Portfolio holds first planning retreat

With “excellence in the public service” being the new mantra for government, officials from the Deputy Governor’s Office and the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs laid the groundwork for a new strategic plan during a recent two-day retreat.  

During the coming weeks, officials will revise and fine-tune these plans, and then submit a comprehensive document to Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks for his consideration and approval.  

All department heads and sections under the portfolio participated in the exercise earlier this month. The main objective was to seek ways to improve personnel, productivity and efficiency, good governance, rehabilitation of offenders, public safety, and customer service. 

“We conducted this retreat in an effort to identify and address the common issues facing our portfolio and our departments, and to identify synergies and increase communication,” said Franz Manderson, chief officer of the Portfolio of Internal of External Affairs.  

He said, from the plans prepared by each department, similar challenges such as budget processes and managing human resources were identified, thereby allowing a collaborative approach on finding optimum solutions.  

Noting the importance of this first step in the overall reform process, he said, “Focussing on the key priorities will help ensure the most effective use of available resources.” 

Participants were encouraged to question and test the draft plan, and offer constructive criticisms during the two days. Explaining the process, Deputy Chief Officer Eric Bush said the officers first determined the current situation in their respective agencies, shared these in presentations, and then identified and debated their five-year goals.  

The end result was a collective outline plan for meeting current objectives and future challenges. For instance, a significant change in the administrative structure is the eventual introduction of two additional government ministries, as well as three new MLAs. 

The portfolio’s new strategic plan should be finalised and presented to Cabinet by the first quarter of 2012. It is further envisaged that, following Cabinet’s review and approval, it will be made public. 

portfolio retreat

Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs Chief Officer Franz Manderson, standing fourth from left, is seen with senior officials under his portfolio. – Photo: Submitted

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