Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick (FP)??

At a time when the public service has been criticised for its inefficiencies, a Government Minister has praised some departments for "getting their priorities in order to achieve economic reform".

Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, spoke of the need for a re-energised public sector today, during the Productivity Council’s Week of Excellence Forum.?? It was held at the Grand Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre.

He noted: "Many departments, I am told, are beginning the process of implementing performance management strategies in their sections.?? As a result, the Productivity Council has seen an increase in the number of requests for technical assistance to develop strategic plans; performance measures for both employees and the organisation and programme budgets."

Dr. Estwick further stated: "This suggests that the public sector is re-engaging its efforts to focus on those activities and programmes which will generate significant impact on the economy and they are seeking to do this in an efficient manner, while holding accountable, those who do not pull their weight during these tough economic times."

Given this scenario, the Minister of Economic Affairs appealed for an "all hands on deck" approach to tackling the economic crisis. "When a society is under pressure from both endogenous and external factors, it is then that working in solidarity promotes only cohesion and strict focus on the cause at hand.?? We are indeed facing difficult circumstances, and need our best collected efforts and brains to see it through," he stressed.

In lauding the social partnership as a mechanism of participative democracy and inclusive policy decision-making, he said the social partnership of Barbados, represented and still represents, "a nouveau management contract among government, the private sector, the trade unions and non-governmental organisations".

Dr. Estwick, who called for a recommitment to the core principals of national development, also cautioned against clever politics and exclusion. "We all have our own constituents but neither clever politics nor exclusion will bring us the end result which we desire that is, a Barbados that is stronger, more resilient and more structured.?? As a country, we have evolved from times of lean and when it is required of us, we can tighten our belts and put our hands to the plough," the Minister maintained.

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