The Government is about to speed up the rationalisation of its public bodies over the next four-six weeks, says new Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke.
Dr Clarke said that, during the review period, the Government will be concluding the necessary consultations with stakeholders, including trade unions and stockholders.
He added that the new timetable will consider all of the opportunities that are present with respect to: divestment of public companies that have a commercial focus which is not necessarily a key function of the Government; merging the public sector entities where they perform similar functions; and the reintegration of public bodies into parent ministries where they no longer require the status of a public entity in a body corporate form to carry out their mandates.
“We intend to start consultations with our partners in the trade union movement immediately, and once what we come up with is approved by Cabinet, we are going to get these out and put the necessary resources behind the effort,” he said.
He said that the Government intends to, eventually, integrate the timetable within the formal agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He noted, however, that the Government does not intend to await the next six-monthly review of the current Stand-by Agreement with the Fund.
“We cannot wait that long. Consistent with the approach that is required in a past IMF era, we are going to do what needs to be done to secure our economic independence, without prodding from anyone,” he stated.
Clarke was making his first public address since his recent appointment as Minister of Finance and the Public Service, at yesterday’s forum on “Enabling Growth and Development: Unlocking the Potential of the Global Shared Services Sector”, which was staged by the Planning Institute of Jamaica in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.