|J'can gov't to close some JIS offices|
|Friday, 01 July 2011 11:27|
The Jamaican government has announced that as a budget saving measure it would be closing four regional, and all the overseas offices of its main communication entity, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
According to the CEO of JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, the agency’s Jamaican offices in Portland, Ocho Rios and Mandeville and those in Miami, Washington D.C., New York, Toronto, and London are to be closed. This, according to Rowe, will save the government some J$51 million annually.
The closures will be a phased process and will result in laying off 17 employees, including seven overseas. Five persons in Jamaica will be redeployed to the JIS Kingston and Montego Bay regional offices, which will remain open.
Rowe said the rationalization exercise is in line with the Jamaican government’s measures to reduce the public sector wage bill while operating more efficiently.
"At this time in the country when we have to be concerned about how taxpayers hard-earned money is spent, we at the JIS have to ensure that we operate at the highest levels of efficiency, including cost efficiency, hence our rationalization to see those areas where we can effect savings without jeopardizing our mandate to inform Jamaicans at home and abroad," she stated.
Rowe said the agency was therefore taking every step to ensure that it carries out its mandate in a cost-effective and efficient way. She said the JIS will continue steadfast in its efforts to provide accurate and high-quality information to Jamaicans at home and abroad and will ensure that all regions of the island, as well as the Diaspora are covered.
She also explained that JIS will execute its overseas presence through the recruitment of freelancers, a cost-effective approach that will reduce the high expenses paid in respect to overseas JIS offices.
The closure of the JIS overseas offices caught some officers by surprise. Cheryl Winter, the JIS officer attached to the Jamaican Consulate in Miami, said she learned of the closures through the news report that originated in Jamaica. She said she had received no prior notice, but has since learned that official notices of the closures will be sent to the overseas offices this week. Winter has been the JIS officer in the Miami office that serves the South Eastern United States since 2000.
|Last Updated on Friday, 01 July 2011 11:34|