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Five Pillars of Transformation – Laying the Foundation for a Modern Public Service

Five Pillars of Transformation – Laying the Foundation for a Modern Public Service

Throughout Jamaica’s public sector history, there have been many attempts at modernisation and reform. However, past efforts have produced mixed results in transforming the public sector into the premiere place to work and conduct business.

Recognising this, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) established the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU) in 2017 to focus on the implementation of projects to transform the public sector. Since then, the TIU has developed a suite of projects anchored in a vision to create, ‘a modern public service that is fair, values people, and consistently delivers high quality services.’  The Public Sector Transformation Programme being implemented by the TIU  has identified five pillars. They are examined below.

The five pillars of transformation

  1. Human resource management (HRM) transformation pillar looks at building out the supporting structures, policies and practices needed to align HRM with the goals of a transformed public sector. This multi-strategy project looks at improving the delivery of HR services and better aligning performance and compensation. The three main projects are:
    1. The implementation of MyHR+, a bespoke web-based software that integrates HR and payroll processes which should result in the improvement of how HR delivers services to employees
    2. The introduction of HR Shared Services, which will see the consolidation and delivery of common administrative activities such as leave administration and employee queries from a single point – the HR Shared Services Centre. The Centre will be guided by service level agreements and will help the GOJ realise efficiency gains in HR operations.
    3. The introduction of an adapted Ulrich HR model which segments the provision of HR services into four main areas – strategic partner, change agent, employee champion and administrative expert
  2. The Rationalisation of Public Bodies pillar seeks to reduce the number of public bodies with overlapping functions, duplicated roles and curtail existence of entities that have fulfilled their mandates. Where necessary it will identify public entities for merger, integration into parent ministries, divestment and closure.
  3. Under the Public Sector Efficiency & ICT pillar, the delivery of public services will be re-engineered to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness across the Government of Jamaica. The thrust is also to create an ICT network that facilities easy sharing of data, enable modern communication services such as video conferencing and reduce the cost of ICT services.
  4. The Shared Corporate Services pillar is the consolidation of specific administrative and support functions across ministries, departments and agencies. This will allow entities to focus on performing their core functions and improve their delivery of services. The functions identified in phase one of the project are:
    1. Internal Audit
    2. Human Resource Management
    3. Procurement
    4. Asset Management
    5. Information and Communication technology
    6. Public Relations and Communications
    7. Finance and Accounting
    8. Legal Services will be centralised under the Attorney General’s Chambers.
  5. The Compensation Management pillar focuses on developing a compensation philosophy and policy for the public sector. This will enable more effective management of the wage bill in relation to GDP and will also restructure performance management in the sector to better link performance and reward.

Executive Director of the TIU in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Maria Thompson Walters believes that the successful implementation of these projects will put the Jamaican public sector of a strong path to an efficient and effective public administration. “We have been very deliberate in the design and strategic approach of the current transformation programme. The gains are likely to be less if we try to fix the entire public sector at once. That is a fundamental shift in the programme compared to previous attempts at reform. Already we are seeing the results of this approach and we want to ensure that as the years go by we can see marked improvements in the provision of public services in Jamaica.”

 

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