Constitutional and Legal Framework of the Executive, Parliament and Public Enterprises


  • Hugh Small


The size and functions of the Public sector have increased significantly since Independence. What is the legal framework within which this has taken place? What has been the relation between the Executive, Parliament, the Civil Service, and Public Enterprises?

The term Public Sector is not a legal or constitutional term of art. It does not appear in the Constitution nor in any statute; it is a political and economic idea rather than a legal one. The terms that are commonly found in the Constitution that equates to the idea of the public sector are the "public service" and public office." The Jamaican Constitution defines "public office" as "any office of emolument in the Public Service" and "public service" as "the service of the Crown in a civil capacity." The definition of public service in the Civil Service Establishment Act adds the requirement that the service must be of a permanent nature in the Government of Jamaica and that service with a statutory authority or other body may be deemed public service. The Public Sector in this essay consists of all agencies of Government established by law as arms of the Government to carry out the policies of the elected Government of the day. It includes those agencies that are part of the Civil Service, public enterprises established by Act of Parliament and companies incorporated under the Companies Act, in which the State or one of its agencies has a majority or controlling interest.