Basseterre, St. Kitts, Monday, March 28th, 2016 – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris highlighted his Team Unity Administration’s accountability mandate at his last press conference, making it clear that everyone in the civil service is being held accountable for what they do or don’t do when it comes to serving the needs of the public.
A little over a year after Team Unity’s resounding election victory, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are assured that they have assembled a top-notch team whose strong executive and leadership skills must be given a chance to shine unencumbered on a day-to-day basis, in furtherance of the public interest.
Team Unity does not espouse a Ten-Man-In-One Political Culture that promotes the image of the country’s leader as a deity figure.
Under the fully engaged and responsive Team Unity Administration, every civil service professional is expected to be cognizant of the meaningful role they play in working for you.
“The Prime Minister is not the only person in service to the public,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said at his press conference on Tuesday, March 15th. “Ultimately, it is the job of the Prime Minister to, where people are not functioning, reshuffle the Cabinet and put people [in positions of responsibility] who can deliver,” the Prime Minister added.
The statement by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris came in response to a reporter’s question about how long he feels is too long for someone to wait to get an appointment to see him.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said at the press conference that functionaries in his office make appointments. It may have been helpful to determine the man’s needs so he could be guided correctly. If the man wants to meet in relation to the country’s medical services, to use an example, it would be best for that man to speak first with the Minister of Health, Honourable Eugene Hamilton or the Junior Minister of Health, Senator Wendy Phipps, or even before meeting with a Health Minister he should speak with the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andrew Skerritt, PS in the Ministry of Health. The Prime Minister added that he and his Cabinet want people to understand there is a system at work where functionaries are being held to account. They therefore do not have to go to a politician to get things done.
When this chain of command is enforced, civil service professionals will not have to work in constant anticipation of being bypassed and having rank pulled on them. Adhering to the chain of command will also avoid debilitating bottlenecks that place unnecessary demands on the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. Rather than micromanaging every issue, the government leaders should be allowed to delegate responsibilities to surrogates and specialists, as private sector leaders would usually do.
The salient point is that the Prime Minister will take private meetings with members of the public as often as time permits. It would be beneficial that persons meet with the civil service professionals whose role it is to manage the day-to-day administration of government ministries.
This approach engenders efficiency in the system and allows for effective time management of Ministers and citizens.