Jamaica government considering performance-based pay for ministers

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government is considering performance-based pay for ministers as part of measures to transform the public sector.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the disclosure while addressing the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s general staff meeting last Thursday, when he commended the country’s permanent secretaries for agreeing to a performance-based pay system, which they did last December.

“We recognize that we have to have a mass implementation of performance-based systems in order to get the public sector to move much quicker in achieving the objectives of policy, and we intend to start this by introducing performance-based pay for permanent secretaries. We are contemplating how we do this for ministers as well,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that implementation of the system across the public service will be undertaken gradually, so that persons can see that it is working and buy into the concept.

He noted that the system has to be well planned and structured, noting that job descriptions will have to be formulated for workers whose duties, roles and responsibilities are not officially outlined.

“All these things are in train; they will happen. If we want to achieve growth Government has to make some serious decisions,” Holness noted.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said that part of enhancing efficiency is putting underutilized State assets into the hands of the private sector, while the Government focuses on its role to set policy, regulate, oversee, facilitate and empower.

“To get growth, we must have full utilisation of assets, and what has been demonstrated time and time again is that governments are not best at the full utilisation of the assets. Countries that have done well have managed to divest much of their State-run agencies,” he pointed out.


“So in the redistribution [of State assets] that is taking place, things that the private sector can do better we are going to give it to the private sector to run, but we are going to improve our capacity to regulate.”