The move to centralize legal services by the Government of Jamaica is founded on the fact that the Attorney-General is constitutionally mandated as the chief law officer of the Crown and therefore cannot escape the ultimate responsibility for legal advice being rendered to government.
Centralization will create a single integrated organization, structured into (i) Headquarters that monitor, direct and co-ordinate legal services to government to ensure consistency in output quality utilizing standardized processes; and (ii) Ministry Legal Service Units (LSUs) staffed by Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) attorneys reporting to a Deputy Solicitor-General with oversight to ensure timely delivery of legal services to the various Ministries.
Centralization of legal services will allow legal officers across Ministries, most of whom are highly efficient and competent legal officers, to be trained and empowered to handle several matters that they now refer to the AGC.
The AGC is a Department of the Ministry of Justice and the staff of the Chambers support the work of the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General. The focus of the AGC is representing the State in civil proceedings as well as giving legal advice.
The GOJ has committed itself to fostering an environment fit for development and economic growth, in part by implementing a series of projects designed to increase public sector efficiency and effectiveness. The Master Rationalization Plan for the public sector outlines several initiatives intended to create a more effective resource management and accountability framework and strengthen the institutional capacity of key Ministries and Departments.
To ensure that an appropriate structure and adequate resources are in place to facilitate the efficient operation of a centralized legal service system across central government, along with the institutional strengthening as well as transitioning of the Attorney-General’s Chambers to become corporate Headquarters
The project is in keeping with the focus of the government to modernize the public sector to become results-oriented, customer-centric and efficient.
- A work environment that supports continuous learning and career advancement;
- Consistent, timely and quality legal advice and services delivered throughout central government;
- Improved sharing of legal knowledge and best practices through the creation and maintenance of an on-line knowledge management repository;
- Collaboration in the execution of duties to support policy coherence;
- Cutting-edge technology underpinning improved business processes.