Categorized | Local, News

Gov Davis wants a magic wand

As he says, Goodbye and thanks to public servants, but laments their need to share and be good to one another. “You need to be friendly with one another; you need to help one another,” he said.

by Bennette Roach

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (10)

Governor Adrian Davis

Jun 26, 2015 – At the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Friday, June 26, 2015 His Excellency sought and used the opportunity to speak to public servants in a forum setting, some concerns and his wishes of things he would have liked to tell them before.

He began by recalling his understanding of his role as Governor in Montserrat, hoping that he would have gotten “some better assurance after the last four years,” which was the term he served in Montserrat, having arrived in April 2011 he will depart on or about July 7, 2015.

He said he understood the role of the Governor, in brief, “is to represent Montserrat in the UK and the UK in Montserrat…that boiled down to being a critical but supportive friend who is willing to tell the truth to both sides and to try and iron out any misunderstandings.”

The Governor in his farewell presentation to the public servants, who it is considered turned out in good numbers, considering that, as the Deputy Governor who made the arrangements said, there were those who could not come, particularly those carrying out essential services, police, nurses, teachers, etc.

The Governor did not boast of any things that he thought was worthy of praise, though in ways he commended the civil servants for hard work.  The DG congratulated him as he always sought to give “… commendations recognizing always the excellent service that was always provided by public servants.”

But Deputy Governor Jim Taylor did point and praise him further for what he considered his (the Governor) accomplishments.

“You lamented the use of our paper-based methods.  Your commitment to the use of technology to improve the operations of government and the Cabinet led to the development and rollout of what is called EXCOTRACK.  As a result, we now use less paper and ink when making cabinet decisions and dealing with cabinet matters.  And I know that other overseas territories have an interest in this system.”

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (6)

Deputy Governor Jim Taylor

It did take some time for the various Commissions arising out of the new Montserrat Constitution to be installed. “Your name will also be associated with the establishment of the Commissions required by the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010…resulting from your integration in our community and through your networking and consultation, you were able to agree on outstanding persons for appointment to serve on the various commissions.”

THE DG noted that, e.g., two members of the Complaints Commission reside overseas, “but through the use of technology, the chairman and his members were able to pursue their mandate regularly and with effectiveness.”

He praised the Governor for his passion seeing for seeing through the passage of the Public Administration Bill debated and approved by the Legislative Assembly, but he commented, “the regulations are still in the developmental stages.”

The Dep Gov thanked Governor Davis for his contribution as head of the Montserrat public service. “We will endeavour to build on the legacy you are leaving behind.  We will continue to drive to build a service-oriented culture through training and capacity building,” Taylor told the Governor as he challenged the public servants, that they must, “lead by example and place great emphasis on delivering high-quality customer service.“

“We will continue to promote continuous learning and seek to better align the performance development agreements with the annual training needs, creating efficient, effective links that will deliver value for money,” he said.

He thanked the Governor and his very popular wife Sujue. “We see your departure from our shores, not as an end to your association with Montserrat but rather as a new beginning for you to serve as a goodwill ambassador for us,” thanking them both, “for your commitment to Montserrat as evident by your full integration (especially the outstanding Sujue) into the life and community of our people.”

“We wish you every success in all of your future endeavours,” Taylor ended.

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (13)

Governor says goodbye to public servants

The Governor in response and bidding his own farewell, thanked the deputy Governor for his kind remarks as he went on to basically speak to the relationship between Her Majesty’s Government, and DFID with the GoM.

The Governor noted that while DFID provides 60% of recurrent budget, and all of the capital budget, (about $120 million plus per year) funds will always be tight. He said that in current economic circumstances, the potential to limit expenditure, when the vast proportion comprises wages and essential maintenance is limited; the same is largely true of revenue raising potential “although I think more could be done to pursue those people who have arrears of taxes,“ he observed.

Noting:A population of 5,000 means that Montserrat suffers acute diseconomies of scale. An economically active population of 9,000 as set out in the Sustainable Development Plan.”

