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Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Mcpherse.thomp­son@glean­erjm.com

State Min­is­ter for Fi­nance and the Pub­lic Ser­vice, Fay­val Wil­liams.

to show that trans­for­ma­tion and mod­ern­iza­tion have in the past been car­ried out in sec­tions of the pub­lic sec­tor.

Re­fer­ring to the chaos that ex­isted at the Reg­is­trar Gen­eral’s Depart­ment (RGD) in Span­ish Town, St Cather­ine, in the 1970s for ex­am­ple, but which years later was re­or­gan­ised un­der the Pub­lic Sec­tor Mod­ern­iza­tion Pro­gramme and des­ig­nated an ex­ec­u­tive agency, Wil­liams said:

“I use the ex­am­ple as a part of gov­ern­ment that has trans­formed

to be­come more ef­fi­cient, but also to get public­sec­tor work­ers to bear in mind that when they hear the word ef­fi­ciency and trans­for­ma­tion, (they should) open their minds to the op­por­tu­ni­ties that could ex­ist.”

The state min­is­ter said that be­tween 2008 and 2015 the RGD re­ported that they re­ceived more than 500,000 on­line ap­pli­ca­tions and had it not been trans­formed and em­braced tech­nol­ogy it would have locked

She also cited the ex­am­ple of the di­vest­ment of the Kingston Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal, where about 800 work­ers who were hitherto em­ployed by the State no longer work for the Gov­ern­ment but for the pri­vate oper­a­tors, who have also taken on ad­di­tional staff.

One of the struc­tural bench­marks un­der the EFF was that the au­thor­i­ties would sub­mit to Cab­i­net an ac­tion plan for pub­lic-sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion by the end of Septem­ber 2016.

In par­tic­u­lar, it would in­clude de­tailed time­lines for the in­tro­duc­tion of shared cor­po­rate ser­vices for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and hu­man re­source man­age­ment and the merger, abo­li­tion and/or di­vest­ment/pri­va­ti­za­tion of en­ti­ties. The plan was also ex­pected to out­line spe­cific ar­eas where ef­fi­ciency gains can be made.

Ac­cord­ing to the Au­gust 2016 mem­o­ran­dum of eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial poli­cies sub­mit­ted to the IMF, the Gov­ern­ment has signed new wage agree­ments for the two-year pe­riod after March 2015 with 97 per cent of pub­lic-sec­tor em­ploy­ees. Dis­cus­sions for the pe­riod start­ing April 2017 will be­gin by Novem­ber 2016 and are ex­pected to con­clude be­fore April 1, 2017.

In­formed by the com­pen­sa­tion re­view to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2016, the Gov­ern­ment’s goal is to achieve a wage bill of nine per cent of GDP in fis­cal year 2018/19, and to firmly main­tain the ra­tio of pub­lic debt-to-GDP on a down­ward path over the medium term.

The mem­o­ran­dum said that in or­der to achieve that ob­jec­tive, the Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to re­duce the size of the pub­lic sec­tor through the elim­i­na­tion of posts and by putting in place a clear at­tri­tion rule, sub­ject to the ca­pac­ity needs in a lim­ited num­ber of pri­or­ity ar­eas.

IMF-Ja­maica Cal­en­dar

OC­TO­BER 2016

Com­ple­tion of staffing of Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion Ja­maica as a semi-au­ton­o­mous rev­enue author­ity.

IEx­e­cu­tion of trans­fer pric­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion strat­egy to be­gin.

ICom­plete draft­ing of reg­u­la­tions to im­ple­ment the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone Act.

ICom­mence hir­ing of the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone Author­ity’s man­age­ment team.

ICash trans­fers for in­tragov­ern­ment trans­ac­tions, which can be re­placed by jour­nal vouch­ers, will be elim­i­nated.

IBank of Ja­maica will start equal­is­ing the re­serve re­quire­ments for for­eign cur­rency and do­mes­tic cur­rency de­posits in the bank­ing sys­tem.

INOVEMBER 2016

A new pro­cure­ment man­ual will be pre­pared with the as­sis­tance of the In­ter-Amer­i­can De­vel­op­ment Bank.

IDECEMBER 2016

Phase III of the Cus­toms Act will be tabled in Par­lia­ment.

IThe suite of reg­u­la­tions and rules that will com­prise the regime for fi­nan­cial hold­ing com­pa­nies and con­sol­i­dated su­per­vi­sion will be tabled.

I

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