News from the OPM

Government to Build 70,000 Housing Units in the Next Five Years
Amber HEART Academy the First  Step in Creating a Coding Industry – PM Holness
Government Examining Options to Address Loss of Teaching Time Due to Covid-19 – PM Holness
Jamaica Has Lost A True Icon and Businessman of the Highest Order with the Passing of the Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart
Government Reiterates that Curfew Hours are to be Strictly Observed by All
UK Travel Ban Extended until January 31
PM Holness Calls on First World Countries Not to Turn Inwards During the Covid-19 Pandemic

PM Holness Calls on First World Countries Not to Turn Inwards During the Covid-19 Pandemic

December, 01 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is calling on countries which traditionally provide aid to other countries, especially Small Island Developing States,  not to cut back on their international aid budget. The Prime Minister’s comments come as reports out of the United Kingdom suggests that the European nation is set to cut its international aid budget by a third. He pointed out that this is coming at a time when the global economy is in recession, poverty is increasing and climate related shocks are having devastating impacts on countries. “Yes it is difficult, yes it is a challenging time but now is not the time for the international community to retreat from its commitments, particularly commitments made for climate change, particularly commitments that will, if not kept, affect small island developing states like Jamaica,” Prime Minister Holness said. Prime Minister Holness went on further to say, that small Island developing states should be spared any cuts to ensure that they are able to continue critical climate resilience and poverty reduction projects. In that regard, Prime Minister Holness called for greater consideration in these matters. “The world will recover but it is not a foregone conclusion that the world will recover. The world will…
PM Holness Announces Call Out of National Reserves to Assist with Crime Fighting

PM Holness Announces Call Out of National Reserves to Assist with Crime Fighting

November, 28 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the National Reserves will be called out and deployed to assist with security measures across the country. The Prime Minister’s announcement comes as the country prepares for the festive season. “On the advice of the Chief of Defence Staff, after long discussions at the National Security Council, we have decided that, for the month of December we are going to make a call out of the National Reserves to compliment and support the efforts of the JCF. This is again, a part of the strategy of using force without violence. A superior deployment of material and human resources using superior technology, superior logistics and superior operations to control and limit the space of criminals to operate and to protect the innocent,” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Holness stated that this move is just one strategy of the Government to tackle crime and violence. In the meantime, the Prime Minister underscored that the Government will continue to advocate for the provision of exceptional powers for the security forces who must act without violence in the execution of their duties. “We know that we must find a way to address the crime problem in…
PM Holness Announces Proposed COVID-19 Measures for the Christmas Period

PM Holness Announces Proposed COVID-19 Measures for the Christmas Period

November, 24 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced amendments to the proposed Disaster Risk Management measures for the period December 2020 to mid-January 2021. Speaking in Parliament this afternoon (November 24), Prime Minister Holness said the COVID-19 protocols must be followed over the holiday season to prevent a spike in numbers in January. “These are not normal times, and we will not be able to celebrate Christmas in the normal way this year. Celebrating Christmas in the normal way would mean keeping our schools closed. We must continue to be vigilant and responsible over the next few months, starting with the upcoming Christmas season”, said Prime Minister Holness. In that regard, the Prime Minister appealed to all Jamaicans to celebrate Christmas responsibly and limit celebratory gathering to immediate family members. The following measures are proposed to continue: The gathering limit is prosed to remain at 15 persons in public and private places. Prohibition of parties and events will remain The proposed curfew hours will be as follows: For December, with exceptions for public holidays; the curfew will commence at 10 pm nightly and end at 5 am each morning, On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the curfew will commence at 7 pm…
Extension of Measures Under the Disaster Risk Management Act

Extension of Measures Under the Disaster Risk Management Act

November, 16 2020
A number of the existing measures to control the spread of COVID-19, which expire on November 16, 2020 under the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 15) Order, 2020, are being extended through an amendment to the Order. The islandwide curfew time will remain at 9 pm – 5 am each day, continuing from 9 pm tonight, Monday November 16, until 5 am on December 1, 2020. As it relates to the provision of public transportation: Public transportation by motor vehicle being limited to one person less than the maximum number of persons allowed to be carried under the relevant license will remain in effect until November 30, 2020. As currently obtains, public transportation operators will be allowed one hour before and one hour after the curfew to get to or from base to home. It is to be noted that no passengers are allowed to be transported during these one-hour periods. Drivers are to comply with the requirements of keeping windows open and having the air conditioning turned off when operating the vehicle. The current protocols under the Controlled Entry Programme for both residents and visitors will remain in effect until November 30, 2020.  While the requirements for pre-testing…
Government Committed to Preserving, Promoting and Protecting the Environment

