Public sector reform high on PM’s agenda

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is committed to achieving a world-class public service that would result in the deconstruction of the remaining silos that are preventing the smooth running of business.

She gave the undertaking on the first day of the virtual conference of the Ministry of the Public Service’s HR Public Service Week.

Mottley told her virtual audience that restructuring the way work was done had already started, with onboarding and flexible work arrangements, and alluded to the need for a regrading exercise – the last of which took place 20 years ago.

Additionally, the Prime Minister proffered the view that the use of technology had changed the way in which work could be done, and she cited statistics from the World Economic Forum, which predicted that by 2025, technology would displace 85 million jobs and lead to the creation of 97 million jobs.

In light of this expectation, the Prime Minister asked: “How do we repurpose what we do within the public service to be relevant and appropriate to the third decade of the 21st century, which is where we find ourselves?

“That can only be done by deconstructing and reconstructing in every ministry. I have asked for a meeting with the Committee of Permanent Secretaries in April, largely because we are moving to the commitment for results framework, where we seek to remove the silos between ministries. A ministry is just a convenient unit for the delivery of a programme, delivery of a settlement, the delivery of policy, after consultation with the stakeholders.”

Mottley continued: “Therefore, we must not become so wedded to that territorial integrity of the ministry, that we try to assert the ministry’s right without understanding the objective that we want to achieve.”

She added that as Government continued to roll out critical projects in renewable energy and other areas, all policy objectives would require a greater collaborative effort across ministries and departments to empower Barbadians at all levels.

The Prime Minister contended that public officers came to work daily to make the lives of people better, and this was the basis of the public service’s existence. She pointed out that the island’s competiveness in previous years “rested upon the quality of the public service that we delivered domestically to our citizens but also in our interaction at the regional and international levels”.

HR Public Service Week ends on Friday, March 25. (BGIS)

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