PM, several Cabinet members sworn in
President David A Granger this afternoon at the Presidential Complex, (to be renamed Ministry of the Presidency), swore in several Members of the Cabinet of the APNU+AFC government.
he first to be sworn in was Mr Moses Nagamootoo as the Prime Minister.
The others who took the oath of office were: Minister of Finance-Winston Jordan; Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge; Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton; Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings; Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine; Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Odella Henry; Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence; Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Simona Broomes; Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson; Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson; Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, and Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally.
In congratulating the new Prime Minister who is also the first Vice President, and members of the Cabinet, President Granger reminded them that they are all a team and they should all be committed to ensuring that all Guyanese have a good life.
President Granger further called on his ministers to work towards ensuring Guyana becomes less divided and less a poor country. He added that their main aim should be to deliver on the promises of change that were made leading up to the May 11 General and Regional elections.
Meanwhile others Members of the new Cabinet are expected to be sworn in at a later date.
During a meeting today, heads of government agencies and Permanent Secretaries were addressed by President David Granger on what will be required of them and the code of ethics to be observed and upheld under the new administration.
President Granger said under his administration, public servants will be anchored on strict professionalism, transparency, and integrity.
During the meeting, which was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre (to be renamed Arthur Chung Convention Centre), the President stressed the need for public servants to understand their role as servants to all citizens of Guyana.
“It is my view that the public service is the engine of the executive, (and) it is essential to have an efficient public service.”
For a country to have efficient service in education, housing, law and order and infrastructure, President Granger said there must to be a relevant public service.
Equally important too, President Granger said is for the creation of the conducive environment in which all citizens can enjoy what he calls the “good life”.
“It is we the public servants who create that environment in our day to day work, so civilised life in Guyana is not possible without good public service.”
For progress to take place and most important equality, President Granger reiterated that a responsive public service is the engine that will ensure this.
A relevant public service, which has roots in all regions, was also stated as what is also needed to meet the needs of all citizens.
“We need a public service that is reliable, and I mention this, the relevance, the responsiveness, the resourcefulness and reliability because I believe in having stronger regions.”
A section of the audience at the Guyana International Conference Centre, to be renamed Arthur Chung Convention Centre as they gathered to hear from President David Granger
The new president called on the public servants to improve efficiency and most importantly to increase the satisfaction, which citizens can derive.
Quoting from a report done 62 years ago on Public Service, the President said, “The main purpose of a civil service is to be an organ for the presentation to Ministers of the product of organised thought and collective experience. This purpose cannot be achieved unless the civil service is composed of men and women of complete integrity who are able to give advice without fear or favour, partiality or prejudice”.
With that in mind, President Granger told the gathering that as new ministers assume office they will be relying on a cadre of public servants who are capable of presenting to their ministers the product of organised thoughts and collective experience.
While being reminded of their relevance, they were equally reminded of their role.
“We cannot function without a public service and if the public service try to be politicians there will be catastrophe, there will be administrative catastrophe, the public service must live by different rules.”
The President further pointed out, it is politicians who are the representatives in the Parliament who speak in the interest of the constituencies.
As is also necessary, President Granger said that public servants must always be ready and willing to give sound advice to their respective Minister that will aid in nation building, and the success of the Ministry.
There will also be measures in place to deal with Ministers who do not heed advice given to them, President Granger said.
“So if an expert gives advice on the acquisition on a sugar factory for example and the politicians refuse to accept the good example and we end up with a white elephant or we end up with a sort of mechanical catastrophe, the politician will pay the price,” he said.
“It means that whoever comes into office as your political minister, the public servant must be prepared to work without reservation and with devotion for the success of that administration.”
Stating his non-interest in persons’ political affiliation, President Granger said that the public service must be established firmly on the basis of a merit system and not political partiality as he noted the merit system will ensure that career officials would not be selected on the basis of non- merit principles.
Public Service staff college
Given that a lot more will be required from public servants holding high office with responsibility for state assets, the President also announced the establishment of a facility to ensure this.
“The Public Service must possess expert knowledge and high standard academic education and for that reason I intend to introduce a Staff College, so that everyone entering the administrative branches of the Guyana Public Service must do a course at the Public Service Staff College.”
This would ensure that persons serving the nation would be more equipped, even as the present Public Service Training division of the Public Service Ministry will be upgraded.
Public Administration courses will be high on the training agenda while other basics in public service delivery would also be addressed with the aim bringing about a better understanding of how the public service is meant to operate.
“So people will not enter and people will not be promoted unless they qualify to enter the public service, unless they possess that degree of expert knowledge which we require of our new public service.”
In this regard, President Granger said persons would now advance to higher ranks within the administrative system in the public service based on their experience and expertise.
“It doesn’t serve the purpose of a good administration for a politician to be elected or selected or appointed as a Permanent Secretary and his or her subordinates know more about how the Ministry is run than he/she,” he added.
Another aim of this Staff College will be to establish principles on which a career public service is built.