Prime Minister Meets With Permanent Secretaries As They Prepare For Re-Assignment To New Ministries Next Monday

PR – As Permanent Secretaries across the public service prepare to take  up their re-assigned portfolios on October 5, 2020, Grenada’s Prime Minister has urged  them to adjust their mindset in keeping with the current environment. 

At a meeting with the Permanent Secretaries on Thursday, Prime Minister, Dr. the Right  Honourable Keith Mitchell, said the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic  requires persons in authority to exercise greater responsibility, particularly as it relates to  budgeting. 

He said, “It cannot be business as usual. We have to dispel the notion that Government  has an unlimited pot of money. In granting approval to ministry expenditure, I ask that you  apply the same principles that you would to your personal budget. In this environment of  reduced revenue, there’s simply no room for arbitrary spending. As accounting officers,  you must show strong leadership and the message of accountability must filter down to  all staff.” 

Dr. Mitchell encouraged a move to bulk purchasing to generate cost savings, and cited  reduced paper usage as another area for cutting Government’s operational costs. 

The Prime Minister also addressed the issues of communications and confidentiality. He  said, “We are in the midst of restructuring the Government Information Service and  creating a Prime Minister’s Press Secretariat. Through this, we hope to bring about  significant change in the level and quality of Government communications. It is therefore  important for the Public Relations Officers placed within ministries to become integral to  the overall communications agenda and work in closer collaboration with the Press  Secretariat and GIS.” 

On the subject of confidentiality, Dr. Mitchell referenced the recently leaked internal  circular on the temporary suspension of some allowances to new hires within the public  service. He said, “The breach of confidentiality is a serious issue. It is understandable  that some things happen unwittingly but if a senior officer deliberately shares an internal 

document, this is cause for concern. Situations like this create an atmosphere of mistrust  among everyone and can undermine the work environment.” 

With the addition of some new Permanent Secretaries, Cabinet Secretary, Ms. Ruth  Rouse confirmed that an orientation session will be held this month to familiarise persons  with their roles and responsibilities. 

Thursday’s meeting generated a wealth of feedback from the various Permanent  Secretaries. The comments included the need for formal training for Permanent  Secretaries and greater awareness of security threats as Government increases its  application of available technology. The suggestion was also made for regular  engagements between the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretaries, and this was  welcomed by all. 

In wrapping up the discussions, the Prime Minister wished the Permanent Secretaries all  the best in their new assignments, and he encouraged all to maintain an atmosphere of  close collaboration as Government continues to spearhead the development process. 

The full list of new Ministerial and Permanent Secretary’ assignments are provided in  the attached document.