Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Govt reviews divestment list

Published:Monday | March 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Pottinger Scott talks during an interview with The Gleaner at the Offices of The Prime Minister on Wednesday, March 18.

Veneice Pottinger Scott, head of the Public Sector Modernisation Division, said there is to be a review of a programme which was aimed at reducing the number of entities within the public sector.

"One of the actions on the action plan is for us to revisit the recommendations that were made earlier for mergers, outsourcing and divestment," Pottinger Scott told The Gleaner during an interview at her Jamaica House offices last week.

In 2009, Pat Sinclair McCalla, then CEO, Public Sector Transformation Unit, recommended the merger of 20 entities, the privatisation of 13 entities, the abolition of seven, and for 10 to have their services contracted out.

"We have been instructed to go back and look at that list and revise it. We have to make contact and find out what exactly has happened over the period since then, and come up with what we call an agreed list in relation to those that must go on. We need to come up with an assessment of what still make sense," Pottinger Scott said.

The division noted that the privatisations and mergers project is being undertaken by multiple agencies and it is currently gathering and compiling information on the current status of all and will have an update after Cabinet has reviewed the information and approved a final list.

In the meantime, however, the unit said the merger of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission and the Racing Commission is to be completed by April. Additionally, the merger of the forensic laboratory and the legal medicine unit is to be completed by June and the new entity operational by September.

"We are at the position now where the whole report re the restructuring and the reorganization of those two entities, making them one, is almost completed, and it will be handed over for full implementation by the beginning of next month," Pottinger Scott said.