September 17, 2021

Cayman Islands Premier says servicing our fellow man should be civil servants attitude

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IMG_0077The following are remarks by Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA at

Government Professional Development Week 2014

9 a.m. 13 November, 2014 Marriott Beach Resort

Good morning. I come to you at the midpoint of this year’s Government Professional Development Week, which means you have already had two good full days of discussion and interaction on issues that affect us in our daily work lives and the increasing expectations we face.

I thank the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants for once again organising this, the third conference of its kind for public and private sector financial management professionals. I also thank those of you in attendance for taking time out of your busy schedules to renew your dedication to your careers. The aim of this conference is to arm you with best practices in managing public sector resources and offer you networking opportunities. I hope you each take full advantage of the opportunity.

The Government, which I am honoured to lead, remains committed to offering training to its public sector staff so that they can continue to execute their duties at top, optimum levels.

Some of my staff recently attended a Cabinet Office teambuilding retreat where Cabinet Secretary Mr. Samuel Rose summed up the plight of the Civil Service quite eloquently. Holding his right hand above his head and his left hand well below his waist, he told those in attendance that – and I am paraphrasing – his right hand was demonstrative of the expectations of the public we serve, while his left hand indicated the dwindling resources available to those of us providing those services. And he is right. Government is consistently asked to do more with less. As it was reported back to me, Mr. Rose said, “It isn’t going to get any better folks.” And he is right, as we all know.

With that truism in front of us, we all know that we are being tasked to offer better services with fewer resources – be that people, money or other needs. That’s why conferences like this are so important. Through shared learning experiences and access to experts and thought leaders in an array of areas, we hope that you will leave here with additional tools you need to become better managers with less and use this as an opportunity to network and hear how other colleagues are managing in difficult times.

One of the topics this week has been Government’s response to the EY Report. The report was commissioned because we understand that government expenditure cannot continue to grow as it has done in the past decade. We also believe Government has to provide services more efficiently and effectively. This week’s conference will give us the tools to help us do just that. Through the report we have received professional advice in the form of 55 recommendations as to how the Government’s objectives can be achieved. I am sure that by now most of you are aware of the report and some have even read through it, forming your own opinions. There are several recommendations that will require additional research or information before decisions can be made.

But I want to reiterate here that the final decisions coming out of the report will be made by the Cabinet and Caucus. Many of you will know that Government has not adopted the Report wholesale; there are some items contained in the document that we agree with, some that will be modified, some recommendations are already under way and some with which we will not be able to agree. I will also reiterate that before we take any decisions about privatisation, amalgamation or restructuring, this Administration will have to be convinced that any action Cabinet takes will be in the best interest of ALL the Caymanian people. Unfortunately there are some interests that believe the objective of Government should be to improve their position in the private sector. That isn’t the case at all.

We now have in place the Project Future Steering Committee, which is chaired by the very capable Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson. It will be that committee that ensures Cabinet’s recommendations, with respect to the EY Report, are swiftly implemented. I appreciate Mr. Manderson’s utterances that the committee’s “approach will be consistent and in-line with the highest standards in governance and project management”. This includes development of a proper business case for all projects undertaken in carrying out the recommendations. I am sure that those of you at this conference who are tasked with an EY Report issue will work with Mr. Manderson and his team to help us be the best we can in Government.

I think the attitude of service goes a long way in the public sector. At the end of the day our work lives – and even some of our personal lives – are about servicing our fellow man.

I believe that if we keep that tenet close to our hearts we will find ways to work harder and smarter with less, which will in turn drive down the cost of doing business and that in turn will loosen up needed revenues to do more and reward the men and women in our organisations who do step up to the plate as top performers on a daily basis.

In closing, I encourage you to be greedy this week with this conference. Please, take as many ideas and as much information as you can from those making presentations. Also please make the time to participate in formal and informal discussions.

I believe we all have the same goal in mind, and your attendance here proves it to me – that we want to deliver the best quality of services we can to the people of the Cayman Islands in a more efficient and effective manner.

Thank you and please enjoy the rest of the conference.

IMAGE:

Cayman Islands Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin opened the Thursday morning session of the Government Professional Development Week 2014, Managing for Results.

See also iNews Cayman related story published November 4 2014 “Government Professional Development Week 2014” at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/government-professional-development-week-2014/

 

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