Crown Prince visits Ministry of Finance
By Lyna Mohammad

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday afternoon consented to officiate the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board Gallery at the Ministry of Finance during HRH's working visit to the ministry.

Greeting HRH on arrival at the ministry's building was Minister of Finance II, Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim. Also present were Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Dato Awg Hj Eusoff Agaki Hj Ismail; Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Finance, Dato Awg Hj Ali Apong and Dato Awg Hj Metassan Momin; and Deputy Permanent Secretary of Finance, Awg Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Hj Mohd Yunos and other officers at the ministry.

Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Pg Dato Hj Abd Hamid Pg Hj Mohd Yassin was also present.

Before proceeding to the meeting room for a briefing session, HRH consented to a group photo session with the Minister of Finance II, Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Heads of Departments and Sections at the ministry.

The Minister of Finance II delivered a welcoming address prior to the briefing session. HRH was briefed on the organisational structure and roles and functions of the ministry towards the efficient and optimal management of the country's financial resources and system by Dato Awg Hj Ali Apong.

The morning itinerary involved visits to the various sections of the ministry beginning with the Research and In-ternational Section, a section that amongst others is tasked in doing research on fiscal, monetary and financial sector issues.

The section is also responsible in monitoring the Sultanate's economic development alongside the identification of development projects for the National Development Plan that can be financed by international financial institutions as well as investment opportunities.

Next were the Budget Section and Sub Treasury Department where HRH took a closer look at the facilities available while being briefed on the budget statistics and the sections' roles and functions.

Their roles and functions include providing assistance in drafting budget policy and planning, enhancing, planning and administration of government expenditure and the prudent control of expenditure in accordance with the regulations that have been set.

At the State Tender Board Section, which followed after, HRH was briefed on the processes and procedures pertaining to tenders for state procurement amounting to $250,000 and above.

HRH was also briefed on the Board's roles and functions in making recommendations on tenders while constantly reviewing and analysing tender procedures in accordance with current developments.

The ministry's Administration Section was visited next. The section amongst others is responsible in delivering administrative and management services in matters related to administration, personnel, staff resources, finance, building facilities and information technology.

At the Brunei International Financial Centre (BIFC) which HRH consented to visit next, the Crown Prince was greeted by the centre's Director of Special Duties who then briefed the royalty on the centre's vision and mission to become a financial centre that is competitive with other main international financial centres and the various legislations that were drafted pertaining to the centre.

From BIFC, the Crown Prince then proceeded to visit the Financial Institution Section. This section was established to carry out its responsibility as the regulator of financial institutions involving banks, finance and insurance companies, moneychangers and remittance businesses.

The first leg of the working visit to the ministry yesterday concluded at the Revenue Section. HRH viewed an exhibition covering statistics on the section's current achievements in its role as the collector of revenue from the proceeds of registered companies.

Before consenting to attend a luncheon and a get-together session with senior officers and officers from the ministry at the Main Conference Hall of the International Convention Centre, HRH joined mass Zohor prayers at the ministry's surau.

After the luncheon, HRH returned to the ministry for the second leg of the visit. The Crown Prince went to the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board, where HRH consented to officiate the Board's Gallery.

The gallery displays a collection of old and current coins and notes and the equipment used in minting the Brunei currency. HRH also visited the various sections at the board and had a closer look at the facilities available.

The working visit to the ministry of Finance displayed HRH's concern on the Ministry's implementation of its roles and functions in line with its vision to establish a firm and dynamic financial system.

It is also in continuity and concerted support to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's efforts towards ensuring that government agencies are more aware of and responsive to current developments in order to ensure the country's prosperity and harmony while jointly upholding the nation's aspirations. - Borneo Bulletin (18th Jan 2006)