Jamaica News: The Government has identified 18 additional public bodies that will either be merged, reintegrated into parent Ministries, or closed by September this year.
This follows the initial 20 acted on under the Public Sector Transformation Programme (PSTP).
Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, made the announcement during a programme update at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Thursday (February 7).
He said the 18 entities include the National Energy Solution Limited (NESol), and Urban Development Corporation (UDC) subsidiary, Montego Bay Beach Limited, which will be closed; the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), which will be merged with the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC); National Council on Education, whose functions will be transferred to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; and the Legal Aid Council, which will be integrated into the Ministry of Justice.
Under the current phase of the transformation, which commenced in 2017, the Jamaican Foundation for Life-Long Learning, National Youth Service and the Apprenticeship Board have been merged with the HEART Trust/NTA.
Also merged are the Real Estate Board, Commission of Strata Corporation and Registrar of Time Share; and National Land Agency and Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
The Office of the Children’s Registry and Child Development Agency have been amalgamated to create the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, and Dr. Clarke has advised that outstanding matters in this process will be concluded by September.
In addition, the Self Start Fund has been closed and its operations transferred to the Micro Industry Development Agency (MIDA), which has been repurposed to execute these functions.
Also wound up are the Road Maintenance Fund, the functions of which have been transferred to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; the Audit Commission, whose operations have been relocated to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service; and Port Authority Management Services, the operations of which have been moved to the Transport Authority.
Dr. Clarke further advised that the Board of Supervision has been integrated with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; National Family Planning Board and National Council on Drug Abuse with the Ministry of Health; and Management Authority for Plant Genetics into the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
UDC subsidiaries – Kingston Waterfront Hotel and Portmore Commercial Development Limited – have also been closed.
Dr. Clarke advised that the process in all cases entails Cabinet approvals, and engaging permanent secretaries and the Boards, management and staff of the entities in dialogue on the proposed actions.
The Minister indicated that these engagements are consistent with the Economic Reform Prigramme’s (ERP) targets agreed on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Minister noted that in a Public Sector Transformation Policy Statement two years ago, Prime Minister, the Most Hon Andrew Holness, outlined a plan and pledged his support for this undertaking.
“Under the rationalisation of public bodies, we are seeking to reduce the number of public bodies through merging entities that are similar in function, closing entities that have outlived their useful lives, divesting entities, and very importantly, integrating entities back into parent Ministries where it is no longer necessary to have a separate body set up by Statute in Law to perform the function,” Dr. Clarke said.
Source: JIS News