'Public Service to get make-over'
Public Administration Minster Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said yesterday that her ministry was taking in the challenges, needs and expectations citizens expect from the Public Service and making significant improvements, including e-government services (online services), making State agencies a one-stop shop for all government business, and streamlining jobs by making contract positions permanent.
"We have a lot of services, especially information and communication technologies (ICT) in the public service, but the Service has never been transformed to take advantage of that," Seepersad-Bachan told the Express yesterday during the launch of Public Service Week on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain.
She said the Service's structure was designed so that leadership at the top made decisions, with clerical staff having little power. The new plan would be to empower all levels, delegating authority, but enforcing accountability, she said.
She said this structural change would allow for the introduction of a whole new set of professional streams.
"Contract positions, for example, have mushroomed because those are positions that we require but we have never created those positions within the service itself.
"We have a lot of outdated positions in the public service, positions that are no longer relevant. The service no longer represents what is taking place in our society. So many new professional streams have opened up, in communications or ICT for example, but we don't have established positions for them in the Public Service. You have people who are Clerk 1s who have Masters degrees, who cannot use the education they have because of the position they are in. By opening up these new streams these people will find opportunities and new career paths in the public service, because we need them," she said.
She said the streamlining of the public service was to facilitate government agencies as a one-stop shop for all government services.
"If you want to apply for teaching or to be a police officer, or even renew your driver's licence, you should be able to do everything at any government office. We hope in the next year to launch a pilot project where you are able to go to any government office regardless of Ministry and obtain any government service. It's called 'No Wrong Door'. To do this, we will have to take advantage of the e-government services," she said.