Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Private sector inefficient too - Pat Francis

Published:Wednesday | July 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Dennis Chung

Chairperson of the Public Sector Transfor-mation and Modernis-ation Steering Commit-tee, Pat Francis, has noted that inefficiencies in the private sector will also have to be addressed if Jamaica is to improve its trade and investment indicators.

Addressing yesterday's Jamaica House press briefing, Francis said the private sector would be brought on board to work with the Trade Facilitation Task Force, the national coordinating body for Jamaica's trade facilitation commitments under the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement.

"The Trade Facilitation Task Force is to bring together not only all the agencies in the import and export process but also the private-sector entities because the inefficiencies are not only in the public sector, they are also in the private sector," she said.

market factors

Responding to Francis' comments, Dennis Chung, chief executive officer of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), echoed agreement but noted that inefficiencies in the private sector are dealt with by the market.

"I agree, inefficiency is all over the place, you have it in the private and public sector. The difference with the private sector is that when a company is inefficient it fails and it loses money and competition takes over and does a better job ... the problem with the public sector is that when there is inefficiency there is no competition, you take what is given to you," he said.

According to Chung, inefficiencies in the private sector will sort themselves out through the market. This mechanism, he said, does not exist in the public sector.

"For example, you talk about things like productivity and accountability, if someone in the private sector does not do their job then they either lose it or they don't get the promotion that they should get or companies fail and go out of business, this happens all the while. In the public sector that is not the case, there is not the same level of accountability," he argued.

Chung went on to indicate that the PSOJ has been working with various government agencies on issues of improving efficiencies but is yet to be formally engaged by the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Unit on the issues of trade facilitation.

"We have met with them generally on the issue of public-sector transformation, we know that Pat Francis is focusing on trade facilitation and investments, but we have not specifically gone into that as something we should work on in and of itself in any formal way," he said.