Address of Hon. A.S. Jeewah, Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms on the occasion of the opening ceremony of The Induction Programme For Clerical Officers on Monday 24 January, 2005 at 09.30 hours at The University of Technology, Mauritius.
Mr. Ponnusamy, Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and
Mr. Mudhoo, Permanent Secretary
Professor Coupe, Director General, University of Technology, Mauritius
Dr. Durbarry, Head of School of Public Sector Policy and Management
Trainers and Resource Persons
Officers of my Ministry,
Representatives of Trade Unions,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be with you today for the opening ceremony of the induction programme targeting some 230 Clerical Officers. This course is a continuation of the programme we started from November 2000 where some 1100 newly recruited Clerical Officers have already benefited from this programme at the University of Technology, Mauritius.
The objectives underpinning the training programme are numerous. They aim at providing officers with the knowledge of work procedures in the public service, and to shape the right attitude and mindset, motivation and skills needed for the successful execution of their tasks. These courses are designed to facilitate the development of good inter-personal and communication skills in helping officers not only adapt to different working conditions but to ensure their successful integration in their respective Ministries and Departments.
On this point, I wish to add that Government is fully aware of the importance of training which should now be recognized as part and parcel of the overall vision and mission of the different Ministries and Departments. Training is a "sine qua non" condition for the maintenance of quality, increased productivity and improved bottom-line results.
We all know that training is concerned with fitting people to the requirements of the job. This is a prerequisite in the process of enhancing competence and upgrading performance standards. However there is more to this as everybody will agree. It is also concerned with personal development, helping individuals to expand and fulfill their potential by motivating them to higher performance through the opportunity for personal growth.
Ladies & Gentlemen
The process of reforms in the public service will only be successful if there is continuous and effective human resource development. The Government of India has deputed four ITEC Experts for a period of one year under the ITEC Programme to assist us in the elaboration of a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for the whole civil service. The Experts are in Mauritius since July 2004. They are attached to my Ministry and they have already started their assignment. Over and above the training of trainers programme, they will also help in the formulation of a training policy following the TNA and the preparation of a plan laying down the training strategy in the civil service. We are also coming up with a training programme on Project Management, with the assistance of the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) of Malaysia.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This training programme we are starting today is also in line with the objectives set in the Ministry's Action Plan 2004-2005 "The Route to Excellence" which is itself a high level agenda for continuously improving public sector performance to ensure that Government obtains value for money in all its operations.
The process of modernization in the Civil Service has undoubtedly been crystallized throughout the preceding years as tangible results have been obtained. The Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms has renewed its strategic role as a tone setter and a driver and is continuously spearheading administrative reforms so as to enable the delivery of timely and quality services to the public.
Several breakthrough initiatives have been introduced in the Public Service in order to introduce the quality concept, namely Total Quality Management Framework, ISO standards and Gemba Kaizen principles. These initiatives, coupled with the improvement of counter services, have contributed to re-engineer the systems and procedures as well as shifting the mindset of public officers to adopt a more customer-oriented approach in their day to day functions.
Another major reform initiative is the implementation of the Citizen/ Customer Charter which marks the beginning of a new dimension in quality management in the public Sector. In this respect, a number of Ministries and Departments are taking concrete actions to crystallize the vision and mission of the Government to create a modern and dynamic Public Service through the formulation and implementation of Citizen's Charters, and the provision of timely services to customers.
Ladies & Gentlemen
Our vision is to develop Mauritius into a modern and flourishing economy, enhance its competitiveness in the global market and improve the quality of life of the people. To face the challenges ahead, we need trained and knowledgeable Public Officers at all levels, so as to achieve excellence in the delivery of services and become a world class Public Service.
I sincerely wish that you make the most of this training programme where you will have the opportunity to learn and interact. Learning is an ongoing process and I am sure it will be the right way to initiate you on the right path. There is no doubt that, in the ever-evolving environment, and in the light of the various challenges facing the public service, as highlighted before, your functions and your roles as Clerical Officers are multifarious and changeable in nature. Your role will no longer be confined to hum-drum routine activities as you will be called upon to be more entrepreneurial and innovative, showing much initiative, creativity and judgement in your approach. In addition to these skills, you are bound to be computer literate and make an optimum use of Information Technology in your daily activities.
I seize this opportunity to thank the Director of the UTM as well as the staff who has willingly renewed their collaboration with my Ministry in order to continue with this training programme.
With these words, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now have the pleasure to declare the Induction Programme for Clerical Officers open.
Thank you for your kind attention.