Government-wide Space Rationalisation

Confirmation of stakeholder agreement to the Public Sector Master Rationalization Plan (May 2011) recommendation for the adoption of government-wide space rationalization of private sector rented office space was undertaken as part of the overall discussions lead by the PSTU through interaction with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries as part of the ratification of ministry specific recommendations and dialogue regarding general areas of cost savings.

The recommendation was founded on the fact that one of the major cost components facing the GoJ is the current rental of private sector owned space. The 2010 analysis indicated that approximately J$1.5b was being spent in this regard. The issue is further compounded as currently under most of the lease agreements the government is not only paying the “basic” rental amount and maintenance costs there are in some instances lease agreement that stipulate increases based on the US$ exchange rates plus a % of the base price. All stakeholders agreed that the continuation of this practise was not cost beneficial to the government as a whole and they fully endorsed the implementation of a space rationalization initiative through the MRP. The recommendation was equally supported by the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) during its public deliberations (October 2010) of the proposed MRP recommendations.

The topic of space rationalization was predicated on the premise that:

1.      Where possible, GOJ offices at the parish level should be consolidated at a central location, in order to support the principle of improving the ease of doing business with government akin with the “one stop shop” concept (i.e. clients would no longer have to travel to various locations to complete their transactions with government, but rather go to one location which houses many government services which are suitably interconnected by way of appropriate ICT infrastructure).

2.      Every effort would be made to maximise the use of Government buildings for the occupation by Government entities rather than the continued rental of privately owned space.

3.      Funding for the renovation and maintenance of Government buildings would come from the reduced private sector rental costs – negotiations with MoFP required to agree on the facility for “seed funding”

The introduction of a centralized property management function through a specified entity will enable the government to pool resources to adequately address the renovation and maintenance of government property to modern urbanomic standards and enable single negotiations to take place with the private sector where government must continue to rent privately owned space thus reducing the current differential charges being experienced.