He spoke to and observed, “There has recently been much talk in the press and on social media about DFID “moving the goalposts”.  He said the UK is very proud that it spends 0.7% of its national income on international aid. This means, he said, that DFID’s budget has increased from £7 to £12 billion over the last five years – this at a time when other departments have suffered significant budget cuts. “But the quid pro quo for the budget increase is that DFID are under intense public and parliamentary scrutiny,” and they are under Ministerial instruction that they can only spend if they are absolutely sure money is being spent for purposes intended. “There is zero tolerance of fraud and corruption. So to that extent they have indeed moved the goalposts,” the Governor declared. Our question will DFID admit the same.

The Governor spoke to Public sector reform which has been going on for more years than we can remember, but which he says, has to proceed within an overall vision i.e. greater financial independence for Montserrat. So, he said, the public sector needs to do anything possible to enable the private sector to flourish and to provide a welcoming environment for foreign investment.

With all of this the Governor said and lamented how he wished he had a magic wand. He noted that public servants did not like to share information. “It was crucial that we share information with each other, that we were part of one operation that we saw ourselves as teams…with such a small community and we all know one another and we work and live very close to one another but we seem to be reluctant to share information.

“…So let’s work in teams, let’s share information. I’d like to see more communication by talking to one another … I’ve seen endless streams of emails. I’d like much less…red tape and less protocol and more flexibility,” he complained.

“The possession of knowledge should not be treated as a source of individual power.” He continued his desire. “If I had a magic wand:

– Everyone would share information and work effectively in teams. Ironic and paradoxical that this situation exists in Montserrat given the explosion of information available on the internet.

– More effective performance management – and, hopefully as a consequence, better paid, more effective and smaller public service – Have to find jobs outside of the public service

The Governor had more to say speaking about the needs to be improve Strategic planning  – performance management; Better financial oversight – the ability to account for funding in a transparent way; A policy framework that sets direction for programmes to follow; An explicit recognition that Government is continuous and represents the wishes of the electorate, “of which you as public servants formed a significant part,” he warned.

It stuck out when he said:I just think we should be more relaxed. My next magicians trick would that everyone be properly trained and where they are in professional positions; would have the appropriate professional qualifications for the job,” praising meantime, “the Performance Management System we brought in is great, it’s not perfect. It is still a bit laborious, but I think it is a great improvement.

Speaking kindly of Montserrat as a whole, he noted a very sore point of complaint among many and not a surprising observation from the Governor.You’re all very hospitable and all very friendly, and need to be the same in your dealings in work as well as outside of work. You need to be friendly with one another; you need to help one another, he almost sighed.” Then he noted generally of Montserrat and earlier had pointed out what all visitors say. “Of course the other thing that people liked is that there is a low crime rate in Montserrat and I think that’s absolutely enviable and we must try and keep that.”

On that note he closed by speaking on behalf of himself and his wife. “My wife and I really enjoyed being in Montserrat, in spite being told on arrival that it can be very difficult being Governor, that it is a gold fish bowl…we haven’t found it intrusive…, enjoyed being part of the community, commenting on his wife’s deep involvement in the community activities. Montserrat is a good place to be…when we got to Montserrat we felt it was a good place to be.”

The Governor concluded as he spoke to the public servants, inviting, not so much questions, but comments and suggestions for his successor. He repeated how both he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed serving on Montserrat and will miss Montserrat, committed to being ambassadors for Montserrat keeping it in their hearts. “Thank you for your help, thank you for your support, it’s been a privilege to work with you, it’s been a privilege to live among you and we wish you all the best for a happy, successful and prosperous future,” he concluded.

This part might have been not surprising but yet disappointing as only two senior public servants came forward. Miss Deborah Lewis from the Deputy Governor’s office told the Governor: “…I am going to miss you personally and professionally. Having worked closely with you…and yes despite protocol, ceremonial events nationality matters. I have been a beneficiary of your humour that the others have seen a little bit of today. I like your style, I enjoyed working with you, your pursuit and your drive for excellence and performance across the service. It has encouraged me to always work to a very high standard.

