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  • Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on March 7 charged members of his newly-appointed Cabinet to conduct the affairs of the country with the highest level of integrity...
  • He expressed confidence that the team selected for the Cabinet are willing to make that sacrifice and defend the long-term good of the country.
  • The Prime Minister committed to working in partnership with the civil service/public sector to create an efficient and agile bureaucracy that is creative and entrepreneurial to respond to the changing needs of investors.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on March 7 charged members of his newly-appointed Cabinet to conduct the affairs of the country with the highest level of integrity, even as he committed to leading a frugal and efficient government, and to build public trust.

Prime Minister Holness named 14 ministries, headed by 18 Cabinet level ministers to help steer his partnership for prosperity agenda.

Delivering remarks at the Swearing-in ceremony for members of the Cabinet and State Ministers at King’s House, Mr. Holness noted that the structure of the Cabinet is an important signal to the country, especially investors and entrepreneurs who want to understand the direction, priority, and underlying ethos of the government.

“This is the first signal in the test that we intend to be efficient and frugal in government.  This is a tangible difference that we are not only interested in changing government, but we are committed to changing how government works,” Mr. Holness stated.

“For us to accomplish this, it requires a mature political outlook and the building of public trust.  Trust that as a government we will be frugal with their (the public’s) affairs, and that this takes precedence over our own personal desire for status.  For the government to be successful, the people who form the government must be willing sacrifice first and to defend the long term good of the country over short-term expedient gratification.”

He expressed confidence that the team selected for the Cabinet are willing to make that sacrifice and defend the long-term good of the country.

Reiterating that the priority of his administration is to grow the economy, create jobs and reduce public debt to sustainable levels, Mr. Holness pointed out that the government has been structured and organised to accomplish that goal.

He specifically referenced the move to combine the agriculture portfolio with industry and commerce.  “This is a clear signal of the intent to accelerate and intensify the vertical integration of agriculture into commercial activity. Not just with agro-processing, but with marketing and finance.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. “It should not be a surprise that it is in the Office of the Prime Minister. It pulls agencies from all over government that are instrumental to growth and job creation,” Mr. Holness said. He explained that the function of the Ministry will be to facilitate investment and to act as the central coordination and logistical planning of the growth agenda, noting that the authority of the OPM will help accelerate the approval of projects and the growth agenda.

Underscoring the importance of local government, Mr. Holness also observed that despite recent constitutional reforms that suggest limited need for ministerial oversight of local government, “Growth starts at the root.”

“The many proposals for development start in the communities. We intend to build a stronger partnership with local government not just to reform the structure of local government, but to improve their efficiency and business processes,” Mr. Holness stated.

The Prime Minister committed to working in partnership with the civil service/public sector to create an efficient and agile bureaucracy that is creative and entrepreneurial to respond to the changing needs of investors.