Premier Andrew Fahie chats with CARICAD Executive Director Devon Rowe at the 36th CARICAD Board Meeting. (Photo: GENEVIEVE GLATSKY)

The Virgin Islands hosted the 36th board meeting of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration last Thursday and Friday under the theme “Re-shaping the Public Service in the Caribbean for the Future – The Role of CARICAD.”

CARICAD is a regional organisation based in Barbados with the aim of modernising the public sectors of member states to improve governance.

The main agenda for meeting was developing CARICAD’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2022, and the forum included presentations like “Thinking Big, Digital Transformation and Digital Government.”

Deputy Governor and CARICAD board member David Archer said at the opening ceremony that the VI has recently launched its Public Service Transformation Programme.

“Frankly, we want to become world class,” he said. “This will be done through accountability measures, transparency measures, productivity measures, and, of course, governance measures.

We found it necessary to reimagine how we did business, and, when necessary, not only completely change how and what we do, but to also do it better, with a focus on our clients.”

Premier Andrew Fahie said at the ceremony that this initiative included seven broad areas: redesign of the public service, good governance, e-government, “greening” the public service, rebuilding security, public-private sector partnership, and the alignment of the statutory agencies.

Deputy Governor’s Office Permanent Secretary Carolyn Stoutt Igwe said in a press release that the VI last hosted a board meeting in 2006, and that 11 of the 17 member states — Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the VI — had registered for the meeting.

Devon Rowe, executive director of CARICAD and former Jamaica financial secretary, said the organisation had developed an assessment tool to enable countries to evaluate where deficiencies in the public sector exist and “to create the interventions that are required for the change they think is necessary.”

“We also recognise that we must move from typical traditional role of government, which is focused on process and control,” he added. “We accept that we need to move towards resilience, development and sustainability.”