Sat | Apr 21, 2018

Cabinet reshuffle looms

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that after two years in office, he is now at the point where a decision will be made shortly to reshuffle his Cabinet.

Speaking in a one-on-one interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Holness reasoned that there were more benefits to be gained by restructuring the Government.

"In any organisation, you should take a step back, look at what you are doing, look at your strategic objectives, look at your resources and see whether or not the present arrangement of your resources is meeting the strategic objectives and see whether or not changes could enhance the achievements," said Holness. "I think I am at that point, and very soon, that decision will be made."

With the imminent reshuffling of the Cabinet, Dr Nigel Clarke, the newly installed member of Parliament for St Andrew North West who now sits as a backbencher in Gordon House on the Government side, could find a special role in the Holness administration.

Quizzed as to whether Clarke would be named as a Cabinet minister, the prime minister said that the new MP had been a very important player

in the Government and had contributed significantly to the establishment of a new International Monetary Fund programme.

In addition, he said that Clarke had served as an adviser to the administration and was someone who the country could benefit significantly from having in Government. "There are other roles, obviously, that he could play."

Turning to the performance of his Government, Holness said the administration has done "fairly well", noting that there are areas for improvement.

According to the prime minister, most ministers, at this point, were performing at or above average. However, he sounded a note of caution that "I am not settling for average".

He said that the Jamaican public would not grade his administration on average performance. "The administration has a more difficult job than the Opposition when it comes to public grading."

The prime minister expressed the view that an assessment of his administration would show that it has been true to its promises and committed to reforms it had pledged.