Sun | Dec 8, 2019

Public sector e-census implementation hampered

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Gleaner Writer

THE LACK of buy-in from ministers and permanent secretaries in three key ministries, who Oneil Grant said could not reconcile the work of the public-sector transformation unit with their own portfolio needs, has retarded the pace at which an ongoing e-census has evolved.

Grant, the chairman of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), told The Gleaner that the Public Sector Transformation Unit had to call in the heads of the health, national security and education ministries to have the matter sorted out.

"We were not able to complete the e-census because of lags in those ministries. Having had discussions, there is now a commitment and a focus on ensuring that the e-census is completed in a very short period of time," Grant said.

The Government has completed the web-based Employee Census System (E-Census) application, which it told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be used to update census data by July 2013.

Revised date

Jamaica revised the date for the full upload of e-census to March 2014, and again revised it to the end of September.

Grant said when the e-census is completed, stakeholders "can know exactly the true figure of people employed in the sector, where they are, what is the status of their employment, if they are permanent contract or temporary, and to see how we can now rationalise those human resources".

Horace Dalley, minister with responsibility for the public service, said the ministries of education, health and national security account for 60 per cent of the labour force in the public sector.

Speaking during the Sectoral Debate in Parliament in August, Dalley said it was estimated that the education sub-sector accounts for 35,728 (32 per cent), the health subsector 16,633 (15 per cent) and the national security area has 14,732 or 13 per cent of public-sector workers.

The Government is using e-census to support the management of public-sector employment.

Under its agreement with the IMF, Jamaica must reform its public sector to, among other things, reduce the public-sector wage bill to at least nine per cent of GDP by March 2016.

Some $161.7 billion of the $540-billion Budget is being used to pay wages this year, representing a wage bill of 10 per cent of GDP.