KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday November 23, 2017 – Jamaica is taking steps to improve the quality and efficiency of transactional public services with a US$160 million loan programme approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The programme consists of a US$110 million policy-based loan and a US$50 million investment loan.
In support of the Jamaican Government’s Public Sector Transformation (PST) Programme, the loan package is expected to result in an improvement in service delivery in prioritized ministries, departments and agencies as evidenced by a reduction in waiting times and transaction costs as well as a better adaptation of the public sector workforce to citizen needs, the IDB said.
It is also expected that the efficiency measures supported by the programme will create space for growth enhancing capital spending in the country.
“The policy measures and the activities under the PST Programme, especially in the implementation of online services, support innovation and are critical to the development of Jamaica’s digital government-related activities,” the Bank noted.
In terms of its competitive performance, Jamaica is ranked at 70 out of 137 economies in the World Economic Forum’s 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Index, with inefficient government bureaucracy ranked as the most problematic factor for doing business in the Caribbean country.
“This loan programme is an important next step for Jamaica as the Government focuses on accelerating economic growth while strengthening fiscal policy,” said Therese Turner-Jones, General Manager for the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department.
“A more efficient public sector will reduce red tape, facilitate investment, economic growth, and job creation. The IDB is very happy to support the government in the transformation of the public sector, which will ultimately serve to improve lives by creating vibrant sustainable economies where people are safe, productive, and happy.”
The loan package builds on the IDB’s experience in numerous projects and related analytical work to improve public service delivery, public sector efficiency, human resources management in the public sector, and the improvement of the fiscal sustainability of pensions systems.