President Ali commits to improving efficiency, reliability in Public Service

…new Public Service Appellate Tribunal sworn in

President Dr Irfaan Ali has committed to improving and retooling the Public Service to adjust to the growing economy. This commitment was made on Wednesday during the swearing in of the new Public Service Appellate Tribunal.
Former Appellate Court Judge Nandram Kissoon will again serve as Chairman of the Tribunal. Also returning as a tribunal member is Attorney Abiola Wong-Innis. The other member is former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Hydar Ally.

President Dr Irfaan Ali along with new Chairman and members of the Public Service Appellate Tribunal at the Office of the President on Wednesday. In photo are: former Appeal Court Judge Nandram Kissoon, who took the oath of office as Chairman; Attorney Abiola Wong-Innis and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Hydar Ally, who were sworn in as Tribunal members along with Public Service Minister Sonia Parag (Office of the President photo)

The three members were administered their oaths at the Office of the President. Following the swearing in ceremony, President Ali stated that the protection of the security of tenure is necessary to improve professionalism in the Public Service, and that the PPP Government is committed to this task.
“I not only want to congratulate you, but I want to wish you well. And I’m sure the public servants will have the confidence in you, in ensuring that their security of tenure and their ability to have a court of redress outside of the judicial system is secured,” the Head of State said. He added that the Appellate Tribunal would be necessary for protecting the security of public servants’ tenure by affording them the right to appeal decisions of the Public Service Commission as it relates to appointments, discipline, and dismissals.
In this regard, he noted that the tribunal provides recourse against decisions of the commission which public servants may wish to challenge or contest. “The tribunal, therefore, is part of the system of administrative justice within the Public Service,” he said, while emphasising that Government has a responsibility to ensure that investments are made in the human resources capacity.
Ali also noted that it is necessary to create a public service that is more efficient, reliable, and in keeping with national development priorities.
He added that professionals must no longer view the Public Service as a form of apprenticeship, but as a long-term destination.
At present, the Public Service is being reorganised to make it more service-oriented and efficient, the President said, pointing out that the goal is to have a Public Service that provides timely and quality service to citizens, thereby eliminating “the royal-run-around.”
“We want public servants who are productive and who provide value for money. We want a Public Service which is equipped with the skills necessary for national development. The Public Service is being restructured to be able to attract and retain highly skilled individuals,” President Ali added.
Improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Public Service is imperative, given that Guyana is poised for rapid development, President Ali also told the gathering.
Additionally, he added that a growing and diversified economy would demand qualified, trained and skilled individuals in the Public Service.
He said that, moving forward, changes will also be made on an individual level as it relates to public servants.
“Citizens are entitled to courteous and efficient service. People often have to travel long distances to seek Government services, such as birth and death certificates, pensions, school placements, and health services. Public Service must ensure minimal inconvenience for members of the public. They must be assured of an efficient and satisfactory service.”
To achieve this change, the President said, the Government would continue to train, retool, and develop public servants.
The Tribunal was established by the Public Service Tribunal Act 1984. The Act empowers the Tribunal to hear appeals from the Public Service Commission’s decision in respect to appointment by the promotion of any person to a public office, and exercise of disciplinary control over any person holding or acting in any public office.