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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Principal director of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation (PSTM) Programme, Office of the Cabinet, Wayne Robertson says the recently launched Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) will help Jamaica to improve its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business report index.

The island is ranked at 75 among 190 economies, according to the 2018 Doing Business report.

Robertson said the PSTM programme at its core focuses on improving efficiencies within the public sector, in terms of operational activities.

“We want to make processes simple, so we carried out business process re-engineering and worked with the ministries, departments and agencies to build capacities generally, training workers — looking at their operations, and making recommendations,” he explained.

“We cannot frustrate the persons who do business with the Government; we must make it easier to do business. We have to look at the data and ensure that we are listening to our clients, because we also have feedback mechanisms that guide us accordingly,” he said.

Robertson noted that information and communications technology (ICT), which is another PSTM objective, has been critical to all of the project’s operations, including eBRF.

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PHOTO: Cleaning the coast

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PHOTO: Cleaning the coast

Monday, September 23, 2019

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Allan Lewis (third right), managing director, JN Fund Managers, gets support from Stacey-Ann Mighty Whyte (left), Patrick Whyte, and Javine Heath from Allman Town Primary School in collecting recyclable plastics along the Palisados strip in Kingston on International Coastal Clean-up Day last Saturday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)


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Crown, prosecution again haggle over document disclosure

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Crown, prosecution again haggle over document disclosure

BY JONATHAN MORRISON
Observer writer

Monday, September 23, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Despite consensus at last Thursday’s hearing in Porus on the management of the large volume of documents related to the Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud trial, Friday’s sitting of the parish court in Mandeville was again marked by lengthy wrangling over document disclosure.

There was much back and forth between the team of attorneys, representing the eight defendants, and the two Crown counsel marshalling the evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

Parish Court Judge Ann Marie Grainger, in seeking to resolve the issue, referred to a ruling she made at a previous sitting that at no time should the prosecution bring into evidence any document or other exhibit that had not been shared beforehand with the defence.

At the Porus courthouse last Thursday, defence attorney Danielle Archer had suggested that in the interest of time and efficiency documents of like nature could be bundled and presented at once for identification and verification by witnesses, as opposed to handing each, one at a time, to the witness.

At the time Judge Grainger had thanked the defence for their co-operation in offering a suggestion that would speed up the prosecution’s examination of witnesses.

However, in Mandeville on Friday the Crown’s examination of two prosecution witnesses was repeatedly halted by objections from the defence. The objections were based on the issue of documents and, in one instance, a compact disc that the defence team either had not received or felt had not come to hand in a timely manner, but which the Crown was relying on as evidence.

In the end it was not clear whether the prosecution’s examination of the witnesses had been discontinued on account of the objections or if the Crown counsel had completed their examination.

The eight accused individuals are on trial for the alleged misappropriation of more than $400 million of public funds from the corporation. They are all facing charges including forgery, conspiracy to defraud and obtaining money under false pretence.

The trial resumes today at the Mandeville courthouse.

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Gov’t Electrical Regulator to begin operations soon

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Gov’t Electrical Regulator to begin operations soon

Monday, September 23, 2019

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The Government Electrical Regulator (GER) is to be operationalised soon to speed up the process for the delivery of electricity, according to Science, Energy and Technology Minister Fayval Williams.

“We are changing the structure of how consumers access the inspectors to inspect their buildings and connect to Jamaica Public Service [JPS],” she said. “It is an effort that will be privatised so that we will have many more inspectors to meet the demand in the sector.”

Williams was addressing the Engineers’ Week conference at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston last Tuesday.

GER, which is expected to transform the Government Electrical Inspectorate will be responsible for the regulation of the electrical inspection process; the licensing of electricians and electrical inspectors, who make recommendations for renewal and revocation; and monitoring of work done by the inspectors.

Williams also said that “considerable work” is being done by the Government to incorporate more renewables, in order to strengthen the country’s energy security.

Additionally, Williams said that the ministry is redoubling its efforts to ensure that legislation pertaining to net billing, auxiliary connections, and power wheeling are tabled in Parliament.

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