Statement by Ms. Jennifer Astaphan, Executive Director of CARICAD to Mark Public Service Day – June 23

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Jennifer Astaphan

Statement by Ms. Jennifer Astaphan, Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) to mark Public Service Day-June 23, 2011

I am delighted to have this opportunity to join member states of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) as we mark the United Nations Public Service Day under the theme: Transformative Leadership in Public Administration and Innovation in Governance: Creating a Better Life for All. As Executive Director, I am pleased with the recent trend to give more prominence to this day in our Region. In several countries, an entire week of activities is planned and executed in tribute to the significance of the public service. While the trend is encouraging, I hastened to add that we must not lose sight of the need for us to have improvements to celebrate as we mark such weeks. Consequently, we must keep the focus on excellence of performance and quality service delivery.

The public sector exists fundamentally to provide service. It does not exist to perpetuate bureaucracy nor frustrate the development thrust of other sectors. We must keep that reality in the forefront of our minds. Further, whatever residual fears that some public sector employees have regarding the use of technology must be rapidly overcome. We must embrace technology for what it can do with regard to improving the delivery of service, eliminating drudgery from work, reducing cost and adding value.

We must also recognize that regional integration is a foundation of collective action in the Caribbean. Admittedly, there are myriad manifestations of the thrust toward integration in the region, the fact remains that the circles are concentric and it is vital that we recognize that it is the public sector which has the lead administrative responsibility for the implementation of integration arrangements.

CARICAD is the regional intergovernmental institution specialising in the transformation and modernisation of the public sectors of CARICOM states. The institution continues to provide support and technical assistance in a coordinated fashion and to work collaboratively with our multi-lateral partners and donor agencies to bring international good practice to bear on our efforts at Public Sector Transformation in the Caribbean.

I wish to commend and congratulate those public servants who, in an individual or corporate sense, will be recognized for outstanding performance. I trust that with the passage of time we will be able to integrate such national awards in a broader regional framework under the Caribbean Public Service Awards Scheme.

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