News from the OPM

Statement from British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Judith Slater on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.
Government On Track for 70,000 Housing Solutions
Prime Minister Announces Gated Communities Act
Government Delivers Housing Solution for the Family of Delano Tucker
Prime Minister Holness Renews Call for Political Consensus on Violence
United States Government Congratulates Jamaica on 60 years of Independence and Provides US$ 2 Million for Cyber Centre of Excellence

NWC’s Annual Energy Bill Set to be Reduced by Over a Billion Dollars with the Commissioning of the Mona Reservoir Floating Solar Panel Project

September, 29 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (September 28) commissioned 45-kilowatt floating solar panels at the Mona Reservoir. The solar installation is set to bring electricity savings of some one billion dollars annually to the National Water Commission (NWC). It’s the first phase of a project by the NWC to make its systems energy efficient. At the commissioning ceremony, Prime Minister Holness explained that the project, once completed, will help reduce the enormous cost of producing, storing, treating and distributing water, which has contributed to the utility company being unprofitable over the years. Prime Minister Holness hailed the move as a strategic nation-building decision that will benefit generations of Jamaicans. Noting the government’s progress in upgrading public infrastructure, Prime Minister Holness said: “We need to increase the pace of our nation-building infrastructure decisions as well as our capacity and horsepower to take on major projects because the current infrastructure has reached its limit.” In addition, the Prime Minister underscored that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations remain a central factor in developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Prime Minister Holness said: “This Government has shown that we can pursue major development projects, include the people, preserve the environment and improve the general aesthetics…

Statement from Prime Minister Andrew Holness Following the Demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

September, 08 2022
The Government and people of Jamaica join with the British Royal Family, the people of the United Kingdom, and the entire Commonwealth, in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minister Holness said: “The world has lost a global matriarch, who was a steadying and constant force throughout many crises and periods of difficulty. Over the course of her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II made an immense contribution to the world in public life and was a close friend of Jamaica. As the longest reigning British sovereign, Queen Elizabeth served with distinction, leading with dignity and grace. Since her coronation in 1953, Her Majesty visited Jamaica every decade until the early 2000s. Her Royal Tours saw her visiting Jamaica in 1953, 1966, 1975, 1983, 1994 and 2002, where she participated in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, and many sittings of the Houses of Parliament on such occasions. Undoubtedly, she formed a special bond with the people of Jamaica during her reign, and her visits were met with warm welcome and an outpouring of affection. Her Majesty has sworn in 15 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and has presided over the growth and transformation of the Commonwealth.…
Statement from British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Judith Slater on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

Statement from British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Judith Slater on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

September, 08 2022
All of us at the British High Commission are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne only a few years after the Second World War and has been the United Kingdom’s longest-ever reigning monarch. It is an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years. Even at the age of 96, The Queen remained determined to carry out her duties, receiving new Prime Minister Liz Truss only two (2) days ago. Her Majesty championed the development of the Commonwealth - from a small group of seven countries to a family of 56 nations, spanning every continent of the world. During her reign, the Queen visited Jamaica on no fewer than six occasions, most recently in 2002. The Queen’s first visit to the island came the year after she ascended the throne. She arrived in Jamaica in November 1953, and toured the island with her husband Prince Phillip. She retained a deep affection for this beautiful island, its unique character and the warmth of its people throughout her life. She visited more than 100 countries and touched the lives of millions around the world.…

Cabinet Statement on Innswood Lands

September, 05 2022
Kingston, Jamaica:- The Cabinet today received a preliminary briefing from Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings Limited (SCJ) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), on media reports that agricultural lands in Innswood, St Catherine will be used for housing development. While the Cabinet will get further briefings, the following facts have been established: Model Agricultural Production Limited, which is a company associated with Mr Michael Lee-Chin, is in possession of a lease for lands in Innswood, St Catherine. A portion of the leased lands is currently being utilized for agricultural production. Other entities associated with Mr. Lee Chin have expressed an interest in purchasing a portion of the lands (the subject of the lease mentioned above) and have advised that they wish to use those portions of land for housing. The conditions of the lease restrict the use of the lands for agricultural purposes only. There has been no sale of the Innswood lands and the Government has not made any decision to sell the lands in question. The Government is extremely sensitive to competing demands for scarce land resources for housing and agriculture. The Cabinet noted that there are established laws, policies and procedures to transparently deal with the…
Government On Track for 70,000 Housing Solutions

Government On Track for 70,000 Housing Solutions

August, 13 2022
Prime Minister Holness Says Private Sector Involvement Will Assist in Increasing the Number of Solutions Being Brought to the Market. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is on target to deliver on the committed  70,000 housing solutions to the market. The Prime Minister says by the end of the year, the Government will be delivering over 9,000 solutions. “Of the 70,000 we have committed some two years ago, I am confident that we are close to delivering about 10,0000 before the year is out, between the NHT, the HAJ, the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP) and other programmes that the Government is undertaking,” says Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister was speaking yesterday (August 12) at the official handing over ceremony for more than 60 new National Housing Trust (NHT) units at Industry Cove in Hanover. With the pandemic having set back some developmental plans and construction for two years, the Prime Minister underscored that the Government is working to ensure the committed number is achieved by providing the solutions more quickly. The Prime Minister continued: “We will in a few months announce a new programme which will see a rapid increase in the number of solutions that can be brought to the public for purchase.” Notwithstanding, Prime Minister Holness said even more solutions can be provided if the private sector jumps on board. He noted that the Government cannot achieve meeting the demand unless assistance is given. “I’m not speaking about private sector money, because the private sector has resources and is quite competitive in dealing with a certain segment of the society. The challenge is to get the private sector to participate in the affordable and low income elements of the market where the demand is,” said Prime Minster Holness. He…
Prime Minister Announces Gated Communities Act

