Foreword by the Chairman
This presentation does not dispense with reading the full report, as it does not fully appraise the efforts expended by the Board of Directors, the executive management and those working in the various units of the PCMA. Furthermore, this presentation does not address many important details nor does it outline the efforts made in dealing with day-to-day issues or the matters that comprise the PCMA’s activities. Such issues and matters, which need not be outlined here, emerge from time to time and consumes the efforts of the specialists for long periods. This presentation aims solely to give an overview of the PCMA’s work during the year, drawing on some important developments that are detailed in the relevant parts of the report.
Looking back at the year 2021, it appears that we at the PCMA have become accustomed to working under the restrictive circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have persisted for the second year in a row to which we have adapted well. The work of the authority was organized without any problem. Likewise with the Board of Directors, whose meetings were held regularly with the presence of all the members, through remote communication techniques. We note here that arranging remote meetings; whether for the Board of Directors or other meetings in which the PCMA participates, was simple and effective. Just, as there were obvious disadvantages to working under the pandemic conditions, there were also opportunities that we alluded to in the previous report, relating to consumption patterns, better workload distribution, and public safety-related behaviours.
The PCMA will try to assess these by reviewing relevant data over the past two years and beyond to learn lessons. We cannot anticipate the outcome, but this could be an opportunity for the PCMA, as for other institutions, to re-examine the needs for doing its jobs, and identify possible savings and increase the efficiency of work in various areas.
This year, the Board of Directors of the PCMA carried out all the usual annual work, in terms of supervision, monitoring and management, directly and through the various committees. The members of the Board deserve thanks and gratitude for their patience, perseverance and constructive participation in long meetings despite their busy schedules. Among the Board of Director’s actions are matters related to auditing, risk assessment, approving the general budget, following up on the implementation of the PCMA’s strategic plan, and the national plan for financial inclusion implemented by the PCMA with the participation of the Palestinian Monetary Authority and a group of relevant governmental and non-governmental institutions. They also include discussing and deciding on the recommendations of the executive management on draft laws, the regulations, instructions, and proposals for amendments that the PCMA prepares based on its cumulative experience. It should be noted that the PCMA has developed and launched the “Innovate” platform, aiming to enhance an enabling environment for the use of financial technology in the non-banking financial sector as one of the objectives of the strategic plan. This is in addition to the completion of the amended insurance draft law, which is being widely discussed, and we hope that 2022 will witness forwarding it to decision-making levels for approval as soon as possible. Also, this year, saw the initiation of an updated tool for evaluating the annual performance of employees as well as the adoption of a new media and visual identity policy for the PCMA based on the “Palestinian sunbird” that appears on the cover of the report, which will be used next to the emblem of the State of Palestine. The PCMA also joined the beneficiaries of the General Retirement Law which is obligatory for new employees and optional for old ones.
In terms of implementing the plan to build a modern headquarters for the PCMA, there was a cumulative delay of about 137 days, due to the interruption of work hours in government and municipal institutions and the engineering advisory office due to the pandemic. This was in addition to the need for more time to discuss the specifications of the main building, its details, and to make the modifications requested by the Ministry of Public Works. However, this year, the final designs were approved, detailed plans and bills of quantities were prepared, the approval of the competent authorities on the plans was obtained, and the approval of the Supreme Planning Council on the facilities required for implementation was also obtained. The plans were submitted to the municipality of Surda-Abu Qash in November 2021. Finally, the PCMA has obtained a building permit and implementation is expected to start in the spring of 2022, after the PCMA has duly completed all the required legal steps relative thereto.
From time to time while conducting its activities and works, the PCMA has encountered thorny matters, especially in the field of insurance, but, this year, the PCMA was able to complete one of the issues the particulars of which will be detailed in the report, resulting from the tragic Jabaa accident that has troubled all stakeholders since 2012. We mention this only by way of an example of the difficulties that face the PCMA and drains the efforts of its employees, and how the board of directors weighs its decisions and the prudence it exercises in dealing with such matter. I take this occasion to commend the efforts of the executive management, employees and successive boards of directors for their good management of this difficult matter.
Lastly, I would like to thank, on my own behalf and on behalf of the PCMA’s Board of Directors, all employees of the PCMA, particularly the Executive Management, for their efforts and hard work in carrying out their tasks and achieving the PCMA’s objectives.
Chairman of the Board