Wednesday, 23 July 2008 5:50 PM

Stronger Public Service Means Better Government Services

The Government says a new program to improve the public service will lead to better trained workers with the right tools to improve government services across Solomon Islands.

Minister for Public Service, Hon. Milner Tozaka, said that the Public Service Improvement Program is a major milestone in rebuilding the public service and a feature of the RAMSI partnership to build a better, well-governed Solomon Islands.

The program will start immediately with the appointment of the program leader, Mr David Nudd.

After a long search, the selection committee of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service and the Director RAMSI Machinery of Government Program chose Mr Nudd to be the right person with the best experience.

Mr. Tozaka who met with Mr. Nudd yesterday said he looked forward to working with Mr. Nudd who is a strong strategic thinker with alot of experience of government.

"Mr Nudd has spent many years leading teams in the United Kingdom to improve their public service and more recently in other developing countries where he has proven his ability to work in partnership with Ministers, Ministries, donors and the public to achieve benefits for the country," he said.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George, said the Public Service Improvement Program, with its focus on human resource management, is a major step forward for a stronger, more effective government that works for the people.

"Good people are at the heart of good governance. This program will support the public service to recruit, train and manage the right people, into the right jobs so they can better advise government and deliver services to people."

Mr. George said that to improve services, people need to be given the right skills: the skills to plan, the skills to organise and the skills to work together with other areas of the public service.

"This program aims to do this and will work with organisations like the Institute of Public Administration and Management, which RAMSI has supported, to train government workers of a modern Solomon Islands", Mr. George said.

Minister Tozaka warned that helping the public service change the way it works will not happen overnight.

"The RAMSI supported program will run for ten years and will cost SBD$90 million or AUD$13.5 million over the first five years," he said.

At his meeting yesterday with Minister, Mr. Nudd said he looked forward to working with Solomon Islands public servants and using his experience to help develop their ability to deliver better public services.

The Minister said the Public Service Improvement Program will start with the Public Service Commission and Ministry of Public Service, and later move out into selected ministries and provincial administrations.

"The program will do some important things for improving the public service like streamline government recruitment, develop a code of conduct for all government workers and provide public servants with the tools to improve public services," Mr. Tozaka said.

Mr. Tozaka said that the idea for the Public Service Improvement Program came from a regional meeting of Public Service Commissioners in Fiji.

"They looked at the need to strengthen the public service across many Pacific countries to deliver better government services."

Mr. George said RAMSI hopes that over time the Public Service Improvement Program will see an improved ability to provide government services across Solomon Islands.

"RAMSI is happy that government workers are about to receive the support they need to deliver better services and adapt to a changing world," Mr. George said.