JIS News

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the impending reformation and rationalisation of the public sector, by the Government, should not be interpreted as planned dismissal of individuals from their jobs.
It should be regarded, instead as a process to increase and enhance the output, efficiency and capacity of the sector to deliver on services provided, Mr. Shaw explained.
He was addressing the launch of the Jamaica Employers Federation’s (JEF) 2009 Annual Salary Review, at JEF’s Ruthven Road office, Kingston, on Friday (Oct. 30).
Mr. Shaw, in his speech, highlighted the certainty of public sector reformation by the Government, pointing to mergers and subsuming taking place, where necessary, to facilitate enhanced efficiency.
“We must do what has to be done. But, in saying that, it does not mean that that is a euphemism for firing a lot of people. I want to make that clear: It is a euphemism to increase the output, the efficiency, and certainly the capacity to deliver services more efficiently. To make it more responsive to the needs of the public, including the private sector,” he outlined.
Mr. Shaw cited the Ports Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) and Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), as examples of Government agencies which could be considered for mergers.
“That, to me, appears to be a natural fit. We have the Port Authority of Jamaica, which deals with the (sea) ports, and. the Airports Authority of Jamaica, which deals with the airports. In many modern cities, much larger than our country, they have one single ports authority,” he noted.
Mr. Shaw was critical of the levels of bureaucracy which, he contended, exists in sections of the public sector that proved to be impediments to the efficient and effective delivery of services.
“There are some people in the public sector that have become so tuned in to being bureaucratic, to slow things down, (that) it has become quite an exercise to change the culture. But, there is a sense in which we have to change a whole cultural practice in Government, to make (it) just that much more efficient,” the Minister contended.
Mr. Shaw also stated that the Government has made arrangements with the European Union (EU) for a set of performance objectives, incorporating a fiscal responsibility framework, which the Cabinet has signed off on.
“That will force Government to contain its appetite for debt expansion (and) impose limits on fiscal deficits and debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratios,” he said
JEF’s 2009 Annual Salary Survey was conducted, in keeping with the organisation’s continued effort to provide employers with credible, reliable and valid information for salary revision, job reclassification and evaluation procedures, attracting and retaining staff as well as wage negotiations.

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