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Local Government Ministry and JPS agree to Co-operation Framework to Improve Streetlight Infrastructure and Resolve Outstanding Debt Issues

he Ministry of Local Government and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) have agreed to develop a framework regarding the arrangements for the payment of outstanding monies and the management of the island’s more than 105-thousand streetlights.

The decision was reached yesterday (Wednesday April 13) at a meeting to address financial obligations, reporting capacity, database management, technical and infrastructural arrangements with a high-level delegation from JPS’ parent company Marubeni, executives of the local arm of JPS headed by President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Tomblin.

In leading the team from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, portfolio Minister Hon. Desmond McKenzie highlighted the financial challenges being experienced. The JPS is currently owed approximately J$3.7 billion. He, however, gave a commitment to honour the financial obligations on a scheduled basis, which is to be worked out between both parties in subsequent discussions.

The meeting also saw the teams committing to:

Making themselves aware of the contents of the current streetlight audit, a copy of which was presented to Mr. McKenzie, which would provide the foundation for improvement in the management of street-lighting services.

JPS providing the Ministry with monthly, detailed reports about streetlights repaired and installed on a community-by-community basis.

JPS having its Parish Managers attend the current series of Day-in-Council meetings being held by Minister McKenzie across the island.

The establishment of a dedicated Streetlight Help Desk in the office of the Minister in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

The holding of monthly meetings between both parties in a spirit of cooperation to develop the framework.

Advancing the plans for the implementation of the replacement of existing inefficient streetlights with a smart LED-based streetlight system.

Exploring future collaboration regarding technological enhancements.