Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Gov't should not pay rent

Published:Tuesday | June 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM


It has always been my strongly held opinion that the Jamaican Government, including its executive agencies, should not be paying rent. The country would see savings of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars if this practice were to be curtailed.What we need are one-stop complexes in every major town.

For example, in Montego Bay, which is by no means the worst offender, we have the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency located in Overton Plaza rents several offices; the Registrar General's Department on Humber Avenue does the same; the Electoral Office of Jamaica rents on St Clavers Avenue. At Market Street, the Firearm Licensing Agency rents premises at Bogue city centre, and the list goes on.

A building with all of these offices, plus additional space for rent to the public, would pay for itself in a very short time. This would also make it easier for the Government to boost its renewable energy initiatives as these complexes could be fitted to run entirely or partly on renewable energy. With everything in one location, we would see lower maintenance costs for cooling systems, security, etc.

We need to treat this as a priority as it could be a very significant booster in our quest for efficiency in government and cost-cutting.