Merger delayed - Met Service, Climate Change Division alliance halted by absence of consultant
GOVERNMENT'S PLAN to merge the Climate Change Division with Meteorological Service has hit a bump in the road, given challenges with securing the services of a consultant whose recommendations will guide the process.
"It is noted that attempts to procure consultancy services via open and limited tenders proved unsuccessful due to the failure of the sole bidder in the first case to attain the established minimum score, while the second process did not yield any bids," the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation said this week in response to Gleaner queries.
"Most recently, the move to acquire the requisite consultancy services via sole sourcing procurement process had to be aborted and restarted. A second sole sourcing procurement method has now been concluded, and the procurement evaluation report was prepared and submitted to the permanent secretary," the ministry added.
The Gleaner broke the news in December 2015 of the Government's intention to merge the two entities, and in line with its modernisation and transformation mandate.
The expectation, as noted then, was that the new entity - called, at least for the time being, the National Agency for Meteorology and Climate Change Resilience - is to "optimise resource allocation and service delivery".
Now, the ministry says: "The establishment of this agency would form an interconnection between climate information (Meteorological Service Division) and climate change resilience (Climate Change Division), which will promote information sharing, streamlined collaboration and strategic focus, that will ultimately lead to tangible benefits and the promotion of growth within the country."
Once the consultant has been engaged, a Cabinet submission will follow.
"This will be prepared subsequent to the engagement of the consultant, and based on the outcome of the Prior Options and Strategic Reviews that will inform the preparation of the submission," the ministry revealed.
LIST OF RESPONSIBILITIES
The consultant's scope of work, according to the October 2016 terms of reference (TOR), includes:
- A prior options review of the Meteorological Service Division and Climate Change Division as required under Section 4 of The Executive Agencies Act (EAA)1 2002, to detail and assess the different options to undertake the modernisation; and
- Recommendation of the most suitable institutionalisation framework - whether an executive Aagency or other performance-based institution.
Further, the TOR stipulates that the review activities take account of all the relevant materials/information, including policy and legislative frameworks, "to inform the merger as well as analysis of the intra-agency support systems with respect to information and data sharing". This is "in order to identify functional areas of overlap/duplication or areas that could be better performed by other entities that have a secondary interest in aspects of the portfolio".
On the consultant's required experience, the ministry has asked for:
- Project management and technical expertise for the management and coordination of the project and extensive knowledge and experience in the issues relating to climate change and meteorology;
- Facilitation skills to evoke participation, adapt to changing situations, manage group discussions and maintain objectivity;
- Management/business process and strategic planning skill sets to provide overarching objectives of the entity, its vision and mission;
- Seven years' experience in executing institutional diagnosis in developing and implementing Public Sector Modernisation strategies (in a similar sector); and
- Demonstrated familiarity with the Jamaican public sector.
"Lead consultants will have experience of agency development, ideally in both the developed and developing world, and must be able to adapt and modify experience elsewhere to the cultural, organisational and political environment of Jamaica," reads the ministry's October 2016 TOR for the consultant.
"The client will expect the consultant to possess up-to-date technical skills and expertise in the designated areas and have participated in similar agency development programmes," it added.
Meanwhile, the ministry has said that given the current status of things, next steps will be determined "based on the tender evaluation report that will be submitted to the executives and ensuing discussions".