BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday recommitted his newly installed Government to a policy of efficiency and frugality in public administration following the swearing in of his 18-member Cabinet and warned them that corruption will not be tolerated.
Speaking shortly after Governor General Sir Patrick Allen had sworn in the new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) executive, Holness reminded the packed ballroom at King’s House that his Government’s focus, direction and priority are to “grow the economy, create jobs, and reduce public debt to sustainable levels”.
|Prime Minister Andrew Holness (front row centre) and members|
of his Cabinet after they were sworn in yesterday at King’s House.
He boasted that by appointing a Cabinet below the provocating figure of 20, despite the many challenges it is faced with, was as a signal of the frugality he hopes to maintain.
He said that the size of the Cabinet, and the tasks assigned the members, was tangible evidence that the JLP was not only interested in changing Government, but also changing how Government works.
“This is the first signal, indeed test, that we intend to be efficient and frugal in Government,” he stated.
Holness formed a trio from the old guard – Daryl Vaz, Derrick Smith, and Dr Horace Chang – as ministers without portfolio to work with him, under the umbrella of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). The newly created Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, which he announced during his election campaign, will tackle the two areas he had found most wanting in the previous Government – lack of growth and jobs.
The four ministers, the Jamaica Observer was told, will work “to replace the red tape with a red carpet” in encouraging new investments, as well as deal with perennial issues affecting infrastructural works, water and housing.
Holness also created a super Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture, with veteran MP Karl Samuda at the helm, supported by former agriculture spokesman JC Hutchinson as minister without portfolio.
Another super ministry is that of Finance and Planning which, as expected, will be led by Audley Shaw, who served as finance minister from 2007 to 2011 when the JLP formed the Government. He will be supported by two junior ministers – MPs Fayval Williams and Rudyard Spencer – who are expected to focus on fiscal policy and the public service, respectively. more