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State Minister for Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams says public-sector modernisation is intended to enhance service delivery by state entities while providing opportunities for the development of employees. Williams contends that the Government's undertaking to make the public sector more efficient "goes beyond savings" and entails determining how funding and other resources are administered for the effective delivery of front-line services. "It means delivering better outcomes and more effective governance while using public money in the smartest possible way," she pointed out. The state minister was speaking at a public forum hosted by the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in St Andrew, on Thursday.
She said the process is already yielding positive results, citing the Registrar General's Department (RGD), which has modernised its operations through the introduction of technology and other inputs. Williams noted that the entity has pioneered the concept of bedside birth registration and introduced online applications for birth, death and marriage certificates.
"Since becoming an executive agency ... under the Public Sector Modernisation Project, the Registrar General's Department has been awarded many outstanding accolades for innovation and customer service. Now, the RGD boasts 95 per cent customer satisfaction," she pointed out. Williams also cited the recently divested Kingston Container Terminal, whose 800 employees now "work for a private entity". "They have added (approximately) 100 people already, so they have expanded opportunities for persons who (previously) worked with Government," she added. She encouraged civil servants to embrace public-sector modernisation by "opening your minds to the opportunities that could exist". Public-sector transformation is expected to be one of the pivotal areas of focus under the proposed three-year US$1.7-million successor agreement that the Government has negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Once approved by the IMF's executive board during its meeting in November, the new agreement will replace the four-year extended fund facility. The forum, which was held under the theme 'Public-Sector Workers: Expectations Beyond March 2017', focused on the implications for Jamaica, particularly civil servants, consequent on the implementation of the successor economic programme.