“You always had an open door policy. …I had many disagreements with Her Majesties Passport Office in the UK and you’ve always supported us. So I just want to thank you for all your support and encouragement. You have sent me return commendations and I will always treasure those, thank you.”

Miss Camille Gerald Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office: “…I just wanted to say on behalf of all Public Servants, thanks to H.E for leading the charge of the Public Service for the last four years. My advice to the new Governor is just as he said he recognized his role in being able to advise both the Montserrat Government and also the British Government in a sort of positive way, I’m anticipating that his successor would be able to understand the roles in that she would have to play in terms of liaising with Government of Montserrat and also the British Government, spreading the truth about Montserrat.

“And also, that the successor would advance the areas as outlined. We recognize coming up in a few days we’ll have some discussions with DFID on main schematic areas and that I anticipate that the new Governor will continue to provide that support to the Government and people of Montserrat in advancing that work so that we will be able to fulfill the vision that we would have laid out in our Sustainable Development Plan.”

The Premier’s office is hosting a Farewell Ceremony and cocktail on Tuesday in honour of His Excellency and Mrs. Davis at the Cultural Centre.

 Mr.. Davis also praised some of the developments and innovations which were created within the service such as the Visa Online System. He added that there’s a possibility of better payments for Public Servants in the future but at a cost.

Governor:

I think that if we had better performance management we would probably be able to have in time and I’m really talking in time, a better paid but inevitably probably a bit smaller public service and I don’t think that should necessarily be a worry because we have to find jobs outside of the Public Service and if we keep going with the Strategic Earth Program and if we come to some kind of decision on access that is better than what we currently got the prospects could be better.

Reporter:

Governor Davis successor Miss Elizabeth Carriere is expected to take her appointment in early August.

 

Comments are closed.

TMR print pages

Newsletter

Archives

https://indd.adobe.com/embed/2b4deb22-cf03-4509-9bbd-938c7e8ecc7d

A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

As he says, Goodbye and thanks to public servants, but laments their need to share and be good to one another. “You need to be friendly with one another; you need to help one another,” he said.

by Bennette Roach

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (10)

Governor Adrian Davis

Jun 26, 2015 – At the Montserrat Cultural Centre on Friday, June 26, 2015 His Excellency sought and used the opportunity to speak to public servants in a forum setting, some concerns and his wishes of things he would have liked to tell them before.

Insert Ads Here

He began by recalling his understanding of his role as Governor in Montserrat, hoping that he would have gotten “some better assurance after the last four years,” which was the term he served in Montserrat, having arrived in April 2011 he will depart on or about July 7, 2015.

He said he understood the role of the Governor, in brief, “is to represent Montserrat in the UK and the UK in Montserrat…that boiled down to being a critical but supportive friend who is willing to tell the truth to both sides and to try and iron out any misunderstandings.”

The Governor in his farewell presentation to the public servants, who it is considered turned out in good numbers, considering that, as the Deputy Governor who made the arrangements said, there were those who could not come, particularly those carrying out essential services, police, nurses, teachers, etc.

The Governor did not boast of any things that he thought was worthy of praise, though in ways he commended the civil servants for hard work.  The DG congratulated him as he always sought to give “… commendations recognizing always the excellent service that was always provided by public servants.”

But Deputy Governor Jim Taylor did point and praise him further for what he considered his (the Governor) accomplishments.

“You lamented the use of our paper-based methods.  Your commitment to the use of technology to improve the operations of government and the Cabinet led to the development and rollout of what is called EXCOTRACK.  As a result, we now use less paper and ink when making cabinet decisions and dealing with cabinet matters.  And I know that other overseas territories have an interest in this system.”

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (6)

Deputy Governor Jim Taylor

It did take some time for the various Commissions arising out of the new Montserrat Constitution to be installed. “Your name will also be associated with the establishment of the Commissions required by the Montserrat Constitution Order 2010…resulting from your integration in our community and through your networking and consultation, you were able to agree on outstanding persons for appointment to serve on the various commissions.”

