The Government of Jamaica will be implementing some key projects over the next 18 months to improve the levels of efficiency and quality of service delivery in the public sector.
This was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke on Thursday (07 Feb.) during an update on public sector transformation at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.
The projects, being coordinated by the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), are the introduction of shared corporate services; human resource management transformation; the continued rationalisation of public bodies; public sector efficiency and ICT; and wage bill management.
The Public Service Minister stated that the introduction of shared corporate services in eight areas (Human Resource Management, Finance and Accounts, Procurement, Asset Management, IT Services, Internal Audit, Public Relations and Communication as well as the Centralisation of Legal Services under the Attorney General's Department) will revolutionise the way the public sector works and the level of service that the government provides.
"The more efficient service in the internal public sector can become, is the more efficient the public sector can serve the citizens of Jamaica. We are at an advanced stage with HR Shared Services and the model is being tested. We project that it will commence in the beginning of the new fiscal year. We will have a central facility that provides HR across the public sector, beginning with certain ministries, departments and agencies and broadening eventually to the entire government. By the end of 2019/2020 we will have commenced two other shared services, Internal Audit and PR and Communication," stated Dr Clarke.
Minister Clarke added that the wage bill management project seeks to address the current cumbersome compensation structure and the attainment and maintenance of a wage bill to GDP ratio of nine per cent. Currently there are 325 separate salary scales and classification levels in central government and over 175 allowances. Already steps have been taken, with the Office of the Services Commissions, to develop and implement rules to regulate the rehiring of retired public officers in the public sector. Over the next 18 months, a compensation policy, philosophy and strategy around effective spend on public sector compensation is also to be delivered.
Dr Clarke also announced that better use will be made of information and communication technology to re-engineer processes to achieve greater efficiency in how public services are delivered to citizens. This includes the roll out of a single IT network to provide connectivity across ministries, departments and agencies. This will enable integrated information sharing while reducing the cost of providing ICT services. This project will also upgrade and consolidate the GOJ's data centres.
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