Press Release

Office of the Deputy Governor
Release Date:
Monday, 9 February 2015 - 5:00pm

Public officers now have a new recognition programme to improve employee morale and award exceptional performance across all levels.

The Public Service Excellence Award, one of the employee recognition programmes administered by the Department of Human Resources was launched earlier today at a ceremony in the East Atrium of the Central Administration Complex.

In his remarks at the ceremony, His Excellency the Governor, Mr. John S. Duncan, OBE expressed support for the programme and the new award categories it introduces.

“I very much support the Public Service Excellence Award because it highlights public servants in all areas of the public service and the community,” Governor Duncan said.

The Governor spoke to the importance of officers striving to be better. He said that during his six months in the Territory, he was impressed by the dedication of many public officers who strive to make the Government service even better than it is.

Governor Duncan spoke of the creation of ministerial selection committees that will determine who is eligible for the awards and also ensure applicants are fairly judged.  He said this should encourage the political leadership of the Territory to be a part of the process of staff development, to celebrate success as well as to alert public servants to those areas which need improvement. This he said is the essence of leadership, to show the way, and to empower individuals who are striving for positive recognition.

Acting Director of Human Resources Mrs. Michelle Donovan-Stevens said a 2013 survey conducted among public officers stated that 40 percent of participants wanted an improvement in the way they are recognized. The survey also revealed that Ministries desired a greater voice to select their representative.

Mrs Donovan-Stevens called the programme a collaborative effort of the public service as it reflects employees views on enhancing the public service recognition programme.

The Public Service Excellence Award features a bi-annual ceremony, an open nomination process and the recognition of senior management such as Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Department for various awards.  Also important is the fact that each Ministry will now be able to select their representative in various awards categories.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office Mr. David Archer said that while leading organizations invest in their people, in the Virgin Islands, Government has successfully recognise exceptional employees over the years.  Mr. Archer applauded the coordinators and the team from the Department of Human Resources for leading the initiative.

The eight categories for awards are Leadership in Excellence, Personal and Professional Excellence, Service to Clients, Administrative Support, Volunteer Service, Organisational Development, Scientific/Engineering or Technological Achievements and Heroism.

The programme was attended by the Cabinet Secretary Ms Sandra Ward, Permanent Secretaries, senior Government officials, Heads of Departments and public officers.

The Public Service Excellence Award aims to recognise high performers and improve employee morale in the Public Service.  It replaces the Employee of the Quarter Programme.

His Excellency the Governor Mr. John S. Duncan presents a Public Service Excellence Award information packet to the Acting Deputy Secretary in the Premier Office Mrs. Geraldine Ritter-Freeman.  (Photo Credit:  GIS/Mr. Franklyn Skerrit)


Colene A. Penn

Head of Communications
Recovery and Development Agency
Tel: +1 (284) 345-2776 | Mobile: +1 (284) 345-3387