Keynote speaker at the 2015 Public Service Excellence Award ceremony, Gerard St.C Farara QC told public servants that they do not have to slavishly follow the laws, and policies but should employ discretion in their enforcement and implementation.
During the event held on July 24 the featured speaker said: “…Too often our prevailing culture and practice is focused more on the strict enforcement of rules, than on the exercise of good judgment and discretion in the delivery of the service to the public.”
“Service is not about servitude, it is not about blind application of rules and guidelines, but about facilitation with the object of enabling the desired result to be achieved, once it is lawful and permissible,” he explained.
Queen’s Counsel Farara told the public servants that his advice does not mean that rules and policies do not have their place in the orderly working of our Public Service, and the wider society. Instead, he said that his advice was pointing to the fact that in today’s BVI, there is a need for a somewhat different approach or way of thinking to service.
The Keynote Speaker also suggested that there is a need for a different approach to the way both the public and private sectors are viewed, how they relate one to the other, and what ought to be our role in each of them.
“It’s high time we change or update our thinking as it relates to the functioning of government in a modern 21st century. This cannot happen overnight. The dialogue should begin soon, if it has not already. It will require changes in many areas, the decisions regarding which do not fall within your purview or mine. We have all been trained to think and to function within a culture rooted on the complete separation of the Public and Private sectors,” he added.