Monday 22 July, 2019

Public servants will be held accountable, says Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says no matter how much he is lambasted, he remains steadfast in his conviction to hold public servants accountable to meet their occupational responsibilities to the state.

Earlier this month, 97 judges from across Jamaica issued a declaration in relation to the prime minister’s suggestion that he would have to be pleased with the performance of Acting Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, before appointing him fully to the position.

"No matter how much cussing I get for holding people to account, I will take it. No matter how much cussing I am going to get for ensuring you get your service, I will take it, because at the end of the day, when you go to the polls, there is only one question that you going to ask, ‘Did he do a good job in ensuring that I got the services that I need?’ That's what it comes down to," Prime Minister Holness declared while speaking at the handing-over ceremony for 150 houses at the Estuary housing development in St James on Friday.

"Effectiveness of Government is its ability to deliver services to its people in a timely and efficient manner. That is, indeed, the essence of why people go to the polls. And if Government fails to deliver services, then people lose faith in their Government," he reasoned.

Holness argued that “this loss of faith is manifested in low voter turnout, in high voter apathy; but worse than that, we see it in a loss of the authority of the state to effect change when people start to believe that Government can't make a difference

"And Jamaica is in that very delicate state, where people believe that Government may not be able to make a difference in their lives. And I am very cognisant of that. So my role is to make sure that Government is effective in everything that it does," Holness elaborated.

"When people can't get their garbage collected, they lose faith in their Government. When they can't get security, they lose faith in their Government. When they can't get their roads fixed, they lose faith in their Government. And when they can't get justice, they lose faith in their Government.

“And who they going to call on? Who they going to call on? So what must the prime minister do? The prime minister must make sure that all the people who provide public service, whether it is garbage collection, security or justice, that all of them do their jobs and do it well, and provide services for the people of the country," Holness continued.

He said the delivery of the 150 housing units, a year after the groundbreaking, was an example of efficiency.

"When you see the NHT (National Housing Trust) delivering your homes in record time – one-year turnaround - that is quality service; that is efficient service; that is timely service," he declared.

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