At a time when the Premier’s Office is helping spearhead comprehensive reforms recommended by the recent Commission of Inquiry, it now has two permanent secretaries.
Elvia Smith-Maduro has been appointed to act in the position, dividing up duties with existing PS Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe, government said on Friday.
“As acting permanent secretary, Mrs. Smith-Maduro will be responsible for providing advice, assistance and administrative support on the formulation of policy for the ministry, its departments and the government as a whole,” according to a press release from Government Information Services. “She will also coordinate and manage the functions of the ministry to ensure the successful formulation and implementation of ministerial and cross-ministerial government policies and programmes.”
Ms. Smith-Maduro — who previously served the Premier’s Office as deputy secretary and assistant secretary — said she is honoured to serve in the public service.
“I am keen to see improvements in the delivery of services not only in line with the Commission of Inquiry recommendations but in areas critical to the development of the Virgin Islands and the approved Public Service Transformation Plan,” she said.
The new PS added that stakeholders in the Premier’s Office are critical to the deployment of efficient services, and her first priority is therefore human resources reform to address issues affecting staff and to ensure that the team is functioning optimally, according to government.
She added that she is keen to push forward plans to digitise services.
“I aim to deliver on the digital transformation strategy to move us towards a more efficient public service,” she said. “This responsibility is shared by both the Premier’s Office and the Governor’s Group. We intend to work collaboratively to ensure the success of the transition and transformation.”
The acting PS noted that she will also focus on economic development, entrepreneurship, and encouraging investment, according to government. Crucial to such efforts, she added, will be regular evaluation of the economy’s performance.
“Thus a policy unit responsible for reviewing economic and development policies based on analysis is being established,” according to GIS. “She also acknowledged work being done to transform the Trade Department into the Virgin Islands Trade Commission to champion economic development services in the territory.”
Ms. Smith-Maduro previously held the role of deputy secretary in the Premier’s Office since 2013. Prior to that, she worked as assistant secretary in the office for seven years.
Ms. Smith-Maduro’s portfolio includes administration, building inspection, building standards, consumer affairs, disaster recover, economic planning, e-government, electrical inspection, gaming, housing, human resource planning, industrial development, investment promotion, public service transformation, Town and Country Planning, trade and business, science and technology, digital transformation, statistics, weights and measures, and private secretaries, according to GIS.
Meanwhile, Ms. Stoutt-Igwe is responsible for agriculture, archives, cooperatives, coordination of government policy, ecclesiastical and religious affairs, financial services, fisheries, food and food security, immigration, implementation of COI recommendations, information, international affairs, maritime administration and shipping, protocol, regional affairs, sustainable development, tourism and veterinary issues, GIS stated.