JIS News

The re-configured Planning and Development Division in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is to work more closely with core development agencies.
These include the Urban Development Corporation, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, the Natural Environment and Planning Agency, the HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica Trade and Invest, the Scientific Research Council, the Office of Utilities Regulation, the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Ex-Im Bank, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, and the CHASE Fund.
This was stated by Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), James Robertson, during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, today (July 9).
He said that the OPM would also work closely with other key ministries in developing national approaches to public policy formulation, adding that in order to maximize the effectiveness of the OPM, its major functions have been clearly defined.
The Minister said these include: conceptualising, co-ordinating and monitoring the public policy framework, in collaboration with the relevant agencies to inform scientific, economic and social development policy stakeholders; monitoring the allocation of financial resources to ensure that such expenditure is in accord with agreed developmental priorities; evaluating the impact of national plans, programmes and projects; analyzing sectoral policies, plans and programmes to ensure consistency with national development goals; co-ordinating a comprehensive and accepted regional planning policy framework; and co-ordinating, in conjunction with other stakeholders, the development of a participatory and transparent planning process guided by modern planning legislation.
Turning to the National Monitoring Board, Mr. Robertson said this is an important public/private sector partnership programme, which would help significantly in the country’s development thrust. He explained that the Board came out of the national planning summit, which was held last November under the chairmanship of Prime Minister, Bruce Golding.
Led by Sancia Templar, Head of the Programme Management Office, the Board includes some of the leaders in the private sector, and is chaired by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda.
It focuses on a number of key goals and objectives, such as developing the greater Kingston Metropolitan Area as a major distribution, logistics and free zone hub; completing preparatory work towards developing Jamaica as an international financial centre; providing the requisite support for the establishment of a ‘one-stop shop’ for development approvals; reforming the country’s tax system; balancing the budget; and addressing crime and violence.

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