BARBADOS HOSTING CAPAM CONFERENCE

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Barbados will host the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) from October 19 to 22.

The planned four-day forum is expected to attract over 400 delegates from the 53-member Commonwealth, who will put their heads together at the Hilton Barbados to address the theme “Continuing the Shared Journey: Achieving Public Service Excellence”.

An opening reception, slated for this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in Parliament Buildings yard, will officially get the event under way. This reception will include tours of both wings of Parliament and entertainment provided by the Royal Barbados Police Force and the National Steel Orchestra.

CAPAM, an international association, was established in 1994 to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge among senior public service persons, by focusing on strengthening the quality and effectiveness of public administration and advancing good governance through best practices. 

Its membership is open to public sector individuals, organisations and government ministries and departments within the Commonwealth, associated states, external territories and dependencies.  In addition, CAPAM offers consultancy services and works closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. 

Past CAPAM conferences have been held in Canada, Malta, Malaysia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia. 

When the delegates get down to business on Monday, October 20, they will be placing much emphasis on actions, behaviours and programmes geared towards improving the delivery of public services. Accordingly, attention will be directed towards a renewed emphasis on values, attitudes, ethics, systems and overall standards.

In the opening plenary session, keynote speakers are expected to address the long-term goals for public sector reform and examine the challenges and strategies for leadership and human resource capacity development needed to achieve these goals.

Mrs. Avril Gollop, Head of the Civil Service here, and who is also Barbados’ Cabinet Secretary, will chair the sessions, along with Mrs. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Minister of Public Service and Administration, South Africa; and Mr. Ransford Smith, Deputy Secretary General, Commonwealth Secretariat.

This country’s warmth and hospitality, as well as its cultural history will again be on show at the 2008 CAPAM Biennial when a Cultural Evening Reception, “Learning Journeys”, and a CAPAM Banquet are put on.

The grounds of Ilaro Court will provide the perfect setting for the Monday, October 20, Cultural Evening Reception. It will feature the tuk band, stilt walkers, the landship, warri and domino players, the bread cart, coconut and snow cone vendors, among other features.

“Learning Journeys”,  will offer visiting delegates an opportunity to see how ‘little’ Barbados is able to achieve its goals through good management practices, hence this year’s theme – “Small Island, Big Dreams”. The Four Journeys chosen are: The Steel Pan, which will be showcased and presented at Herbert House; Cricket, which will include a presentation and tour of Kensington Oval and Herbert House; St. Nicholas Abbey; and finally, the Concorde Experience. A maximum of 75 persons will be accommodated on each ‘Journey’ and they will form part of the conference day on Tuesday, October 20. That day’s proceedings will culminate with a reception at Herbert House.

The curtain comes down on the 2008 CAPAM Biennial Conference on Wednesday, October 22, with a Closing Reception and President’s Banquet at the Sherbourne Conference Centre. Prime Minister David Thompson will deliver the keynote address at this regale.

As part of CAPAM’s mission to promote the practical requirements of good governance, a pan-Commonwealth International Awards programme has been incorporated. It invites submissions that demonstrate excellence, innovation and quality service delivery in public administration. This programme is open to CAPAM members only; and an esteemed group of public sector leaders, representing all regions of the Commonwealth, judges the submissions.

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