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An emerging economy such as Jamaica will need to have its public sector delivering on various projects, to be functioning efficiently and at its best. On most occasions, experts and observers are not very charitable on what they have to say about the efficiency of the government and its departments. The Jamaican government perhaps wants to change this impression and has now allocated a whopping $2 billion JMD in order to improve the functioning of a few key programmes.
The Programmes Chosen for Improvement
In all, there are six activities chosen under this project:
- Ministry of Labour and Social Security: Modernising the work permit system
- Child Protection and Family Services Agency: ICT network infrastructure
- Foreign Trade: Increasing cross-border trade
- Fisheries Department: Implementation of a fisheries licensing and registration system
- Government of Jamaica: Upgradation of the data centre
- Government of Jamaica: Establishing an ICT network
The government has entrusted the Transformation Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service with the task of overseeing the implementation of these projects. The Jamaican government calls it the Public Sector Transformation Programme and the work done by the overseeing authority as support to the programme.
The Need to Work Collectively
Any effort of this nature, particularly within the government ministries and departments, will not succeed until everyone is committed to the cause and volunteer to put in their best. There may be a need to work like the private sector to make sure the deadlines are met and efficiencies maintained throughout. This is easier said than done. These sentiments were more or less reflected in the statement issued by the Financial Secretary, Darlene Morrison, insisting that the delivery of services by the public sector ought to be made more efficient and all have to work together in achieving it.
Similarly, Colette Roberts Risden, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, while taking part in the signing ceremony, indicated how the improvement in the issue of work permits would benefit the customers.
The hope is that these departments will use the allotted $2 billion judiciously and see that the objectives are achieved.