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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Aug 9, 2017 - 11:01:18 PM

Cross-Training for Senior Officers to Result in Improved Public Service
By Matt Maura
Aug 9, 2017 - 10:20:52 PM

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest reads a copy of former Governor General of The Bahamas, Her Excellency Dame Ivy Dumont's autobiography Rose’s to Mount Fitzwilliam during a Session Break at the Orientation for Parliamentarians Workshop on Wednesday (August 9, 2017). The book which chronicles the personal history of the life Ivy Leona Dumont from Rose's, Long Island, to educator, Cabinet Minister and the country's first female Governor-General among Dame Ivy's many accomplishments in education, public administration, human resource management and family life. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

Nassau, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas will ensure greater exposure to private sector business practices and financial/fiscal management for senior public officers as part of its reform strategy for the Public Service.

This includes the ability of senior officers to engage in cross-training with individuals in the private sector which Administration officials believe will lead to a more efficient and effective public service.

“This will also help to spur a greater culture of innovation within the public sector,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said.

Addressing the Opening Session of the Parliamentarians and Governance in The Bahamas Seminar (Orientation for Parliamentarians Workshop), Prime Minister Minnis said while Government is “decidedly not a business as we have different priorities such as education, national security and public health (among others) which need to be met” it is his belief that Government can learn from the private business secto

“I particularly remind my Ministers that running a business and serving as a Cabinet Minister are not the same,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Having said this, I believe that government can learn lessons from business. Accordingly, as part of my Government’s reform efforts, we will ensure greater exposure to business practices and financial management for public officers.

“We must strengthen the ability of senior officers to engage in cross-training with individuals in the private sector. This will help to spur a greater culture of innovation.”

Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis delivering the Opening Address/Charge at Wednesday's Orientation for Parliamentarians at Baha Mar resort. Seated on the dais with Prime Minister Minnis (from left) are: Senate President, Senator the Hon. Katherine (Kay) Forbes-Smith and Secretary to the Cabinet, Camille Johnson. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

Prime Minister Minnis said the thrust is part of his Administration’s overarching plan to promote transformation in the public service through additional education and training for public officers and the modernization of public service processes. The result, Administration officials say, will be a more efficient and effective government.

The Prime Minister said a recent World Bank Study detailed factors that made for wealthy, successful societies. These factors included trust amongst people in a society; an efficient judicial system; clear property rights; a high level of education and an efficient and effective government.

Minister for the Public Service, the Hon. Brensil Rolle and Minister of Labour, Senator, the Hon. Dion Foulkes share a moment during a break at Wednesday's Orientation for Parliamentarians Workshop. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

“A critical part of my Government’s mission is a programme of efficient and effective government. I intend to give a major speech on this topic at the appropriate time. I have said before and repeat now, that we are in an era of transition and transformation. This includes within the public service.

“Integrity, ethics and honourable conduct must be our constant companions in the service of our country and our people. Let us continue to improve the standards, measures and processes we utilize to serve the Bahamian people.”

Prime Minister Minnis said he has seen “even more clearly” in the few months he has served as Prime Minister how various processes occurring in the Public Service can be simplified.

This includes more timely responses to, and better communication with, the general public and the simplification of various forms.

“A good deal of the information held by the Government should regularly be made public, especially in the Internet age we are in. Basic information is often hoarded as if it is a treasure to be kept locked up in a safe,” Prime Minister Minnis said.

“Let me close by thanking the many fine and dedicated public officers who provide an extraordinary service to our country. We owe you an enormous debt of gratitude, Prime Minister Minnis added.

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