Prime Minister Announces Gated Communities Act

August, 13 2022
“The value of your property is preserved if each homeowner preserves it.” - Prime Minister Holness Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the Government is in the final stages of putting in place legislation for the Gated Communities Act. Speaking yesterday (August 12) at the handing over ceremony for the National Housing Trust (NHT) Industry Cove Manor in Hanover, Prime Minister Holness said the proposed legislation will be brought to Cabinet for deliberations. The Gated Communities Act will provide in greater detail on how gated communities must operate. Prime Minister Holness stated: “In communities like these (Industry Cove Manor) the value is only preserved if each homeowner preserves the value of their property.” In pointing out the claims that could amount from having the communities regulated, the Prime Minister underscored that the Government has a duty to protect homeowners so that the value of their communities does not depreciate hence the proposal for a Gated Communities Act. Therefore, he urged everyone to abide by the rules set by the community organisations.
Government Delivers Housing Solution for the Family of Delano Tucker

Government Delivers Housing Solution for the Family of Delano Tucker

August, 11 2022
“The Intention of the New Social Housing Programme is to address the many cases that exist such as the Delano Tucker story” - Prime Minister Holness   Prime Minister Andrew Holness today (August 11, 2022),  handed over a brand new three-bedroom house to the family of Delano Tucker, in Guys Hill, St. Catherine. Delano Tucker whose story of academic excellence amid the grips of poverty went viral and warmed the hearts of many locally and overseas also sparked the interest of the Government to act. Prime Minister Holness underscored that the story led the Government to analyze the situation properly and to find the best solution for the Tucker family. He noted that his mere presence at the time would not have been beneficial therefore the best course was to allow the government system to work which led to the decision of handing over a house under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP). Prime Minister Holness said; “There are hundreds of cases like Delano’s and the Government cannot just act out of emotion. The Government has to always in everything, think about whether the action is fair to everyone. And we decided that there was a programme retrofitted for this circumstance.” The Prime Minister emphasized that through the NSHP, over 84 families who lived under similar circumstances such as the Tucker’s, have received a new home. He, therefore, reiterated that the intention of the NSHP is to address the worst living conditions in Jamaica. In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that the census take-up which will begin in September is critical to the process of addressing the living conditions that exist in the country. Therefore Prime Minister Holness encouraged all Jamaicans to participate in the process and provide the necessary information to the census takers.
Prime Minister Holness Renews Call for Political Consensus on Violence

Prime Minister Holness Renews Call for Political Consensus on Violence

August, 11 2022
“If we don’t have political consensus, it could be very easily used for political advantage. The use of violence is so deep-seated in our culture that it has to take this kind of consensus to really make the change,” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for political consensus on the issue of violence prevention in Jamaica. The Prime Minister said in a democratic society, change cannot be made unilaterally, consensus is required. The Prime Minister made the remarks today (August 11) while addressing the first public presentation of the National Commission on Violence Prevention (NCVP) at Jamaica House. Prime Minister Holness was keen on highlighting that this direction is necessary because the data shows that the increase in violence is creating more crime actors. However, the Prime Minister also said that a general agreement on how to deal with it would lessen the number of persons being prone to crime in society. Prime Minister Holness said: “Let us create a space where the treatment of violence is not contested politically, and we share in the victory of overcoming violence.” In addition, Prime Minister Holness shared key examples of how political consensus worked in the past to offer solutions to existential threats of the time. The Prime Minister listed the establishment of the Electoral Commission (ECJ), Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the rules on fiscal management as national achievements born out of political consensus and bipartisan agreement. “If we don’t have political consensus, it could be very easily used for political advantage. The use of violence is so deep-seated in our culture that it has to take this kind of consensus to really make the change,” said Prime Minister Holness. Moreover, the Prime Minister stressed that change would not happen with the flip of a switch…
United States Government Congratulates Jamaica on 60 years of Independence and Provides US$ 2 Million for Cyber Centre of Excellence

United States Government Congratulates Jamaica on 60 years of Independence and Provides US$ 2 Million for Cyber Centre of Excellence

August, 09 2022
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has received official congratulations from the Government of the United States of America on Jamaica marking 60 years of political independence. During a call with Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (August 8), US Vice President Kamala Harris extended best wishes to the Government and people of Jamaica. Vice President Harris committed to providing support to Jamaica. She announced that the US Government will provide US$ 2 million to support the creation of a Cyber Centre of Excellence in Jamaica for the benefit of the wider Caribbean region. Prime Minister Holness welcomed the announcement and thanked Vice President Harris for the commitment. The leaders also discussed the importance of more significant investment in cybersecurity. The Prime Minister said: “I was delighted to receive warm wishes from the US Government. Jamaica and the US continue to enjoy long-standing close ties, with Jamaica's large diaspora in the US. The Government and people of Jamaica are grateful for the continued investment in and support of our nation.  The enhancement of our cybersecurity capabilities is a priority area for the Government, and I am indeed pleased that the US Government will assist in establishing a cyber centre of excellence in Jamaica which will serve the region.” Both the Prime Minister and Vice President Harris welcomed the progress made on three short-term joint U.S.-Caribbean committees launched by President Joe Biden and the Vice President in June to develop concrete solutions that urgently address food security, energy security, and financial challenges confronting the region. Yesterday’s call follows Prime Minister Holness’ meeting with the Vice-President on March 30, where they discussed security, COVID-19 recovery, and economic growth, among several other issues. The Prime Minister also participated in a virtual meeting that Vice President Harris held with Caribbean leaders on…