Published On: Tue, Jun 25th, 2019

Ministry of General Affairs targets optimization of public services for budgetary year 2019

PM Leona Romeo-Marlin in Parliament with COM - Budget 2019

PHILIPSBURG -- The priority of the Ministry of General Affairs for the 2019 National Budget would be focused on maximizing opportunities and optimizing public services, as emphasized by General Affairs Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin during the Parliament Meeting on Monday, June 24.

The Public Service Center (PSC) Department continuously strives to improve the services delivery through its initiatives, such as E-Governance, for the improvement of the quality of services and interaction with the citizens.

Prime Minister Marlin mentioned that the World Bank acknowledged PSC as an important stakeholder for E-Governance thus sessions to develop digital governance services and online portal to automate digital identification and key services were spearheaded.

The Department targets this fiscal year to convert the Civil Registry into a paperless system which will reduce the influx of customers.

For this to materialize, the Prime Minister emphasized that the information should be standardized and accurate through a cleanup procedure in order to synchronize the system with all government entities and departments. She assured that through this, the services of the entire government unit would eventually lead to giving better services to the people of St. Maarten.

“The Government agenda is geared toward creating an operational baseline in public administration, thereby, enhancing knowledge, efficiency and effectiveness, along with transparency and accountability,” she stated.

She also said that the trainings of staff in related formation would be an on-going trajectory. Thus the ministry continually provides training that would impart knowledge to the functions in the government and provide information related to the responsibilities of the cabinets.

Other initiative discussed by the Prime Minister was the production of disaster management manual as a preparation to entering the hurricane season. This manual outlined the actions that must be taken by civil servants in preparing for a hurricane.

In addition, ministerial operations centers would also be established to ensure the continuity of government services during disasters.

On the other hand, the Department of Personnel Organization would execute a medical reassessment to the employees who are frequently reported sick and on-leave due to illnesses. The Prime Minister explained that this would decide if the person can reintegrate in the civil service or deemed unfit. If deemed unfit, the person would be receiving disability pension.

The Prime Minister also discussed that the ministry would allocate 29.8 million, 41% of the Ministry’s budget, for the Personnel Expenses. Meanwhile, a total of 42.4 million, 59%, is allocated to Operational Expenses wherein the largest expenses would be on rentals of offices, software licenses, electricity, office supplies, and insurance.

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