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Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of August 21, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Jamaicans get active in starting new businesses
The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is projecting another record-breaking year for the registration of business names and companies.
Registrar of Companies and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shellie Leon shared that 9,943 new business names and 3,277 companies have been added to the register since the start of the year.
She said that although the month of August is expected to be a slow period for registration, the figures are on track to surpass the 17,039 business names and 4,878 new companies recorded last year.
“In regard to businesses, we do have peaks in terms of our registration period, and we find, in general, that more people seem to possess an entrepreneurial spirit, and as you have more opportunity to do e-commerce, the business models have expanded, so you have wider types of interests in different businesses,” said Ms. Leon.
RGD expands digital services to public
The rollout of three new online products is expected to enhance the customer service experience at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) as the entity continues its digitization process.
There is now an online application facility for adoption certificates, a real-time search engine for entry numbers and an online wedding registry service.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Floyd Green said that persons, including those overseas, can now complete the entire adoption certification process online and make payment electronically.
Additionally, “in the process of applying for birth certificates and death certificates, an entry number is needed…. We are providing an online platform where persons can apply and pay for that instantaneously,” Mr. Green said.
The third new addition, the online wedding registry service, will allow persons to apply for, schedule and pay for weddings that will be done at various RGD locations across the island.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charlton McFarlane, noted that since 2020, the RGD has expanded its online suite of services by 140 per cent. This includes the addition of facilities such as late entries of names to certificates, the ability to update records and to correct errors, all online.
The CEO also noted that the RGD has been experiencing customer satisfaction, with its latest survey, conducted in December 2021, revealing that eight out of every 10 customers were ‘very satisfied’ with the service they received.
“In addition to that, from the same survey, nine out of every 10 customers indicated that they were satisfied with the level of professionalism that they received when they interacted with the RGD,” he said.
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Excellence units for ministries to up service
The Government will be establishing customer service or service excellence units in all ministries over the next two years.
The move aligns with the recently launched Service Excellence Policy that will govern the standard of service delivery by the public sector to internal and external customers.
Principal Director in the Office of the Cabinet, Public Sector Modernization Division Karlene McKenzie Spencer, said: “The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will be supporting the Division in the implementation of the service excellence function. As a part of that, it is required for all ministries to have customer service units to monitor and to guide the implementation of the process of the service excellence programme.”
She noted that the two-year timeline takes into consideration the various ministries that are at different points in establishing their service excellence programmes. “There is a timeline for rollout. All ministries are at different stages in their development, and as such, one ministry will be capacitated long before another. We are hoping that we’re able to have this in place within the next two years within all our ministries,” she said.
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Portal to support returning residents a reality
A user-friendly online portal to streamline the application process for Jamaicans living overseas to obtain returning resident status has been designed.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Leslie Campbell said that persons can access the application form on the Jamaica Customs Agency’s website at www.jacustoms.gov.jm.
“Jamaica has implemented a user-friendly online portal for those of you that wish to return home. You may visit the Jamaica Customs website and click on the Returning Residents section for more information,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Campbell said that it is now easier for persons to renew their passports via the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency’s renewal system on www.pica.gov.jm.
14 scholarships on 135th birthday of the national hero
Fourteen public-sector workers have been awarded full scholarships to pursue advanced studies at institutions locally and abroad.
They are the second cohort to benefit from the Marcus Garvey Public Sector Graduate Scholarship, which is implemented by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
The awards ceremony to award the scholarships took place on Wednesday, August 17, on the day when the nation marked the 135th anniversary of the birth of Jamaica’s first national hero, for whom the scholarship is named.
Awardees will be pursuing courses in economics, law, climate change, public health, national security, engineering, and integrated rural development.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr. Nigel Clarke said the scholarship programme is a “core human capital development strategy for Jamaica’s public sector”.
He added: “If Jamaica is going to climb the ladder of development, we’re going to need to continue to invest in our public sector and have a sector that is purpose-built with the competence, [skills] and experience to lead Jamaica forward.”
‘The world has become riskier and more uncertain’
By Anthea Roberts and Jensen Sass
CANBERRA – When the world changes, policy paradigms change, too – or at least they should.
Harvard economist Dani Rodrik recently argued that, instead of globalism, financialization, and consumption – the principles undergirding the declining neoliberal paradigm that has dominated global economic policymaking for the past 40 years – a framework that emphasizes production, jobs, and localism is needed. Rodrik calls this nascent paradigm “productivism.”