Leaders are being urged to learn to use the principles of accountability and transparency to improve service delivery in government.

This came out yesterday at the start of a two-day workshop on transparency and good governance for civil servants organised by the Guy Morel Institute in collaboration with the productivity unit of the employment

The sessions are being led by Shella Mohideen, director of The Guy Morel Institute (TGMI).

“We are looking at how to use the principles of accountability and transparency to improve service delivery in government. The training is being attended by senior officers in government and it is centred on their practices and identifying areas where they are doing well and areas where they need to improve,” said Ms Mohideen.

Ms Mohideen further noted that these sessions will show delegates that if they keep doing the same things over and over again they will not get different results, but if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their work it is their duty as senior civil servants to do this reflection to produce better outcomes.

This is the fourth cohort to take part in this training and TGMI has made provision for three additional cohorts that will follow the training in the coming months.

“Since we are doing the training in partnership with the productivity unit, they follow up after the training to see if participants are implementing some of the things they have learned,” said Ms Mohideen.

She pointed out that while there is room for improvement from former delegates, there is also the desire to learn and try to do things differently.

“The three future cohorts will be targeting high ranking officials in the government for them to also reflect on their practices,” Ms Mohideen remarked.

The topics that are being discussed in the training include what is government, transparency, how to make the decision-making process as transparent as possible, what information the public should have access to as well as issues related to confidentiality.

“A lot of people believe that transparency means that everything needs to be public which is not the case. We will also discuss about accountability as well as results-based management and how to use resources to get the best possible outcome,” said Ms Mohideen.

She concluded by saying that overall there is a lot of improvement that we can actually do in the way we conduct business in government, however a lot of times these improvements are not made as we are overworked and do not take time to reflect on how to improve our processes, practices and resources to produce better outcome.

“I'm calling on leaders in government to respond to this call to come to this training where we could step out for a day or two and reflect so that they can go back to their departments and be bold enough to make these changes as it is our duty as civil servants,” she said.

On her part Maryvonne Francis, head of the productivity unit, said that the unit has always worked with TGMI when it comes to training.

“This training has come at an opportune time when the government, agencies and departments are going through a series of reforms, so therefore transparency and accountability are key issues to take into consideration when making these changes,” said Ms Francis.

She continued by adding that quality service should be at the forefront of an organisation in order to get the best results.

Ms Francis remarked that in the past she has noticed improvements and changes in various organisations after the leaders had attended the training, however there are some areas where improvement is still required.

“We need to change the mindset and attitude of the employers and employees. We will continue to keep on striving to make sure that organisations are changed because to get productive results, there should be changes and people need to become more creative and innovative,” said Ms Francis.

She ended by launching an appeal to all leaders to attend the training as it is very important for them to understand good governance, accountability and transparency.


Christophe Zialor