Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Takes Over RMF

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (standing), pilots the Road Maintenance Fund (Repeal) Bill in the Upper House on Friday (November 24). To the Minister’s right is Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. In the background are Senators Kerensia Morrison; and Deputy President of the Senate, Aubyn Hill.

Story Highlights

  • Seven new posts have been created within the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to accommodate persons who will be displaced as a result of the impending closure of the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF).
  • “The addition of these posts to the Ministry’s technical team will enhance the Ministry’s general capacity and its engineering capacity to properly execute and manage the duties, functions and responsibilities formerly carried out by the RMF,” she said.
  • Mrs. Johnson Smith said the organisational structure identified is one that will ensure that the functions previously performed by the RMF will be satisfactorily performed and buttressed by the Human Resource Management and Information Technology (IT) services resident within the Ministry.

Seven new posts have been created within the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to accommodate persons who will be displaced as a result of the impending closure of the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF).

There will be two accounting jobs and five positions in the technical services division, which will first be advertised among the former officers of the RMF.

This was disclosed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, while piloting the Road Maintenance Fund (Repeal) Bill in the Senate on Friday (November 24).

She explained that the addition of the new posts will serve to boost the capacity of the Ministry in these areas.

“The addition of these posts to the Ministry’s technical team will enhance the Ministry’s general capacity and its engineering capacity to properly execute and manage the duties, functions and responsibilities formerly carried out by the RMF,” she said.

The closure of the RMF is being undertaken as part of the Government’s public sector transformation exercise. The Fund, which finances main road maintenance activities across Jamaica, is one of the public bodies identified to be abolished and its functions transferred to its parent Ministry – the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Mrs. Johnson Smith said the organisational structure identified is one that will ensure that the functions previously performed by the RMF will be satisfactorily performed and buttressed by the Human Resource Management and Information Technology (IT) services resident within the Ministry.

She argued that the absorption of the RMF within the Ministry responsible for Works “makes good sense”, and is an example of how the public sector can be more efficient with a shared services model.

“As mergers and closures occur, and as shared services are implemented, we must acknowledge that there will, inevitably, be some displacements, but we must also be mindful that there will be opportunities for growth. A more efficient Government that delivers more will support growth, and users of Government services will benefit from a higher quality of service delivery,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith further noted that the rationalisation of public bodies to align to service delivery to increase efficiencies and to reduce costs is an imperative of the Government.

As a result of the absorption, she said, the Government will save $35 million on the direct cost related to the operations of the RMF, based on the transfer of the funds to the Ministry.

This includes rental, board fees, office expenses, electricity and general administration costs.

“The salaries and related costs of approximately $51 million will be substantively reduced since the Human Resources Management, IT and Administrative functions and some of the technical functions will be subsumed into the existing divisions of the Ministry,” she said.

She further informed that separation costs have been calculated at approximately $20 million.

The Bill was approved by the Senate. It seeks to repeal the Road Maintenance Fund Act and to discontinue the Road Maintenance Fund, to transfer the functions performed by the Board of management of the RMF to the Ministry with responsibility for Works, and to transfer all the monies held in the name of the Fund or due to the Fund into the Consolidated Fund.

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