Every year, the third week of November is used to observe and acknowledge the hard work done by civil servants towards nation building. As Minister with portfolio responsibility for the Public Service, I want to commend the men and women working in the service for their professionalism, commitment and dedication to serving the people of this country.
This year we observe the week under the theme “Civil Servants…Repositioning for National Development.” We may not have the financial resources required to truly express our thanks, but there are no limits on the words to convey our heartfelt appreciation for the men and women who teach and protect the interest of our kids, enforce our laws, secure our boundaries, ensure the soundness of our safety net programmes, safeguard our economy as well as other numerous things that contribute greatly to national development.
Through good times and bad, government employees are always confronted with tough challenges to find the best ways to deliver high quality services with less resource. This we have to do constantly to meet the ever changing and increasing complex needs of our many stakeholders. As such we are now in a period of transformation through the work undertaken by the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU) to realign processes, systems and structures to the core business functions and strategic operations of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
I know that any major change endeavor comes with fear, uncertainty and anxiety on the part of our human resources. Let me hasten to say once again that the Public Sector Transformation process is not about job-cuts. It is about improving the operations of the public sector to become leaner, more efficient, flexible, responsive and accountable. This transformation process is critical to the economic success and viability of Jamaica; this transformation and repositioning is essential if we are going to make "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.
During the week of activities, we will honour those among us whom have withstood many challenges to give long and dedicated service numbering twenty-five (25) years or more. We will crown the 2011 Civil Servant of the Year and we will be bringing our products and services to Emancipation Park.
Next year we will be celebrating the fiftieth year of Jamaica’s Independence. In retrospect, we have come a far way, but there is still much more to be done.
I want to commend the Civil Service Week Planning committee for organizing the week of activities. I wish you every success during the week.