President engages permanent secretaries – stresses need for high levels of competence and professionalism

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President David Granger and Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, today, convened a meeting with the permanent secretaries of the various ministries with a  view to ensuring that their work is in line with the policies of the Government. The meeting was held at the Ministry of the Presidency in Georgetown.

Both the President and the Minister called for meetings of this nature to become a monthly feature, so that their public officers can communicate and interact more, exchange ideas and sort out differences that may arise from time to time.

President David Granger, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon and permanent secretaries of the various Government Ministries at the Ministry of the Presidency (GINA photo)
President David Granger, Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon and permanent secretaries of the various Government Ministries at the Ministry of the Presidency (GINA photo)

GINA reported the President as saying that the position of permanent secretary is the pinnacle of the professional career of a public servant and, as such, his Government will ensure that the conditions under which they function are as close as possible to ideal and that there is a high level of satisfaction and commitment among them. He explained that like law and medicine, public service is a profession that requires a high level of competency and professionalism.

“Ministers may change, but permanent secretaries are meant to be permanent… to run a ministry continuously for a long period of time, every day and whoever the minister is, the Permanent Secretary must be able to discharge his/her function in an efficient manner but they cannot do that unless they are educated,” President Granger said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Minister Harmon, who emphasised that permanent secretaries have a critical role to play in the functioning of the ministries. He informed the permanent secretaries that the President will soon introduce a draft strategic plan for the various ministries, which outlines a broad framework within which each ministry will function and what they should focus on.

This draft plan also highlights the Government’s green agenda. Minister Harmon said that, “the first and foremost responsibility of every Government ministry is to push that green agenda.”

 

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