For four consecutive Tuesdays starting last week, government ministers are setting aside time to meet with members of the public who have outstanding matters that have gone unresolved for at least a year.

“Every single member of this House, I am sure, can attest to hearing stories from constituents of their frustrations to get their problems resolved,”

Premier Andrew Fahie said when he announced the initiative at the House of Assembly sitting on June 3.

“They tell us how many times they have spoken to the different ministries and government departments, their elected representatives, ministers of government, and even past premiers only for the issues to remain languishing.”

He asked residents to contact the private secretary of the respective ministry to set up an appointment and to provide details about the issue, including when the matter was first raised with a government official, so that ministers can conduct research ahead of the appointment and accelerate the redress of the matter.

He also emphasised that certain issues are outside the scope of responsibility of government agencies, and should be pursued through other avenues like courts or mediation.

“We must ensure that a citizen understands why we cannot assess or can only make a limited response. Breaking promises or stringing along constituents with empty promises is not good,” Mr. Fahie said. “Because what this does is make people very bitter and distrusting of the government process. We have to change this trend if we are truly talking about public service transformation and good governance.”