By anguillian January 22, 2018 14:26



An unnecessary ‘rivalry’ often appears to exist between public officers and private sector employees and entrepreneurs. Members of each group appear to be convinced that they offer greater value to the development of Anguilla, by virtue of the importance of the role they play in Anguilla’s development and because of the dedication and energies they bring to those roles. In my view, the rivalry is totally unnecessary as the relationship between the public and private sectors must be symbiotic if the successful and sustainable development of Anguilla is to be achieved. My long association with both the private and public sectors has allowed me the unique opportunity to personally observe the invaluable contributions of both sectors to Anguilla’s development.

Public officers have the great responsibility of assisting elected officials in creating an environment that will facilitate the successful development of private enterprise, which is essential to national and economic development. The required environment involves political, socio-cultural, economic, financial and constitutional considerations. While public officers are likely to lead and to be more closely associated with the creation and implementation of the policies that affect these areas, the vital input and continuous involvement of private sector individuals and entities are absolutely essential. The success of the process of integrating the work of public sector and private sector officials is, however, very much dependent on the leadership of public sector officials.

The public service requires good men and women in leadership roles to successfully engage with elected officials, and to successfully discern and respond to the needs and desires of the private sector, so as to ensure that an enabling environment is created in a timely manner. It is in this regard that much work still needs to be done – and the greater onus is on the individuals and institutions that manage the public service to ensure that this happens.

We continue to grapple with constitutional and electoral reform. The necessary engagement with the populace has been conducted. The ball is squarely in the hands of the ministers of Government and their senior policy advisers. Will leadership be demonstrated, resulting in long overdue constitutional and electoral advancement? Our Planning legislation and Labour laws are outdated. Will leadership be demonstrated in advancing the necessary revisions in these areas? Are arguments being marshalled by senior public officers to convince powerbrokers how proposed legislative changes will improve our sustainable development? A recent announcement by the Minister of Labour at a meeting between ministers of Government and business persons, facilitated by ACOCI, suggests that the long awaited revised Labour Act will soon be enacted.
Anguilla now has at its disposal some £60,000,000.00, courtesy of the UK Government and taxpayers. Although the relationship between the private and public sectors may be best described as symbiotic, this is an occasion when those in the hierarchy of the public sector are better placed to influence how efficiently and effectively those funds are utilised. Will the leadership of the top echelons of the Public Service manifest itself in the coming months and years? There is no better time than now for good men and women in the public service to stand up and out. This is an opportunity that should not be squandered.

The long delays and apparent lack of direction in relation to the rollout of the new garbage collection contracts, is an example of what not to do when one is privileged to sit in the seat of authority, or influence, in the public service. The absence of timely information, for an enquiring public merely seeking to understand when and how garbage would be collected, was far below the standard expected of good public officers.

Leadership requires proactive thinking, sound analysis and diligent execution. Does the Anguilla Public Service possess good men and women with these attributes? If you exist now is the time to raise your hand. Anguilla needs you now, more than ever, if full advantage is to be taken of the unprecedented opportunity we now have to pursue certain long anticipated developments.

By anguillian January 22, 2018 14:26


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