Forty-three public bodies have been rationalised over the past four years under the public sector transformation programme.
Executive Director of the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), Maria Thompson Walters, made the disclosure during the first in a series of ‘Real Talk’ engagement sessions for public sector employees, hosted by the entity recently.
She indicated that there are 21 active assignments being pursued for targeted completion by the end of fiscal year 2022/2023.
The rationalisation of public bodies is a pillar of the public sector transformation programme, and includes closures, mergers, divestments and integration into parent ministries.
“So, where a public body would have completed its initial mandate and is in maintenance mode, and that activity can be carried out by its ministry, we are working to integrate the functions of that public body into its parent ministry,” Ms. Thompson Walters explained.
She noted that although there are public bodies that have been dormant for some time, because of the requirements of the Companies Office of Jamaica, these entities must have a board of directors. They must also complete their annual reports.
“We’ve been working… to close those dormant public bodies, [and] to merge where it makes sense, for example, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC)… and then of course, to work through those that can be divested or privatised,” she said.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that “the larger the number of public bodies that we have, the harder it is to administer and to properly govern these institutions.”
He indicated that the growth of public bodies in Jamaica over the last several decades, was to address inefficiencies or constraints in the civil service, that were best circumvented by putting such bodies in place.
“As part of the transformation process, we have updated the rationale that has to be satisfied for a new public body to be established. It has to be either a commercial service that’s being offered and a service that definitely cannot be done in a ministry,” Dr. Clarke explained.
WRITTEN BY: SHANNA K. SALMON
SOURCE: JIS news