Civil Service College slated

A college for civil servants is expected to open in September 2007, Peter Gough, Chief Officer, Deputy Head of the Civil Service confirmed on Monday.

Mr. Gough

Mr. Gough

The college is designed to complement the various Public Management Reforms that been undertaken over the past five years in order to improve performance of the government sector, Mr. Gough said.

‘The delegation of financial and personnel management to chief officers and departmental heads requires different skills and competencies from our managers,’ he said. ‘Courses will be provided by the college to target those new competencies.’

The college, called the Cayman Islands Civil Service College, will be open to all levels of public servants, from new inductees to advanced learners.

Civil servants wishing to take advanced courses like the certificate or diploma programmes would need to demonstrate they can satisfactorily participate in those programmes, Mr. Gough said.

Some courses will be aimed at developing civil servants to perform at very high levels or to enable them to undertake higher level jobs.

Initially, CICSC will be open only to civil servants.

‘However, there are plans to run courses on governance for new and existing board members of statutory authorities and government companies,’ Mr. Gough said.

The tuition fees for the college will be fully funded by the Cayman Islands Government.

‘However, this is an investment in our people which will pay dividends down the line,’ Mr. Gough said.

The administrative offices for CICSC will be at the Corporate Centre, where there will also be some training facilities.

Mr. Gough said the college will also contract with other establishments such as the University College of the Cayman Islands, the International College of the Cayman Islands and Senior Civil Servants to provide lecturing services.

CICSC will fall under the auspices of the Portfolio of the Civil Service, and a curriculum will be developed by a committee to reflect all aspects of public service.

The college will provide formal education as well as some vocational training courses.

‘The focus initially will be to develop managerial, leadership and governance capability,’ Mr. Gough said.

The curriculum will include courses in accrual accounting, financial management, personnel management, production management, emergency management, strategic management, public safeguards and governance.

While it is anticipated that CICSC will use lecturers from other academic institutions, Mr. Gough said it might need to hire one or two core staff and import some overseas lecturers for specialist courses. Some experienced senior civil servants would also serve as lecturers, he said.

Certain details about the college’s courses, such as what time of day they will occur and their duration, have not been decided, but Mr. Gough said it was envisaged that the classes would take place during the daytime, with the length of the sessions depending on the time of the course.

‘Some courses will be as short as a half day, particularly the induction courses, and some courses may be one day a week for a period of time,’ Mr. Gough said.

The plans for CICSC have been in the works for about 18 months. The college is the brainchild of Chief Secretary George McCarthy.

‘When Mr. McCarthy took over as the Chief Secretary in November 2004, he had a vision for the Civil Service, which was articulated by him when he met a group of senior civil servants.

Mr. McCarthy said the goal of the Civil Service Reform is ‘to develop a modern, respected and professional Civil Service that serves the community and positively contributes to the ongoing development of the Cayman Islands’.

‘It is planned to achieve this goal through four broad strategies as follows: Being a fair and responsible employer; empowering and supporting managers; supporting professional development and personal growth; and expecting professional performance.’

The Civil Service College is one of the detailed strategies to address professional development

Mr. Gough, who only recently was moved into his position after the announced retirement of Colin Ross, said that a lot of the policy work on the planning of CICSC was done before his involvement.

‘But I’m the one who’s going to have to get it done,’ he said.

Mr. Ross, when he appeared before the Finance Committee last month, said the CICSC would help the Government address the issue of succession planning in the civil service.

‘When it is up and running, [CICSC] will be a major part of civil service and civil service reform,’ he said.

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