Government improves lending agency transparency
Islanders now have improved access to open and transparent information about money lent to companies by the provincial government.
A policy change affecting government’s two lending agencies – Finance PEI (FPEI) and Island Investment Development Inc (IIDI) – requires all loans of more than $1 million be posted online along with:
- who is receiving the loan;
- how much it’s worth;
- the interest rate; and
- basic information about the purpose of the loan,
“Our government’s lending programs are vital to the economic health of the province and bring great value to Islanders,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer said. “It is important that Islanders can access open and transparent information about the activities of our lending institutions, so they can see for themselves who is receiving loans and for what purposes.”
In a further effort to improve transparency and accountability, four members of the IIDI board will now be private individuals selected through Engage PEI. The current board is composed of four deputy ministers along with the CEOs of Innovation PEI and Finance PEI. The board’s new makeup will be two deputy ministers, the CEO of IIDI, and the four private individuals.
“This new composition, with a majority of private citizens on the board, helps ensure government’s accountability to Islanders,” Minister Palmer said. “The updated legislation also ensures that the tourism, agriculture and fisheries sectors will be represented in the composition of the board.”
There is now $359 million in loans out to more than 1,000 companies employing 14,000 Islanders across the province. The lending programs are also profitable and return approximately $5 million in profits annually after all expenses and write offs are accounted for.