By: Jimmy Tindigarukayo and Sandra J. Chadwick




Page no.



List of Tables

List of Acronyms


1. Introduction

1.1. Background

1.2. Meaning, Scope and Functions of the Civil Service

1.3. Civil Service Reform and Good Governance

1.4. Sustainable Economic and Social Development

1.5. Global Trends and Increasing Interdependence


  1. A Review of the Jamaican Administrative and Civil Service Structure

    2.1. The Governor General

    2.2. Houses of Parliament

    2.3. Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman

    2.4. Office of the Contractor General

    2.5. Auditor General

    2.6. Office of the Services Commissions

  2. Office of the Prime Minister and Department of Information and Broadcasting


2.8. Office of the Cabinet 9

2.9. Office of the Prime Minister (Tourism) 10

2.10 Ministry of Finance and Planning and Departments 10

2.11. Ministry of National Security and Justice and Departments 12

2.12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade 13

2.13. Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Sport 13

2.14. Ministry of Education and Culture 13

2.15. Ministry of Health and Departments 14

2.16. Ministry of Agriculture 15

2.17. Ministry of Industry and Investment 15

2.18. Ministry of Commerce, Technology and Departments 16

2.19. Ministry of Mining and Energy 17

2.20. Ministry of Water 17

2.21. Ministry of Environment, Housing and Departments 18

2.22. Ministry of Transport and Works 19

2.23. Ministry of Local Government, Youth and Community Development 19


3. Components of Civil Service Reforms in Jamaica 20

3.1. Civil Service Recruitment and Promotion Systems 21

  1. 3.2. Civil Service Pay and Emolument Structure 23
  2. 3.3 Capacity Building and Human Resources Development 24

    3.4. Civil Service Training 26

    3.5. Ethics, Integrity, Professionalism and Bureaucratic Corruption 27

    3.6. Civil Service Autonomy within the Legal Framework 28


    4. Performance Oriented Issues 30

    4.1. Civil Service Performance on Core Government Functions 30

    4.2. Civil Service Performance on Service Delivery Functions 33

    4.3. Civil Service Policy and Focus on Performance and Results. 34

    1. Civil Service Management, Political Supervision and

Public Accountability 38


5. Process Oriented Issues 40

5.1. Designing Civil Service Reforms 40

5.2 Developing Support and Systems for Effective Implementation 42

5.3. Ensuring High Level Monitoring and Coordination 42

5.4. Maintaining Sustained Leadership and Commitment 43


6. Building Partnerships for Effective Civil Service Reforms 44

6.1. Partnership Between Politicians and Civil Servants. 44

6.2. Private and Public Sector Cooperation 45

6.3. Greater Understanding and Transparency among Politicians,

Civil Servants, Academia, the Media and Civil Society. 46

    1. Partnership Between the International Community

and the Host Country. 46


7. Conclusion 48


Bibliography 50


Appendix I 53


Appendix II 54


Appendix III 55













Page no.



  1. Budgets for departments of the Ministry of Finance and

    Planning for FY 1998/1999 11


  2. Recurrent and Employee Compensation Budgets for Departments

of the Ministry of Environment, Housing for FY 1998/1999. 18




































ARP Administrative Reform Programme

ARPI Administrative Reform Programme I

ARPII Administrative Reform Programme II

CEO Chief Executive Officer

CSR Civil Service Reform

EIS Executive Information System

FMIS Financial Management Information System

FPMIP Financial Programme Management Improvement Project

FPMIT Financial and Programme Management Improvement Project

HRMIS Human Resources Management Information System

IAD Internal Audit Directorate

JAMPRESS Name of the Jamaica National News Agency

JAMPRO Jamaica Promotions Organization

JLP Jamaica Labour Party

LGRP Local Government Reform Programme

MDD Management Development Division

MIND Management Institute for National Development

MPS Ministry of the Public Service

NGO Non-Governmental Organization

NIBJ National Investment Bank of Jamaica

ODA Overseas Development Administration

OD/PIP Organization Development/Performance Improvement Programme

OPEC Organization of Oil Producing and Exporting Countries

PIP Performance Improvement Programme

PMC Project Management Committee

PMU Project Management Unit

PNP People’s National Party

PRIDE Programme for Resettlement and Integrated Development Enterprise

PSC Public Services Commission

PSMP Public Sector Modernization Programme

SPA Special Programme for Africa

TAXARP Tax Administration Reform Programme

TRN Taxpayer Registration Number





Organization theorists (Kiggundu 1989; Gulick 1954), contend that the major constraints to development in the South have less to do with the availability of resources and more with the lack of capacity of existing organizations to manage and utilize available resources in an efficient, effective and economical way. This lack of capacity stems from structural and managerial features within core organizations. In the past decade, there has been increasing recognition, within developing countries, that development requires public organizations that can systematically identify and harness resources in a usable form and be responsive to the dynamic environment in which they operate.


One of the constraints that plague public organizations in the developing world is a low level of functional specialization. Traditional societies are characterized by the overlapping of functions within the bureaucracy and suffer from low levels of formalization, which result in poor documentation of organizational activities. These organizations possess steep hierarchical structures with several levels, leading to over-centralization of power, authority and decision making. People are not allowed to work on their own or to make decisions since there is no delegation of responsibility and authority. These features have rendered public organizations rigid, and unable to adapt to changes within their environment.


In developing countries, these organizations are replicas of Colonial structures. Unlike their metropolitan counterparts, these structures persisted within the Caribbean instead of being adapted to the local situation and indigenous needs of the population. During the Colonial period, the main function of the bureaucracy, or Civil Service, was the maintenance of law and order but this role changed after political independence. At this point, the Civil Service was no longer carrying out the functions of the Colonial Government but had to find ways to promote development and to improve the lives of the population. This new function necessitated, inter alia, the improvement of basic administrative procedures, new organization and methods, technical assistance and the modernization of financial and human resource management systems. However, the Civil Service remained a law and order maintenance institution, which had serious developmental consequences for these newly independent countries. Realization that this bureaucratic shortcoming contributed to and aggravated Caribbean economic problems led to several attempts at administrative reform.


Administrative reform programmes dominated the Caribbean during the 1980’s. Reform occurred within the context of structural adjustment programmes and was a prerequisite for loans and aid, from multilateral agencies, to bolster the waning economies of these countries. Lending agencies deemed administrative reform necessary to reorient these economies toward competitive export development, a thrust that had to be led by the private sector. The role of the state was to provide an enabling environment for industry and other productive enterprises to maximize resources. The State had to remove bureaucratic red tape and regulations, which prevented private sector organizations from functioning effectively, efficiently and economically.


The need for Civil Service reform in Jamaica was driven by the inefficiency of the Public Service and its inability to operate within a changing environment. There was considerable waste in the public sector, with overlapping and duplication of functions among government organizations, and the mismanagement of human, financial and technological resources. The excessive centralization of decision making by central agencies and the continued use of outdated and cumbersome regulations and procedures caused inordinate delays in decision making and in responding to public needs. All these factors led to a deterioration of the image of the Jamaican Public Service. This deterioration, in turn, led to the inability of that institution to attract and retain an adequate complement of skilled, professional, managerial and technical staff which was necessary to ensure the delivery of quality service and to provide an enabling environment for sustainable development to take place. These factors were important since the state had failed to achieve the anticipated level of development and a large section of its population still lived under sub-optimal conditions.


The philosophy of the administrative reform programme (ARP) in Jamaica was that the country needed to develop a more market driven economy. This meant that the public sector, rather than being directly involved in commercial, industrial and service industries, had to create the administrative and other environment necessary to enable private sector development. Administrative reform aimed at creating a competitive environment for productivity. This necessitated the upgrading of revenue and investment institutions, the introduction of institutions to undertake the process of privatization of existing governmental commercial enterprises, and providing incentives for production.


The terms of reference of the ARP indicated that the focus of improvement was that of enhancing the capability of line agencies. It, therefore, focused on improving the management structures, systems and operations of the Public Service in order to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness to public needs. The objective was to decentralize some of the responsibilities of human and financial matters to these line agencies, which were to be accountable for attaining specific objectives. These objectives were broken down into implementation tasks, which formed the basis of assessing individual performance.


This report assesses the reforms undertaken by the Jamaican government over the years, the components of these reforms and the extent of their success. The report is comprised of six sections. Section 1 provides an overview of the Jamaican Civil Service and the relationship between reform, good governance and sustainable development. Section 2 reviews the Jamaican administrative and Civil Service structure. It identifies the various ministries that comprise the Civil Service, their percentage of budgetary allocation and the proportion of each department’s recurrent budget that is allocated to employee compensation. Section 3 discusses different components of Civil Service reforms in Jamaica from the 1970s to 1998. In Section 4, the authors examine reforms that aimed at performance improvement. These include financial and programme management improvement, tax administration reforms, service delivery, performance and results, accountability and, the most recent reform effort, the Public Sector Modernization Programme. In Section 5, process oriented issues are explored. It looks at those issues, which help to design, implement and to secure commitment and support for reforms from various groups in the society. Section 6 explores the issue of building partnerships, at all levels of society, for effective Civil Service Reforms. These partnerships are between politicians and civil servants, between the private and public sectors, and among politicians, Civil Servants, Academia, the Media and Civil Society. The section ends by looking at partnerships between the international community and the host country with respect to Civil Service reforms in Jamaica. Section 6, sums up the report and concludes with policy recommendations to improve the effectiveness of Jamaican reforms.




Jamaica is an island located in the Caribbean Sea, with a total area of 121,000 square kilometers. It has a population of 2.5 million, 55% of whom live in urban areas and a per capita income of approximately US$1,560 (World Bank 1996, 1).


Jamaica became politically independent from Britain in 1962, and inherited a public service structure that closely resembles the Westminster Model (see Appendix 1). The Queen of the United Kingdom is still the sovereign in Jamaica. Her representative is the Governor General who is drawn from the local population, and whom she appoints on the advice of the Jamaican Prime Minister. Like the United Kingdom, Jamaica follows a Parliamentary system of government, whereby the leader of the political party with a majority in the House of Representatives becomes the Prime Minister who, in turn, appoints Cabinet Ministers to head ministries dealing with specific portfolios. Legislative powers are vested in the bicameral Parliament which consists of a Senate with 21 appointed members (13 appointed by the incumbent Prime Minister and 8 by the Leader of the Opposition), and a House of Representatives, whose membership of 60 is elected every five years by universal adult suffrage. Executive powers lie with the Cabinet, which is responsible to Parliament.


The regular Civil Service in Jamaica is recruited through the Office of the Services Commission, and is headed by the Cabinet Secretary who is located in the Office of the Prime Minister. Individual ministries are headed by Permanent Secretaries, except the Ministry of Finance and Planning, which is headed by a Financial Secretary. The total number of established posts in 1997 was 38,313 of which 1,315 were non-operational (Report of Select Committee on Human Resources and Social Development 1998, 2).


Before presenting the overall structure of the Jamaican Civil Service, it is appropriate, first, to provide both conceptual and operational definitions of the Civil Service. Second, to link the Civil Service to some relevant contextual issues and third, to relate both of the above, in the form of an introduction, to Civil Service reforms in Jamaica.


1.2. Meaning, Scope and Functions of the Civil Service


The Civil Service refers to the body of officials who carry out functions of government under the direction and supervision of the head of government (Rahman 1998, 2). Excluded in this definition are employees of state-owned enterprises, the army, teachers, the judiciary and the police who, together with civil servants, collectively constitute the public sector. It is the civil service, and not the public sector, which will be the focus of this report.


Within the context of Jamaica, members of the civil service are recruited by the Public Service Commission which is located in the Office of the Services Commission (See Section 2.6.of this report). The head of government in Jamaica, under whom the Civil Service is directed and supervised, is the Prime Minister. The Office of the Cabinet assists the Prime Minister in the coordination of Civil Service functions (See Section 2.8. of this report).


1.3. Civil Service Reform and Good Governance


Civil Service reform (CSR) consists of two (2) main processes: (i) rationalization of government structures (otherwise known as administrative reform), which involves creating strategic mechanisms and processes for policy making, policy coordination, resource mobilization and service delivery; and (ii) human resources management, which is concerned with personnel issues, including appointment and promotional procedures within the Civil Service, training and career development for Civil Servants, and morale improvement within the Civil Service through compensation and other related incentives (Rahman 1998, 3-4). Within the context of Jamaica, both processes of Civil Service reform were attempted through the Administrative Reform Programme I (See Sections 3.1-3.6. of this report).


Good governance, on the other hand, is mainly concerned with (i) creating participatory systems to allow elements of civil society to get involved in both the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their lives; and (ii) promoting an effective and transparent system for both control and accountability of government actions (Rahman 1998, 4).


Participatory democracy requires greater responsibility at local and community levels. Within the context of Jamaica, such a requirement led to the establishment of the Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP) in 1993 (Government of Jamaica, Ministry Paper No. 8/93). This programme aims at establishing a strong, viable and vibrant system of decentralized administration through which citizens in their communities and within their parishes can become more involved and have greater control over local affairs (Miller 1996, 5).


