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Changes coming to public sector reform team

Friday, December 27, 2013    

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FINANCE Minister Dr Peter Phillips is expected to make an announcement "within a couple of weeks" on the appointment of new management for the public sector reform process.

"Certainly in the first or second week of January, that new management will be in place and a programme of work will be set out focusing, first of all, on the ease of doing business as an organising principle around which we can guide much of this reform, and, of course focusing also on the whole question of the ease of the public's encounter with the civil service," Dr Phillips said.

Dr Phillips, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said there was tremendous need and scope for reform of the country's public sector.

In the meantime, the House on Tuesday affirmed the Civil Service General Order of 2013, which indicated changes that have been made in the civil service establishment since 2012.

Minister with responsibility for public service in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Horace Dalley, who tabled the Order in the House on December 17, explained that it reflects changes in areas such as established posts, salaries, abolished posts and changes in the complement of posts in ministries and departments.

As outlined in the Order, 130 new posts were created, 154 retitled, 348 posts were reclassified and 69 posts were upgraded.

In addition, there were new salary scales in the following reclassification groups: education officers, judicial and legal group, health professional group, health technician and associate professional categories and infirmary administration categories.

Minister Dalley also noted that 51 posts were abolished from the establishment of several ministries and departments.

"These things are done as part of our agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce the rate to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to nine per cent by 2016/17. While the removal of posts don't really reduce your wage bill, if the posts are there not being used there is a likelihood that they can be used," Dalley said.

Member of Parliament for St Andrew North Eastern Delroy Chuck, while supporting the Order, called for a debate on the level of professionalism and efficiency within the public service. "The people of Jamaica are not being well-served," he argued.

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