Government Officials Strategise To Strengthen Public Service

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Ministers and senior Government officials have recently concluded a sensitisation retreat aimed at devising collaborative strategies for strengthening the capacity of Government to deliver national development priorities and improve public service delivery.

This retreat was funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, and was facilitated by the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) and Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC).

Facilitators were Dr. Carlton Davis, a former Cabinet Secretary of Jamaica with high-level extensive public service experience in the Caribbean region;  Dr, Eris Schoburgh, an Associate Dean in the UWI, Mona Campus where she lectures on public policy and public sector management at the undergraduate and graduate levels; Mr. Dunstan Maina, Regional Adviser for East Africa with extensive experience in public sector development and Mr. Ade Ogunmefun, an international civil servant, who is a Regional Adviser for the Caribbean at the Commonwealth Secretariat with experience in social and economic development.

This high-level retreat ran from Monday 17-20 on Scrub Island and alternately Premier’s Conference Room and Training Division. It brought together ministers, backbenchers, the deputy governor, permanent secretaries, cabinet secretary, financial secretary, deputy secretaries, directors of communications, international affairs and international finance centre, senior managers who interface daily with ministers.   

Some of the key areas of discussion included roles and responsibilities of the permanent secretary, financial secretary, cabinet secretary; role of cabinet office; role of cabinet ministers in political, constitutional and administrative context; values, ethics and integrity; interface between ministers and permanent secretaries; the policy process; policy coordination and implementation for development outcomes; and strategies for economic development.

The retreat focused on drivers, inputs and processes to enhance a strong positive interface between Cabinet, individual ministers and permanent secretaries; the effectiveness and efficiency of the administrative systems including adopting a whole-of-government approach; the quality and capacity of public sector and effective policy formulation and implementation.

In his closing remarks Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE said the interaction and discussions were useful as it created a better understanding of how all counterparts must work together to deliver the needs and wants of the Territory.

He said the retreat was the start of several discussions between ministers and senior Government officials in delivering exceptional services to the people of the Territory.

GIDD provides technical assistance to commonwealth countries for capacity-building and sustainable development in public institutions. It is responsible for promoting a ‘public service’ ethos in the commonwealth with the aim of assisting member countries in their efforts to improve the performance of their public service as a key contributor to good governance.  

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Photo Caption: Ministers and senior Government officials in sensitisation retreat facilitated by the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) and Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC).