Solutions Begin at the Community Level – Simpson Miller


Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson Miller, has called on citizens to unite to effect positive changes in their communities.
Emphasizing that community involvement gave rise to solutions, the Minster said, “Jamaica’s experience so far has clearly demonstrated that for many of the major difficulties that the nation faces including violence, harmful environmental practices and the challenges of raising and educating our children, solutions begin at the community level”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was speaking at the launch of the Ministry’s citizen’s charter at her Hagley Park Road offices recently, suggested greater use of sport in the process towards community development, noting that “this was an excellent vehicle for transmitting the values and attitudes that will contribute to our abilities to move forward as a people”.
Turning to the citizen’s charter, she said the document outlined clearly, the Ministry’s vision and mission and its commitment to quality service, in keeping with the Local Government Reform process.
She said that from the government’s standpoint, when service was exceptional, waste from inefficiency was reduced, production time and taxpayer’s money were saved and implementation of projects could run smoothly and on schedule. “Offering quality service also lifts the spirit of the person who is giving the service. It is a win-win situation”, she pointed out.
The Local Government Minister noted further, that with the continuous improvement in service, eventually, government organisations would establish a culture of efficiency and contribute to the development of a more pleasing service-oriented, productive environment with outcomes that could only benefit the entire country.
“As leaders of the process of Local Government Reform, which is about modernisation, effectiveness and efficiency, we are starting here in our own Ministry, recognizing that quality service is at the foundation of this exciting process,” she stated.
The citizen’s charter programme is part of the public sector modernization process and represents yet another step by government to improve the calibre of service to the public. All state agencies are required to design charters detailing their mission, their service standard and the public is required to hold them to that promised level of service.
In his address, Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis, stated that citizen’s charters have contributed significantly to the overall feeling of goodwill by the public towards the public sector, which has been reflected in various assessments that have been undertaken by the Statistical Institute (STATIN) on behalf of the Cabinet Office.
Since 1994, 79 ministries and agencies have developed citizen’s charters while the process is underway in 23 others.

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