A recent European Union (EU) funded-study has suggested that the Ministry of the Civil Service, the Personnel Administration Division and the Training Administration Division should be brought together under one central Ministry, with responsibility for human resource management and development.
This disclosure came today from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Service, Alyson Forte, who said the EU’s suggestion reiterated the findings of a study done some years ago. He made the comments as he addressed the opening of Day Four of the Week of Excellence 2018 Programme, at Baobab Tower.
Mr. Forte noted that for some purposes, those agencies were classified as the Ministry of the Civil Service. “While there is no formal structure bringing the agencies together, there is some cooperation between them. However, there is clearly scope for closer collaboration in order to better coordinate and facilitate the human resource development and management needs of the public service,” he stated.
He told his audience that many persons had expressed concern about reform in the public service. He added that lack of implementation or the limited ability to enforce change initiatives by the Office of Public Sector Reform (OPSR) had been touted as a major challenge to public sector reform.
“Public sector reform is a gradual and ongoing process. Many of the major reform initiatives in the public service have not be driven by the OPSR. However, there is scope for the OPSR to participate in change management activities in such instances to facilitate the change process, which in many cases contributes to slow or failed implementation.
“Many of the agencies under the Ministry of the Civil Service have strategically embarked on a number of initiatives to reform and modernise the public service,” he pointed out.
Mr. Forte said many persons did not associate excellence with the public service, as was evidenced by remarks in the print and electronic media.
“Indeed, this is not unique to Barbados. Public servants have been on the receiving end of many negative comments, in many cases by persons who know very little about the functioning of the public service, but in some cases by persons who should know better.
“Let me assure you that I do not support shoddy or unprofessional behaviour by public servants, where these exists. However, in the 38 years that I have been privileged to serve in the Barbados Public Service, I have met and worked with many hardworking and dedicated public servants who have contributed in no small measure to the development of Barbados from a colony to an independent sovereign nation, serving with dignity and distinction among the community of nations,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that many of those persons had gone on to distinguish themselves as leaders in many regional and international agencies and sometimes in developmental roles.