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Georgetown, Guyana – (March 03, 2016) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, within whose purview the responsibility for the public service sector falls, said that the Government will make the necessary investments to ensure an efficient and reliable public service.

Addressing delegates of the Caribbean Sub-regional Advisory Committee (SUBRAC), an advisory body of the Public Services International (PSI), at a cocktail reception held on the lawns of State House, last evening, Minister Harmon said the Government will implement reforms that will create “a brand new public service”.

“I believe it is important that we understand a couple of things about public service. Here in Guyana, we have made it very clear to our public servants that they are just that; servants to the public. We are looking at a brand new public service; at investing in our public servants, at making them better people, at making the environment in which they work, a better place. So when you come to Guyana, apart from seeing the infrastructure that is being developed, you will see a fresh new approach to issues,” Minister Harmon said.

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon shares a light moment with Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Mr. Keith Scott (centre) and Professor, Dr. Harold Lutchman.

The delegates are in Guyana for the three-day 2016 Caribbean SUBRAC meeting. Senior Executive Member of PSI and Head of the Delegation in Guyana, Mr. Wayne Jones, in an invited comment, said that the meeting is held annually in different Caribbean States and focuses on issues affecting the various public service sectors in the Caribbean.

“We come up with recommendations and advice to the Regional Executive Committee of Public Service International, which advances those up to the Executive Annual Congress of Public Service International. So we are really influencing policies on how we deliver quality public service,” Mr. Jones said.
As Guyana hosts this year’s meeting, Mr. Jones said that there are several critical issues on the front burner, which the Committee hopes to have addressed.

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The Caribbean SUBRAC delegates and other attendees mingle at last evening’s reception.

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Mr. Wayne Jones, executive member of Public Services International makes his remarks as Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon (right) and President of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) Mr. Patrick Yarde look on.

“This year we are looking at a number of matters, significant among them of course is the transferring from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals and how these will, in fact, enhance the lives of the people of the Caribbean. We are also paying attention to women issues and young workers in the public service. As the world changes, we are also looking at [ways in which] we can change how we operate, what are the services being offered by the various sectors in the public service and how we can organise ourselves,” Mr. Jones, a veteran Trade Unionist, said.

Delegations from over 17 countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and others, are participating in the meeting. Public Services International is a “global trade union federation”, representing more than 20 million public servants around the world. The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is a member of the federation.

Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Mr. Keith Scott, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ms. Simona Broomes, Minister within the Ministry of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, Commissioner on the Commission of Inquiry into the Public Service, Professor, Dr. Harold Lutchman, President of the GPSU, Mr. Patrick Yarde and Permanent Secretary of the Department of Public Service, Mr. Reginald Brotherson were among the attendees.

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