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KINGSTON — Chief Executive Officer of the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU), Patricia Sinclair-McCalla, is advocating developing more Government properties across the island.
She says that this would reduce the high sums being paid to rent office space for various ministries, departments and agencies. Her call comes against the background of the state of disrepair into which many Government-owned properties have fallen.
Speaking at a two-day Public Sector Transformation Committee (PSTC) seminar, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday September 7, Mrs. Sinclair-McCalla lamented that the state paid an average of $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion per annum for rent between 2004 and 2010.
"We have Ministries paying as high as $123 million per annum for rental, and entities paying as high as $52 million for rental, (which is) unsustainable,” she contended, while pointing to the accruable returns which could materialize from using its own resources.
Mrs. Sinclair also voiced the PSTU’s concern about the standard of some public buildings and facilities, lamenting their lack of maintenance.
"We build things and we do not maintain them. So, in the long term, it costs us more. We have to build and we have to maintain,” she stressed.
The seminar, which concluded on Wednesday, was held under the theme, "A Partnership Approach to True Solutions”. It formed part of Government's efforts to work with trade unions representing its employees to reach consensus on a mutual approach to setting the parameters for wages and conditions of employment.
Participants included members of the PSMC, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies, public sector employees and representatives of the private sector.
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter