AGRICULTURE STAFF GAIN INSIGHT INTO NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ACT

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Senior staffers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been urged to rekindle passion and excitement on the job in an effort to foster a culture of excellence.

This call came from Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Haynesley Benn, during a recent address to an in-house seminar on the Implementation and Management of the Performance Review and Development System (PRDS) and the Public Service Act 2007, at the Ministry’s Graeme Hall, Christ Church, headquarters.

Senator Benn, who  had much praise for the Office of Public Sector Reform (OPSR) as well as  the  PRDS Unit,  told  staff  that with the right attitude, passion and excitement  on the job they  would be “just like [Usain] Bolt – far ahead of the pack!”

To this end, he advised the more than 50 senior officers and department heads to grasp all they could from the exercise. “An important ingredient of any successful manager is the ability to handle people effectively. People respond according to the manner in which they are treated.

The behavior of managers and their style of management will influence the effort expended and level of performance achieved by subordinate staff,” he advised.

The seminar, organised in  light  of  increasing calls  for public sector reform and management within the context of transparency and fairness, sought, among other things, to  shed  more light on the new  Public Service Act  ,which was proclaimed on December 31 last year, as well as the PRDS,  which was given legislative recognition within the Act.

Describing the new legislative framework as timely, since meaningful public sector reform could not take place with antiquated laws, rule and regulations, Minister Benn concluded: “The success of any government initiative is totally dependent on the efficiency and dedication of the entire public service. It is therefore evident that the Public Service, as we know it, must be reformed and strengthened to cope with the challenges it will face in this dynamic environment.”

In lauding the forum, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Patson Alleyne, stressed that it would go a long way in helping them to conduct their duties effectively.

“Many, if not all, of our concerns will be dispelled and we would be better able to understand the Public Service Act, as it relates to how we function,” he concluded, noting that a similar session was also held for staff at the Ministry’s Soil Conservation Unit.
 Management Development Officer with OPSR, Conliffe Devonish, and Project Coordinator, PRDS, Wilma Turton, also addressed the seminar. 

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