Senator Nelson Lauds Civil Service but Points to the Need for Improvements


Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, has lauded the work of the civil service, but said that improvements were needed to optimize service outputs, enhance the sector’s image, and make the profession an attractive option for employment.
He was speaking at the launch of Civil Service Week 2007 on Monday (Nov.19) at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices. The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) is celebrating the week from November 18 to 24 under the theme: ‘The Civil Service: The career of choice for national development.”
Senator Nelson noted that Jamaica’s civil servants play an important role in national development, adding that as minister with responsibility for the public service, he is proud of their achievements. “You are the ones who take the government’s policies (and) blueprints, and develop and execute the finer details to achieve progress and sustainable development,” he pointed out.
However, while acknowledging the “tremendous strides and improvement in the overall management and performance within the public service,” Senator Nelson said “much more needs to be done.”
“The image and confidence in the public service has been eroded, not only in the public’s eye, but also among certain job seeking professionals,” he observed. In this regard, he underscored “an urgent need to rekindle the passion that made the (public) sector a career option for individuals.”
According to Senator Nelson, “the service needs a continuous cadre of competent, creative, and committed individuals to continue the restructuring and reorganization process. This is what will enable us to effectively and efficiently utilize the country’s resources and guarantee the excellent service our stakeholders expect of us.”
He noted however that while there is need for civil servants to undertake their duties with integrity and objectivity, this will only be achieved if they are motivated by inspired leadership. “The managers in the civil service need to be mindful of the treatment of their staff. You must be fair, just, and equal. You must treat your staff with the same importance as you would sanctions against them. You must acknowledge good work by the staff, and help to mentor those who are not, in your eyes, “making the grade,” Senator Nelson implored.
He further urged the managers to be “fair in your assessment of work performance,” adding that honesty, fairness, and mutual respect instilled employees’ loyalty.
He pointed out that government, in its drive towards good governance and economic growth, is committed to working with the civil service as partners to provide the necessary resources and develop the requisite strategies, where needed, to achieve national growth.

JIS Social