The exciting new phase of public sector transformation

For more than three decades successive governments have promised major transformation of the public sector to make it more efficient and cost effective. Despite minimal success, these efforts have failed to achieve their majour objectives. Now it appears that the domestic and external conditions are aligned to make success possible

Public sector transformation has taken on a new lease on life in Jamaica with the establishment of a Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (PSTOC) to monitor and report on progress towards achieving a number of clearly defined objectives set out in the government’s Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) that forms part of the recent Stand-by Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Some of the activities have been classified as ‘structural benchmarks, meaning that failure to meet them in the stipulated time frames would result in the government failing IMF tests. There have been numerous iterations of public sector transformation spanning more than three decades:

• The Administrative Reform Programme began back in 1984 with the objective of improved service delivery in support of economic development. But after more than a decade of effort the World Bank concluded that the reform had failed to meet its goal.

• Then there was the Public Sector Modernization Programme between 1996 and 2002 which recognised that fiscal austerity required less spending by government while demanding more from the public sector in terms of the delivery of public service.

• Next, the Public Sector Modernization Vision and Strategy, which took us through 2002 to 2012, promised to improve the quality of services offered by the public sector and to make government more responsive and effective.

Cick here for full text