Government Committed to Preserving, Promoting and Protecting the Environment

November, 13 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government engaged in a rigorous and lengthy process ahead of granting permit for mining to take place in the Puerto Bueno Mountain also known as Dry Harbour Mountain in St. Ann. Speaking in St. Ann yesterday (November 12), the Prime Minister noted that it is not the intention of the Government to destroy the country’s asset. Instead, the Government is committed to preserving, promoting and protecting the natural environment. “Any decision about development has to be made with the environment first and foremost in mind, so if we are going to build, if we are going to mine, environmental considerations are always foremost in our minds. Before we act as a Government, we go through the steps and procedures always knowing that any action that is taken as a public official is open to review, it is open to review by the public, it is open to review by the courts and so we always try to be exceptionally careful,” said Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister stated that the developers must adhere to the 71 conditions of the permit and he also outlined that the development plan for Puerto Bueno Mountain, does not only include…
PM Holness Expresses Sadness at the Death of a Correctional Officer

PM Holness Expresses Sadness at the Death of a Correctional Officer

November, 13 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed sadness at the death of a Correctional Officer, Jimel Westley, at the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre this morning (November 13). “I was deeply saddened when I learnt of Jimel’s  death while in the line of duty. Words are insufficient to convey my sympathies. I pray for strength for his family and his colleagues in the Department of Correctional Services who are grieving an unimaginable loss at this time.” said Prime Minister Holness. Westley was attacked and stabbed with a makeshift ice pick by an inmate during the cell locking down process; he died at hospital during surgery. “Like other law enforcement officers, Correctional Officers are faced with the potential for danger every day as they ensure the safe, secure, and efficient operation of our prisons and monitoring dangerous criminals behind bars. It is such a tragedy that a detainee was able to fashion an instrument that took the life of an Officer doing his job. I believe the Department of Corrections will be even more vigilant in detecting these tools before they can cause even more fatal stabbings and maiming.” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Holness stated that Officers should be afforded certain basic protection…
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Addresses Parliament on the Government’s Response to Flooding caused by Tropical Storm

Prime Minister Andrew Holness Addresses Parliament on the Government’s Response to Flooding caused by Tropical Storm

November, 11 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday, November 10, addressed the Honourable House of Parliament regarding the Government's response to the flooding caused by persistent rainfall across the length and breadth of the country. Given the persistent rainfall and predictions for further rainfall, the Government have had to be very measured in its response to date. There are some areas for which it is not practical to do any major work until after the rains. The National Works Agency (NWA) has once again been mobilizing equipment and personnel to clear blocked roads and restore access to communities.
Prime Minister Holness Welcomes New Cohort of Jamaica House Fellows

Prime Minister Holness Welcomes New Cohort of Jamaica House Fellows

November, 11 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 delivered the keynote address at the orientation for the #JamaicaHouse Fellowship Programme at Banquet Hall, Jamaica House. The Prime Minister and Government Officials welcomed the second Cohort of the programme who will spend two years as paid full-time personnel assigned to the OPM or other GOJ offices, where they will work alongside senior government technocrats. The Fellows can expect to be involved in a wide range of high impact projects in a fast-paced and collaborative environment.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has Expressed Immense Sadness at the Savage Killing of Police Constable Kirkland Plummer

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has Expressed Immense Sadness at the Savage Killing of Police Constable Kirkland Plummer

November, 09 2020
Prime Minister Holness said, “My heart goes out to his wife and 3 beautiful children who are left to mourn this devastating loss; they can count on the support of the government during this truly difficult time. I also extend my deepest condolences to the rest of his family and to his colleagues in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).” Preliminary reports indicate that Plummer responded to illegal gun salutes at a party in Clarendon. Prime Minister Holness noted that, in addition to the dangerous, illegal and totally unnecessary practice of celebratory discharge of firearms at events, the party was taking place at a time when such events have been restricted for the protection of the public health of the country. Prime Minister Holness further noted that there now appears to be a tendency for criminal elements at these prohibited events to challenge law enforcement to the point of serious injury and fatalities. Our security planners are always evaluating our national security landscape and will most certainly respond with appropriate strategies. The perpetrators of this heinous act against the State, who have deprived Constable Plummer of his life, and his family of his love, will be pursued relentlessly and brought to…