Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions throughout the government service. Please peruse the FAQs and feel free to contact us if your question hasn't been answered.


What you need to know about Private Work
Private work is understood to be any work undertaken by a public servant at any time, outside of the core functions of the position for which he/she was employed by the Government of Jamaica.
Officer may engage in private work only under specified conditions and with prior permission from the appropriate authority/Public Service Commission, based upon an assessment of the potential conflict of interest. Staff Orders No. 4.2.8 for the Public Service 2004.

A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Engagement of private activity similar to official functions;
  2. Using information and/or any material gained from official position for private gain;
  3. Exploiting the status and privileges of one’s position for private gain;
  4. Soliciting and/or accepting payment and/or any other consideration relating to the performance of or neglect of official duties;
  5. Conducting private business during work hours and/or on Government property;
  6. Engaging in transactions with relatives or family members, or an organization in which relatives or family members have interest;
  7. Ownership of investment or shares in any company or undertaking;
  8. Acting as auditors or directors of companies or societies.
  9. Staff Orders No. 4.2.9 for the Public Service 2004.

Please note that this is by NO means an exhaustive list, but it gives an indication of the circumstances that may give rise to a conflict of interest.

In order to address the potential conflict for interest, officers should, in all instances, inform the appropriate authority of any such undertakings, seek clarification and get permission. Any such permission would be subject to periodic review. Staff Orders No. 4.2.9 for the Public Service 2004.
All written requests should be sent to the Office of the Services Commissions (OSC) through the respective Permanent Secretary or Head of Department before the commencement of the engagement. (This only applies for persons employed in the Central Government). OSC Circular No. 50 dated February, 24, 2014.


The request should outline:

  • The exact nature of the activities to be undertaken;
  • The nature of the employee’s role in the organisation;
  • The time when these activities will take place
The Permanent Secretary or Head of Department communicates the outcome in writing to the officer who submitted the request to engage in private work.

What you need to know about Study Leave/ Day Release
Study Leave is the period of absence granted to public employees to pursue courses of study, which may fall into any of the following categories:

  • Government Mandated
  • Job Related
  • Future Advancement
  • Personal Interest

Staff Orders No. 7.8.1 for the Public Service 2004.

Day Release is a system which facilitates the granting of day(s)-off (1-2 days per week) to public officers to pursue accredited courses of study at accredited and registered tertiary institutions.
Officers who are granted Study Leave and receive support from public funds may be required to execute a loan agreement as outlined in Sections 5.7 (iii-v) of the Staff Orders.

Staff Orders No. 7.8.3 for the Public Service 2004.

Additional information can be obtained from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service’s website (http://www.mof.gov.jm/), regarding the period and cost associated with bonding agreements.

An employee qualifies for consideration for Study Leave after three (3) years permanent employment in the Government Service.
Officers with one (1) year continuous employment may apply for Day Release.
Application should be made using the Study Leave Application Form and candidates should indicate in the appropriate section whether they are applying for Study leave/ Day Release.
The deadline for study leave is March 31st of each year. However, for Day Release, individuals are encouraged to apply as soon as the Study Leave Application Form is published.
Applicants are asked to submit:

  1. An acceptance letter from the institution to support their application.
  2. A timetable is required for applicants seeking permission for Day Release.
  3. A transcript is required for applicants who have already started the course of study.
YES. Under special circumstances, an Officer may be granted a combination of Day Release during the academic year and full time Study Leave during the summer semester for the same course of study. This will only be considered where evening classes are not available for the particular course.
While on the course, the employee is expected:

  1. To devote the full time required to the course;
  2. Not change their course without prior permission;
  3. To sit his/her examination or to write papers or reports as may be required by the training authorities;
  4. To provide progress reports at the end of each semester or at the end of short courses.

Upon completion of the course, the employee is required to resume duty immediately, after any approved period of leave (recreational). Staff Orders No. 5.8 and 7.8.6 for the Public Service 2004.


What you need to know about Delegation of Functions
Delegation is the process whereby, Section 127 of the Constitution of Jamaica, gives the Governor-General the authority to delegate certain Human Resource functions to Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments.

These functions include Appointment, Separation, Discipline, and some aspects of Training. As it relates to training, the selection of persons for training where the subject matter is directly linked to the mandate of the ministry and/or where eligibility is restricted to only those public officers within the ministry.

Selection of candidates in circumstances that extend beyond the boundary of individual ministries, e.g. National training programs, scholarships, etc. will continue to be conducted by the Public Service Commission. In addition to this, approval for acceptance of scholarships remains the purview of the Public Service Commission.

The functions delegated are audited by the Office of the Services Commissions every two (2) years following which a report is prepared and submitted to the Entity.