Information Officer (Ag.)
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt Igwe has shared that the good governance framework is essential for the Public Service Transformation.
Mrs. Igwe’s comments were made on a special ‘SnapComms’ series launched this week for the Public Service Transformation which focuses on ministry initiatives.
The Acting Permanent Secretary shared that the term good governance is essentially the manner in which public institutions manage their affairs and resources. She said the good governance components include transparency, accountability, effectiveness and public participation.
It was noted that the Public Service Transformation will adopt principles of the Good Governance framework for the Overseas Territories (OTs) which is comprised of 16 components. The current areas of focus are the Ministerial Code, the Integrity Commission and the Public Service Management Bill.
Mrs. Igwe said the Public Service Management Bill covers five of the 16 components and includes areas such as a whistle blower legislation and grievance mechanisms.
The Bill also clearly defines the role of the Public Service with the Deputy Governor as head of the Public Service and covers the role of Permanent Secretaries, what is expected of them, and the relationship between ministers and public officers.
Mrs. Igwe stated that work is progressing on Integrity in Public Life Act and this will pave the way for an Integrity Commission which is expected to have oversight for declarations of interest and other aspects of accountability.
A Ministerial Code is also in the draft stages which would provide guidelines and standards for ministers of Government.
Mrs. Igwe expressed that as these policies and frameworks take form, good governance should be at the ‘forefront’ of everything that is said and done through the Public Service, ensuring that regulations are followed striving for equity, transparency with fairness.These, she added will in turn create an atmosphere where everyone feels that they are given an opportunity to participate in the decision making process.
The PS further added that the Ministerial Code; the Integrity Commission; and the Public Service Management Bill are signs of the progress being made towards the transformation process. Policy documents are at varying stages and stakeholder consultations are expected to be held by the end of this year.
The Office of the Deputy Governor remains committed to transforming the Public Service by creating a Stronger, More Resilient and More Effective Public Service. The transformation initiative will cover eight broad areas: Redesign of the Public Service, Good Governance, E-government, Greening the Public Service, Rebuilding Security, Public/Private Sector Partnership, the Alignment of the Statutory Agencies, and Improved Customer Service.
The Public Service Transformation is being undertaken with a renewed vision for Government’s services and operations.This catapulted following the weather events of 2017 when the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands approved the strategic direction for an improved public service under the theme, “A stronger, more resilient and more effective Public Service.”