The specific objectives of the LGRP include: (i) to deepen and broaden the democratic process at the grassroots level of Jamaican society; (ii) to establish a system through which communities, local interest groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, voluntary organizations and individual citizens can become more directly involved in the management of local affairs; (iii) to ensure that local services and regulatory functions are of high quality and are responsive to the needs of the people, and are carried out in a cost-effective manner; and (iv) to achieve a more efficient and cost-effective division of labour between the Central and Local government by reviewing and redistributing functions on the principle of subsidiarity (Miller 1996, 5).


1.4. Sustainable Economic and Social Development


Civil Service reforms are vital in promoting sustained economic and social development in two main ways: (i) contributing to macroeconomic stabilization by restoring budgetary stability, strengthening revenue collection, and managing aid and public expenditure programmes; and

(ii) designing and implementing programmes for social development through improved capacity and morale of civil servants (Rahman 1998, 5).


Within the Jamaican context, a measure of macroeconomic stabilization has been attained through the Financial and Programme Management Improvement Project and the Tax Administration Reform Project (See Section 4.1. of this report).


Among the main reasons for transforming some government institutions into executive agencies (See Section 4.3. of this report) is to improve both the capacity and morale of civil servants through increased pay, more autonomy and an improved working environment.


1.5. Global Trends and Increasing Interdependence


Phenomenal increases in oil prices by OPEC in both 1973 and 1979, led to excessive borrowing by developing countries in order to maintain their import capacity. Industrialized countries reacted to OPEC’s actions by creating tariff barriers and deflationary policies which, in turn, led to an unprecedented fall in the prices of commodities from developing countries and further increased the imbalance in the terms of trade between developed and developing nations. The economic situation of developing countries was further aggravated by the strain placed on their budgets because of the necessity to subsidize inefficient state owned enterprises.


Collectively, these events made most governments in developing countries dependent on aid donors, both bilateral and multilateral. The aid received, however, has been conditional on the adoption of a new economic programme based on the supremacy of the market, in which the private sector serves as the main engine of growth. Elements of this new economic programme include open markets, privatization, deregulation, liberalization, transparency, accountability, and less government where markets work effectively and more government where markets alone are insufficient (Nettleford Committee 1992, 2-5).


Accompanying the above economic changes has been rapid progress in science and technology at the global level, which has transformed methods of production, service delivery systems and information management systems. All of the above, necessitate reforms of the Civil Service to enable it to function effectively within this dynamic environment (Rahman 1998, 6).


In conclusion, administrative reform in Jamaica was precipitated by the inefficiency of the Civil Service and its inability to promote macro-economic stability, growth and development within a post-colonial dynamic environment. Reform was an externally driven process because it was a prerequisite of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), which emphasized an enabling role for the state to facilitate the private sector as the engine of sustainable growth. Jamaican Civil Service reforms focused on rationalizing government structures and human resources management. These reforms succeeded in achieving some macroeconomic stability by improving the capability of the Civil Service for financial and programme management, and tax administration. Local Government reform was also a component of the reform programmes, which embodied the notion of good governance by decentralizing administration to local entities and communities.


In order to attain sustained economic and social development the Jamaican Government, like most other governments in Developing countries, needs to promote a results oriented and client-centred Civil Service, capable of functioning effectively and efficiently in dynamic circumstances.






As pointed out by Rahman (1998, 8) administrative and civil service structures are so closely interconnected that it is sometimes difficult to separate them. In Jamaica, where the influence of the British model of unitary government is still strong, both policy making and policy implementation are mainly carried out by the national Civil Service, as will be indicated below.


The Jamaican Civil Service is currently composed of 23 establishments (including 12 ministries) on the basis of which budget estimates have been made annually (see Appendix 2). These establishments will be reviewed below as presented by expenditure estimates (Government of Jamaica, 1998) and, unless stated otherwise, information used in this section is borrowed from this source and interviews with respective Permanent Secretaries. All percentages throughout this review were calculated by the author.






2.1. The Governor General


At the apex of the organizational structure of the Jamaican Civil Service is the office of His Excellency the Governor General and his staff. The Executive Authority of Jamaica, vested in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the constitution of Jamaica provide for the appointment of a Governor General of Jamaica.


The functions of the Governor General are mainly two-fold; representing Her Majesty the Queen in Jamaica and exercising the Executive Authority in Jamaica on behalf of Her Majesty, either directly or indirectly through other persons. In the exercise of his functions, the Governor General acts in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet, except in specifically indicated circumstances.


The Governor General is provided with a fully furnished house (known as "Kings House") and personal staff. The total recurrent budget for the Governor General's establishment for the 1998/99 financial year was Jamaican $20,706,000 (constituting 0.02% of the total Government recurrent budget for that year). Of that amount, $6,241,000 (representing 30% of departmental budget) was spent on staff salaries (compensation of employees).


2.2. Houses of Parliament


The Jamaican House of Parliament comprises the House of Representatives, composed of 60 members elected every five years, and the Senate composed of 21 persons appointed by the Governor General in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Thirteen of the Senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, and the remaining eight on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. The Constitution provides that not less than two or more than four members of the Senate can be appointed Cabinet Ministers.


The House of Representatives elects two of its members to serve as Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the House. The appointment of Ministers and Ministers of State is made by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.


The total recurrent expenditure for Houses of Parliament for 1998/99 was $167,890,000 (constituting 0.2% of the total Government budget for that year). Of this amount, J$117,568,000

(70% of departmental budget) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.3. Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman


The general objective of this office is to reinforce existing machinery for the protection of citizen's rights. Its principal function is to investigate complaints received from members of the public, in relation to administrative acts and services provided by government agencies, with a view to obtaining redress for any injustice suffered as a result of such acts.


The Ombudsman is required, by law enacted in 1978, to submit an annual report to Parliament relating to work accomplished during each calendar year. The same law permits the Ombudsman to make special reports to Parliament on issues he considers so vital as to warrant the intervention of Parliament. The office is also permitted to make recommendations to Parliament for the amendment to any laws, or aspects thereof, which are considered by the office to operate unfairly against citizens.


The total recurrent budget for this office for the financial year 1998/99 was $18,709,000, constituting 0.02% of the total government recurrent budget for that year. Funds spent by the office, on compensation of employees during the same year was $9,873,000, accounting for 53% of the departmental budget.


2.4. Office of the Contractor General


The Office of the Contractor General is responsible for (i) monitoring and investigating the award and implementation of government contracts, licenses, permits and quotas, to ensure that legality, integrity, impartiality and conformity to the terms and conditions are respected; and (ii) submitting to Parliament an annual report relating to functions and matters investigated by the office.


The total recurrent budget for this office for the 1998/99 financial year was $35,900,000 (constituting 0.04% of the government total recurrent expenditure for that financial year). Of that amount, $15,040,000 (representing 41.9% of office budget) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.5. Auditor General


By the constitution, the Auditor General's department is responsible for conducting annual audits of accounts, financial transactions, operations and financial statements of Public Sector agencies, including all government ministries and other government agencies. The department is also required to certify the annual financial statements submitted by government agencies, and to present to Parliament and other relevant authorities annual reports on the departmental audits.


The total recurrent budget for the 1998/99 financial year for this department was $93,307,000, constituting 0.11% of the total government recurrent budget for that financial year. Of that amount, $69,285,000, representing 74% of departmental budget, was spent on employees' compensation.





2.6. Office of the Services Commissions


This office is comprised of five Service Commissions: three for the Central Government (the Public Services Commission, the Police Services Commission, and the Judicial Services Commission); and the other two for Local Government (Municipal Services Commission and Parish Councils Services Commission). The mission of this office is to develop an effective and efficient human resource system.


The work of the Commissions covers the following areas: (i) selection of candidates for first appointment in the Government Service; (ii) placement of public officers according to the job requirements in the Public Service and career development (training, promotion, transfer and other movements of public servants); (iii) selection of candidates for scholarships, study leave and training courses; (iv) authorization of retirements, resignations and granting of related benefits, where applicable; and (v) administration of disciplinary proceedings against public officers and presentation of data relating to disciplinary cases.


The total recurrent budget for the 1998/99 financial year for this office was $60,316,000, constituting 0.07% of the total government recurrent expenditure for that financial year. Of that amount, $40,098,000 (representing 67% of the office's budget) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.7. Office of the Prime Minister and Department of Information and Broadcasting


The functions of this office are mainly three-fold: (i) to provide leadership and strategic planning to ensure effective governance; (ii) to develop and coordinate policies for economic and social development; and (iii) to manage other functions which fall under its portfolio from time to time, including information and broadcasting, housing, community amenity services, industry and commerce, physical planning and development, and scientific and technical services.


The total recurrent budget for this office during the 1998/99 financial year was $383,218,000 (constituting 0.45% of the total government recurrent expenditure. Of that amount, $141,026,000 (representing 36.8% of the office's budget) was spent on employees' salaries.


2.8. Office of the Cabinet


This office provides advice and institutional support to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet in the following areas: (i) defining the strategic role of government and establishing appropriate machinery for overall supervision, to ensure an effective and accountable Public Sector; (ii) coordinating and assessing the effectiveness of policies, programmes and priorities of government; and (iii) operating a Management Development Division (MDD) and the Management Institute for National Development (MIND).


The overall functions of the office of the Cabinet include: (i) management of strategic policy formulation, corporate planning and monitoring policy implementation; (ii) critical review of cabinet submissions prior to presentation to Cabinet; (iii) overall coordination of the implementation of Cabinet decisions; (iv) direction and management of the administrative reform process in the Public Sector; and (v) providing accurate records of transactions of Cabinet, Council of Ministers' Meetings and the Legislative Committee.


The total recurrent budget for the office of the Cabinet for the financial year 1998/99 was $151,139,000, constituting 0.18% of the total government recurrent budget for that year. The funds spent on compensation of employees in the office of the Cabinet for 1998/99 was $84,131,000, accounting for 55.7% of the office's budget.


2.9. Office of the Prime Minister (Tourism)


This office is responsible for the overall development of the tourism industry in Jamaica. It has at least four functions: (i) to facilitate sustainable development of the tourism product and investment; (ii) to ensure maintenance of standards and human resource development and training in the tourism industry; (iii) to promote marketing of the tourism product; and (iv) to maximize social and economic benefits from the tourism industry for the Jamaican people.


The total recurrent budget for this office during the financial year 1998/99 was $1,286,600,000, constituting 1.5% of the total recurrent budget of the Jamaican government for that year. Money spent on compensation of employees during the same period was $15,116,000, accounting for only 1.1% of that office's budget.


2.10. Ministry of Finance and Planning and Departments


The general objective of this Ministry is to provide the economic framework and fiscal management in order to enable the government to deliver public services equitably and cost-effectively.


The specific objectives of the Ministry include: (i) allocation of resources in keeping with development priorities; (ii) development and implementation of a financial programme conducive to optimal levels of public and private investment; (iii) to administer taxes equitably, efficiently and effectively; (iv) to strengthen regulations for ensuring the highest level of prudence, discipline and integrity from the financial sector; (v) to encourage efficient use of public resources, financial discipline and accountability at all levels of public administration; (vi) to implement government programmes directed at improvements in fiscal and financial management, and tax administration; (vii) to integrate human resources and the financial management information systems of the Ministry and its departments; and (viii) to provide resources and support for government's initiatives to reform and modernize the Public Service.


The total recurrent budget for the Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $45,357,309,000, constituting 53% of the total recurrent government budget for that year. Money spent on compensation of employees in the Ministry during the same period was $1,115,984,000 (accounting for 2.5% of the Ministry's budget). Table 1 indicates the budgets for departments that fall under the Ministry of Finance and Planning during the 1998/1999 financial year.




Table 1: Budgets for departments of the Ministry of Finance and

Planning for FY 1998/1999




Budgets $


Accountant General








General Consumption Tax and Excise




Income Tax




Inland Revenue




Public Debt charges








Ministry Headquarters





According to Table 1, although the Ministry of Finance and Planning was allocated $45,357,309.00 (constituting 53% of the total recurrent government budget in the financial year 1998/1999) $34,436,1977,000 of this allocation was for public debt charges while $2,215,500,000 was for paying pensions. In the final analysis, therefore, $36,651,697,000 of the Ministry’s budget (or 43% of the total recurrent government budget) for the year 1998/1999 was for paying off public debts and pensions, leaving the ministry with a budget of $8,705,612,000 (or 10% of the total recurrent government budget) for the year 1998/1999.




2.11. Ministry of National Security and Justice and Departments


The functions of this Ministry fall under two broad categories: (i) defense affairs and services provided by the Defense Force, which include, defending the country against aggression, assisting in the maintenance of essential services, assisting and protecting people in the event of disaster, providing coastal surveillance and air/sea rescue, and undertaking military ceremonials; (ii) Public Order and Safety Services which include, maintaining of law and order, providing security services to the community, ensuring that the constitutional and legal machinery of the government is adequate and appropriate, providing legal services to ministries, undertaking programmes in law reform and law revision on a regular basis, providing adequate legal drafting service, keeping the system of legal education under review, administering the justice system, and providing custodial surveillance and rehabilitation of offenders through the Police, the law courts and the Department of Correctional Services.


