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Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, has lauded the work of the country’s civil servants, noting that they make an invaluable contribution to nation building.
“They are the ones who are the first line of contact with the clients, with the public at large. They are the ones who have the responsibility to implement Government policies and as such, to ensure the economic and social development of the country in keeping with the Government’s vision,” he stated.
Senator Nelson was speaking at the official launch of Civil Service Week 2008 and the presentation of the Civil Service of the Year Award, at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle office in Kingston on Monday (Nov. 17).
He stressed the Government’s commitment to continue to improve customer service delivery within the public sector, so that the desired outcomes of improved productivity and improved growth can be achieved.
“This is why the Government has … sought to identify those practices which will lead to a competitive and modernised public service that is flexible enough to quickly adapt and respond to stakeholders’ needs in the ever changing local and international environment,” he stated.
He said the Government has continued to make progress in the areas of training and human resource development, which impact effective service delivery, noting that under the public sector Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), some $500 million has been allocated for a tertiary revolving loan, with $273 million already disbursed.
In addition, there is collaboration with the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), for the retraining of “all human resource personnel across the Government sector to strengthen their competence in the strategic human resource management process, to ensure that the Government achieves its goal of modernising the public sector with the best fit workers.” Senator Nelson indicated that this initiative will begin next January.
He urged all public sector employees “to find out and utilise all the avenues provided by Government to improve their skills, knowledge and abilities,” and appealed to the senior, supervisory and managerial staff in the public service, to be quick to praise and recognise when employees do good work, while helping to identify and correct areas where weaknesses exist.
In the meantime, the Civil Servant of the Year, award, went to Postmaster at the Constant Spring Post Office, Delores Allen. She was also recognised for excellence in customer and community services.
The first runner-up was Postmaster at the Port Antonio Post Office, Semone Bryan, who also received an award for leadership and team work, while Forensic Examiner at the Financial Investigations Division, Jennifer May Wilmot-Simpson, placed third. She was also recognised for commitment to the public service.
Other awardees were: Director of Financial Accounts in the Ministry of National Security, Adleith McIntosh, for community involvement; Director of Maintenance and Facilities at the Inland Revenue Department, Vivienne Brown, for outstanding work ethics; Postmaster at the Guys Hill Post Office, Kareen Williamson, for excellent customer service; and Taxpayer Service Officer at the Inland Revenue Department, Ruth Francis, for commitment and dedication to the job.
Civil Service Week is being observed under the theme: ‘The Jamaica Civil Service – Proud to Serve’ and activities got underway on Sunday (Nov. 16), with a National Church Service at the Open Bible Standard Churches of Jamaica in Kingston.
Customer appreciation day/exhibitions were held yesterday (Nov.18), at the offices of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Ministry of Education and MIND, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
On Thursday (Nov. 20), a quiz competition will be held at the Medallion Hall Hotel on Hope Road in Kingston, starting at 9:00 a.m., and a Brain Games competition at Eden Gardens on Lady Musgrave Road also in Kingston, at 12:30 p.m. Activities culminate on Friday (Nov. 21) with an after work social at the Jamaica Civil Service Association headquarters at Jacisera Park in Kingston, starting at 6:00 p.m.
The annual Long Service Awards Ceremony slated for King’s House today (Nov. 19) has been postponed due to inclement weather and will be held at a later date.