 134 societies.
of societies’ required under assessment of
performance by their the Acts. financial
financial reports and
Regulation and Ensure Conduct of on-site Correction of breaches and
supervision of continuous inspections and off- enforcement of compliance
societies through compliance by site assessment into within 80 societies.
administration of the management and all areas of
Co-operative volunteers in the societies’ activities. Examination of financial and
Societies and conduct of legal returns for 94 societies.
Friendly Societies societies’ affairs.
Acts & Regulations. Conduct pre-audit checks for
Effect corporate Documentation Collaborate with Development and
governance and and boards of directors, implementation of policies
adherence to implementation of staff and volunteers and systems as internal
statutes appropriate of societies to controls and decision making
policies develop appropriate tools for at least 50 societies
POLICIES OBJECTIVES STRATEGIES
-do- Removal of non- Review status of 20 societies’ registrations
performing societies that are in cancelled and/or of societies
societies from the breach of the resuscitated.
Register. statutes; recommend
and facilitate the
and liquidations or
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Settlement of Facilitate Receive applications Settlement of 250 cases
disputes between settlement of and complaints from involving $60M.
members and their disputes within aggrieved parties;
societies through the societies. appoint arbitrators,
process of arbitration review awards and
and mediation. act upon appeals.
Facilitate Modernization of Facilitate Revision of co-operative
modernization of legal framework. amendments to societies legislation. Amend-
legal statutes. Co-operative and ment to the rules of 30
Friendly Societies societies.
Acts & Regulations
and societies’ rules.
Intensify Ensure Business counseling, Feasibility assessment of 20
programmes for implementation of training seminars societies to ascertain viability.
training and systems standardized and development of
development in documents for specific models and 600 persons to receive
societies through transparency in systems to enhance specialized training to
technical support. management of operations. manage their societies’ affairs
societies. more effectively and
267 interventions giving
technical advice to boards of
directors within 140 societies
to improve efficiency and
Facilitate the To increase Vetting of rules, Registration of 25 groups as
registration of viable employment feasibility legal entities under the
co-operatives and creation, income assessment of relevant acts.
socially acceptable generation, business/project
friendly societies. foreign exchange proposals, training
earnings and and supervision of
import group members.
POLICIES OBJECTIVES STRATEGIES
Computerization of Faster and more - Acquire Full integration of
Department’s efficient network additional Department’s computers with
activities. facilities for the hardware and interactive website offering
Department and software. online training and
movements. - Maintain information.
- Train staff in Faster turn-around time in
the use of communicating and
hardware and transmission of information to
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Facilitate Accountability Timely evaluation of Adequate system of
establishment of and transparency systems and accountability developed
appropriate internal of societies’ procedures to ensure within 25 societies to enhance
controls and operation. adequacy. transparency/accountability
accounting systems and prevent malfeasance or
within societies. misfeasance.
8.0 Budgetary Allocation
Approved Estimates 2008/2009 ($M) Proposed Budget 2009/2010 ($M)
Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce
Tabled in Parliament on April 20, 2009
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DEPARTMENT OF COOPERATIVES AND FRIENDLY
Regional Workshop used to administer training in the areas of Accounting and Policy
Formulation geared at developing twenty two (22) Societies.
Start Retreat held to assess the Department‘s achievements to date, shortcomings and
determine strategies to be implemented
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