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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the inspection of all business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities in the island is to be completed by May 4.
  • All BPO facilities were ordered closed on April 22 for 14 days, but exemptions were given to BPO facilities that provide critical services to vital industries or sectors, such as logistics and shipping, and telecommunications and banking.
  • As it relates to security and the monitoring of the facilities that have been checked, a protocol has been developed that requires all BPOs to install closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), and in instances where entities currently have CCTVs, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is to be allowed to access such data.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the inspection of all business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities in the island is to be completed by May 4.

Speaking at a virtual press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre on April 27, the Minister emphasised that whatever is needed to be done to make sure that the BPOs are in full compliance will be done.

According to Mr. Vaz, who has been selected by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, to head a Task Force that is mandated to prevent another outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the BPO sector as occurred at the Alorica Call Centre in Portmore, St. Catherine, inspections have already started at the BPO facilities that have been exempted from closing their facilities to continue critical services, and should be completed by Thursday (April 30).

All BPO facilities were ordered closed on April 22 for 14 days, but exemptions were given to BPO facilities that provide critical services to vital industries or sectors, such as logistics and shipping, and telecommunications and banking.

The inspection being done at the BPO facilities is part of new protocols established by the Task Force.

Mr. Vaz told members of the media that the Task Force, which had its first meeting last Friday (April 24), has developed new inspection and audit protocols; a self-inspection checklist, which has been signed off by all agencies and departments; and a joint inspection operation plan.

“Daily reports will be submitted by all BPO operators to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, along with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM),” he noted.

As it relates to security and the monitoring of the facilities that have been checked, a protocol has been developed that requires all BPOs to install closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), and in instances where entities currently have CCTVs, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is to be allowed to access such data.

In the meantime, Mr. Vaz said a little over 20,000 workers in the BPO sector, including 800 who are working remotely in hotels, and 9,234, who have been exempted, are still working in the sector.

The Task Force includes officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, ODPEM, Jamaica Special Economic Zone, the National Environment and Planning Agency, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of National Security, representatives from all the municipal corporations that have a BPO centre operating in their jurisdiction, the JCF, and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

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