The Government has taken a further step towards improving the environment in which business-related activities are facilitated and conducted locally.
This, through the establishment of a Bureaucracy Hotline, 1-888-REDTAPE (733-8273) in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
The hotline was formally unveiled by portfolio Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, in his capacity as Chairman of National Competitiveness Council (NCC), during a media launch on Monday (Oct. 22), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.
Outlining details of the latest initiative, Mr. Hylton explained that the hotline is intended to, among other things, assist in procuring and streamlining data on the bureaucratic challenges, which impact local and overseas investors and business stakeholders.
“The idea of a bureaucracy hotline was born out of the need to better understand where the bottlenecks occur in our system. We know that business persons, and especially new investors, face challenges. Currently, there is no mechanism in place to adequately record the issues nor is there a clear understanding of where the issues occur…in other words, the data set is not complete,” the Minister explained.
He advised that the hotline has been established as an “interim mechanism”, over a three-month period, through which tracking and logging of issues reported, will be undertaken.
He informed that the operators will take calls, from Mondays to Fridays, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.. He assured that callers’ identities will be protected, once requested. Additionally, he said, persons have the option of emailing their reports to: [email protected], noting that this, too, is a temporary feature, spanning the three months.
“At the end of the three-month period, we hope to have the data on where the issues are, to inform the development of a more robust and comprehensive mechanism to address these issues,” the Minister said, while assuring that where corrective action can be taken during the period, this will be pursued.
Mr. Hylton said the hotline and e-mail facility will be complemented by a public awareness campaign, developed by the Jamaica information Service (JIS), which also commenced on Monday, “and will serve to inform/remind the business sector that they now have this recourse (hotline and e-mail facility)”. Two radio public service announcements were unveiled at today’s launch.
“With our plans to position Jamaica as the fourth pillar of the global logistics hub and with the expected growth in economic activity resulting from the expansion of the Panama Canal, we have to make radical improvements to the business environment to facilitate investment, economic growth and job creation. The perception of Jamaica as a hostile business environment has got to change; we simply have no choice if we are serious about stimulating and sustaining economic growth with jobs,” Mr. Hylton underscored.