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Public sector restructuring to reduce budgets of independent units — minister

By Omar Obeidat - Apr 21,2014 - Last updated at Apr 21,2014

AMMAN –– The government’s restructuring plan for the public sector will result in lower budgets for independent public agencies over the coming years, a senior official said Monday. 

Public Sector Development Minister Khleef Al Khawaldeh told reporters that eight independent entities in the fields of media, investment and agriculture will be cancelled this year, and the government will study merging or cancelling other organisations in the transport and business sectors in the near future. 

There is a team that analyses the budgets and duties of some independent entities to decide if they should be kept, Khawaldeh said at a press conference. 

“We hope that the benefits of the restructuring plan will be reflected in the budgets of independent public agencies this year,” he added, noting that the mergers and cancellations will not lead to employee lay-offs.

The budgets of the country’s 64 independent government agencies amounted to around JD1.9 billion for 2014. 

Khawaldeh briefed journalists on the progress of projects included in the 2013-16 programme to improve public sector performance, endorsed by the government last December.

The programme seeks to boost the performance of the government’s human resources, restructure and reduce public agencies, enhance the level of services offered to the public and entrench a culture of excellence among government departments. 

Khawaldeh said a quarterly report was recently issued to highlight the achievements made so far, which include issuing a new civil service by-law that identifies the criteria of appointments to government positions. 

He added that the ministry has also completed an assessment guide for human resources departments at public agencies, in addition to endorsing a code of conduct for public servants. 

The ministry has also launched an electronic system to receive people’s complaints over services provided by government agencies and will follow up with the concerned departments to address them, Khawaldeh noted.

He said a team from the ministry has carried out unannounced visits to several public departments to check on the levels of services they offer. 

Khawaldeh added the ministry has launched a new website (www.mopsd.gov.jo), funded by USAID, to enable visitors to submit their complaints and suggestions regarding the performance of the public sector.

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