outstanding: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar presents Chief Fire Officer Carl Williams with the public service award for excellence during the Ministry of Public Administration "From Gold to Diamond Gala" awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, on Wednesday night. —Photo courtesy Office of the Prime Minister

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'Public service is a business'

By Jensen LaVende jensen.lavende@trinidadexpress.com

THE public service is a business. So said Minister of Public Administration Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan on Wednesday during the Ministry's gala award ceremony entitled "From Gold to Diamond".

"Our approach is to treat the public service as a business, whose business is to provide the best service possible to all our citizens, now and in the future," Seepersad-Bachan told the 40 recipients and relatives of ten posthumous recipients of the Public Service Award for Excellence.

The award ceremony took place at the Hyatt Regency hotel, in Port of Spain.

During her address, the Minister said it is the duty of the public service to improve its competitiveness, reduce actual costs, lower opportunity costs and ensure that the citizens, businesses and investors can get the best possible service in the shortest possible time and at the highest possible quality.

"The intention is to improve accountability and transparency by creating professional streams for administrative functions and introducing new professional streams that are vital to the transformation process and for creating a 21st century public service," Seepersad-Bachan said.

Also receiving awards were seven Government institutions, among 200 polled, to receive the Excellence Service to the Country Award.

The seven recipients were: the Blood Bank, Port of Spain; Election and Boundaries Commission, Couva, Immigration Department, Sangre Grande; Paymasters Branch at the Ministry of Finance; the Out-Patient Clinic at Scarborough Hospital and the Mayaro and Arima Public Libraries.

During the feature address, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the gathering that the public service was the glue that held the nation together during the attempted coup in 1990, the Black Power movement in 1970 and other national issues.

"The public service is challenged never to take sides regardless of who is in power and to ensure that the business of government runs as smoothly as possible. It is a task that is too often taken for granted and overlooked," the Prime Minister said.

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