Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Public sector transformation body aiming for quality public service

Published:Monday | January 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (PSTOC), appointed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has warned that it will not sanction any change that is not in the best interest of the country.

Following its latest meeting last Wednesday, the 12-member committee, co-chaired by trade unionist Danny Roberts and Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Douglas Saunders, said that its members were unanimous in

their view that public-sector transformation must represent the most prudent and efficient spending of the tax dollar.

In a release issued last Friday, the PSTOC said that the delivery of public service must be caring, responsive, patient, and courteous.

"Public-sector transformation represents an important pillar in the achievement of sustainable growth, and the work of the PSTOC should complement the work of EPOC (Economic Programme Oversight Committee) and the Economic Growth Council (EGC), with the ultimate objective of generating economic growth with quality jobs, reducing poverty, and improving the standard of living of the people," said Roberts in the release.

According to Roberts, the diversifying of some entities and the merging of others, where greater economies of scale can be achieved, have been identified as two of the important steps in reforming the public sector.

Roberts said that the committee has noted that the Government plans to wind up overlapping or inactive entities and outsourcing functions that can be better performed by the private sector.

"It is believed that all these changes will help in achieving the delivery of better service, effect cost efficiencies, and provide more public resources for growth, enhancing spending in the areas of infrastructure and security-related matters and expansion of social protection," said Roberts.

He said that in addition to public service, public-sector transformation should also contribute to the growth agenda and added employment opportunities that would arise with the attainment of the EGC's 5-in-4 growth target.

According to Roberts, efforts will be made to ensure that public-sector employees have a sense of ownership of the transformation process, and there will be a high level of engagement with public-sector employees to get suggestions and feedback on how best to make the exercise achieve its objectives.