The recurrent budget for this Ministry, together with its departments, was J$8,139,192,000 during the financial year 1998/99, which constituted 9.5% of the total recurrent budget of the Jamaican government during the same period. Budgets for each department and their respective estimates for compensation of employees are summarized below.


The total recurrent budget for the headquarters of the Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was J$2,067,400,000, of which $1,181,868,000 (constituting 57%) was spent on compensation of employees.


For the Police Department, the total recurrent budget for 1998/99 was $4,496,271,000, of which $3,306,993,000 (constituting 73.6%) was the budget for compensation of employees.


The 1998/99 recurrent budget for the Court of Appeal, which is the highest court in Jamaica that hears and determines criminal and civil appeals from lower courts in the country, was $35,507,000. Of this amount, $13,453,000 (constituting 37.9%) was budgeted for compensation of employees.


The Department of Correctional Services was established in 1975 by merging prisons, probation services and approved schools to administer correctional programmes for the government. Its total recurrent budget for the financial year 1998/99 was $840,000,000, of which $617,000,000 (constituting 73.5%) was budgeted for compensation of employees.


The office of the Director of Public Prosecution is responsible for all criminal prosecution throughout Jamaica. Its total recurrent budget for the financial year 1998/99 was $70,451,000, of which $42,623,000 (constituting 60.5%) was budgeted for compensation of employees.


Finally, the Family Court which is responsible for prevention of family breakdown, and ensuring that the welfare of children is protected should a family breakdown occur. Its total recurrent budget for the financial year 1998/99 was $39,526,000, of which $27,916,000 (constituting 70.6%) was budgeted for compensation of employees.


2.12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade


This Ministry seeks to promote and protect the interests of Jamaica abroad, and to conduct both bilateral and multilateral foreign relations in order to contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of Jamaica.


The specific objectives of the Ministry include: (i) to extend and enhance cooperation between Jamaica and other countries through diplomatic channels; (ii) to obtain maximum benefits for Jamaica (including development assistance, debt relief, technical cooperation and private investment) through regional and bilateral interaction; (iii) to create opportunities for Jamaica in the field of foreign trade; (iv) to facilitate the repatriation of Jamaicans; and (v) to promote security, peace and democracy.


The Ministry's total recurrent budget for the financial year 1998/99 was $910,000,000, constituting 1.06% of the government's total recurrent budget for that year. Of the Ministry's total budget, $440,231,000 (or 48.4%) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.13. Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Sport


The Ministry serves four main functions: (i) Social Security and Welfare Services, which deals with the National Insurance Scheme, public assistance services to the needy (aged, handicapped and destitute), the Food Stamp Programme which targets persons who are nutritionally at risk, women's welfare, private sector welfare organizations, and the Kerosene Assistance Programme; (ii) Educational Affairs and Services, which records the provision for the central food organization store that is responsible for handling, storage, and distribution of overseas food aid received by the government for the School Feeding Programme; (iii) Other Social and Community Services, dealing with provisions related to the development of sport at the national and parish levels; and (iv) Labour Relations and Employment Services, concerned with the development of healthy labour relations and labour laws, the promotion of industrial safety and welfare and the provision of local and overseas employment services.


The total recurrent budget of the Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $953,616,00, constituting 1.1% of the total government recurrent budget for that year. Of the Ministry's budget, $276,955,000 (or 29%) was spent on paying salaries for employees.


2.14. Ministry of Education and Culture


The mission of this Ministry is to establish and manage an effective system of human resource development for Jamaica. This system aims at harmonizing Jamaica's educational and cultural resources, so that individual needs and aspirations are met, positive human values are maintained and the social, cultural and economic development of the nation is enhanced.


The Ministry seeks to attain its objectives through (i) continuing the process of restructuring early childhood education (0-3 years); (ii) improving the quality of primary education (grades 1-6); (iii) improving the quality of secondary education (grades 7-9); (iv) providing secondary education for all students up to grade 11 by the year 2002; (v) restructuring tertiary education through increased collaboration and selective expansion of existing institutions and by establishing more multi-disciplinary colleges; (vi) increasing the number of trained personnel and improving the quality of skills training programmes by developing an integrated technical and vocational education and training system, maximizing the use of training facilities and establishing additional ones; and (vii) improving the management capabilities of the system through increased community participation, continued restructuring of the programme of the Ministry and improved human resources and information management.


The total recurrent budget for the Ministry during the financial year 1998/99 was $15,605,000,000 (constituting 18.2% of the total government recurrent budget) of which $453,310,000 (or 2.9%) was spent on compensation of employees.


The low level of remuneration in the Ministry of Education has had, at least, two negative consequences in recent years: (i) persistent high turnover of teachers in government schools; and (ii) industrial unrest among teachers in government schools that ultimately led to a strike in 1998, for a wage increase. Most of the Ministry’s budget (93% or $14,542,650,000) during the financial year 1998/1999 was spent on grants and contributions, while a mere 2.9% of the same budget was spent on compensation of employees. Such a glaring imbalance in the Ministry’s priorities needs to be addressed immediately in order to safeguard the public school system in Jamaica.


2.15. Ministry of Health and Departments


The priorities of this Ministry include: (i) health promotion and education to underline healthy living and disease prevention; (ii) establishment of semi-autonomous regional health authorities and integration of primary, secondary and tertiary health care services; (iii) operationalization of the National Health Insurance Plan; (iv) training and development of the cadre necessary to operate health services; (v) restructuring the management of maintenance, transportation and other infrastructure services; (vi) public/private sector partnership for the operation of laboratories, pharmacies and morgues; (vii) continuation of the development of the new mental health service; (viii) continuation of refurbishing of key hospitals; (ix) establishment of a National Registration System; and (x) consolidation and expansion of the Registration and Records Office.



The Ministry has three main departments: (i) The Registrar General's Department, responsible for (a) registration of births and deaths as well as marriages; (b) compilation and issue of historical information on vital events to various agencies; (c) recording and safe-keeping of public documents; and (d) providing certified copies of all records on request; (ii) Bellevue Hospital, which provides mental health services island-wide; and (iii) The Government Chemist, who functions as an official analyst and conducts comprehensive tests on pharmaceutical products used in the country.


The total recurrent budget for the Ministry as a whole for the financial year 1998/99 was $6,124,351,000 (7.15% of total recurrent government budget). The budget for compensation of employees for the Ministry and its departments, for the financial year 1998/99, was $3,431,282,000, constituting 56% of the Ministry's budget.


2.16. Ministry of Agriculture


The mission of this Ministry is to increase and sustain the contribution of the agricultural sector to economic growth and development of Jamaica through optimal use of land and other natural resources. Specific objectives of the Ministry include (i) to make a contribution toward meeting the food and nutritional requirements of Jamaicans; (ii) to reduce reliance on food imports through greater domestic food production; (iii) to expand exports of agricultural commodities in order to maximize foreign exchange earnings; (iv) to improve the quality of rural life by increasing farm incomes; (v) to minimize rural-urban migration by creating increased employment opportunities in agriculture; (vi) to stem environmental degradation and to pursue long-term conservation objectives; and (vii) to continue to provide training opportunities in agriculture for youths.


The total recurrent budget for this Ministry during the financial year 1998/99 was $725,000,000 (constituting 0.85% of the government total recurrent budget). Of that ministerial budget, $256,205,000 (or 35.3%) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.17. Ministry of Industry and Investment


The general objectives of the Ministry is to foster investment and strengthen the productive capacity and competitiveness of industry in order to achieve higher levels of output of goods and services and a sustained increase in exports.


The specific objectives of the Ministry include (i) to provide a framework for an investment-friendly environment; (ii) to attract and promote new investment, both local and foreign; (iii) to facilitate government's divestment and privatization programmes; (iv) to spearhead the modernization industry; (v) to facilitate the export of goods and services; and (vi) to promote the development of small and micro enterprises.


The effectiveness of the Ministry will be assessed each year by the extent to which successful performance is achieved in the following areas: (a) enhanced investment climate, measured by new investors in both export and domestic sectors; and (b) improved business practices (including expansion in industry and growth in exports), as measured by increased earnings from both traditional and non-traditional exports.


The total recurrent budget for the Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $400,000,000 (constituting 0.47% of the total government recurrent budget). Of that ministerial budget, $33,200,000 accounting for 8.3% was spent on the compensation of employees.


2.18. Ministry of Commerce, Technology and Departments


This Ministry was created in January 1998 and has the following four components: (i) Community Development, with its programme "cooperation", which was transferred from the former Ministry of Local Government and Works; (ii) Industry and Commerce, whose progammes were formerly under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce; (iii) Scientific and Technological Services, with its programme "Scientific Research Council" which was transferred from the Office of the Prime Minister; and (iv) Transport and Communications Services, with the programme "Postal Telecommunication Services" which was transferred from the former Ministry of Public Utilities and Transport.


The objectives of this Ministry are: (a) to facilitate the export of goods and services; (b) to facilitate free trade in the Caribbean Community; (c) to encourage ethical business practices; (d) to promote product reliability through the establishment of standards; (e) to facilitate the metrication process; (f) to ensure food safety and wholesomeness; (g) to provide an efficient service for regulation and registration of companies, cooperatives and friendly societies; (h) to protect the rights of consumers through effective regulation; (i) to provide efficient and cost-effective postal and related services; and (j) to promote technological advancement in Jamaica.


Agencies that fall under this Ministry are Posts and Telecommunication, the Scientific Research Council, Jamaica Bureau of Standards, the Anti-Dumping Secretariat, Office of the Utilities Regulation, Office of the Registrar of Companies, the Fair Trading Commission, the Consumer Affairs Commission, the Trade Board Limited, the Registrar of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies, Things Jamaican, Jamaica Commodity Company Limited, and Jamaica Marketing Company Limited.


The total recurrent budget for this Ministry during the financial year 1998/99 was $996,555,000 (constituting 1.16% of the total government recurrent budget for that year). Of that amount, $481,189,000 (or 48.3% of ministerial budget) was spent on compensation of employees.




2.19. Ministry of Mining and Energy


This Ministry was created in 1998, with the mission to increase and sustain the contribution of the mining and energy sectors to economic growth and development and to ensure that acceptable and sustainable standards of cost-effective mining and energy services are accessible to the public.


The objectives of the energy sector are (i) to minimize the cost of available energy; (ii) to promote energy conservation activities; and (iii) to access and promote the use of alternate energy through the use of incentives and investment in alternate energy technologies.


The Mining Sector aims at (i) developing and promoting a comprehensive scientific understanding of the island; (ii) directing and developing the mineral industry in the country within the guidelines of sustainable environmental practices; and (iii) expanding and diversifying the country's productive base in order to increase mineral exports.


The public agencies that fall under this Ministry include the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, the Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company of Jamaica, the Jamaica Bauxite Mining Company, Clarendon Alumina Partners, Jamaica Public Service Company, the Petroleum Company of Jamaica, and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.


The total recurrent budget for this Ministry during the financial year 1998/99 was $80,000,000 (constituting only 0.09% of the total government recurrent budget). Of that amount, $48,804,000 (or 61% of ministerial budget) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.20. Ministry of Water


The broad objectives of this Ministry are (i) to provide Jamaica with an adequate supply and suitable quality of water for domestic, commercial and agricultural purposes; (ii) to increase national capability in responding to disaster and emergency incidents; and (iii) to reduce the economic and social effects of hazards and disasters through the application of structural and non-structural mitigating measures.


The Ministry is made up of the following four (4) components: (1) Community Amenity Services, which deals with water supply, sewerage services, and disaster management; (2) Agriculture, which covers the provision of water for irrigation; (3) Mining, which relates to seismic research; and (4) Scientific and Technological Services, which deals with the provision of meteorological services.


The total recurrent budget for this Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $340,000,000 (constituting 0.4% of the total government recurrent budget). Of that ministerial budget, $41,126,000 (or 12.1%) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.21. Ministry of Environment, Housing and Departments


The broad objective of the Ministry is to develop and implement a national human settlement strategy to facilitate the provision of shelter by devising land use administration strategies, environmental controls, and resource management in order to enhance the social and economic well-being of the country.


The Ministry deals with four areas: (i) Housing, which records programmes concerned with provision of housing to the public; (ii) Agriculture, concerned with land administration and survey; (iii) Physical Planning and Development, concerned with planning for the optimum deployment of resources, mainly land; and (iv) Environmental Protection and Conservation, concerned with protection and conservation of natural resources of the country, including the coastal zone.


The total recurrent budget for this Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $505,200,000, constituting 0.6% of the total government recurrent budget for that year. Money spent on compensation of employees was budgeted by each department as indicated in Table 2 below.



Table 2: Recurrent and Employee Compensation Budgets for Departments of the

Ministry of Environment and Housing for FY 1998/1999.




Total Recurrent Budget J$

Recurrent Budget allocated to Employee Compensation

% of Total Recurrent Budget Allocated to Employee Compensation


Ministry Headquarters








Land Valuation and Estate Management









Town Planning







Registrar of Titles


















2.22. Ministry of Transport and Works


This Ministry was created in January 1998 and includes functions and programmes drawn from the former Ministries of Local Government and Works, and Public Utilities and Transport.


