Address by the Hon. A.S. Jeewah, Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms on the occasion of the Award Ceremony of MS ISO 9001:2000 certification to the National Library, on Monday 21 February 2005 at 14 00 hrs at 1st Floor, Fon Sing Building, Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis

My colleague, Honourable Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun

Mr Chan Kam Lon, Director of the National Library

Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps

Dr. Autrey, Chairman of the Mauritius Standards Bureau Council

Supervising Officers of Ministries and Departments

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very happy to be in your midst this afternoon for the Award Ceremony of ISO 9001:2000 certificate to the National Library. Indeed, to-day's function is a public recognition of the hard work put in by the team to implement the ISO principles in the National Library which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Arts and Culture.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me at the outset congratulate Mr Chan Kam Lon, Director of the National Library, the quality management team, and the facilitators of Management Audit Bureau for their commitment and consistent efforts to implement the ISO principles in all the sections of the library.

The National Library now becomes the thirteenth Public Sector Organisation and the third Library to be ISO certified among the 24 organisations currently implementing such principles.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My Ministry has been the driving force to spearhead such a quality initiative in the Public Service. It fits within the overall strategy of Administrative Reforms which my Ministry has embarked upon since I took office. I am glad to note that several initiatives have proved to be very fruitful in the promotion of a quality culture in the Public Service. In addition to ISO principles, 24 Public Sector organisations have participated in the elimination of non-value added activities in their work place under the Muda Free Public Service Programme. Much emphasis has also been laid on the training of public officers in order to constitute an adequate qualified workforce to sustain the momentum of reforms.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to consolidate the reform initiatives under way, my Ministry in collaboration with the Mauritius Research Council will soon launch the Public Sector Collaborative Research Grant Scheme to enable the development and promotion of local research capacity among public officers. I have no doubt that this scheme will go a long way towards creating the institutional environment which can assist the Public Service in the formulation of solutions to local problems tailored to the needs of the Mauritius Public Service.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to sustain further the momentum of the ISO projects, my Ministry has set up the Mauritius Public Sector Quality Association (MPSQA) which groups ISO certified Public Sector Organisations. The Association serves as a platform where members support one another in the sharing of experiences and have recourse to benchmarking practices and peer pressure to uphold the values of ISO principles. The National Library will now form part of the Association.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My Ministry has gone a step further in the promotion of "Quality initiatives in the Public Service". I am pleased to say that ISO principles will now be implemented in Rodrigues in the following sectors, namely the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Public Library and the Building Permit Unit. Working sessions have already been effected and my Ministry, in collaboration with the Mauritius Standards Bureau, has started a four-day training in Quality Management Systems and Internal Audits for some 25 Rodriguan public officers as from this morning. I hope that Rodrigues will soon have its first ISO certified organization in a very near future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you know, my Ministry has introduced since 2003, the Excellent Customer Service Award in the Public Service to promote healthy competition among public services for improved customer service. The National Library was the winner of the Excellent Customer Service Award 2004 organised by my Ministry, under the criterion "Quality" which shows the driving force of the Director as leader and his ability to rally this staff towards a common objective in order to be customer focus. Hence, the ISO certification of the Library, is no mere coincidence as it reveals the organizational efficiency and commitment of staff to overcome bureaucratic hurdles to reach quality objectives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before ending, I wish to express my warmest congratulations again to the core team of the National Library and the Management Audit Bureau facilitators for the hard work they have put in. My earnest hope is that other organisations will follow their example in our common quest for excellence in the delivery of services to the population at large.

Thank you for your attention.