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Cabinet has reviewed the bonding requirements for persons, who receive support from or through the Government, to pursue education and training opportunities.
Under the new policy, which becomes effective on January 1, 2009, persons who receive training at a cost of $300,000 and less, will no longer be required to serve a bond.
“For those who receive funding between $300,000 and under $500,000, they will serve two years and those who receive funding between $500,000 to under a million it will now be three years. For those between one million and under $2 million, four years; and $2 million and above, five years,” informed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Faith Innerarity, at this week’s post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
She said previously, persons were bonded for two years for training that cost $76,000 to $125,000; for three years, $128,000 to $250,000; for four years, $250,100 to $500,000; and five years, for training that cost more than $500,000.
The new policy, Mrs. Innerarity told journalists, comes after consultations involving representatives of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB), the Cabinet Office, and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
She said that the review was considered necessary in light of increasing costs for salaries and training expenses, in particular for courses pursued overseas and also to ensure that the existing monetary values of the bond are realistic. “There was also a need to adjust the years of obligatory service to take into account the increased cost and the value of the money expended by the Government,” Mrs. Innerarity pointed out.
She told journalists that there was also need for a review of the bonding arrangements for short-term courses, which are sometimes expensive. She said that the previous policy did not take into account persons who were entering the public service on contracts, nor address the terms under which they would receive support for training. She also noted the problem of persons not honouring the bond and the related obligations.
On another matter, the Permanent Secretary informed that the annual report for the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), along with the audited financial statement for the year ended 31 December 2007, will be tabled in Parliament.
“As you are aware, the Institute is mandated to initiate and co-ordinate plans for the economic, financial, and social development of the country. This report highlights its activities in terms of economic planning and research, external co-operation management, social policy, planning, research, sustainable development as well as their corporate services,” she informed.