Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Leaner public sector coming

Published:Wednesday | November 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Andrew Holness

Job cuts in the public sector are inevitable.

That's the word from Prime Minister Andrew Holness as he piloted a bill in Parliament yesterday to abolish the Road Maintenance Fund and transfer its functions to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation by March 2018.

Holness reminded his parliamentary colleagues that the Government had announced earlier this year that it would close at least five public bodies by the end of 2017.

"As mergers and closures occur, and as shared services are implemented, we must acknowledge that there will inevitably be job displacements, but we must also be mindful that there will also be opportunities for growth," Holness said.

The prime minister argued that the public sector could become far more efficient if a shared-services model were pursued. He said technology was facilitating this move.

He noted that with the special consumption tax now being managed by Central Government, having been first directed to the Road Maintenance Fund, the public body needed less staff to manage the funds it receives.

The Government will save $35 million in expenses when the functions of the Road Maintenance Fund are transferred to the parent ministry.

He said salaries and related costs are approximately $51 million and it is expected to be reduced substantially since the human resource, management, information technology and administrative functions will be subsumed by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com