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New Regulations Policy for Public Service Coming – Minister Albert-Poyotte

Public Service Minister Dr. Virginia Albert- Poyotte
Public Service Minister Dr. Virginia Albert- Poyotte

Public Service Minister Dr. Virginia Albert- Poyotte has called for a restructuring of the public service sector amidst the utilization of modern technology and data requirements in the workplace.

The minister, at Monday’s press briefing, noted that a consultant, Dr. Aubrey Armstrong is presently employed to prepare a strategic plan for the public service-with the view of implementing a new Regulations Policy. Dr. Armstrong has wide experience working in the public domain and with public servants throughout the region, and is a veteran regional consultant.

The consultation will also involve the documentation of an Operations Manual and Action Plan.

“This report, when it is released in the coming months will set the path for us to really look at reforming and modernizing the Public Service,” declared Dr. Albert-Poyotte.

She described the public service sector as a very challenging entity that includes the entire government machinery. The sector has  more than 7,000 employees, with an additional 14,000 persons compensated by government through the government’s monthly recurrent expenditure.

Nevertheless, each ministry, is tasked with the management of its human resources base.

“The public service, as the managing entity, is like the clearing house for the human resource capacity of government’s machinery. It also looks at facilities management, and all the premises that government rents and those that they own,” Dr. Albert-Poyotte explained. “The public service is responsible for lease agreement, as well as, the upkeep of these departments.”

She said the department also handles the Information Technology (IT) aspect of government’s operations, and “organizational development,” as well.

The minister added that the public service is guided by the Staff Orders, which has existed for the past 40 years. “At this point, we are in the process of revising and bringing in a new bill for modernizing the public service,” she explained.

Dr. Poyotte further stated that “the bill is ready and is now in the public domain for discussion and feedback”, and also, the regulations that will accompany the bill.

Within the wider parameters of this development, she disclosed, the public service department is gearing to relocate to new settings in the Orange Groove Plaza, at Bois D’Orange, later this year.  The authorities have arranged for two floors in the building to be utilized, and “over a period of time it will be owned by the government”, said the minister.

“So, the public service headquarters will be located in that building  and pubic officers are bracing themselves for that new arrangement, that includes; location, new regulations and a strategic plan that will guide the way forward,” Dr. Albert-Poyotte noted. She adds that the public officers are being fully prepared for that change, which will require “some serious training, and re-orientation so that they understand what that new feature, and that new entity will be like, in order for us to improve the quality of service that we provide to the Saint Lucian public.”

The minister asserted: “We want it to be efficient, and we want it to be effective.”

Commenting on the government’s DigiGov Platform, Dr. Albert -Poyotte noted that the sector is equipped to provide approximately 154 services and “within the next few months we are putting in 16 more, so they are steadily improving the number of services that we are trying to provide to the government agencies.”

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