The Ministry is divided into four main components: (i) general government services, dealing mainly with maintenance of government office buildings and electoral matters; (ii) roads, dealing with maintaining the public road system at acceptable standards, reducing congestion to allow for more efficient movement of traffic, improving accessibility to farming communities, and improving drainage in the road network and other flood control measures; (iii) transport and communication services, dealing with management of rail, road, marine and air transport; and (iv) local administration, which provides core and supporting administrative, personnel and financial services to the Ministry.


The total recurrent budget of the Ministry for the financial year 1998/99 was $1,088,500,000, accounting for 1.27% of the total recurrent budget for the government. Of this ministerial budget $253,428,000 (or 23.3%) was spent on compensation of employees.


2.23. Ministry of Local Government, Youth and Community Development


The structure of this Ministry was created in 1998 and includes functions and programmes drawn from the following former ministries: Local Government and Works, Education, Youth and Culture, and Office of the Prime Minister.


The Ministry is divided into five administrative functions: (i) Social Security and Welfare Services, dealing with poor relief and care for the elderly in Golden Age Homes; (ii) Community Amenity Services, dealing with fire protection, parks and markets, minor water supply systems, street lighting and the Social Development Commission; (iii) Arts and Culture, dealing with cultural programmes and services; (iv) Youth Development Services, dealing with all programmes relating to youths; and (v) Local Government Administration, providing the administrative and operational expenses for local authorities (or parish councils).


The total recurrent budget for the Ministry during the financial year 1998/99 was $2,200,000,000, accounting for 2.6% of the total recurrent budget for the government of Jamaica. Of that amount, $43,050,000 (or 2% of ministerial budget) was spent on compensation of employees.


An examination of budgetary allocation to each of the 23 establishments within the Jamaican Civil Service revealed that remuneration of employees exceeded 50% of recurrent budgets in only 7 of the 23 establishments. Four of these establishments did not have a capital budget implying that their work was mainly service oriented. For those ministries engaged in capital expenditure, only the remuneration budgets of the Ministries of Health and Mining and Energy had employee compensation expenditure exceeding 50% (56% and 61% respectively). For other Ministries, spending on employee compensation ranged from 1.1% to 48.4% of their recurrent budgets implying that the majority of Ministries are allocating the greatest proportion of their recurrent budgets to other expenditure. One must be cautious, however, in the inferences that can be drawn from these statistics since Civil Servants also receive non-monetary benefits that may not be reflected in their budgetary allocation to wages and salaries. Such benefits have been instituted in order to counteract the effect of inflation.


Civil Servants receive benefits such as lunch and transportation, laundry allowance, scholarships to pursue tertiary education and several other benefits that may not be reflected in the employee compensation statistics. However, low remuneration budgets do reflect low nominal salaries and Civil Servants judge their jobs by the nominal figure on their paycheck rather than the total package, including benefits. This limits the potential of the Civil Service to attract qualified personnel and has serious implications for development since, for those already in the Service, low salaries are a disincentive to productivity, as will be revealed in the next section on the components of Civil Service Reforms.





Broadly defined, by Ryan and Brown (1992, 309), as a deliberate effort to effect changes that can allow a government to execute public policies in an effective and efficient manner, civil service reforms are not new to Jamaica. In fact, serious efforts at civil service reform in Jamaica have, to date, undergone five main phases.


The first effort was made in the early 1970s through the creation of a Ministry of the Public Service (MPS). This Ministry was given a mandate not only to initiate and sustain a programme of self-reformation of the civil service, but also to modernize management practices throughout the public sector (Mills 1997, 50).


The second serious effort was made in 1984 with the introduction of the Administrative Reform Programme (ARP), which sought to improve human and financial resources management within the Jamaican public sector.


The third phase, otherwise known as ARP II, began in 1991 with the establishment of the Financial and Programme Management Improvement Project (FPMIT). It was charged with the responsibility for programme budgeting and corporate planning throughout the public sector, and the introduction of both a Financial Management Information System (FMIS) and a Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS).


The fourth phase was associated with the introduction of the Tax Administration Reform Project in November 1994, whose primary focus was to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of administration in revenue mobilization (World Bank, 1994).


The final phase, the Public Sector Modernization Programme (PSMP), was introduced in 1996 and was charged with four main responsibilities: (i) privatization of some public sector entities, including contracting out services that can be delivered more effectively and efficiently by the private sector; (ii) down-sizing and strengthening the required work force; (iii) abolishing redundant statutory bodies and government companies; and (iv) the creation of executive agencies, aimed at reducing centralization of control through more delegation of authority to managers in public service departments or agencies (Government of Jamaica, 1996).


The remaining part of this report will present a review of the above Civil Service reforms in Jamaica. This review is based on an examination of the existing literature and on information acquired through elite interviews of individuals who have been involved in relevant phases of the reform process. The review is guided by some thematic issues developed by Rahman (1998).



3.1. Civil Service Recruitment and Promotion Systems


Vital issues in the civil service recruitment and promotion system include (i) merit versus patronage as the criterion for both selection and promotion of personnel; (ii) security versus performance as the criterion for internal promotion to higher level positions: and (iii) commitment versus competence as the criterion for selecting top policy advisers (Rahman 1998, 8-10).


The provision for the Public Service Commission (PSC) which was entrenched in the Jamaican independence Constitution in 1962, sought to promote at least three interrelated functions. These functions were (i) to protect civil servants against discrimination with respect to appointments, promotions, transfers and disciplinary proceedings; (ii) to provide all Civil Servants equal opportunities and fair treatment with respect to the above, on the basis of merit; and (iii) to avoid the incidence of exercising patronage, nepotism and favouritism by any influential sources (Mills and Slyfield 1987, 401).


Although Jamaican civil servants have developed a sense of confidence in the PSC as a better protector of their career interests than any other institution, the agency has attracted a number of criticisms. These criticisms include (i) its lack of quick and flexible recruitment and promotion policies, leading to loss of personnel to the private sector; (ii) its lack of incentive schemes for rewarding outstanding performance, leading to deterioration in its ability to attract and retain the quality of personnel for its professional and management positions; and (iii) its emphasis on a judicial protection role to the neglect of a dynamic management role (Mills 1992, 330)


As part of the reform efforts, a Ministry of the Public Service was established in 1973. It was charged with two main responsibilities: (i) the management of all functions of the public sector; and (ii) the institutionalization of a programme for self-reform within the public sector through the utilization of modern management techniques and procedures (Government of Jamaica, April 1973).


Accompanying the establishment of the Ministry of the Public Service was an expansion of in-service training programmes, especially in two important areas: (i) management and supervision, whose training was provided by the Administrative Staff College; and (ii) finance and accounting, provided by the Finance and Accounting College of Training.


As well, a new and more open performance evaluation system was introduced to replace the old one, based on confidential reporting on civil servants by their immediate supervisors, which had been inherited from the colonial administration.


Despite the above innovations and reforms, a number of problems persisted within the Jamaican civil service. First, the newly created Ministry of the Public Service together with two other Central Government core institutions, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Commission, were generally reluctant to delegate decision-making authority to line ministries. Instead, these three central core institutions continued to control both policy and decision-making on finance, planning, budgeting and on personnel deployment in the rest of the public service (Jones and Mills 1989, 113). Even worse, there was a general lack of delegation by senior management to middle and junior staff in public service institutions as a whole (Glaessner 1992, 335).


Secondly, wide disparities in emoluments developed within the public sector whereby statutory agencies and public companies, collectively known as counter bureaucracies, offered substantially better remuneration than the traditional ministries. Gradually, these so-called counter bureaucracies attracted some of the ablest professionals, technicians and managers away from the traditional ministries thereby creating a shortage of staff in the latter's critical areas. Even those who stayed in civil service employment were generally characterized by lack of prestige and low morale (Green and Gordon 1982).


And finally, there was an overlapping of functions, especially between the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of the Public Service, leading ultimately to wasteful duplication of activity. This, together with the inability of government agencies to work together for policy implementation, constituted an institutional barrier to optimal performance within the Jamaican civil service.


Based on the recommendation of the Nettleford Report (1995) to reduce the number of ministries, the Ministry of the Public Service was disbanded in 1995 and its functions delegated to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Office of the Prime Minister. Since the Minister of Finance was responsible for the Public Service, the central personnel functions were delegated to his Ministry.


Since selective recruitment is vital for enduring quality within the Civil Service, the Jamaican government should make serious attempts to attract high calibre candidates to its service. One way of doing that is to adopt a programme that has been successful in Singapore of providing prestigious but bonded university scholarships, targeted to specific skill gaps within the Civil Service. It is through such an aggressive programme that the Civil Service can compete favourably with the private sector for top graduates and/or hard–to–recruit skills.



3.2. Civil Service Pay and Emolument Structure


Adequate emolument not only attracts qualified personnel, but also gives them sufficient incentives to work efficiently and to stay in service. Inadequate emolument, on the other hand, has adverse consequences for the civil service, including (i) poor personnel morale and decline in work effort; (ii) difficulties in recruiting and retaining technical and professional staff; (iii) non-transparent forms of remuneration; and (iv) strong incentives to use public office for private gain (Rahman 1998, 10-11).


Since the early 1980s, the government of Jamaica has attempted to improve the emolument structure of its Civil Servants. Between 1983 and 1986, efforts were made to improve compensation for top Civil Service managers, attorneys and other senior government officials. A survey of about 42 bench mark positions in over 40 private sector firms was conducted to collect data on the basis of which a better pay strategy for Civil Servants could be designed (Government of Jamaica 1988, 14-15).


By 1986, improvements in salaries for Civil Service managers and professionals had reached a level of between 70 and 87 percent that of their counterparts in statutory bodies and public enterprises. However, at the lower level the compensation gap remained glaringly wide. According to Glaessner (1992, 337), the Civil Service salary adjustments up to 1986 benefited about 2,200 persons, representing only 5.5 percent of the then total Civil Service establishment positions in Jamaica.


The compensation gap between workers in the public sector and those in the labour market as a whole, especially at managerial and technical levels, has remained wide (see Appendix 3). Such inadequate remuneration in the public sector, which has been worsened by erosion of earnings by ever increasing levels of inflation, has led to a large number of vacancies, even at key and critical levels of government. According to the World Bank Report (1996, 6-7), there were 3,200 vacancies in the government’s central establishment in 1993, of which 725 were in key positions. As well, 3,200 positions were held by either acting or temporary holders who, in most cases, lacked the necessary skills for the job. The end result of all this is poor organizational performance, whereby central government institutions continue to lack both efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of public services.


Incentive structures are vital for motivating performance within Civil Service. To compensate for deficiencies in the Jamaican Civil Service remuneration package, the Government may have to adopt appropriate pay flexibility programmes from, at least, among the following alternatives: (i) supplementing basic salary with non-wage allowances, such as performance-pay and/or diligence allowances; (ii) bonus programmes for retention of key personnel; and (iii) a flexi-wage system, which entails adjusting pay according to the national economy’s performance.



    1. Capacity Building and Human Resources Development


Capacity building in the Civil Service, within the context of human resources development,

is, at least, characterized by the following considerations: (i) development of strategic human resources policies; (ii) investment in personnel by focusing on executive and professional development; (iii) establishment of a management system that provides motivation and rewards for improved performance; and (iv) development of a decision- making system that allows for full use of the skills and capacity of Civil Servants (Rahman 1998, 14).


The Human Resource Policy in Jamaica, which was approved by the cabinet in 1986, identified merit principles for the development of functional areas of human resources management and set out broad activities on which reform would be implemented. Managers began embarking on a number of activities, focusing on proposed changes. The restructuring of the MPS included the establishment of new divisions in the ministry viz: (i) Operations Division, intended to provide a more integrated timely service to line ministries in human resource management, and to monitor the operation of these services throughout the entire Civil Service; and (ii) Standards and Policy Division, to enable continuous review of human resource-related standards and policies. The latter division was given responsibility for occupational classification, pay planning and administration and updating the staff order. Of these three, only occupational classification of professional, managerial and technical positions was successfully completed during the first phase of the ARP.


Occupational Classification: The occupational classification system, developed by a team of consultants, was approved by the MPS. The system describes the kinds and levels of work and prescribes the qualifications and performance standards to be used in personnel procedures, including recruitment, selection, appointment, pay determination, training, career development and employee evaluation (Government of Jamaica 1988, 14).


The system was developed to serve at least three functions, viz (i) to simplify occupational classification not only to make it easily understood, but also to make it easy to apply to the entire civil service; (ii) to facilitate greater delegation of authority to ministries and government departments; and (iii) to allow for more adequate and equitable grading of civil servants.


Computerization of Personnel Data: Another innovation within the MPS during the first phase of the ARP was the introduction of a computerized human resource management information system (HRMIS). The objectives of the HRMIS was to build the capacity of the Central Government to maintain accurate employment records, updating information on pensioners, and to develop the capability of identifying and channeling personnel to high priority government programmes.


