The Privatisation Policy (“the Policy”) applies to the transfer of assets or shares held by a public body (which is defined in the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act as “statutory body or authority or any government company”) or ministry or department of the GoJ to the private sector. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy forms an addendum to this Privatisation Policy.
The terms ‘divestment’ and ‘privatisation’ when used in this policy are to be understood to include all the types of transactions in which government assets are transferred to private ownership in whole or part, including transfers by way of:
- Sale (assets or shares)
- Management contract ;or
- any other modality that transfers significant management control, risk or both, to a private firm (e.g. outsourcing and PPP Contracts).
All public bodies, agencies and ministries of the GoJ that intend to privatise assets other than land and houses owned by the GoJ are governed by this policy.
The following general principles will govern the conduct of the privatisation process:
- The selection of items to be privatised, which have been approved by Cabinet, will be publicised;
- The concept of market valuation will apply in establishing the disposal price;
- where the transaction involves continued government funding for the provision of a service, a value-for-money analysis will be carried out to ascertain whether or not contracting with a private firm is likely to offer better value to the public than provisions within the public sector;
- Transactions are to be at arms-length and equal opportunity will be given to all potential investors;
- As far as possible, parties with likely conflicting interests will not be invited to assist the process;
- Public announcements will be made when each entity or asset is to be privatised;
- Government shall make decisions about privatisation on the basis of comprehensive inventories of government-owned assets and relevant selection criteria including budgetary, economic and social impact;
- The welfare of employees must at all times be given priority consideration in the privatisation process; and
- The timelines proposed for the privatisation process shall take into careful account the resource allocations and constraints particularly technical, human and financial resources.
The following are exemptions to this Policy:
- This Policy does not apply to the transfer of assets within the public sector. The transfer of assets within the public sector should be managed by the subject Ministries and approved by the Cabinet.
- The Privatisation/Divestment of Crown Lands or government houses by any public body, agency and ministry of the GoJ is governed by the Land Divestment Policy and Policy for the Divestment of Government-Owned Houses respectively.
Furthermore, in the case of privatisation of land assets, certain agencies (including, but not limited to, the Development Bank of Jamaica, Urban Development Corporation, National Housing Trust, Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings Limited and Factories Corporation of Jamaica etc.), which by virtue of statute or policy, own or manage lands, will utilise separate approval frameworks in the process of privatising lands. Notwithstanding, the general principles within the Land Divestment Policy should be adhered to with respect to land (only) divestment transactions.
- The disposal of Government-owned fixed assets, (e.g. Motor vehicles) is governed by a separate policy.