Address of Hon. A.S. Jeewah MP, Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony of the Gemba Kaizen Workshop held on Wednesday 02 February 2005 at 09.45 hrs in the Conference Room of the Central Administration, Port Mathurin, Rodrigues.
Hon. Serge Clair, Chief Commissioner
Mr Ponnusamy, Senior Chief Executive of my Ministry
Mr Pierre Louis, Island Chief Executive
Mr Bhange from the Kaizen Institute
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I am here this morning for the opening ceremony of the Gemba Kaizen workshop to be held at the Central Administration of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. I congratulate the Rodrigues Regional Assembly for taking a keen interest in the reform initiatives of my Ministry and for being closely associated in its efforts to promote a quality culture for the Civil Service. It is not a mere coincidence that the Central Administration has been identified for the implementation of the Gemba Kaizen for the next few days. The Central Administration as we all know is the nerve centre as regards the affairs of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This workshop fits within the overall context of administrative reforms strategies to modernize the Civil Service for more efficiency and effectiveness. My Ministry has initiated, in collaboration with the NPCC and the Kaizen Institute, a Muda-Free Public Service Programme focusing on the elimination of mudas which are non-value added activities in the Public Service.
So far 24 public sector organisations have already implemented these principles in Mauritius. I am glad to note that the innovative strategy of the Muda-Free Public Service Programme has gained momentum. It is the intention of my Ministry to cover the remaining eleven Ministries under the programme.
The workshops have indeed been beneficial as they focus on both physical and process improvements. They have helped organizations inter-alia to review their mapping processes, physical layouts, classification of documents, disposal of unserviceable equipment and have also brought to light constraints of storage and legal provisions relating to the disposal of documents. These changes have ultimately improved customer satisfaction and have resulted in a more congenial atmosphere for both public officers and members of the public.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I must emphasize that this up coming workshop is just a milestone in the Muda-Free Public Service Programme. In order to sustain further the culture of continuous improvement, organizations which have already carried out Gemba Kaizen workshops will have to register for 5S Certification with the NPCC. Subsequently, Audits will be effected in such organizations to ensure that the Gemba Kaizen principles are being maintained on a regular basis.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The sustainability of the project lies to a great extent on the commitment and dedication of staff including top management support. It is thus crucial to build up capacity among public officers to create a critical mass of reformers who would act as change agents. In this regard, a pool of facilitators has been set up to support the auditors from the NPCC to carry out Gemba Kaizen Workshops and 5S audit exercise. Training Programmes in 5S Auditing and Process Mapping were organized for the benefit of these officers.
My Ministry proposes to organize its second Gemba Kaizen Symposium later this year, which is an opportunity to highlight and share best practices to sustain the momentum of Kaizen principles in the Public Service.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before ending, I seize this opportunity to congratulate the Chief Commissioner and the Island Chief Executive for their commitment and leadership in the proposed reform programme for Rodrigues. and in the Gemba kaizen project in particular. I suggest that after the workshop, 30 minutes be devoted on a regular basis to sustain Gemba Kaizen principles as is being done in my Ministry every Friday.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to express also my warmest thanks to Mr Bhange from the Kaizen Institute for his drive and dedication. I now have the pleasure to declare the Gemba Kaizen open.
With these words, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.