(GIS) — Saint Lucia observed World Public Service Day by recognizing the courageous women and men putting their lives and health on the line amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has placed a spotlight on the public service, making even more evident its importance to the operations of the country.
Prime Minister and Minister for the Public Service, Hon. Allen Chastanet, cognizant of this, expressed gratitude to staff of the public service for their valiant efforts.
“COVID-19 has taken us all into unchartered territory which required everyone working together to achieve the desired results,” he said. “In so doing, everyone was called on to play his/her part. Public officers were called on to make significant sacrifices in the line of duty, to care for the sick, to enforce law and order, and to ensure the machinery of government continued to operate despite a drastic scaling down of activities including a curfew.
“To our front liners – police, firemen, correctional officers, customs officers, nurses, doctors, emergency and essential service workers — I say again a heartfelt thank you. I must also say a very special thank you to those individuals from various ministries and departments who supported the front liners. It was an extraordinary example of the public service in action, which resonates with the theme of this year’s World Public Service Day observance: “Action Today, Impact Tomorrow: Innovating and Transforming Public Services and Institutions to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The prime minister also highlighted the government’s efforts at digital transformation. He added that this would require changes in processes, job descriptions, organizational structures, and different approaches to training.
“The government is constantly working to enhance the delivery of services to the people via our public service agencies. In 2019, we approved a significant budget for the implementation of the “Digital Government Integrated e-Services Platform (DigiGov)” which aims to put online 154 services across 13 agencies. This is a direct response to gaps identified in the delivery of timely, efficient, and transparent services offered by the government to the public and the business sector. Also, the implementation of the Caribbean Regional Integration Project (CARCIP) is aimed at providing the infrastructure for government agencies to become more efficient and effective whilst reducing the government’s overall communication bill. CARCIP does not only provide opportunities for the public sector to become more efficient, it can also be leveraged so that private citizens can take advantage of it.”
The United Nations World Public Service Day is celebrated annually on June 23.