JIS News

Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis has informed that under the service delivery aspect of the public sector modernization programme, some 92 public sector entities had already launched a citizen’s charter or were in the process of doing so. He was speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Agriculture’s citizen’s charter at the Terra Nova Hotel on Monday (Feb. 6).
Dr. Davis noted that the incorporation of a citizen’s charter as a part of the public service culture had been underway for a number of years and was one of the two major public sector initiatives, which the Jamaican government had “borrowed” from the United Kingdom. The other initiative, he said, was the executive agency model.
The Cabinet Secretary commended the Agriculture Ministry for signing on to the citizen’s charter model, noting that the move was just a small part of an overall transformation of the public sector, which the country as a whole should support.
“It’s good that the Ministry of Agriculture has come on board. This (Ministry) is one of the understated areas in our public sector, but it goes without saying, that it is one of the most important ones,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Richard Harrison, reiterated that the launch of the charter was in keeping with government’s thrust to develop and foster a new culture of friendly customer service within the public sector.
“It also forms part of the government’s public sector modernization programme, which is being ably spearheaded by the Cabinet office. This morning marks the culmination of work that began many months ago, with the initial thoughts, sensitization sessions, discussions, consultations at various levels, the production of various draft documents and finally the charter,” he informed.
Dr. Harrison added that while the charter was not legally binding, “there is a greater moral obligation on our part to abide by the commitments that we give for the various service standards”.
This process, he said, would also be monitored and tracked internally, as one of the deliverables under the individual output focus performance standards. This is a feature of the performance management and appraisal system, which should be fully implemented by the end of March.
“This new culture of improved service and customer-friendly environment will extend not only to the general public, but also to our internal customers in order to ensure that each member of staff is fully on board,” he said.
Just last week, the government, the private sector and non-government organizations (NGOs) reaffirmed their commitment to the social and economic upliftment of the nation’s youth with the signing of the Youth Inclusion Charters of Collaboration, which was facilitated by the Cabinet office, through the Jamaica Social Policy Evaluation Project (JASPEV).
The signing signalled commitments by key government agencies, NGO’s and private sector companies to improve the quality of service and the opportunities available to youth in the areas of police/youth relations, entrepreneurship, and continuing education.

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