Government To Reform Public Sector

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Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner (centre) discusses a point with Director of Governance and Institutional Development Division, Jacqueline Wilson (left) and Advisor, Informatics and Head, Commonwealth Connects Secretariat, Anthony Ming.?? They were attending the opening of a four-day Pan-Commonwealth workshop entitled: "Managing the Global Crisis: Public Sector Reform through Business Process, Re-engineering and Leveraging Information and Communications Technology" at Accra Beach Resort.

"There is an urgent need for public sector reform," and to make this a reality, Government intends to introduce a new Public Sector Bill, and if necessary, review the Constitution to enshrine individual rights and freedoms in the supreme law of the land.

This assertion was made today by Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner. She was delivering the feature address to open a four day Pan-Commonwealth workshop on "Managing the Global Crisis: Public Sector Reform through Business Process, Re-engineering and Leveraging Information and Communications Technology" at Accra Beach Resort.

Stating that the "residues of age-old deficiencies and unprofessional behaviour in the public sector is a matter of great concern" for Government, she said it intended to build on the foundations that were laid by previous administrations to create good governance.

Mrs. Sandiford-Garner pointed to the creation of the Office Of Public Sector Reform in 1997, with its mandate to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery, by reviewing and making recommendations on the systems, processes and procedures of ministries and departments.

Senator Sandiford-Garner indicated that no effort would be spared to establish a well-trained and impartial public service, which would be free from political interference.

Noting that the private sector had some challenges, she pointed out that it was within the public sector that more serious problems were encountered.

"The truth is that the values and modus operandi within the public sector have congealed into a culture in which job security, regardless of performance, is taken for granted," she lamented.

The Parliamentary Secretary stated that public sector reform had been an on-going process, with "intermittent political will" and a reasonable amount of resources allocated to building capacity since independence.

She stressed the solution would involve devising an integrated approach to reform, with a deliberate process of changing attitudes in step with reforming structures, processes and systems.

The Parliamentary Secretary disclosed that government had begun to "draw up and implement a Human Resource Development Policy for the public service, together with the strengthening of supporting institutions. She declared that this strategy would include the enhancement of the capacity of the sector, establishing operational systems and moving decisively towards e-government and the application of all information communications technology to all levels of management.

Mrs. Sandiford-Garner said the result of these changes would see the country emerging from the recession being better able to hold its own in the global marketplace.

clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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