Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Clarke: I am not from Pharaoh’s bloodstock – Finance Minister vows to transform public sector through consultation

Published:Monday | May 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Nigel Clarke

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke says that the administration's vision is to transform the public service into one that is modern and fair and one that values people and consistently delivers high-quality service.

Addressing the 99th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) last week, Clarke was quick to distance himself from a Pharaoh analogy used by president of the JCSA O'Neil Grant.

"I may live in Pharaoh's house, but like Joseph, I am not of Pharaoh's bloodstock. I feel at home here," Clarke said to loud and sustained applause from the civil servants in attendance.

Earlier in his address, Grant described conditions under which public sector workers now operate as similar to those endured by the enslaved Israelites after Pharaoh demanded that they continue to manufacture the same volume of bricks without the provision of straw.

But Clarke said, "For this Government and for this Ministry of Finance and the Public Service under my leadership, transformation is a priority. We will be guided by a philosophy, not developed by me, but developed by trade unions in conjunction with governments of several years ago in conjunction with the private sector in a coordinated and consultative manner.

"So we intend to do it in a fair manner, in a consultative manner, and success in achieving that transformed public sector will require the collective input of ministries, of departments, agencies, of union leaders, of people who receive services from Government and, of course, the voices of those here," added Clarke.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com