- Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says public sector reform is a high priority area for the Government.
- Mrs. Simpson Miller told civil servants last Thursday (May 29), that public sector reform “is one of the most important things this Government has to achieve”.
- The Prime Minister noted several areas that the government has committed to addressing, as it eases the process of doing business in Jamaica.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says public sector reform is a high priority area for the Government.
Mrs. Simpson Miller told civil servants last Thursday (May 29), that public sector reform “is one of the most important things this Government has to achieve”, and that “this is non-negotiable.”
She was delivering the keynote address at the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) 95th Annual General Meeting (AGM), at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
“We have a great deal of work to do together. We have made it clear that business facilitation, reducing red tape and bureaucracy and significantly improving the ease of doing business has to be a major focus of public sector transformation,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
“We believe that the public sector has to be cutting-edge, modernised, highly efficient, and facilitatory. Our public sector has to be customer-focused, business-centered and development-oriented. Our aim is to be a 21st Century public sector that can be benchmarked with the best in the world,” she emphasised.
The Prime Minister said this is one of the reasons behind the creation of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division, a merger of the Public Sector Modernisation Division with the Public Sector Transformation Unit. The division is headed by Veniece Pottinger Scott.
The Prime Minister noted several areas that the government has committed to addressing, as it eases the process of doing business in Jamaica. These include: reducing the time it takes to assess building development approvals; and establishing a one stop shop for business registration.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also highlighted the establishment of the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation, which will incorporate research and development facilities across government.
“We will also be looking seriously at legislative changes to enhance efficiency and support business facilitation,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She pointed out that the modernisation thrust is not just intended to impact business, but also all citizens who do business with government.
“The transformation we seek requires forward thinking and we will work to change the way we deliver services to our people and to investors both locally and overseas,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, JCSA President, O’Neil Grant said that the theme of this year’s AGM ‘Fortifying the Public Sector, Building the Nation’ is familiar to all public sector workers as they prepare for the necessary changes to come under the reform.
He pointed out that the changes are linked to the new economic paradigm, which looks to the public sector to lay the foundation to support the pillars of economic growth.
Mr. Grant thanked the government for “the sensible approach” that it has taken in dealing with the transformation of the sector, which has not resulted in mass lay-offs of civil servants, as is currently occurring in Barbados.