St. Kitts – Nevis To Attend PSC Conference

Prime Minister - Robert Gonsalves

Prime Minister – Robert Gonsalves

Basseterre, St. Kitts Nevis
June 09, 2008 (CUOPM)

Chairman of the St. Kitts and Nevis Public Service Commission (PSC), Dr. Joseph Halliday and the Secretary, Ms. Beverly Knight, will be among colleagues from Public Service Commissions (PSCs) in the Caribbean meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Conference arranged by the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), a regional inter-governmental organisation specialising in transforming and modernising the Public Sector of Caribbean States, brings the Public Service Commissions together for the first time.

The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves will deliver the keynote address at the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday.

Representatives will explore issues relevant to the function of Commissions, promote networking among Commissioners and other key officials in Human Resources Management and allow for a sharing of experiences and lessons learnt.

The Executive Director of CARICAD, Jennifer Astaphan said the primary purpose of the two-day conference “is to bring representatives of Public Service Commissions together to review the role of the Commission in the management of human resources in the Public Services in the Region, within the context of Public Sector Modernisation.”

She adds that CARICAD hopes that the deliberations will result in suggestions and recommendations that can be used to design a project to further enhance the role of the Commissions in Public Sector Modernisation in the Caribbean.

Besides St. Kitts and Nevis, 12 other Caribbean countries have confirmed participation. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

She adds that CARICAD hopes that the deliberations will result in suggestions and recommendations that can be used to design a project to further enhance the role of the Commissions in Public Sector Modernisation in the Caribbean.

Besides St. Kitts and Nevis, 12 other Caribbean countries have confirmed participation. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Canadian PSC has been invited to make a presentation on the Canadian experience of Public Sector Modernisation and the Commissions role in that effort. Vice-President of Staffing and Assessment, Donald Lemaire, will make the presentations.

Another presentation will be made by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration of Trinidad and Tobago, Arlene McComie. She will speak on the topic of “Strategic Human Resource Management: the Changing Role of the Public Service Commission.”

There will be two panel discussions. Regional experts will express their views on “Change and transformation – Evolving Caribbean Models of PSCs, and “The Constitutional Mandate of PSC’s: Options for Transforming procedures for more Efficient Management of Human Capital.

As a lead up to the Conference, CARICAD engaged the services of a regional consultant, Victor La Corbiniere to examine the constitutional role and functions of the Commissions in Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica to provide a frame of reference relative to the mechanisms, procedures and functioning of the PSC within the context of modern human resource management practices.

La Corbiniere will report on his findings, highlighting the issues, challenges and opportunities for Caribbean PSC’s.

Although there is variation in structure and functions, the mandates of PSCs in the Region is similar. The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament mandated to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the political impartiality of public servants.

They are responsible for decisions regarding the appointment promotion, discipline and dismissal of workers in what are traditionally called the Civil Service. The intention is that the appointment and discipline of people working in the public service should be divorced from political influence.

In addition to the Commissioners, representation will be drawn from the various departments of Human Resources and Personnel Management. The Public Sector Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will also participate in the Conference.

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