Delegation of Authority to Line Ministries: Reform efforts were focused on delegation of authority to line ministries and departments to undertake the functions of recruitment, promotions, and the exercise of discipline on the basis of standards set by the PSC in association with the MPS. Consequently, the role of the PSC was to change into that of a monitoring, supervisory, and review agency in matters relating to how the line ministries performed their delegated powers. It would also act, in its judicial capacity, as a court of appeal in respect to complaints of unfair treatment. The MPS would do likewise in respect of position-classification functions, which were also to be decentralized (Mills 1992, 331). The line ministries themselves were to implement a Performance Improvement Programme (PIP), which involved efforts by staff at all levels to identify key problems in their respective ministries and to suggest steps to improve the working environment and the effectiveness of operations (Glaessner 1992, 339).


It was expected that the above changes would contribute towards the attainment of the following three related goals: greater control by line ministries over resources and responsibilities for which they are held accountable; expeditiousness in decision-making, especially on personnel matters; and attainment of increased personnel motivation and enhanced morale (Mills and Slyfield 1987, 407).


Fiscal and Financial Management Reform Efforts: During the first phase of the ARP, efforts were made to restructure the Ministry of Finance and Planning, aiming at building the institutional capacity for improvements in financial management.


First, the office of the Financial Secretary was strengthened not only by upgrading it to the highest level in the civil service, but also by creating new posts of a Senior Deputy Financial Secretary, at the rank of Permanent Secretary, and that of an Executive Assistant to the Financial Secretary. As well, important appointments were made to head the following divisions: economics, budget and public enterprise.


Secondly, a new division of the Controller General was created, charged with two broad responsibilities: to monitor government expenditure and to ensure the prompt presentation of effective financial statements for various levels of financial management.


Third, a new system of performance budgeting was introduced, aimed at increasing productivity among government managers by relating expenditures to work done and to objectives. The system was also intended to assist in setting targets, keeping up-to-date with progress, and in developing performance data required for making decisions relating to allocation of scarce resources.


And finally, several permanent appointments were made in the Accountant General's department in order to facilitate restructuring for improving responsiveness in cash management. As well, a computerized public debt management information system was installed for purposes of establishing organizational relationships, procedures and accounting arrangements for effective management and control of public debt.


Reform Efforts at Restructuring Line Agencies: The main thrust in the restructuring of line agencies was centred on the approach of an Organization Development/Performance Improvement Programme (OD/PIP). This approach involved helping management teams to re-examine their role, mission and strategic objectives; and to identify and analyze the major problems hindering performance in their respective agencies.


In addition to restructuring agencies, the OD/PIP approach was also intended to develop internal capability to make the process of reform continuous. Accordingly, a core of "change agents" or "facilitators" had to be identified and trained to plan, manage and control the pace and timing of changes in each agency.


The overall essential characteristics of the OD/PIP were twofold. First, it was training oriented in the sense that it provided for progressive development of skills in such areas as managerial planning, problem-solving, team-work, systems analysis, organization diagnosis, inter-personal relations and decision-making. Second, it was participatory oriented in the sense that it allowed for active involvement of a cross-section of staff within the agency. As well, the management teams were comprised of programme managers, financial managers, and personnel officers who, collectively, identified problems for which they sought to formulate solutions.



3.4. Civil Service Training


In general, the main purposes of training within the civil service are twofold: (i) to develop specific skills in an effort to provide Civil Servants with the capacity to do their work effectively; and (ii) to impart to Civil Servants a sense of purpose and self discipline to enable them to attain group objectives (Rahman 1998, 13).


The Government of Jamaica has made an effort to bridge the skill gap within the Civil Service, caused by low remuneration and attrition, through in-house training. During the first phase of the ARP (1984-1988), government training institutions (the Administrative Staff College, the Finance and Accounts College of Training, the Secretarial and Clerical College and the Mandeville Training Centre) collectively provided valuable support to the reform efforts by offering training in a variety of areas, including human resources management, project management, performance budgeting, accounting, and organizational management (Government of Jamaica 1988, 16-17).


In 1994, the above four specialized training facilities merged to form the Management Institute for National Development (MIND). MIND’s major activities include executive and management training, public financial administration training, secretarial and clerical skills training, certificate-granting programmes in public administration, human resource management training and training to support a variety of government reform initiatives, as they arise from time to time.


Although MIND is making a remarkable contribution in training civil servants, it faces a number of constraints. These include poor faculty compensation; inadequate classrooms and faculty facilities; inadequate equipment, especially in relation to modern information technology; inadequate curricula development; and an inappropriate mix of course offerings, relative to changing demands (Government of Jamaica 1996, 55).


3.5. Ethics, Integrity, Professionalism and Bureaucratic Corruption


Defined in terms of the use of public office for private gain, bureaucratic corruption has

led to the lowering of ethical values and standards and to the decline of professionalism within the civil service at the global level (Rahman 1998, 14). Possible causes of corruption include low wages, exacerbated by ever rising inflation; the explosion of expectations caused by the conspicuous living of new elites who are benefiting from corrupt practices; and the availability of opportunities to solicit illegal money, such as drug money and money laundering (Rahman 1998, 14). All the above are facilitated by ineffective anti-corruption rules, inadequate criminal justice systems, poor accountability and weak control mechanisms (Rahman 1998, 14).


Like in many other developing countries, corruption in Jamaica has occurred in a variety of forms, including (i) the selling of public services, such as expediting the provision of birth certificates, passports, drivers’ licenses, and motor vehicle certificates of fitness; (ii) acceptance of bribes by some government employees, especially in the police force, the judiciary and customs; (iii) the disposal of politically–owned assets, such as land and other scarce benefits to relatives, friends and political supporters; (iv) discrimination in the award of government contracts; (v) nepotism in appointments and promotions within the Civil Service; and (vi) engaging in business activities which represent a conflict of interest (Mills 1997, 25-26).


Some of the measures that have been attempted in Jamaica to combat corruption, albeit with limited success, have included (i) a law requiring disclosure of assets, liabilities and income by senior public officials in an attempt to avoid a conflict of interest; (ii) the establishment of the Office of the Contractor General since 1986, as an impartial institution in monitoring the award of contracts by government agencies; (iii) the Office of the Auditor General together with the Public Accounts Committee which investigate government financial accounts in order to promote financial accountability by government departments; and (iv) the launching of citizen’s charter by the Prime Minister in December 1994, which preaches, among other things, higher standards of conduct among government employees and improvement in the delivery of government services to a well informed public (Government of Jamaica 1995).


3.6. Civil Service Autonomy Within the Legal Framework


Civil Service autonomy refers to legal separation of functions of politicians (who decide

policies) from those of civil servants (who implement such policies). This autonomy involves the establishment of principles and procedures on the basis of which civil servants can be protected from political interference as they carry out their work (Rahman 1998, 16).


Civil service autonomy is necessary for at least two reasons viz (i) to enable civil servants to use their knowledge and experience, without fear or favour, as they make and carry out decisions in the process of policy execution; and (ii) to help civil servants to provide continuity in government business, especially during periods of rapid political changes (Rahman 1998, 16-17).


The rationale behind the entrenchment of the Public Service Commission in the Jamaican Independence Constitution in 1962 was partly to establish a de-politicized and professional civil service. The intention was to develop an independent, impartial and non-political agency to be responsible for personnel functions within the civil service, including recruitment, appointment, transfer, promotion, training and the exercise of disciplinary proceedings (Mills and Slyfield 1987, 401-402).


From their inception in 1944 and until 1974, the two main political parties, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Peoples’ National Party (PNP), were largely characterized by consensus with regard to political ideology. The differences between these two parties rested on the personality and style of the respective leaders rather than on either ideological positions or broad policy goals. Hence, Civil Servants were presented with opportunity to provide advice to successive JLP and PNP governments (Mills 1987, 17).


However, after the PNP (under the leadership of Michael Manley) declared its political ideology of Democratic Socialism in 1974, the institution of special advisers became a major issue in the Jamaican politico-administrative life. Underlying the development of this new institution was the political mistrust of the traditional Civil Service to administer a radically different, Socialist-minded policy regime. Consequently, the Manley government decided to recruit top advisers to the Prime Minster from those who were considered to be more politically committed and more politically aware than the political neutrals in the established civil service (Jones and Mills 1989, 117). Reliance on special advisers, by politicians, not only became a source of anxiety for civil servants during the Manley regime of the 1970s, but also provided a platform for conflict between the top Civil Servants and the executive authority, thereby undermining Civil Service autonomy in Jamaica.


By the late 1980s, the ideological gap between the two main political parties in Jamaica, again narrowed when the PNP abandoned Socialism and embraced the philosophy of market economy. However, the institution of special advisers has persisted especially in the Prime Minister’s office under the guise of the Cabinet Secretariat.


This section reviewed the inputs into Civil Service reform in Jamaica that spanned from the 1970s to the present. The reform process began in 1973, with the establishment of a Ministry of the Public Service (MPS) which was mandated as the change agent for the service. Its responsibility was the initiation of reforms and the modernization of management practices. With the establishment of the MPS, came increased training in several areas, a proper classification system and the introduction of a computerized human resources system, which produced up to date personnel information and enhanced the ability of Ministries to identify appropriate personnel for positions in a timely manner. To deter corruption in the Civil Service special mechanisms were put in place to ensure transparency, accountability and service delivery such as the passing of disclosure laws, monitoring of tendering and contracts, the establishment of performance standards, increased remuneration and the introduction of a new budgeting method. To improve management functions, additional positions were created in core and financial oversight agencies such as the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General’s Department. This was accompanied by a new performance budgeting system linking objectives, expenditures, and output.


Despite reform attempts, decision making, policy making, budgeting and personnel matters remained centralized as core ministries and senior officers refused to delegate. Coupled with poor remuneration and duplication, these features lowered Civil Servants’ morale and rendered the Service inefficient. While only 5% of the Civil Service benefited from later reform attempts to increase remuneration, overall disparity between public and private sector salaries remain high and may account for the continued prevalence of corruption within the service. Although the entrenchment of the Civil Service in the Jamaican constitution ensures civil servants freedom from political manipulation, previous ideological differences between incumbent political parties eroded civil service autonomy. This was achieved through the establishment of a large body of counter bureaucracies and special advisors, which usurped the functions of senior civil servants. While ideological differences no longer exist, these counter bureaucracies have now become institutionalized and have eroded the confidence and capacity of the Civil Service to provide policy advice.











While the preceding section was mostly related to the input orientation of civil service

reforms, this section will be largely concerned with performance-oriented issues that characterized Civil Service reform generally, with specific reference to Jamaica.


    1. Civil Service Performance on Core Government Functions


Government core functions fall into two broad categories. On one hand are core functions

relating to policy development and coordination, financial management, tax collection and personnel management. On the other hand are core functions relating to service delivery (Rahman 1998, 20). Among the requirements for improving civil service capacity for policy making, as provided by Rahman (1998, 20) are developing highly qualified expertise in the higher Civil Service and releasing individuals and groups from routine pressure to work on strategic thinking.


A report of the committee of advisers on the Jamaican government structure, chaired by Nettleford in 1992, recommended that enhancing the capability of the Office of the Prime Minister for policy making, policy supervision and coordination would require:


a small policy advisory unit made up of Jamaican professionals with

high levels of expertise in their fields. Among these would be

representatives from strategic public institutions such as the Planning

Institute of Jamaica, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Jamaica

(Nettleford, 1992, 12).


The above recommendation was adapted in constituting the current Cabinet Secretariat, which provides advice on policy matters to the Prime Minister and to his Cabinet.


The Cabinet Secretariat is similar to the Senior Executive Service (SES) programmes found in some industrialized countries, where an elite, professionalized, Civil Service-wide corps have been developed to enhance higher level management and policy-making capacity. What the Jamaican model seems to lack, is the interdepartmental mobility for members of the Cabinet Secretariat. The recommendation here is that the policy-making skills and expertise should be broadened beyond the Office of the Prime Minister to prevent uneven distribution of scarce human resources among government departments.


On reforms relating to financial management and tax administration, Jamaica has made considerable attempts as indicated below.




The Financial and Programme Management Improvement Project (PIP)


The main objectives of this project, which began in 1991 under the banner, ARPII, were five-fold: (i) instituting corporate strategic planning and reporting systems for improved programme management; (ii) improving the financial management systems and standards by strengthening the budgeting and accounting processes of Central Government, together with computerization of the FMIS; (iii) improving personnel management standards and procedures, together with computerization of the HRMIS; (iv) improving delivery of customer services by government agencies which interface directly with the public; and (v) providing hands-on training to support implementation and strengthening the capability of related public service training institutions to deliver training that will be required for sustainability. Summarized below are achievements of this project up to March 1998 (Government of Jamaica 1998, 1600B7-1600B14).


(i) Programme Management Improvement


First, training relating to corporate strategic planning was delivered centrally in all ministries, and 116 officers from Parish Councils were introduced to the corporate strategic planning process. Second, 61 workshops, relating to customer service training, were conducted resulting in the training of 1,618 persons. Third, 20 customer service trainers were trained. Finally, not only was HRMIS implemented at 30 sites, but also 51 Personnel Officers from 10 agencies, together with 25 heads of government departments, were trained in the use of the HRMIS.


(ii) Financial Management Improvement


First, 15 managers trained in the use of FMIS were appointed in government departments. Second, a FMIS Manager's Work Manual was developed to guide managers. And, finally, by March 1998, work had commenced on the design and implementation of a local area network in the Accountant General's department to support FMIS, payroll and other related components.


