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  • Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the process of public sector transformation and modernisation, being undertaken by the administration, aims to restructure state institutions’ operations.
  • The Minister underscored these points as he opened the 2015/16 Budget Debate, in the House of Representatives, on March 12.
  • Dr. Phillips said the Government has developed an action plan for public sector transformation with an initial set of projects, which have either been implemented or are so earmarked.

Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the process of public sector transformation and modernisation, being undertaken by the administration, aims to restructure state institutions’ operations and establish systems designed to enhance and make them function more efficiently, flexibly, responsively, and accountably.

“Let me be clear, we do not share the view of those in the society who see public sector transformation as a synonym for lay-offs and redundancies,” he states.

The Minister underscored these points as he opened the 2015/16 Budget Debate, in the House of Representatives, on March 12.

Dr. Phillips said the Government has developed an action plan for public sector transformation with an initial set of projects, which have either been implemented or are so earmarked.

Among these he informed, are: the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a management system designed to enhance administration the Jamaica Customs Agency’s operations and functions.

Additionally, he said an e-trade system is being developed to upgrade and coordinate the automated licensing and permitting systems across regulatory agencies in the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries; Health; and Industry, Investment, and Commerce.

Dr. Phillips noted that a single trade electronic window, that will enable traders to lodge documents, in an electronic format, to a single entry point, to meet import, export, and transit-related requirements, is also being developed.

He advised that the window will link users to automated trade systems, and connect trade-related agencies through a single interface.

The Finance Minister also pointed out that implementation of the Application Management and Data Analysis (AMANDA) system in all Parish Councils and eight referral agencies, has been pivotal in reducing the duration for development approvals.

“The Ministry of Local Government (and Community Development) and Parish Councils are to be commended for having achieved the 90-day approval threshold for all those approvals that do not require environmental assessments,” he said.

Dr. Phillips indicated that on the completion of these projects, additional activities will be incorporated in the action plan to ensure that the transformation process is sustained over time.

Dr. Phillips said these changes, and others, will, over time, result in the emergence of a more efficient, nimbler, and better compensated public sector.