THE DG noted that, e.g., two members of the Complaints Commission reside overseas, “but through the use of technology, the chairman and his members were able to pursue their mandate regularly and with effectiveness.”

He praised the Governor for his passion seeing for seeing through the passage of the Public Administration Bill debated and approved by the Legislative Assembly, but he commented, “the regulations are still in the developmental stages.”

The Dep Gov thanked Governor Davis for his contribution as head of the Montserrat public service. “We will endeavour to build on the legacy you are leaving behind.  We will continue to drive to build a service-oriented culture through training and capacity building,” Taylor told the Governor as he challenged the public servants, that they must, “lead by example and place great emphasis on delivering high-quality customer service.“

“We will continue to promote continuous learning and seek to better align the performance development agreements with the annual training needs, creating efficient, effective links that will deliver value for money,” he said.

He thanked the Governor and his very popular wife Sujue. “We see your departure from our shores, not as an end to your association with Montserrat but rather as a new beginning for you to serve as a goodwill ambassador for us,” thanking them both, “for your commitment to Montserrat as evident by your full integration (especially the outstanding Sujue) into the life and community of our people.”

“We wish you every success in all of your future endeavours,” Taylor ended.

Governor says goodbye tp Pservants (13)

Governor says goodbye to public servants

The Governor in response and bidding his own farewell, thanked the deputy Governor for his kind remarks as he went on to basically speak to the relationship between Her Majesty’s Government, and DFID with the GoM.

The Governor noted that while DFID provides 60% of recurrent budget, and all of the capital budget, (about $120 million plus per year) funds will always be tight. He said that in current economic circumstances, the potential to limit expenditure, when the vast proportion comprises wages and essential maintenance is limited; the same is largely true of revenue raising potential “although I think more could be done to pursue those people who have arrears of taxes,“ he observed.

Noting:A population of 5,000 means that Montserrat suffers acute diseconomies of scale. An economically active population of 9,000 as set out in the Sustainable Development Plan.”

He spoke to and observed, “There has recently been much talk in the press and on social media about DFID “moving the goalposts”.  He said the UK is very proud that it spends 0.7% of its national income on international aid. This means, he said, that DFID’s budget has increased from £7 to £12 billion over the last five years – this at a time when other departments have suffered significant budget cuts. “But the quid pro quo for the budget increase is that DFID are under intense public and parliamentary scrutiny,” and they are under Ministerial instruction that they can only spend if they are absolutely sure money is being spent for purposes intended. “There is zero tolerance of fraud and corruption. So to that extent they have indeed moved the goalposts,” the Governor declared. Our question will DFID admit the same.

The Governor spoke to Public sector reform which has been going on for more years than we can remember, but which he says, has to proceed within an overall vision i.e. greater financial independence for Montserrat. So, he said, the public sector needs to do anything possible to enable the private sector to flourish and to provide a welcoming environment for foreign investment.

With all of this the Governor said and lamented how he wished he had a magic wand. He noted that public servants did not like to share information. “It was crucial that we share information with each other, that we were part of one operation that we saw ourselves as teams…with such a small community and we all know one another and we work and live very close to one another but we seem to be reluctant to share information.

“…So let’s work in teams, let’s share information. I’d like to see more communication by talking to one another … I’ve seen endless streams of emails. I’d like much less…red tape and less protocol and more flexibility,” he complained.

“The possession of knowledge should not be treated as a source of individual power.” He continued his desire. “If I had a magic wand:

– Everyone would share information and work effectively in teams. Ironic and paradoxical that this situation exists in Montserrat given the explosion of information available on the internet.

– More effective performance management – and, hopefully as a consequence, better paid, more effective and smaller public service – Have to find jobs outside of the public service

The Governor had more to say speaking about the needs to be improve Strategic planning  – performance management; Better financial oversight – the ability to account for funding in a transparent way; A policy framework that sets direction for programmes to follow; An explicit recognition that Government is continuous and represents the wishes of the electorate, “of which you as public servants formed a significant part,” he warned.

