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  • The Government is moving ahead with plans to merge, close, privatise, or outsource the services of several public sector entities.
  • This, as it steps up the drive to enhance efficiencies and realise cost savings through the ongoing reform process under the Public Sector Master Rationalisation Plan.
  • Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Hon. Horace Dalley, noted that the Administration has started the challenging process of undertaking the recommended 32 mergers, which have been approved by Cabinet.

The Government is moving ahead with plans to merge, close, privatise, or outsource the services of several public sector entities.

This, as it steps up the drive to enhance efficiencies and realise cost savings through the ongoing reform process under the Public Sector Master Rationalisation Plan.

Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Hon. Horace Dalley, noted that the Administration has started the challenging process of undertaking the recommended 32 mergers, which have been approved by Cabinet.

He noted, however, that “hiccups” have been encountered in carrying out some of the mergers.

He cited for example, the amalgamation of the Jamaica Racing Commission and the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, noting that “despite all the efforts, we still have not completed that merger for more efficiency and in order to save costs and to take decisions quickly to benefit those who use the service.”

Minister Dalley was addressing the launch of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) report title: ‘Reforming Public Sector Reform’, on July 28, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.

He noted further that 20 recommended agencies are to be privatised, among them is Caymanas Track Limited, while 11 entities are recommended for closure, “because we feel that what they do can be done or is being done elsewhere and there are multi- overlaps in the services that are offered.”

In addition, nine entities have been approved by Cabinet for contracting out their services, but he noted that the process “has not been easy.”

The current reform programme, under the 2011 Public Sector Master Rationalisation Plan, has been projected to save the Government $49.7 billion over five years. The rationalisation plan was one of the outputs of the Public Sector Transformation process, which was started in the previous Administration.

Minister Dalley assured that the Government is committed to transforming the public sector and is now looking at new aspects of the process. “We have reached a stage now where the last push of 2011 to now, centred on a wider and broader reform initiative,” he said.

Mr. Dalley noted that there are three objectives of the current phase of the reform process, which the political directorate has decided on.

These are: to drive the growth agenda by facilitating businesses and enhancing Jamaica’s competitiveness by simplifying procedures and reducing bureaucratic processes that add no value; to serve people well, by delivering first class customer service; and to save the Government money through cost saving initiatives.

“The reform now has to be focused on improving the wealth of our Jamaicans, creating jobs for our Jamaicans, making Jamaica grow like other countries so that more people can be employed, so that we can move to improve the social inclusion portion of our objectives and our thrust as a Government and protect the most vulnerable,” Minister Dalley  said.

The CaPRI report identified the reasons for previous failed attempts at public sector reform and put forward several recommendations to guarantee the success of the current reform process.