(iii) Targets for 1998/99


In programme management, the targets are (i) to provide core training in such areas as corporate planning methodology, financial modeling, performance measurement, and training of trainers; (ii) to undertake evaluation of previous training given for customer service improvement, and (iii) to develop training aids, such as local videos.


In financial management, the targets are (i) to provide training in financial management to at least 30 principal finance officers and 50 officers in other categories; (ii) to provide specialized training in the Accountant General's department; and (iii) to evaluate the impact of training in financial operations of ministries in order to determine the effectiveness of FMIS related training.



The Tax Administrative Reform Project (TAXARP)


The general objectives of this reform, which started in July 1994, was to raise revenue without increasing tax, by (i) broadening the tax base; (ii) improving efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration; and (iii) encouraging improvements in voluntary compliance.


(i) Broadening the Tax Base


The narrowness of the tax base in Jamaica has been attributed to three main factors, viz (i) a significant portion of the revenue is not being collected; (ii) inability of the tax system to register all eligible taxpayers; and (iii) continued existence of a large number of exemptions, deductions and concessions granted by tax laws (Davies 1998, 1).


Reform activities under this component aimed at attaining two objectives: (i) increasing the number of taxpayers through a more rigorous registration process; and (ii) reducing available loopholes in tax collection (Davies 1998, 2).


By April 1998, at least two achievements had been attained under this reform component. First, the taxpayer registration number (TRN) had been introduced. Second, a number of taxpayer registration centres had been established, of which seven had on-line access to the TRN database that enables numbers to be allocated straightway upon the completion of applications (Davies 1998, 4).


(ii) Improvement of Efficiency and Effectiveness of Tax Administration


Deficiencies in areas of assessment and collection of tax had resulted in two main problems: (i) duplication of efforts and inefficient use of scarce human resources; and (ii) fragmentation of enforcement efforts and the inability to detect tax evasion.


Reform efforts under this component aimed at (i) restructuring tax administration along functional lines to exploit potential synergies; (ii) improving the management of the human resources in the administration; (iii) improvement of incentives among staff; (iv) modernization of functions, including computerization; (v) providing better working conditions; and (vi) improving on-the-job training and career opportunities to make employment in tax administration more attractive (Davies 1998, 2).


By April 1998, the plan for re-organization of the tax administration department along functional lines was complete. Under the plan, functions will be organized under a Director General of Tax Administration, into the following five departments (i) Tax Audit and Assessment Department, responsible for reviewing and investigating tax returns, submissions and declarations; (ii) Inland Revenue Department, responsible for collection functions which include pursuing delinquent returns and applying sanctions against delinquent files and tax debtors; (iii) Taxpayers' Appeal Department, to deal with appeals from conference and other decisions and to encourage resolution before court actions are pursued; (iv) Tax Administrative Services Department, to provide centralized administrative services, including: legal and taxpayer services, inter-departmental training and management responsibilities for tax administration; and (v) Revenue Protection Department (Davies 1998, 5).


(iii) Improving Voluntary Compliance


To avoid relying solely on deterrence as a means of enforcing compliance, two measures for voluntary compliance have been suggested as part of tax administration reform: (i) modification of tax laws to simplify procedural requirements; and (ii) updating collection, assessment, refund, tax clearance procedures.


By April 1998, the following achievements under this component of the reform had been attained: (i) initiation of training of staff in taxpayer service; (ii) appointment of specialist taxpayer assistants at the Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax Department; and (iii) updating of publications to inform taxpayers of the requirements of the several taxes being levied (Davies 1998, 7)


4.2. Civil Service Performance on Service Delivery Functions


Since large scale privatization has occurred more in service delivery functions than in any other core government functions, as discussed in the last section, public agencies offering these services have to compete with private providers. Thus, they have to adopt, from the private sector, some of the approaches and methods of measuring and analyzing service delivery. The challenge, as Rahman puts it, is "to get a committed leader or leadership group, determined to introduce the performance approach in some aspect or in some agencies" (Rahman 1998, 21).


The Jamaican ‘Citizen’s Charter’ announced by the Prime Minister to the House of Representatives in December 1994, meets most of the requirements mentioned above. It promotes the provision of government services to the public, "the customer," which are efficient, reliable, of high quality and at reasonable cost. According to the Charter, organizations providing services should:


Set and display standards for key areas of performance in a form

which the customer understands, publish information regularly on

performance against those standards, and show how they are meeting

their standards (Government of Jamaica 1995, 1).


The charter sets performance targets to include the following: standards should be genuine customer service standards set in terms of individual levels of performance; standards should be demanding but realistic; agencies providing services should continually look to improve their existing standards; service standards should reflect the priorities of the customer, be set in consultation with customers and be tested through customer surveys; for any adverse performance, customers should be provided with an explanation and details of any corrective action taken; performance information should be used to improve the service delivery system; and important performance claims should be checked or validated by external or independent sources (Government of Jamaica 1995, 1-2).


In his speech entitled "the Citizen’s Charter: raising the Standards of Service," at a services orientation seminar on March 5, 1998, Prime Minister Patterson reaffirmed his commitment to improving public services in Jamaica. In his words "the critical ingredients in achieving better customer service include accurate and timely information, consultation and choice, courtesy and helpfulness, value for money and putting things right when they go wrong" (P.J.Patterson 1998, 2).


The attainment of the above mentioned improvements in service delivery in Jamaica will largely depend on the success of the Public Sector Modernization Project, which is now being implemented. In particular, as will be discussed in the next section, a successful conversion of relevant government institutions into ‘executive agencies’ will greatly enhance service delivery functions in Jamaica.


4.3. Civil Service Policy and Focus on Performance and Results.


The central concern here is to improve the efficiency and performance of the public sector

through policies such as privatization, downsizing, reorganizing Civil Service structure and processes in order to improve on their performance, changing Civil Servants into entrepreneurs who are customer friendly, and giving them both financial and managerial autonomy for which, in return, they exercise a high level of accountability and transparency when carrying out their duties (Rahman 1998, 18-19).


This new approach to Civil Service reform focuses mainly on outcomes and/or results, with emphasis on effective measurement and monitoring of organizational performance. This type of reform is currently being attempted in Jamaica under the banner of the Public Sector Modernization Project, to which we shall now turn.


Public Sector Modernization Project (PSMP)


The broad objectives of this ongoing project, established in 1996, is to create a small, effective, efficient and accountable public sector to provide high quality service. Funded to the tune of US$57 million - the Government of Jamaica (US$22.6m), the World Bank (US$28.4 m), European Union (US$3m), and ODA (US$3m) - this project is being implemented by a Cabinet Secretariat in the Office of the Prime Minister, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ministry of Environment and Housing, Ministry of Local Government and Works, National Investment Bank of Jamaica, the Contractor General, the Auditor General and other targeted government agencies (World Bank 1996, 1).


The specific objectives of this project include (i) to create major improvements in the quality of service provided by selected public agencies; (ii) to help selected ministries to formulate sound sector policies, effectively monitor and evaluate downstream agencies to ensure attainment of the desired objectives, and to perform corporate management functions efficiently; (iii) to either privatize or contract out services where government has no comparative advantage; (iv) to improve transparency in government procurement and contracting; (v) to enhance public sector accountability by strengthening both internal and external controls; (vi) to improve the quality of financial and personnel management in the public sector through computerized information systems; and (vii) to prepare the next stage of the modernization process, which will include extending reforms initiated by the project in the pilot agencies and ministries to the rest of the public sector, and introducing other improvements (World Bank 1996, 10).


Thus the public sector modernization process will be broken into two stages. In the first stage, a small number of high priority government institutions will be modernized on a pilot basis. As well, systemic reforms intended to improve performance would be implemented in three areas, viz (i) privatization and contracting out services; (ii) strengthening of government procurement, contracting, internal control and auditing; and (iii) extension and refinement of financial and human resource management systems. In the second stage, reforms initiated in pilot institutions would be extended to the remaining public sector institutions. This approach would allow learning from implementation experience and would create a demonstration effect (Government of Jamaica 1996, 3).


(i) Modernization of Pilot Institutions


Two types of public institutions were targeted in the first stage of the modernization process: (i) agencies providing services to both the public and government, which would be converted into "Executive Agencies", and (ii) government ministries which are involved in the formulation, monitoring and coordination of government policies. Managers of these targeted institutions would be empowered by giving them considerable autonomy in managerial, financial, personnel and operational management. In return, these managers would be expected to pay particular attention to strict accountability and performance standards.


(a) Executive Agencies


The Government of Jamaica selected the following institutions as pilot entities for conversion into executive agencies: Planning Institute of Jamaica and Customs Department (both located in the Ministry of Finance and Planning); office of the Registrar of Titles, Town Planning Department and Survey Department (all three located in the Ministry of Environment and Housing); Jamaica Information Service, JAMPRESS and Management Institute for National Development (all located in the Office of the Prime Minister); Registrar General's Department (located in Ministry of Health); Registrar of Companies (Ministry of Commerce and Technology); Administrator General (Ministry of National Security and Justice); Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Ministry of Industry and Investment); and Works Division (Ministry of Transport and Works).


For each of the above pilot agencies, the modernization process would consist of the following two steps (i) selection of the Chief Executive Officer and the core management team of the agency, on a competitive basis from among candidates from both the public and private sectors; and (ii) engagement of consultants with the required organizational, management, legal and other technical skills who, together with the CEO and the core management team, would prepare documents to inform the modernization process of the agency.


The above-mentioned documents would include: (i) the modernization plan, providing detailed review of organization management, business processes, resources of the agency and the implementation plan; (ii) the medium-term financing plan, indicating in detail the financial needs of the agency for a five year period; and (iii) the framework document, responsible for defining the mission and objectives of the agency, specifying outputs to be delivered by the management and the resources required to do so, justifying the extent and nature of autonomy to be granted to the management, providing methods of performance measurements and evaluations to be used, and recommending rewards and sanctions that would follow performance evaluation (World Bank 1996, 12-16).


(b) Ministries


The original two ministries selected for modernization during the first stage were the Ministry of Local Government and Works (converted into the Ministry of Transport and Works since January 1998) and the Ministry of Environment and Housing. Modernization of these pilot ministries would include the following activities: (i) strengthening their central divisions which are engaged in policy formulation, monitoring policy implementation and performing corporate functions; (ii) improvement of the access, by ministries, to high quality information required for policy formulation; (iii) development of sound sector policies, technical standards, and operating norms and guidelines; (iv) development of effective monitoring and evaluation systems; (v) strengthening the functions of budgeting, planning, accounting, procurement, contracting, internal control and personnel management; and (vi) providing training to staff in their respective areas.


The process of modernization of ministries would be similar to that of executive agencies, as discussed above. Accordingly, three documents, including a modernization plan, a medium term financing plan and a framework document, would be prepared. The CEO of each ministry would be the respective Permanent Secretary. As part of the review of each ministry, its mission, role and functions would be examined and the required changes would be identified.


(ii) Privatization


The underlying reasons for privatization include: (i) government withdrawal from activities, in which it has no comparative advantage, in order to improve on its performance; (ii) avoiding financial drain caused by inefficient public enterprises; (iii) reducing the size of the public service to enable government to pay motivating wages to fewer employees which, in turn, would improve efficiency and effectiveness in the public service through its financial capacity to attract and retain high quality individuals; and (iv) encouraging private investments in areas that are vital for the development of the country.


Three areas which have been identified under this component of the project are (i) privatization of the water and sewerage sector, in order to ensure economic allocation of water among competing users and to improve the quality of service provided to the public; (ii) privatization or contracting out some government facilities and services, including national parks, the National Stadium and many other tourist attractions in Jamaica; and (iii) institutional strengthening of the National Investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ), which is the main implementing and coordinating agency for the privatization program.


(iii) Strengthening Government Procurement Procedures


This reform was intended to address deficiencies in the procurement and contracting processes in order to enhance transparency and accountability in the public sector. This reform would be implemented in three ways, viz (i) establishment of a procurement implementation unit within the Inspectorate division of the Ministry of Finance, which would be responsible for developing and updating procurement standards and procedures for the whole public sector; (ii) creation of an independent National Contracts Commission, chaired by the Contractor General and assisted by a small Secretariat of qualified professionals, in order to strengthen the office of the Contractor General; and (iii) strengthening procurement/contracting units and committees in ministries through training, equipment and consulting services.


In order to strengthen internal financial controls throughout the public sector, an Internal Audit Directorate (IAD) would be set up within the Financial Management Division of the Ministry of Finance, with the following responsibilities: (i) establishing uniform operating standards and systems for conducting internal audits; (ii) setting ethical norms; (iii) coordinating the training and professional development of internal auditors; and (iv) conducting internal control reviews.


Moreover, the institutional capacity of the Auditor General would be strengthened through the provision of consultants, training and equipment to enable the office to enhance its auditing capabilities, especially in exercising external control over procurement and contracting decisions.



(iv) Financial and Human Resources Management Information Systems


These two systems (FMIS and HRMIS) were initiated under the Financial Programme Management Improvement Project (FPMIP) discussed earlier. In the first phase of the FMIS the following modules were computerized: expenditure authorization, accounting and cheque printing. In the second phase, initiated in 1996, the following modules of the FMIS would be developed: commitment planning and control, consolidation of central accounts, and management of externally funded projects. Phase three of the project would create an Executive Information System (EIS) to allow generation of reports, in a flexible format, for senior management.


