President David Granger on Friday warned persons working in the public sector against developing traits and practices that could prevent them from rising to the challenge and performing exceptionally, maintaining that “if they want to be lazy, they will get a lazy person’s remuneration.”
It was after the Head of State received the long awaited final report of the investigation into the public service at the Ministry of the Presidency (MoP), that he made the comments. He referred to the inquiry as a “landmark study”.
The three-member panel headed by Professor Harold Lutchman was charged with investigating, reporting on, and making recommendations on the role, functions, recruitment process, remuneration and conditions of service for public servants. The Commission was also expected to determine measures to improve the efficiency of the public service. It was also expected to have a detailed examination of how salaries and wages are determined and allocated. The CoI commenced in September 2015 and came to an end in January of this year. The other Commissioners were Sandra Jones and Samuel Goolsarran.
President Granger said that those in the Public Sector need to become aware of the importance of their roles to the people they serve, noting that any laid back attitude will attract a matching pay.
“Many people expect that there is going to be some bonanza. I hope they will discover that the bonanza will come from their own efforts. The bonanza will come when they work hard and do better than the next person. If they work hard they will be rewarded for their hard work. This is what people in every area of endeavour must learn, that actual output is related to input,” the Head of State remarked.
Zooming in on three critical areas on which public servants are being judged, President Granger noted impartiality and social responsibility, education, and experience.
He stressed the need for a cadre of public officers who must discharge their duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
“Any concerns about ethnicity, party affiliation, neighbourhood or family should be erased from professional performance,” the Head of State asserted.
He noted that the country cannot function without an efficient public service, which he said, is meant to ensure that the State is well governed.
“The politicians will be elected and they will leave, but the public service remains and is responsible for continuity. It is responsible for the maintenance of standards. It is responsible for the enforcement of the laws of the country. Any country that is going to be lawless is going to come to grief… if we are to be lawful we have to have a professional public service,” the President said.
Soon after taking Office, President Granger met with senior public servants at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) where he spoke of his Administration’s plan to ensure that the public service is one that is professional and “unbribable”.
Professor Lutchman, in a brief comment, spoke highly of his colleague Commissioners, whose areas of expertise and qualifications were relevant to the issues which the Commission was mandated to examine. He also informed that the Commission received support and submissions from a number of persons and organisations both locally and abroad.
The report will be deliberated on at the level of the Cabinet after which it will be presented to the Speaker of the National Assembly to be tabled in the House. It will also be shared with the unions.