Minister urges improved standards


Falling on July 19, Public Service Day is being celebrated for only the second time. In her message to mark the occasion the Minister for Administration and Manpower Development said that the public deserves to see an improvement in the work of the public services.
"The public acknowledges that we face challenges in meeting their needs but they would still like to see real improvements in services, higher standards and full accountability. And they deserve no less."

The theme for 2004 is "Service to the public," and the Minister said that driving up standards and delivering improvements is one of the highest priorities of the government.

But she went on to note that, "real and lasting improvement will require fundamental changes to working methods."

"It will require cultural change at all levels – new attitudes to working and dealing with organisations and the public."
The Minister's speech highlighted three main areas of work being undertaken within the public service; the Public Service Orders (PSO) review; the Public Service Awards; and the Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The PSO review is seen as a method to delegate authority and raise accountability within the public services. In addition it is hoped that the exercise, the first part of which is due to be completed by the end of the year, will reduce bureaucracy and enhance timeliness and effectiveness in service delivery.
The Public Service Awards were drawn up as an opportunity to recognise diligence and dedication shown by government employees in their work.

Minister Alexander said: "The awards are specifically to encourage service excellence and best practices in the public sector. It is an initiative that serves not only to bolster good governance but also to promote and perpetuate the culture of proper checks and balances that represent the foundation of good governance and the true spirit of service delivery."
Describing a commitment to values and ethics as a cornerstone to modern public management, the Minister said that she believed the Code of Ethics and Conduct, which came into effect on Public Service Day last year, is a decisive step in this direction.

"The code makes explicit the core values at the heart of the public service, values such as honesty, excellence and integrity," she said adding, "it is about reinforcing the good behaviour of the many, not simply punishing the poor behaviour of the few."

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