A senior Government worker has come to the defence of civil servants whom he said strive towards providing excellent service.
While all but admitting that the perception of the public was that Government workers did not give of their best, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Civil Service Alyson Forte today said there were those who work hard and are dedicated to developing Barbados.
“To many persons, excellence is not associated with public service, as evidenced by remarks in both 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,” Forte told those gathered this morning at the Office of Public Sector Reform (OPSR) at Baobab Tower in Warrens, St Michael for the fourth day of the annual Week of Excellence.
“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.”
The permanent secretary made it clear he would not condone shoddy or unprofessional behaviour by civil servants “where these exist”, while acknowledging concerns that had been raised “about reform in the public service and lack of implementation or limited ability to enforce change initiatives” by the OPSR.
He stressed that public sector reform was a gradual and ongoing process, while admitting that the OPSR had not been driving most of the major reforms.
“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,” Forte added.
Today’s event signalled the launch of the Challenge to Change mobile and tablet application which ties in with Government’s correspondence management system, designed to save time, money and paper.