Water and Housing Ministry Streamlining its Operations


The Ministry of Water and Housing will be streamlining its operations to eliminate overlaps, to more clearly define its portfolio roles and to strengthen its institutional effectiveness through greater efficiencies.
Minister Donald Buchanan, making the announcement at a press conference held at his offices in New Kingston recently, said that at the approval of Cabinet, tenders were being invited from consulting firms to undertake the restructuring effort.
The restructuring is expected to enhance the Ministry’s capacity to more efficiently and effectively carry out its portfolio responsibilities; enhance service delivery in terms of meeting customer expectations; and serve as an example of government’s effort to enhance trust in public institutions, Mr. Buchanan stated.
He explained that despite the merger of the water and housing portfolios in 2000, the departments continued to function independently, resulting in “inefficient use of human and other resources as well as sub-optimal results in terms of delivery of water and the provision of housing solutions”.
He said that even more importantly, the roles and functions of the Ministry had not been clearly defined and rationalised, resulting in some overlapping of tasks between the Ministry and its agencies, and even among the agencies themselves. “Systems of accountability need to be strengthened to avoid cost overruns, operating losses and unnecessary expenditure without the commensurate delivery of services,” the Minister stated.
Mr. Buchanan pointed out that too often, restructuring exercises became associated with making employees redundant and made people generally wary of these exercises. He assured however, that the overriding consideration in the reorganisation initiatives of the Ministry was to create greater efficiency and better quality service to Jamaicans.
“The challenge of providing water supply and affordable housing to the people of this country is indeed formidable, especially given scarcity of resources,” he noted, adding, “our restructuring efforts are in response to this imperative of efficiency and quality service”.

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