St Kitts and Nevis Participates in the Commonwealth Caribbean Cabinet Secretaries and Heads of Public Service Consultative Meeting

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 10th 2013 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – Head of the Public Service, Mr. Elvis Newton represented the Federation at the Commonwealth Cabinet Secretaries and Heads of Public Service Consultative Meeting in St Lucia. The meeting focused on strengthening the centre of Government and built on the 2012 theme- “From Public Sector Reform to Governance.”

There is a nexus between both themes given that public administration throughout the Caribbean depends on effective centres of government to ensure proper execution of national development plans.

The meeting’s consultative format afforded opportunities for participants from several countries to reflect on the relevance of the theme given the unyielding implementation challenges and constraints that continue to plague Caribbean public sector institutions.

Participants were exposed to a number of presentations including an insightful one by the Right Honourable Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados who brought to bear his considerable experience in Government to emphasize the importance of enhancing the role of the public services throughout the Caribbean to promote more sustainable national and regional development.

He focused on the need to strengthen the Cabinet Secretariat to play its role in overall policy formulation and monitoring of Government’s development and political agenda. He stressed the importance of countries moving to introduce updated performance management systems and elimination of the bureaucracy in the public service to assist in addressing the continued low ranking of the Caribbean in the World Bank Doing Business assessment.

Reflecting on success achieved in Barbados, Mr. Arthur commented on the role of promoting involving of non State actors so that consensus can be achieved when determining major national policies to be implemented.

In commenting on the outcomes of the meeting, Mr. Newton indicated that the areas covered were of relevance to the Federation considering the Federal Government’s efforts to modernize the public service. He remarked that the challenges identified during the interactive sessions were similar in all the countries. He was of the view that such offered opportunities for greater collaboration in the areas of capacity building, development of model performance management systems and sharing of experiences intended to strengthen the offices of Cabinet Secretaries and Heads of Public Service.

Improving governance is a major focus of the Government of St Kitts and Nevis. Participation in such meetings is intended to build alliances and secure technical and other support required as the Federal government strives to further modernize its public services through the work of its Permanent Secretaries and other public officers, charged with bringing about changes to enhance efficiency and productivity.

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