A number of government departments and agencies will be merged this financial year to enable greater cost-efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector.
This was disclosed by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, during his opening presentation in the 2013/14 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 18.
The Minister informed that plans are in place to merge the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission with the Jamaica Racing Commission. Also, the University Council of Jamaica will be joined with the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica to form the Jamaica Tertiary Commission.
As part of the public sector transformation, the Fiscal Services Limited will be merged with the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) to create a new technical office to drive E-government.
Dr. Phillips also informed that the research facilities are being integrated to form the National Institute of Science and Technology.
“All of this represents just one aspect of what is being pursued, and there are other agencies which are currently being reviewed with a view to reducing the cost and size of their operations,” the Finance Minister said.
In the meantime, he informed that Cabinet has taken the decision to establish a Strategic Human Resource Management Unit to serve the entire government. The unit will provide policy direction across government and technical guidance to the human resource management departments.
“The expectation is that the work of this unit will make way for a public sector, which is cohesive and performance-based,” Dr. Philips stated.
Intrinsic to this effort, he noted, is the completion of an Employee Census System (E-Census), which will record the entire listing of public sector employees in order to compile an effective Human Resource Management System.
The Finance Minister informed that in a further effort to reduce public sector costs, the government will be placing energy conservation and new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems within departments and agencies.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter