NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Cabinet has approved an estimated $1.8 million to facilitate the 2014 Service Wide Promotion exercise within the Public Service.
This was announced by the Minister of Labour and National Insurance and Minister of the Public Service the Hon Shane Gibson during his contribution to the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Assembly on Monday, June 16.
The Ministry of Public Service has conducted a staffing needs survey; each ministry was asked to review their submissions and to validate the same for inclusion in the master plan, which will be submitted to Cabinet.
Mr. Gibson is also responsible for the Department of Labour, the Consumer Welfare Unit, the National Insurance Board and the National Training Agency.
An estimated $175,231,922 has been earmarked for The Ministry of Public Service, $3,388,043 less than the 2013/14-budget allocation.
Allocation for rent and accommodations totals $33,571,454 or 19 percent of the total budget allocation.
The Government is the largest employer in the country; with the Ministry of Public Service being responsible for the coordination of human resources matters for about 26,000 public officers.
“The primary focus of the Ministry of Public Service, on a daily basis, is to do all within its power to ensure that these 26,000 faces are in the right places at the right times, doing the right jobs, the right way, and producing the right results,” Mr. Gibson said.
“ More specifically the mandate of the Ministry of Public Service is to monitor the human resources capacity of the Public Service, recognising this capacity as a precondition for our Government to achieve the set agenda for sustainable socio-economic development,” he said.
In keeping with its mandate, the Ministry of Public Service has undertaken several initiatives during the 2013/2014 fiscal year.
“As always we aim to please our primary customers, the 26,000 public officers for whom we process numerous submissions.
“In this regard, one of the challenges we face is that many public officers engaged in the human resources units are not sufficiently knowledgeable concerning the relevant policies, procedures and practices. Thus, many of the submissions submitted to our Ministry are substandard and this in turn contributes to inordinate delays,” he said.
To bridge this skill gap, the ministry developed and conducted training workshops for officers in charge of human resources in Public Service Ministries and Departments.
“The pilot programme is budget neutral. However, some cost will be incurred to make it available service wide. Eventually, the programme will be made available online and it is intended that it will evolve into an entry level Certificate in Public Service Human Resources Policies, Practices and Procedures by the end ofthe2014/2015 fiscal period,” Mr. Gibson said.
He further explained that this training is a precondition for establishment of Performance Standards for human resource officers. The standard will be piloted within the Ministry of the Public Service,subsequent to the culmination of the HR modular training programme.