Director General of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation (PSTM) Division, Office of the Cabinet, Veniece Pottinger-Scott, has called on the private sector to work closely with the public sector to improve customer service in the country.
“We are relying on you, the private sector, to work even more closely alongside us to make the impactful change that our millions of citizens, residents, members of the Diaspora and our investors expect and deserve,” Mrs. Pottinger-Scott said.
She was speaking to private sector leaders at an Excellence Visioning Workshop held on July 27 at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.
The event was one of a series of consultations organised by the Office of the Cabinet in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC) to improve customer service in the public sector and to agree on elements of service excellence.
Mrs. Pottinger-Scott said early next month, the PSOJ and Government, through the PSTM programme, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the collaboration on customer service improvement.
The agreement will emphasise the creation of learning opportunities between sectors and the sharing of best practices that can be adopted to address service delivery weaknesses in the public sector.
“We are making slow strides and are eager to partner with PSOJ to get further faster,” she added.
She said the PSTM programme is keen on improving “Jamaica’s competitiveness ranking,” adding that the country slipped two spaces from the 65th ranking it held in the Doing Business Report last year.
Currently, Jamaica is ranked 67 among 190 countries in the World Bank-led Report.
Mrs. Pottinger-Scott cited a slew of initiatives under the PSTM programme scheduled to come on stream before the end of the next financial year. Among the initiatives is the launch of an electronic business registration system through the Companies Office of Jamaica.
“We are still working on it and we have certain timelines that we have to meet. It involves not just the automation of the application process for company registration, but putting the system online, so that 24 seven applications could be put in,” she said.
Additionally, she said the AMANDA development approval process portal, which will allow builders and developers to upload and track their applications online, is being implemented.
The Director General also spoke of plans to launch a national Government e-portal, which will provide “a single gateway to information on all Government services to make finding information and services far easier than it is today.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PSOJ, Dennis Chung, said he was happy to accept the invitation to partner with the Cabinet Office in the customer service improvement venture, since “it was a natural fit and a natural progression to get there.”
Mr. Chung said customer service is the heart of private sector businesses in Jamaica, adding that service excellence makes a significant difference to achieving the maximum potential in private sector businesses.
“If you think about the potential that it can achieve in the country through the delivery of excellent customer service, it is tremendous,” he emphasised.
According to Mr. Chung, public sector bureaucracy is the second impediment to doing business in Jamaica.
“If the Government could resolve the bureaucracy issues, then we can go a far way in driving economic activities in the country,” he said.
Since April 2017, the PSTM Division, which was created to streamline activities aimed at boosting Government efficiency, has been engaging technocrats in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), civil society and other groups at service excellence visioning workshops.