It stuck out when he said:I just think we should be more relaxed. My next magicians trick would that everyone be properly trained and where they are in professional positions; would have the appropriate professional qualifications for the job,” praising meantime, “the Performance Management System we brought in is great, it’s not perfect. It is still a bit laborious, but I think it is a great improvement.

Speaking kindly of Montserrat as a whole, he noted a very sore point of complaint among many and not a surprising observation from the Governor.You’re all very hospitable and all very friendly, and need to be the same in your dealings in work as well as outside of work. You need to be friendly with one another; you need to help one another, he almost sighed.” Then he noted generally of Montserrat and earlier had pointed out what all visitors say. “Of course the other thing that people liked is that there is a low crime rate in Montserrat and I think that’s absolutely enviable and we must try and keep that.”

On that note he closed by speaking on behalf of himself and his wife. “My wife and I really enjoyed being in Montserrat, in spite being told on arrival that it can be very difficult being Governor, that it is a gold fish bowl…we haven’t found it intrusive…, enjoyed being part of the community, commenting on his wife’s deep involvement in the community activities. Montserrat is a good place to be…when we got to Montserrat we felt it was a good place to be.”

The Governor concluded as he spoke to the public servants, inviting, not so much questions, but comments and suggestions for his successor. He repeated how both he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed serving on Montserrat and will miss Montserrat, committed to being ambassadors for Montserrat keeping it in their hearts. “Thank you for your help, thank you for your support, it’s been a privilege to work with you, it’s been a privilege to live among you and we wish you all the best for a happy, successful and prosperous future,” he concluded.

This part might have been not surprising but yet disappointing as only two senior public servants came forward. Miss Deborah Lewis from the Deputy Governor’s office told the Governor: “…I am going to miss you personally and professionally. Having worked closely with you…and yes despite protocol, ceremonial events nationality matters. I have been a beneficiary of your humour that the others have seen a little bit of today. I like your style, I enjoyed working with you, your pursuit and your drive for excellence and performance across the service. It has encouraged me to always work to a very high standard.

“You always had an open door policy. …I had many disagreements with Her Majesties Passport Office in the UK and you’ve always supported us. So I just want to thank you for all your support and encouragement. You have sent me return commendations and I will always treasure those, thank you.”

Miss Camille Gerald Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office: “…I just wanted to say on behalf of all Public Servants, thanks to H.E for leading the charge of the Public Service for the last four years. My advice to the new Governor is just as he said he recognized his role in being able to advise both the Montserrat Government and also the British Government in a sort of positive way, I’m anticipating that his successor would be able to understand the roles in that she would have to play in terms of liaising with Government of Montserrat and also the British Government, spreading the truth about Montserrat.

“And also, that the successor would advance the areas as outlined. We recognize coming up in a few days we’ll have some discussions with DFID on main schematic areas and that I anticipate that the new Governor will continue to provide that support to the Government and people of Montserrat in advancing that work so that we will be able to fulfill the vision that we would have laid out in our Sustainable Development Plan.”

The Premier’s office is hosting a Farewell Ceremony and cocktail on Tuesday in honour of His Excellency and Mrs. Davis at the Cultural Centre.

 Mr.. Davis also praised some of the developments and innovations which were created within the service such as the Visa Online System. He added that there’s a possibility of better payments for Public Servants in the future but at a cost.

Governor:

I think that if we had better performance management we would probably be able to have in time and I’m really talking in time, a better paid but inevitably probably a bit smaller public service and I don’t think that should necessarily be a worry because we have to find jobs outside of the Public Service and if we keep going with the Strategic Earth Program and if we come to some kind of decision on access that is better than what we currently got the prospects could be better.

Reporter:

Governor Davis successor Miss Elizabeth Carriere is expected to take her appointment in early August.