Deputy Governor, Mrs. V. Inez Archibald under whose Office falls the overseeing of the public service noted some areas that were not up to standard in the public service and announced that in 2016 attempts will be made to remedy the issue.
In her address during the Ministry for Education and Culture’s 2016 outlook, Mrs. Archibald said that she was not happy with some of things that she has seen in her capacity as Deputy Governor.
“I have to say that I am a little bit troubled about some of the observations I make across the public service. We don’t have to agree with everybody. All we need to do is embrace the differences, make your point respectfully, agree to disagree and move on..”
In making her comment on the things that she has observed, the Deputy Governor said that persons should not shoot the messenger but rather appreciate the message that is meant to uplift the Territory: “It is never personal. It is not about me; it is not about you; it is about this rock. It is about the BVI. So if I don’t agree with you it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. I don’t have to go and demonise you,” she pointed out. “If everybody agreed on everything it means that somebody is redundant.”
One of the issues that reportedly trouble the Deputy Governor is the tardiness of some public servants. According to Mrs. Archibald the issue became apparent when she was tasked with a “meet and greet” and observed public servants arriving almost two hours late.
In explaining her observation of the tardiness the Deputy Governor recalled that she deduced that day that “half of the public service often arrive late at work” and she noted that the Ministry of Education was a major offender in that area.
“The last person came to work at 9:40 am! As I asked why persons were so late nobody had a good excuse. And you know what? There were two departments that were later than everybody else — education was one,” she announced.
The Deputy Governor announced that corrective measures are needed to stop “Tortola Time” (a local nickname for tardiness): “Sometimes if there are no consequences for non-performance, for careless service, late attendance, insubordination – what’s the big deal? One of the things I learnt about raising children is that, if you tell them this is the consequence for X, you better carry it out…. You folks in Education know that more than anybody else – they (children) are not going to take you seriously [if you fail to impose the consequences].”
It was announced that public servants will be facing a new appraisal system. Mrs. Archibald described the process to change the appraisal system as a very long battle: “We have just put in place after a very long battle – I have been fighting to get the performance appraisal change since 1971 – because all you needed to do with the appraisal we have was to just show up and you get your increment. We have just changed that.”
“As of 1 January 2016 we have instituted a new performance appraisal which will hold us all accountable and senior managers and middle managers with responsibility over staff will meet with them on a regular basis so that when I meet them on 1 July 2016 and ask them how is their performance and what gaps needed to be filled, they will be able to tell me. They will not say to me that I have not been evaluated for two years,” the Deputy Governor announced.