The HRMIS, whose purpose is to provide information and automation needs in human resource management, has developed a prototype that, by 1996, had been installed at 16 sites. As well, core personnel data relating to 36,000 employees had been entered. The next phase would involve: (i) automation of business functions related to personnel management; and (ii) development of a payroll module that will link the financial data of the FMIS with personnel data of the HRMIS.


(v) Achievements of the PSMP up to March 1998


By March 1998, the following achievements had been attained under the Public Sector Modernization project: (i) diagnostic studies had been completed in the following entities: Registrar of Companies, Management Institute for National Development, Administrator General and Registrar General; (ii) diagnostic studies had commenced in the following entities: Ministry of Environment and Housing, Town Planning Department, Survey Department and Office of Titles; (iii) financial support had been given to FMIS and HRMIS to continue the work started under ARP; and (iv) consultants from United Kingdom and Canada had been engaged to work with seven agencies and one Ministry (Government of Jamaica 1998, 1600B-16).


The anticipated physical targets for 1998/99 include: (i) completion of diagnostic studies where they are being conducted now, as mentioned above; (ii) commence studies in the following entities: Jamaica Promotions Organization (JAMPRO), JAMPRESS, Jamaica Customs, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and Works Division in the Ministry of Transport and Works; and (iii) strengthening the Ministry of Finance procurement policy implementation unit (Government of Jamaica 1998, 1600B-16).


4.4. Civil Service Management, Political Supervision and Public Accountability


In order to promote efficiency and effectiveness within the Civil Service, the latter needs to adopt at least the following three management practices from the private sector: (i) best methods in recruitment, reward and promotion systems whereby initiative and participation are encouraged; (ii) open and participatory performance appraisal systems; and (iii) strategic personnel management, whereby critical tasks are linked to well trained personnel rersources (Rahman 1998, 22).


Moreover, to ensure effective performance of the Civil Service, there must be appropriate political supervision and adequate public accountability. As Civil Servants are urged by politicians to be more customer-friendly and performance oriented in their service delivery, they should be protected against interference from various power groups. This, in turn, requires identifying clear points of contact for political and administrative processes (Rahman 1998, 22-23).


The concept of Executive Agencies, borrowed from Britain and currently being adapted in Jamaica, seems to satisfy most of the above requirements. The primary aim of Executive Agencies is to reduce central controls and to delegate authority to managers in central Civil Service departments. This enables them to take decisions in the interest of their organizations with a focus on results, demonstrated in the provision of high quality goods and services. Critical to sustaining this system is the availability and efficient use of resources (human, financial and material), and holding the management accountable to their respective Ministers who, in turn, are responsible to the Cabinet (Government of Jamaica 1995, 1).


The setting of measurable performance targets by respective agencies, in consultation with their Ministers, becomes the standard operational practice as a basis for measuring organizational performance. Since the managers have control over both human and financial management, as in the private sector, they are able to employ and retain staff with the skills and knowledge critical to their organization’s operations (Government of Jamaica 1995, 1).


Savings generated from efficient use of resources and from retrenchment of staff, become available to provide incentive bonuses to staff who excel in attaining targets and to enhance working environments and other benefits. Inherent in this system, as well, are clearly stated sanctions for failure to perform efficiently and effectively (Government of Jamaica 1995, 2).


This section reviewed reforms that were aimed at improving the performance of the Jamaican Civil Service. Reforms were mainly aimed at improving the government’s policy capabilities, its financial and human resources management, revenue collection, and service delivery functions. The government’s policy capabilities were strengthened through the establishment of a Cabinet Secretariat composed of a core of professional public officers who provide policy advice to the Cabinet. The government fortified its financial and programme management skills through extensive training and retraining across levels such as managerial, customer service and personnel departments. This was reinforced by computerized financial and human resources management systems and networks that linked departments to increase the efficiency of agencies such as the Accountant General’s Department.



The efficiency and effectiveness of government’s revenue collection system was also strengthened via the TAXARP. It broadened the income tax net, tightened tax evasion loopholes and encouraged voluntary compliance. TAXARP sought to improve efficiency and effectiveness by restructuring the administration along functional lines and computerization of some functions. To improve service delivery by the tax department, TAXARP improved its human resources management functions, provided incentives for staff, improved their working conditions and provided training and re-training as well as career opportunities to attract persons to the tax administration field. Government’s service delivery functions were also enhanced through the adoption of a Citizen’s Charter, which circumscribes standards for service delivery to the public.


The present PSMP is an extension of previous reform efforts and, like its counterparts, aims at creating a public service that is effective, efficient, accountable and which provides high quality service. It differs from previous reforms, however, because it seeks to convert selected government agencies into decentralized and autonomous, but accountable and transparent, ‘Executive Agencies’ which will operate according to private sector principles.


Given the fact that the ‘Executive Agency’ approach to Civil Service reform requires ample technical and human resource skills, both of which are scarce in Developing Countries, it is vital that the Jamaican Government seriously assesses and plans how to acquire these requisites before completely embracing the approach. Moreover, the government should develop a policy to pre-empt potential tensions that are likely to develop between highly ranked Civil Servants in central Ministries and heads of large Executive Agencies, where the latter are more likely to be paid more than the former.





Process oriented issues relate to designing, implementing and securing commitment and support from relevant groups and the leadership for civil service reforms. A strong participatory approach, led by a political leadership committed to reform, underscores the above process-oriented issues (Rahman 1998, 23).


    1. Designing Civil Service Reforms


      A clear vision and well-articulated goals, objectives and strategies are vital elements in

      designing Civil Service reform programmes. Other vital considerations include: (i) adequate diagnosis of problems through an open and participatory approach involving relevant stakeholders, and paying attention to relevant issues such as accountability, transparency, the rule of law and corruption; (ii) careful selection of the reform focus, paying attention to potential support and opposition from among leaders and groups affected by, or benefiting from, the reform; (iii) sufficient flexibility to allow for programme components to be adapted and changed in response to evolving circumstances; and (iv) limited donor involvement in devising reform strategies in order to allow for both ownership and commitment of national leadership for the reform programme (Rahman 1998, 23-24).


      The Jamaican Administrative Reform Programme (ARP), discussed earlier in this report, clearly demonstrates that failure to observe the above considerations leads to disappointing results for a reform effort. According to the World Bank’s Project Completion Report in relation to ARP, "the project outcome is rated as unsatisfactory while institutional development and sustainability are rated as negligible and unlikely, respectively" (World Bank 1995). The report provides sources for much of the ARP failure including (i) "much of the reform initiative focused on the longer term at the expense of short term results" (World Bank 1995, vi), which is a demonstration of lack of a clear vision and articulation of all objectives; (ii) "consultants under the project often worked separately, rather than as a team, and often in the absence of counterparts from within Government, [so] once consultancies terminated, reform efforts waned" (World Bank 1995, v); (iii) "the lack of continued commitment (by Government and the World Bank) to the longer term doomed some reasonably successful efforts" (World Bank 1995, v); and (iv) "very little equipment was budgeted for this project ($100,000), yet the project called for the development of large scale management information systems" (World Bank 1995, vi), which demonstrates lack of flexibility and vision on the part of the reform design.


      Part two, of the same World Bank report, was written by the Government of Jamaica. This part of the report also provides reasons for the failure for ARP, some of which are similar to those identified by the Bank. In reference to consultants, the government report conceded that:


      The absence of a suitably articulated master plan for this phase

      virtually permitted consultants to assume too much of the leadership

      role and left very little for independent monitoring activities. In some

      cases, consultants attempted to dictate the conduct of work and in

      many instances the agencies or persons concerned were unprepared for

      them. They were not provided with full-time counterparts to carry on in

      their absence, thus impeding continuity of effort and skills transfer

      (World Bank 1995, 30-31).


      The above quotation demonstrates lack of clear vision and a lot of donor involvement, leading to lack of ownership and commitment to the ARP by the Jamaican leadership.


      Moreover, the government report admits that, "the targets set for the project were clearly

      too ambitious" and were not prepared "in collaboration with Ministry personnel expected to lead key areas" (World Bank 1995, 31). This implies a lack of diagnosis of reform design involving all stakeholders as well as lack of reform focus.




    2. Developing Support and Systems for Effective Implementation


      Effective implementation of a reform programme requires the following: (i) securing

      support for it from a variety of relevant groups through a participatory approach, whereby its implications in terms of its sacrifices to be made by individuals and groups are fully discussed; (ii) proper sequencing and time frame for different phases of programme implementation; (iii) placing officials who strongly support the programme in key administrative and managerial positions; and (iv) arranging for provision of skilled personnel needed at various stages of the implementation process (Rahman 1998, 24).


      While the ARP in Jamaica was not effectively implemented because it was poorly designed, as indicated in the last section, the Public Sector Modernization Project (PSMP) has put some of the above implementation elements in its design. According to the operations manual for the PSMP (Government of Jamaica 1996) the project was developed through a consultative process of workshops conducted with a variety of potential stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders included targeted ministries and agencies, the Jamaica Civil Service Association, funding agencies, consultants and selected members of the public.


      As well, Annex 6 of the PSMP’s terms of reference is a detailed project implementation schedule indicating the time frame for different phases of the project implementation and the officials involved at each phase of the implementation process.



    3. Ensuring High Level Monitoring and Coordination


      To be effective, the monitoring and coordination functions of Civil Service reforms should

      be conducted at such a high level in government hierarchy that they attain sufficient respect and clout in the system. Monitoring and coordination functions entail (i) timely and accurate reporting on the implementation of guidelines and directives; (ii) identification of non-compliance and taking corrective measures; (iii) looking for unanticipated adverse consequences of the programme, for which immediate actions may be needed in order to sustain reform benefits (Rahman 1998, 24-25).


      The PSMP in Jamaica is a good example of a reform programme that is being monitored and coordinated at the highest level of government. The policy direction of the project is provided by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Administrative Reform (IMCAR), which is chaired by the Prime Minister and with membership drawn from senior ministers and Permanent Secretaries. Technical guidance is provided by the Project management Committee (PMC), chaired by the Cabinet Secretary (Office of the Prime Minister), who is also the Head of the Civil Service and Chairman of the Permanent Secretaries’ Board. The PMC consists of representatives from government and private sector bodies, who are appointed by the Cabinet Secretary. The Project management Unit (PMU), is headed by a Project Director who reports to the Cabinet Secretary. The PMU is responsible for the administration and daily management of the project (Government of Jamaica 1996, 1).


    4. Maintaining Sustained Leadership and Commitment


The most vital factor for the success of any Civil Service reform is broad-based,

sustained political and administrative support. Broad-based implies that support to reform objectives and processes is required from political leaders, administrative elites, as well as rank and file within the civil service. Moreover, such support needs to be genuine, not lip service, and to be provided on a continuous basis, at the same time that alienation of opposition groups should be avoided as much as possible (Rahman 1998, 25).


Jamaica represents a classic case of a regular alternation in office of the two major political parties (the PNP and the JLP). However, every change of government implies, in most of the cases, that reforms initiated by the previous regime are either weakly supported, at best, or completely discontinued, at worst. The stiff competition between the two political parties enhances a high level of alienation of each other as they alternate in running the political business of the country.


Moreover, support for government reforms by civil servants is generally weak in Jamaica. Part of the explanation for this has been supplied by Kate Jenkins, as follows:


What appears to be at the root of much of the problem is the

clash between government policies and the traditional processes

of the Civil Service, and the fear of the Civil Service that the

changes are political and short term rather than long term

(Jenkins 1994, 8).


Jenkins’ recommendation is that commitment, at the highest level (including the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and Permanent Secretaries), to changing the old rules and pushing delegation of decision making to the agency level is critical to reform efforts in Jamaica (Jenkins 1994, 19).


In summary, previous Civil Service reform programmes in Jamaica have proven to be largely ineffective in achieving their objectives. Some of the reasons cited by the World Bank (1995) for this outcome include a lack of vision and poor articulation of objectives, the absence of teamwork between consultants and locals, and the lack of long term political commitment to the reform process. These issues affected both the effectiveness and the sustainability of reforms over the years. The new PSMP is attempting to rectify this by observing the processes associated with successful Civil Service reform.


Some of the processes that are now being observed by the PSMP, to ensure that reforms actually achieve their objectives, include the development of systems and support from stakeholders to effectively implement reform programmes, monitoring and coordination, and sustaining political and administrative leadership and commitment to the reform process.






The best hope for Civil Service reforms at global level lies in building partnerships, within

individual countries, between and among different sectors of society, including (i) partnership between politicians and civil servants; (ii) partnership between the public and private sectors; (iii) partnerships among politicians, civil servants, the media, academia and civil society; and (iv) partnerships between the international community and the host country (Rahman 1998, 25-26).


    1. Partnership between Politicians and Civil Servants.


Successful civil service reforms occur mostly in those countries exhibiting a greater degree

of cooperation between Civil Servants and political leaders. The building blocs for such a vital cooperation include (i) genuine understanding of each other’s role; (ii) mutual support and cooperation when performing their respective roles; and (iii) respect and confidence building between each other as they work together for common national goals (Rahman 1998, 26-27).


