Georgetown, Guyana – (October 9, 2019) Director General, Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Joseph Harmon, this morning, underscored the important role that Human Resources practitioners play in Public Service governance and urged them to sharpen their management skills to ensure that the sector becomes effective.

Mr. Harmon made these statements in his address at the opening ceremony of a one-day Senior Personnel and Human Resources Practitioners Conference, which was hosted at De Impeccable Banquet Hall, Brickdam. The Conference was hosted by the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Public Service.
The Director General pointed out that the Government, in 2015, envisaged a new Public Service that is accessible, relevant, reliable, resourceful and responsive to the needs of the people, and that is equally effective in all regions. He emphasized that the modernization and a concerted effort to enhance the management capacities at all levels of the Public Sector are needed if this is to become a reality.
Mr. Harmon stressed that in keeping with Government’s vision, practitioners must understand their roles.

“I am confident that as you discuss issues and barriers to effective personal management at this conference, this forum will provide useful knowledge that will make you wiser, to execute your professional duties on behalf of the Government of Guyana and the people of Guyana,” he said.

The Director General charged the practitioners to extend their areas of responsibility to include all areas of the Public Service’s Human Resources Management for the benefit of all, before adding that the profession is one of great importance.

“Personnel officers are the engineers of the public service…The Public Service has been described as the ‘Engine of the Executive’. This description derives from the fact that there can be no delivery of services to the citizenry by or on behalf of the Government without the Public Service,” the Director General said.

Meanwhile, Minister of the Public Service, Mrs. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, in her address said the Conference aims to transform management throughout the Public Service of Guyana. She urged the participants to approach the management of their staff in a more effective and efficient manner, while opining that the practitioners should step away from the traditional Personnel Manager’s approach and to adopt a human management approach when dealing with public servants.

“It is my hope that as we go through this Conference, the issues and concerns from all across the country will be raised as to how personnel matters are dealt with, should be dealt with and I am hoping that innovative ideas can come as to what can be transformed over the next few years. I look forward to your suggestions to the changes in the rules to personnel management,” she said.

Additionally, Ministry of the Presidency Department of the Public Service, Permanent Secretary, Ms. Karen Vansluytman-Corbin, in her remarks, said that the Department is motivated by the vision to create innovations which are a necessary requirement to becoming a high-performance public service organisation and it is working assiduously to achieve this goal.

“The innovation process is essential to increase the Public Sector efficiency and for delivering quality and competitive public service. It is a dynamic process that changes the architecture of Government, identify issues, and challenges, develop new processes, creation, selections and implementation of new solutions …Our goal is to see innovation used in a way in order to bring enhanced efficiency…However it must be noted that change and transformation must be done in a structured manner. So, I urge you let us go out there and innovate, collaborate and cooperate to create a better Public Service for Guyana,” she said.

Recommendations coming out of the forum will be presented to Minister Sarabo-Halley for consideration and possible action by the Government.

The conference was held under the theme, ‘Innovation and Best Practices in Public Service Governance’. Human Resources officials from across the country attended the Conference.

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