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Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I totally agree with Dr Anthony's comments regarding the Civil Servants. With the notable exception of the Drivers Licence Issuing Office, I have never found any government worker to be anything but disinterested, unhelpful, and they seem to take great delight in telling you to walk with x, y, & z documents, then upon presenting said documents, we are told "Oh no! You need a, b & c papers" and on pointing out that you have made a special journey from Choiseul and will now have to return the officer concerned is anything but "Civil". That is, of course, if you are lucky and the officer concerned is actually there.

Dare I stick my head above the parapet and suggest that it is now time for a total overhaul of the Public Service? 

I have worked for the British Civil Service for a total of 33 years.

I recall in the early days conditions were very similar to what is currently happening in St. Lucia, there being no incentives to perform well, to have good timekeeping and sickness record as it was in effect a job for life. The Civil service was holding the country to ransom and, of course, costs were spiraling.

Sanity returned in the nineties with the following reforms as I recall. New recruits were on fixed term contracts renewable without loss of seniority or pension rights etc, if staffing levels required. Performance targets were introduced.  New staff reporting methods were also introduced for all (rather similar to school reports with an overall grade being given).

There were 4 Grade levels. Grade 4 meant that the staff member was on notice; that if there were no performance improvement (with necessary training guidance etc given), then after a year they would be out! Grade 3 represented normal performance; and Grades 2 & 1 represented excellent and outstanding, respectively.

No pay award would be received by those in Grade “4"; and Grades 2 & 1 would receive modest bonuses.

To remove accusations of nepotism and favouritism, overall grades were vetted by a panel of officers not connected with the staff.

Sickness levels were closely monitored and the well-known annual “sick leave entitlement”  was removed.

However, annual leave entitlements were improved and "flexi time" was introduced to allow staff to build up some extra hours that could be taken (business needs permitting).

At the moment, I believe the Civil Service is holding the country to ransom; they should remember that they are there to serve the Civil Population, namely, you and me; and it is our tax money that pays their wages. By pruning out the "deadwood", there would be more left in the pot to improve the lot of those few dedicated civil servants who are happy to serve their country and also to modernise day to day business (two separate people in different booths to take cash, and no debit/credit cards taken).

Positively antediluvian.
 Diana Theodore

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