From 1962 when Jamaica attained political independence until the 1970’s, the primary support and source of policy advice for Ministers were Civil Servants, especially Permanent Secretaries who occupied a central position within the Jamaican political and administrative establishment (Mills 1997, 7). However, since the middle of the 1970’s when the Democratic Socialist ideology was established by Michael Manley’s People’s National Party, the monopolistic role of the Civil Service as policy adviser ended as extra bureaucratic policy advisory institutions and individuals emerged.


Unlike the ‘neutral’ Civil Servants, the ‘special advisers’, as they are called, bring with them strong political commitment to, and support for, the governing party’s policy goals. But this comes with a price. According to Mills (1997, 19-20),


apart from being a source of anxiety for Civil Servants, the

pervading presence of special advisers during the Manley regime

of the seventies provided a platform for conflict with the executive

authority and responsibility of Permanent Secretaries. In cases

where such advisers were accorded the role of omniscient experts

or assumed an extension of the aura of authority vicariously provided

by proximity to the primary source of power, conflict arose in their

relationship not only with senior Civil Servants but even with the Ministers.


The concept of special advisers, which still exists in Jamaica today, has led to the decline in the influence of the higher Civil Service system in Jamaica, and with it the decline in partnership between politicians and Civil Servants.


In order to keep professional standards high within the Civil Service, political appointments into the Service should be avoided as much as possible. Politicized rather than professionalized Civil Service not only enhances patronage and corruption, but also ensures lack of continuity when Government changes from one political party to another.


6.2. Private and Public Sector Cooperation


Approaches utilized in private management have recently been looked upon as a

motivating factor for Civil Service reforms in developing countries. The main elements include

efficiency, flexibility, entrepreneurial dynamism, open to criticisms and rewarding innovation and improved performance (Rahman 1998, 27). Thus, cooperation between the private and public sectors would allow for the easy transfer of these vital operational elements from the former to the latter.


The formal partnership between the private and public sectors in Jamaica was established in 1972, by the newly elected PNP government, through the creation of the Sectoral Consultative Committees, comprising of the relevant Minister as chairperson, Central Planning and sectoral agency officials and appropriate private representatives (Jones and Mills 1990, 301). Sectoral Committees, which have become part of the expanded national planning machinery, aim at promoting the regular participation of the private sector in planning national development for Jamaica.


More recently, an Informal Economic Advisory Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, and is comprised of representatives from government, industry, commerce and the university. The purpose of this committee is to allow for a two-way flow of ideas on major national economic and social issues.


Whatever the state of the partnership between the private and public sectors, what is clear is that politicians in Jamaica, especially in their appeal for improvements in service delivery systems, have switched to the vocabulary commonly utilized in the private sector. This is reflected in the Citizen’s Charter (launched by the Prime Minister in December 1994) and in documents relating to the establishment of Executive Agencies, as part of the Public Sector Modernization Project.







6.3. Greater Understanding and Transparency among Politicians, Civil Servants,

Academia, the Media and Civil Society.


The actions of politicians and Civil Servants, through their formulation and implementation of government policies, including reforms, affect every sector of society either directly or indirectly. At the same time, organized groups in society, including academia, the media and NGO’s contribute significantly to the reform process by either putting pressure on government to initiate specific reforms or by providing relevant advice to enhance reform implementation. Hence, greater understanding and transparency in the interactions among the above key segments in society create appropriate conditions for meaningful Civil Service reforms (Rahman 1998, 27-28).


One of the many recommendations provided by the Nettleford Report (1992, 6) was that


the government should conceive of itself as a hub of a network

of social partners engaged in a process of continuing interaction

for the purpose of policy formulation and implementation. The

government could function as a strategic broker in trying to reconcile

divergent interests among the partners and to facilitate their effective

discharge of their respective responsibilities.


One well-known policy initiative that has brought together all the key players in the Jamaican society is the Low Income Settlement Policy Design and Development Project, which is coordinated by the Programme for Resettlement and Integrated Development Enterprise (PRIDE). The membership of PRIDE is selected from all sectors of society (Government, University, the Private Sector, NGOs and the Media). They meet under the chair of the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister on land policy and physical development, once every month. The programme, formed in 1994, relies on community participation to facilitate viable settlements for low-income households. The major objectives of the programme include (i) the resolution of the shelter needs of low income Jamaicans through the establishment of new, planned settlements and the upgrading of existing ones; (ii) improvement of environmental and public health conditions in settlements throughout the country; (iii) mobilization of resources in the present informal sector towards their own improvement, employment creation and national development; and (iv) the distribution of State lands, as a catalyst in this process (Mohammed 1994, 5).


6.4. Partnership Between the International Community and the Host Country.


Most reforms in developing countries are donor driven. In an effort to ensure that their

financial contributions for reform are not squandered by the recipient country, donors often get deeply involved in reform activities by defining the need, focus, scope and content of the reform package. But such involvement undercuts the ownership of the reform by the recipient country, which, in turn, reduces the level of commitment by local leadership to the reform effort. Hence, partnership between the international community and the host country requires more careful consideration to ensure local ownership of the reform initiatives and the determination of the nature and extent of donor involvement (Rahman 1998, 28).


As indicated earlier in this report, part of the failure of the ARP in Jamaica was as a result of the reform being dominated by foreign consultants, mainly brought in by the World Bank which was the main funding agency of the project. Such a dominance undermined local ownership of much of the reform initiatives, and when the foreign consultants departed, reform efforts also ceased. According to the World Bank’s Project Completion Report (1995, 13-14)


the closing of the loan brought to a close also the contract to

the consultant in charge of the effort who was working for the

Accountant General’s Office on a full time basis. With his departure,

no sufficient competent personnel was left in place to maintain the debt

management system and to date, while the system is still in use and

reports are generated for public policy consumption, the data have

ceased to be reliable. Furthermore, most of the equipment is left unutilized.


Clearly, the above example demonstrates the extent to which lack of the local ownership of reform initiatives is detrimental to the entire reform effort.


In brief, section 6 examined the importance of building partnerships with various stakeholders, in order to successfully reform the Civil Service in Jamaica. These stakeholders include politicians, Civil Servants, the public and private sector, the media, academia, civil society, and the international and host communities. Partnerships among these stakeholders are important because the actions of one group affect the others. Changes in the administrative arm of government will impact on the wider society and vice versa. The most successful recent example of this collaborative approach is the PRIDE programme, which provides low-income housing. PRIDE’s membership is drawn from all sectors of the society and has, to date, shown signs of being a success. One form of collaboration that needs to be re-examined, however, is that between the international community and host countries. Too much involvement of donors in Civil Service reform can undermine the process. This was evident in the case of Jamaica where certain reform initiatives failed because they were dominated by foreign consultants brought in by the donor agency.


As recommended by the Special Programme for Africa (SPA), donors should avoid getting deeply involved in devising reform strategies since such involvement undermines local ownership of, and commitment to, the reform effort. Instead, recipients should be the ones to devise reform programmes, that can be successfully implemented, with limited technical help from donors where necessary (SPA 1995, 3). Where local consultants and experts are available, they should be recruited instead of foreigners in order to facilitate local ownership of reforms.




Civil service reform is a deliberate change effort by government to improve its capacity to effectively and efficiently execute policies. The Structural Adjustment programme of the 1980’s, was the main driving force behind Civil Service reforms in Jamaica and sought to stem economic decline and put the country on the road to financial recovery, growth and development. As the administrative arm of Government, the Civil Service was central to the process of development since it had to create the necessary enabling environment. However, the Jamaican Civil Service, like its counterparts in other developing countries, was ill prepared for this role. It was plagued by inefficiency and ineffectiveness and represented a drain on the already financially strapped economy. Its rigidity limited its adaptability to the dynamic environment in which it was now expected to function because it still operated according to the rules and procedures of colonial times. In addition, low salaries, low morale and lack of prestige were the hallmarks of Civil Service employment. These features all combined to negatively affect Jamaica’s ability to develop in a sustainable manner, and forced the government to embark on reforming its administrative arm.


Overall, Civil Service Reform has aimed at improving the performance of government agencies by enhancing their capability to manage their human resources, their programmes and their finances, by restructuring their line agencies, and by developing their human resources. Among its successes in the area of human resource management are the establishment of a personnel database and decentralization of some key personnel functions. Human resource development was characterized by the introduction of an open evaluation system, reclassification of senior management positions, pay adjustments, improved working conditions and considerable training and retraining of staff. Programme management has been enhanced by the adoption of strategic planning methodologies and improved reporting systems. In terms of financial management reform, a programme based budgeting system was introduced, financial functions were computerized, cash and debt management was improved and the country’s financial regulations and procedures have, to some extent, been modernized. Achievements in line agency restructuring include the establishment of mechanisms whereby these agencies can improve their performance and achieve their mission. One such mechanism has been the introduction of the citizen’s charter.


These reforms have, however, been limited in their achievements because of inadequacies and shortsightedness in their design and implementation, which negated their effectiveness and sustainability. Attempts to improve the image of the Service and to boost the morale of its staff have been inadequate since the managerial, technical and professional staff benefited to a greater extent than those in the lower ranks. The latter are still disgruntled. Those at the lower end of the scale are the ones responsible for policy implementation. Dissatisfaction negatively impacts upon performance and, in turn, has serious implications for the creation of an enabling environment if policy implementation deviates considerably from design. The benefits from early reforms were reduced since many Civil Servants did not participate in their planning and implementation owing to the heavy reliance on foreign consultants. This situation was further aggravated by the lack of support from Civil Servants themselves.


These failures have led to a continued reform effort under the PSMP, which is trying to avoid past pitfalls by anticipating problems in its own reform strategies and incorporating measures to deal with them. In recognition of its own capacity and capability, the PSMP is not, initially, aiming to modernize the entire Civil Service but only high priority entities. Current reforms are geared toward converting government departments into autonomous but accountable executive agencies, expanding and enhancing existing financial and human resources management information systems, and training employees on a demand-led basis.


With globalization, Jamaica has to achieve and sustain economic and competitive success. National competitiveness is dependent upon an effective and efficient Civil Service that can create an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth and social development. The success of Civil Service reform will determine the extent to which the Jamaican government will be able to achieve that goal. The PSMP is actively working towards creating an efficient and effective Civil Service and recognizes that stakeholder participation is central to the process. Active participation is the only way to ensure ownership and success of Civil Service reforms. To this end, the PSMP is ensuring that current reforms are participatory and encourage support and commitment from both the political and administrative directorates. Past reforms have helped to alter the traditional role of the Civil Service. They have not been entirely successful but reform of any institution takes time since attitudes and values cannot be changed overnight. The onus is on the present modernization programme to ensure that the Civil Service performs its new role in as efficient, effective and economical a manner as possible to put Jamaica on the road to economic and social recovery.



















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APPENDIX 1: The Government of Jamaica










































1998-99 Jamaica Recurrent Budget (in Ja$)

Summary of Expenditure Estimates by Ministries and Departments ($’000)







% of Total


1. His Excellency the Governor General & Staff






2. Houses of Parliament






3. Office of Parliamentary Ombudsman






4. Office of the Contractor General






5. Auditor General






6. Office of the Services Commission






7. Office of the Prime Minister and Department






8. Office of the Cabinet






9. Office of the Prime Minister (Tourism)






10. Ministry of Finance & Planning and Departments






11. Ministry of National Security & Justice and Departments






12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade






13. Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Sport






14. Ministry of Education & Culture (formerly Education, Youth &







15. Ministry of Health and Departments






16. Ministry of Agriculture (formerly Agriculture & Mining)






17. Ministry of Industry & Investment






18. Ministry of Commerce & Technology & Departments






19. Ministry of Mining and Energy






20. Ministry of Water






21. Ministry of Environment & Housing & Departments






22. Ministry of Transport & Works






23. Ministry of Local Government, Youth & Community







Gross Total Recurrent



(@ 36.5)




Source: Government of Jamaica (Ministry of Finance and Planning), Jamaica Estimates Expenditure for the Year Ending March 31, 1999, as presented to the House of Representatives, April 2, 1998. Percentages calculated by author.







Comparative Pay Data for Selected Positions, April 1995 (J$)




Central Govt. Salary At Mid-point



Market Comparator at mid-point



Central Govt. Salary as % of Market Comparator


Job Titles -

Public Sector/Market


Senior Executive Group



Seg IV


Seg I





























Permanent Secretary/CEO

Division Head/Vice President

Senior. Manager/Asst. VP



Program Mgmt. & Admin. Group





























Sr. Administrator/Manager



Jr. Professional/Management



Financial Admin & Accts Group


Level 2


Level 1






















Chief Accountant/Financial





Applied Sciences Group

















Chief Engineer/Chief



Natural, Physical & Social Sciences Group





















Sr. Professional/Quality

Assurance Manager


Technical Group













Sr. Professional/Technical

Services Manager

Note: SEG, PMA, ASG etc. are nomenclatures for different grades in each Group

Source: World Bank (July 1996), Staff Appraisal Report: Jamaica Public Sector Modernization Project,