Reform in the Public Sector



Human resource professionals in the public sector must be willing to recognize and reward good performance but be similarly prepared to challenge “behaviours and actions that are not aligned to values, with clear processes in place to do this firmly, fairly and transparently.”

Minister of Public Administration and Communication, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie made this appeal at the opening of a workshop which seeks to re-engineer and re-energize the public service.

He said there must be a commitment by leaders to “walk the talk” to model exemplary conduct and practices.

“Let me be clear, this is not about beefing up the strength of your disciplinary committees and tribunals only. Certainly, there is a place for that. But moral suasion and the consistent, unbiased adherence to and application of the clearly articulated policies and procedures which you are entrusted to uphold, will also advance your cause further than the convening of disciplinary hearings,” said Minister Cuffie.

The new public officer, Mr. Cuffie believes, must be one steeped in the right set of values that will underpin their responsibilities to citizens and provide a basis for Government to make difficult and complex decisions.

“The evidence is no longer anecdotal. The empirical data says to us that change, fundamental change, is imperative if we are to satisfy the ever-changing needs of our citizenry.”

Minister Cuffie said there must emerge a functional and efficient system sufficiently harmonized so as to modernize our Human Resource Management approaches and ensure that the public service is ready for the next generation of public servants.

According to him today’s public is more diverse than before.

“They are more educated, with more complex needs and higher expectation of government, in an operating environment that is also becoming more dynamic” explaining that the success of any government to effectively respond to these challenges, is dependent largely by its ability to recruit and retain a talented workforce.

For the Minister the core competencies for the public sector of the 21st century differ in many ways from the past because the demands placed on public servants in terms of skills, knowledge and competency are rapidly increasing and becoming more complex.

Moreover, he has challenged the human resources professionals “…as we continue to grapple with these old challenges, new ones crop up daily which must also be addressed with urgency, as these too, have the capacity to either cripple or convert the public service.”

The theme of today’s workshop which ends tomorrow is “Collaborating to achieve GoRTT’s HRM reform: A human resource workshop.”