; DCFS Ministry Paper April 29 2009 - 10 - Final _T_
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DCFS Ministry Paper April 29 2009 - 10 - Final _T_


  • pg 1

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.

2.0   Mission

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
stakeholders’ interests.

3.0   Vision

“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
             Inquiries
             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.

                                   Page 2 of 10
      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
    Revise Policies
    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
                                                                                           13 Groups
Assessment of Systems and Internal Controls             38                 13
                                                                                           7 Societies
                                                                                           17 Groups
Development of Accounting Systems                       34                 22
                                                                                           5 Societies
Appraisal of Rules                                      36                 40                   35
Special Projects                                        3                  3                    2*
                                                    250 cases
                                                                   310 cases involving      250 cases
Settlement of disputes                               involving
                                                                        $92.88M               $60M
Rid registers of dormant societies
                                                        13                 24                   20
Registration                                            35                 25                   25

                                               Page 3 of 10
Special Activities

      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.
These are:

1.     Completion of the reclassification of the Department’s human resources and
       filling of vacancies for optimal efficiency of the various Sections

                                    Page 4 of 10
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

                                    Page 5 of 10
       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
       Providence Societies.

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.

                                   Page 6 of 10
      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
members.                                       performance.

                                               Tabulation         of
                                               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
                                                                       90 societies
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
                                            process            for
                                            conducting enquiries
                                            and liquidations or

                                          Page 7 of 10
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

                                            Page 8 of 10
                                                     software.        officers.

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)
                     59.7                                                62.4

      Karl Samuda
      Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce
      Tabled in Parliament on April 20, 2009

                                          Page 9 of 10

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

                                Page 10 of 10

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