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Jun 23, 2008

Gov’t renews efforts to make public service effective, efficient

Story PictureOver the years, the public service has come under criticism for being too bureaucratic. But today, which is observed as Public Service Day, was a time to highlight the achievements of those employees who have displayed outstanding performance over the past year. However, while there was much to celebrate, the Minister of Public Service and Governance Improvement John Saldivar admits there is much work to do.

John Saldivar, Minister of Public Service
“Certainly, it is not a perfect public service. There are many public officers there who do commendable work but there’s a lot of work left to be done in terms of improving our service delivery to the public and that is one of the things that we will be focusing on at the Ministry of the Public Service; how to deliver services in a better, more timely efficient way to the public. For instance, if there are any applications, maybe at some point you can apply for your land online or you can apply for your birth certificate online, you can apply for a death certificate online. We’ve got to take advantage of the technologies that are available to us and I think we’re gonna be moving in that direction. This new Government is going to encourage public officers to train and so we have, for instance, removed the moratorium on training that had been placed no them by the last government so they can now go for training and get their study leave.”

Jacqueline Willoughby Sanchez, President, P.S.U.
“Presently we’re making what I’d have to say is baby steps, but I’m grateful that we’re making some steps. The improvements I’d like to see is definitely better working conditions. Sometimes you go into some of these public offices and it’s disgraceful, just the environment, it’s not encouraging. I’d like to see a morale boost, by timely promotions, timely training, more resources, that’s what I’d like to see for the public service.”

Marion Ali
“What will be some of the first things that you’ll be looking at? What will be those priority areas that you will be addressing?”

John Saldivar
“My focus right now is to bring back morale within the public service and try to get all of us on the same page. We’ve already agreed to allow public officers to continue to move up with their 2005 increments, though we will not be able to pay public officers for that increment, they will be moved one scale above where they are.”

As part of the official activities several public officers were honoured for excellent performance and years of service. Among them were Governor General Sir Colville Young, who received an award for long service while Nurse Rosalba Chan of the Northern Regional Hospital was recognised as Public Officer of the Year.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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