Below are the decisions from Cabinet:
1. Transfer of the Portfolio of the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA) to the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank
Cabinet gave approval for the transfer of the portfolio of the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA) to the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank. In recent years, MIDA had increased its lending to the micro productive sector due to the positive spin off from supporting value added enterprises. Several steps were taken towards winding up the MIDA is in keeping with a previous decision of Cabinet to modernise and streamline public bodies. The agency’s functional mandate, a single staff member and fixed assets of the entity were not under consideration as these would be transferred and managed by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce in keeping with standard asset management practises. The MIDA portfolio will be managed as a concessionary revolving loan programme for productive micro enterprises.
2. Project Approval-Government of Jamaica European Union Cooperation Programme: A Jamaican Path from Hills to Ocean Project
Cabinet gave approval for the project “A Jamaican Path from Hills to Ocean” for grant financing by the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance for four point nine million euros (EUR 4.9 million). Cabinet also approved counterpart financing in cash and kind from the Government of Jamaica of one point one million euros (EUR 1.1 million). The overall objective of the project is to increase resilience to climate change and reduce poverty through the implementation of an integrated landscape technology. This will reduce vulnerability of the Jamaican ecosystems from the hills to the ocean, in accordance with the guiding principles of integrated and sustainable landscape management. It will also strengthen the resilience of communities within the targeted watersheds against the adverse effects of climate change.
3. Technical Assistance by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to the Ministry of Health and Wellness on Strengthening Health Systems and Services
Cabinet gave approval for the Ministry of Health and Wellness to enter into an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for the provision of technical assistance to strengthen Jamaica’s health systems and services through a voluntary contribution. To secure this technical assistance, Cabinet also approved the disbursement of eight hundred thousand US dollars (US$800,000.00) as the voluntary contribution to the PAHO. The coordination between primary and hospital care and the organisational arrangements of the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) needed to be simplified and reoriented towards health outcomes instead of financial and administrative outputs. The infrastructure of hospitals and medical equipment at the priority facilities needed improvement to ensure that delivery of health services were efficient and cost effective. The PAHO will provide technical assistance in the development of the Primary Health Care Policy and Strategic Plan and the development of an implementation plan for strengthening the steering role of the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The assistance would also streamline the functions of the Regional Heath Authorities; conduct a needs assessment for health technologies and the development of a Health Technology Assessment Framework in the public health sector. The development of the Human Resources of Health (HRH) Gap Analysis, Strategic 5 year Policy, Action Plan for HRH and the review of the National Public Health Laboratories will also be a part of the technical assistance.
4. Accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures – Revised Kyoto Convention
Cabinet gave approval for Jamaica’s accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention). Cabinet also approved for Jamaica to be bound by the mandatory provisions of the Body and General Annex and issuing of draft instructions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to prepare the instrument of accession. The Convention is a World Customs Organization (WCO) trade facilitation instrument, which was adopted in 1999 and enacted in February 2006. It is considered the blueprint for modern and efficient customs procedures in the 21st century. Jamaica’s Customs Agency has made great strides towards accomplishing its goal of becoming a modern world class customs administration, which is aligned to the Government’s thrust towards modernisation of the public sector and fostering a conducive business environment. The Convention is aligned with the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation as well as with Jamaica Trade Facilitation Roadmap.
5. Jamaica’s First Report on the Domestic Workers Convention
Cabinet gave approval for the submission of Jamaica’s first report on the Domestic Workers Convention to the International Labour Organization (ILO). On October 11, 2016, Jamaica ratified C189 of the ILO, which stipulates the safeguards for the welfare of domestic workers globally. Member states are required to submit annual reports to the ILO on the agreed provisions of the Convention and the report should outline the measures undertaken by each country to enact the provisions. Jamaica’s report provides an overview of the measures instituted to enforce the conventions, including the applicable laws enacted by Jamaica and the systems in place. The report also noted the Pay and Conditions of Employment Branch (PEB) of Ministry of Labour and Social Security to which domestic workers may report any actions that were not in keeping with decent work.
Cabinet received and approved the following annual reports and/or financial statements to be tabled in Parliament:
- Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) 2017/2018
- Jamaica Agricultural Society 2018
– Cabinet gave approval for the supply and installation of 175 hospital (ward) beds for the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) in the amount of seventy million, eight hundred and ninety seven thousand, three hundred and fifty six dollars and twenty five cents ($70,897,356.25) including GCT of 15% to Advance Procurement Limited.
– Cabinet gave approval for the award of three contracts for the provision of public relations services for the Jamaica Tourist Board, in the United States of America (Lot1), Canada (Lot2) and United Kingdom, Ireland, Nordic region (Lot3) for a three-year period beginning April 1, 2021 to March 31 2024 in the amounts as follows:
- Lot 1 to the Lou Hammond Group in the amount of US two million and five hundred thousand dollars (US$2,500,000.00) which translates to US eight hundred and thirty three thousand three hundred and thirty three dollars (US$833,333.00) per annum.
- Lot 2 to Fever Pitch Marketing Communications Incorporated in the amount of US four hundred and eight thousand dollars (US$408,000.00) which translates to US one hundred and thirty six thousand dollars (US$136,000.00) per annum.
- Lot 3 to Four Communications Limited in the amount of US six hundred and twelve thousand dollars (US$612,000.00) which translates to US two hundred and four thousand dollars (US$204,000.00) per annum.
The Honourable Fayval Williams
Minister of Education, Youth and Information