PM Says Government Will Leverage Technology to Boost Public Sector Efficiency

Photo: Mark Bell Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second right), responds to questions from journalists during a press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday (February 27), which followed the 7th Annual Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Caribbean Governors’ Meeting. Also participating (from left) are IDB Caribbean Country Manager, Therese Turner-Jones; IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno; and Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has reiterated the Government’s seriousness about leveraging technology to boost public-sector efficiency.
  • “That is the premium that we are trying to create (because) we don’t have huge surpluses that we can use to generate economic growth through Government expenditure… (and) technology will give us the leverage to create that premium,” the Prime Minister said.
  • Mr. Holness said the work being undertaken to digitise the public service included creating web-based platforms and portals, such as GovNet and www.gov.jm, as well as the National Identification System (NIDS), for which the IDB has provided a US$68-million loan.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has reiterated the Government’s seriousness about leveraging technology to boost public-sector efficiency.

This, he maintains, is to create the environment that delivers the services that make doing business in Jamaica easier and attractive to investors whose inputs will serve to spur economic growth.

“That is the premium that we are trying to create (because) we don’t have huge surpluses that we can use to generate economic growth through Government expenditure… (and) technology will give us the leverage to create that premium,” the Prime Minister said.

He was speaking at a press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston on Tuesday (February 27), which followed the 7th Annual Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Caribbean Governors’ Meeting.

Mr. Holness said the work being undertaken to digitise the public service included creating web-based platforms and portals, such as GovNet and www.gov.jm, as well as the National Identification System (NIDS), for which the IDB has provided a US$68-million loan.

He pointed out that the provision will fund production of ID cards as well as a significant number of the inputs leading to that stage.

The IDB’s Caribbean Country Manager, Therese Turner-Jones, indicated that approximately US$30 million of the loan will provide the electronic platform facilitating NIDS, with the remainder earmarked for institutional capacity building across the relevant ministries, departments and agencies.

“This is about bringing efficiencies and all the different registries that relate to the identity of a person born in Jamaica and connecting those systems so they’re inter-connected, so that the Government can work efficiently across all these platforms,” she said.

The IDB conference, which was held under the theme ‘Jump Caribbean’, focused on how best the region can strategically embrace the reality of the digital revolution.

Importantly, the IDB wants Caribbean partner states to tap technology and apply innovative methods as a means to solve problems, improve productivity, generate employment and advance development.

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