PRESS RELEASE: Public officers numbering more than one thousand responded to the clarion call and turned out to witness the official launch of the much anticipated Public Service Transformation Initiative at Tortola Pier Park on March 26.
The morning was filled with appreciation and inspiration, singing, and laughter as officers eagerly waited for the report on the background, present and future of the Public Service Transformation Initiative.
Director of Human Resources, Mrs Michelle Donovan-Stevens presented the report and shared that former Deputy Governor, Mrs Rosalie Adams worked on a strategic direction for an improved public service with senior leaders following the events of September 2017. This plan was supported by His Excellency the Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert and presented to Cabinet for approval.
Mrs Donovan-Stevens said Cabinet approved the strategic direction for an improved public service in early October, one month after Hurricane Irma, under the theme, “A Stronger, More Resilient and More Effective Public Service”.
She said, “The initiative covered seven broad areas: Redesign of the Public Service, Good Governance, E-government, Greening the Public Service, Rebuilding Security, Public/Private Sector Partnership, and the Alignment of the Statutory Agencies.”
Urgency and zeal
Mrs Donovan-Stevens shared that the work was set apart like none other as there was a sense of urgency and zeal to get the public service and the Territory back in operation.
She said six team leaders were identified and two initiatives began quite rapidly; the redesign of the public service and the good governance framework.
“These areas underpin the public service by challenging all of us to operate smarter and to raise the bar of productivity and integrity in public life,” the Director added.
She said a Transformation Team was commissioned in November 2017 and is made up of a cross-section of public officers and United Kingdom technical advisor, Mr Chris Cooper who hails from the Defence Academy of the UK, formerly with the UK School of Governance.
Ministries and departments have been consulted on the change that is necessary. They have looked at the centralisation of shared Government services and examined greater incorporation of technology in the service.
To advance to the next step of this initiative, public officers have been invited to participate by submitting feedback on what the new public service should look like by emailing AnewPublicService@gov.vg
Mrs Donovan Stevens said, “Colleagues, Public Service Transformation can only happen with your active and committed participation. It will not be an easy journey but a necessary one. This is the time when we must choose the harder right than the easy wrong. I am confident that through our collective energies, strength, talent and creativity the Public Service will continue to arise.”
His Excellency the Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert; Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Deputy Governor, Mr David Archer, Jr. also delivered key messages at the event.
Dedicated and stellar
The morning also marked a special appreciation event to thank public officers across ministries, departments and statutory bodies for their dedicated and stellar service following hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Some 70 Government agencies were awarded certificates of recognition by their Permanent Secretaries for steadfast and stellar contributions in restoring the public service.
The event was streamed live on Facebook to ensure that public officers on Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada could participate in the day of recognition. Public Officers were dressed in their team colours representing Eagles, Supersonics, Panthers and Warriors.
The Masters of Ceremony were the Director of Communications, Mrs Arliene T Penn and the Assistant Systems Operations Supervisor at Water and Sewerage, Mr Andrew Monsanto who both ensured that the event was filled with fun and laughter.
The Public Service Transformation Initiative was developed to plan for the immediate and long-term direction, sustainability and success of the public service, under the theme, ‘A stronger, more resilient, and more effective public service.’
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