600 public servants recognised for long service
Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen (left), presents an award to O'Neil Hamilton for over 25 years of service to the Office of His Excellency the Governor-General and Staff, during the Jamaica Civil Service Long-Service Awards ceremony, held on the lawns of King's House on November 23. Photo: JIS

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Some 600 public servants who have served 25 years and more in various areas of the public sector, have been recognised by the Government for their "invaluable and dedicated contribution to Jamaica."

During the Jamaica Civil Service long-service awards ceremony, held on the lawns of King’s House on November 23, medals were presented to recipients for their sterling service.

The presentations were made by Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Western, Dr Angela Brown Burke, representing Opposition Leader, Mark Golding; Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke; Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Marsha Smith; Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Public Service, Ambassador Douglas Saunders.

In his remarks, Dr Clarke thanked the hard-working and dedicated civil servants, who have committed to continuously improving efficiency in the public sector.

He said the public service in Jamaica responded in scale and with a pace appropriate to tackle the COVID-19 crisis effectively “and in so doing, the society has learned what we always knew – that the public service of Jamaica is world-class and built with resilience”.

Dr Clarke noted that as the country evolves through technology and embraces the general shift in how business is conducted, efforts will continue to improve systems, drive efficiency and think innovatively.

“We continue to require and lean on meaningful partnerships with and within various ministries, departments and agencies to truly achieve the vision of a transformed public sector,” he said.

“We continue to work together to re-engineer processes to reduce duplication and waste in the public sector, to overhaul and to revamp the compensation system in the public sector for which we have made very good and steady progress…and implementing shared services to improve the delivery of key services,” he added.

In a citation encapsulating the Government’s appreciation for the work of civil servants, this year’s honorees were praised for their roles in assisting in advancing the national development of the country and the COVID-19 response.

The citation was read by President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, O'Neil Grant.

It said the expertise of public servants working within the financial services has protected Jamaican families from inflation extremes.

“Cognisant of lessons from the past, when the cost and availability of imported essential commodities were impacted by wars and political unrest in oil-producing States, and extreme weather events, our technocrats addressed supply chain disruptions and economic fallout with proposals for fiscal measures to protect the price of goods,” the citation read.

“Their actions helped to modernise the management of our treasury to mitigate the impact of significant periods of global recession. The public sector was essential to keeping the economy moving,” it said further, noting that the workers are the embodiment of the theme for Civil Service Week: ‘The Public Sector: Forging Ahead with Determination’.

The citation was symbolically presented to the Governor-General.

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