Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by SR (riley) on Mar 23 2017 at 1:02 AM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

The Government will be moving to categorise public bodies to facilitate more focused oversight and monitoring, in a principle-based approach to the new policy of rationalisation.Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the Government will be conducting further rationalisation based on the need for the entity and its function and according to the best modality and most efficient manner in which remaining functions will be delivered.

Opening the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives recently, Minister Shaw said that the Ministry will collaborate closely with the Public Sector Transformation and Implementation Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister in the rationalisation of the public bodies.The Minister said options for rationalisation include mergers, closures, privatisation and possible reintegration into Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), where there are entities undertaking functions similar to the MDAs; and retention as separate entities.

“We are also cognisant of the need for greater revenue flows, especially earmarked revenues to the Government, the Consolidated Fund, from public bodies within the context of a Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform,” the Minister said. The public bodies are projected to generate a surplus of $1.71 billion, while gross flows from these bodies to the Central Government are expected to be $56.9 billion.

Minister Shaw said that the National Housing Trust (NHT), the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) and the National Water Commission (NWC) account for 70 per cent of the planned capital expenditure and investments of public bodies, which is expected to be a total of $62.7 billion, which is higher than that of the Central Government. The NHT is pursuing the development of some 9,000 housing solutions by the 2020-21 financial year, to comprise houses and residential lots in 42 developments over 11 parishes, with 2,159 housing solutions scheduled to be completed during the upcoming financial year.  The agency is expected to spend $25.5 billion on housing activities.

The PAJ’s developmental projects, Minister Shaw noted, are strategically aligned to the Government of Jamaica’s growth and employment agenda and will be focused on business process outsourcing.  These projects are expected to account for 65 per cent of planned capital expenditure of $9.6 billion. Meanwhile, the NWC will continue the implementation of selected strategies and capital projects that are expected to reduce the level of non-revenue water, achieve energy and other efficiency targets, contain operating costs and enhance revenues. Capital projects are budgeted at $7.9 billion.