Good Governance Must Permeate Our Public Service
Thu, 22 June 2017
The President on the Occasion of
International Public Service Day – 23rd June 2017
GOOD GOVERNANCE MUST PERMEATE OUR PUBLIC SERVICE
The theme of this year's Public Service Day is “Gearing Up Public Sector Performance for Results: Towards good governance, accountability and transparency.”
As we proceed with the ongoing reforms in the public service, I think that it is very important that we all understand, and adhere to, the principles underpinning the concept of good governance.
Every aspect of our public service operates according to a system and procedures that have been established. The public can expect that we shall serve everyone according to the rule of law, as we say – without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
Transparency and the rule of law mean that the public understand clearly how decisions have been made and are implemented. Every public officer can be held accountable for undertaking his or her work under this system.
Since taking over the helm of the Presidency in October 2016, I have made it my duty to meet with the Chief Executives, as well as with Directors General and Directors in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, both to set out my vision and expectations of the public service, as well as to get a first hand feel of the areas of concern that must be addressed.
I have adopted a widely consultative and inclusive approach to decision making in Government.I have also been meeting with members of the public, including those who work in the public service, to hear their sides of the story. Whilst there are many success stories, I also note that there remains a lot of room for improvement.
In some cases there appears to be a disconnect between public expectations and the service provided. In other cases, the public are not well informed or sensitised about the procedures to be followed, and there are even complaints of unfairness. In every such case, remedial action will be taken.
Today I reiterate my message that all Chief Executives must ensure that their departments operate under proper management systems, and that they should monitor the efficiency of their organisations, and be receptive to the concerns and suggestions of their staff, as well as those of the public whom they serve, and take prompt action to address problem areas. Let us remain connected to our people. Let us find new ways of improving our service delivery.
On this Public Service Day, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all our public servants who discharge their duties with diligence and responsibility, for the benefit of our people and our country. Let us continue to build excellence into all aspects of the public service.