The Cabinet is supported by Committees which have three main benefits:

  • They relieve the workload of the Cabinet itself by settling as much business as possible at other levels, by clarifying the issues and defining the points of disagreement if there is no consensus;
  • They enhance the principle of collective responsibility by ensuring that the decision will be fully considered and the final judgement will be sufficiently authoritative to ensure that the Government as a whole can be properly expected to accept responsibility for it; and
  • They serve to enhance the quality of decisions through “specialization” with the involvement of Ministers of State, Parliamentary Secretaries, Permanent Secretaries/Heads of Agencies and senior technical of Ministries, departments and agencies.

Decisions of Committee meetings are subsequently approved by Cabinet. If there are unresolved issues or significant differences between ministers, they would not be referred to the Cabinet until other means of resolving them have been exhausted.

Ad Hoc Committees

From time to time, business may also be carried forward through Committees, set up to carry out a particular task, or through ad hoc meetings where a meeting of a full committee would not be justified.

List of Cabinet Committees and Terms of Reference

The Economic Growth and Job Creation Committee is established to:

  1.  consider major economic policy and strategic issues;
  2. review the Government’s Medium-Term Economic Programme;
  3. oversee the implementation of the Government’s Growth and Job Creation Agenda, including
    establishing a framework for co-operation among Ministries, Departments and Agencies to
    expedite implementation of major strategic development projects, and developing mechanisms
    to clear bottlenecks that may arise throughout the implementation process;
  4. make recommendations to the Cabinet regarding assets to be considered or being considered
    for privatization or for Public Private Partnerships; and
  5. oversee the restructuring of the Public Sector in order to improve its efficiency and
    effectiveness, including identifying areas of priority and agreeing on the recommendations for
    all major changes to be implemented within the public sector.

The Infrastructure Committee is established to:

  1. recommend contracts for approval by Cabinet;
  2. ensure compliance of proposed infrastructure related contracts submitted for Cabinet’s approval
    with the existing policy framework; and
  3. make recommendations to Cabinet for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of thecontracts
    award system.

The Human Resources Committee is established to advance human and social development in Jamaica
through the:

  1. promotion and development of coordinated policies and programmes geared at improvements in
    health care, education and training, and in the living and working conditions of Jamaicans;
  2. establishment of policies and programmes to promote the development of youth and other
    vulnerable persons and groups in the Jamaican society, with a view to enhancing their participation
    in social, cultural, political and economic activities;
  3. promotion and development of programmes supportive of the establishment and maintenance of
    a healthy human environment, family life and supportive community organizations; and
  4. transformation of the Education Sector. thecontracts
    award system.

The functions of the International Relations and Trade Committee are to:

  1. review Cabinet Submissions which have implications for foreign policy and make recommendations
    for Cabinet approval;
  2. receive and review reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Jamaica’s
    adherence to obligations as a signatory to international treaties, agreements and protocols;
  3. review recommendations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with regard to any
    change(s) in obligations, including continuation of existing membership, as well as consideration of
    new membership; and
  4. review recommendations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade regarding
    negotiations being conducted in the international fora, in order to ensure that negotiating positions
    benefit from the input of resource personnel interested in and knowledgeable about the subject

The Legislation Committee is established to:

  1. decide on the Legislation Programme for the Legislative Year (which is concurrent with the Financial
    Year). In collaboration with the relevant Ministries, the Committee is to decide on the priority issues
    through a process of negotiation. Where there are competing priorities on the Legislation Programme
    consideration is to be given to the level of preparedness of the Bill and the desired timing for
    submission and approval;
  2. in special cases, as decided by Cabinet, consider recommendations for the settling of drafting
  3. examine draft Bills and other proposed legislation and recommend changes whether (i) related to the
    actual subject matter; or (ii) those which, though not authorized by Cabinet, are regarded as important
    to be suggested for its consideration. Where deemed necessary, Submissions requiring further
    clarification and additional information, should be referred to the sponsoring Ministry; and
  4. recommend to Cabinet, for its approval and subsequent tabling in the Houses of Parliament, Bills and
    other proposed legislation.

The Public Order Committee is established to:

  1. provide direction, coordination, integration and monitoring of policies in the areas of security, law
    enforcement and public order, in keeping with the National Security Policy;
  2. influence the reinforcement of positive values and attitudes and civility in personal interactions as
    a basis for non-violent conflict resolution; and
  3. promote strategies, including a combination of public education and rigorous enforcement to
    restore order in public spaces.

The National Security Council shall be responsible, inter-alia, for:

  1. Approval of Civil/Military Operations;
  2. Responding to crisis situations;
  3. Appointing and directing an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Crime and Security to oversee more
    operational security matters. This Committee will report through the Minister of National Security
    who is delegated by the Prime Minister to Chair the Committee;
  4. Engaging in meaningful discussions about current and perceived future threats to national security
    and provide ways to mitigate against these threats;
  5. Co-ordinating tasks related to the establishment and functioning of national security forces, the
    law enforcement agencies as well as other transitional security arrangements;
  6. Providing expertise in the planning, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of national
    security issues with a view to ensuring a transparent, legal, and professional security sector under
    the Rule of Law; and
  7. Undertaking any other activities related to the improvement of security

The National Security Council (NSC) for Jamaica was first established in 1976 as a Sub- Committee
of Cabinet to oversee all aspects of Jamaica’s security. It is the Prime Minister’s principal forum for
considering national security foreign matters with senior national security advisors and Cabinet
officials; and serves as the Prime Minister’s principal arm for coordinating policies among various
government agencies. The NSC is responsible for the implementation of the National Security Policy.