JIS News

Government and the Private Sector are taking a “fresh new” approach to driving the implementation of the National Planning Summit (NPS) initiatives in an effort to spur economic growth and development.
Building on the partnership and work already being carried out as a result of the National Planning Summit in November 2007, the Government has moved to establish Expert Teams as a part of the monitoring framework in order to support the NPS Monitoring Board’s effort to drive the successful implementation and monitoring of the priority initiatives identified at the Summit. To date six (6) of those Teams are operational and they draw upon the knowledge and expertise of some of the leaders and senior persons from both private and public sector.
This framework is supported by the Programme Management Office (PMO) at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), which is providing programme management and technical assistance where necessary to the Teams and the various initiatives/projects that are being implemented by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the public sector. The work of the Teams will help to shape the Government’s plans and priorities going forward.
At the recently convened 2009 General Assembly of the NPS Monitoring Board and Expert Teams held in Kingston, Prime Minister Bruce Golding called on all present to “think outside of the box” and be innovative in identifying solutions to today’s challenges. He noted that the 2007 Summit provided an opportunity for new thinking, resolve, commitment and engagement with the private sector. Mr Golding urged the Assembly to remain committed to the principles agreed on during the Summit and emphasised that dialogue with the public-private sector continues to be imperative. He reaffirmed Government’s determination and willingness to take whatever steps necessary to lead the country successfully into the future.
Chairman of the Monitoring Board, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, indicated that the Initiative, which started in 2007, has borne fruit. “It is working and many persons have dedicated a significant amount of their time in implementing the goals of the Summit.” He reiterated the need for the Teams to focus on the prioritisation of those areas of greatest concern, which if addressed, would lead to national development, and to continue their work as final success would ultimately hinge on continued willingness to work on the critical issues identified.
In his address to the Summit, President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), Mr. Chris Zacca, emphasized the benefits of the partnership approach which has increased the optimism of the private sector in the process. “The NPS is working to address the major issues and problems being faced by Jamaica today. The work has started and there is real cooperation taking place. We believe that the Government is committed to advancing the issues,” Mr. Zacca said.
The Expert Teams are chaired by key Ministers and private sector leaders. The Teams fall under several planning theme areas of the 2007 Summit including: Tax Reform/Balancing the Budget/Debt Reduction: Minister Don Wehby; Education and Training: Minister Andrew Holness; Governance and Reducing Bureaucracy: Minister Dwight Nelson; Land Titling Reform and Development Approvals Process: Minister Daryl Vaz; and ICT/Job Creations: Mr. Mark Myers, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. The Investment Promotion and Crime and Violence Teams among others will become operational by the end of March.