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Message by President Wavel Ramkalawan on the occasion of International Public Service Day - 23rd June

22 June 2021 | Employment

“Covid-19 and Beyond: “Leveraging on Technology and Innovation for the Future of the Public Service”

(By Mr Wavel Ramkalawan – President of the Republic of Seychelles)

On the occasion of the International Public Service Day, it is my pleasure to honour and celebrate the men and women, who each and every day serve in the public service to improve the lives of our citizens and advance our national interests. We commend their willingness to dedicate their experience and expertise to serving their fellow citizens. Today we reach out to let them know their hard work is appreciated, lauding them for being diligent and for being committed to a cause greater than personal ambitions.

The theme chosen to mark this year’s public service day is: COVID 19 and Beyond: Leveraging on Technology and Innovation for the Future of Public Service” calls upon the public service toreflect on its structure and operating models on how to build future readiness to deliver responsive service during moments of crisis in order to ensure service continuity and sustained development.

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown public servants into the front-line in response to the crisis, forcing them to deal quickly with an ever-changing situation.

Human to human contact which used to be the norm has had to bealtered to help mitigate the dangers of the virus. To compensate this, digitization has served as a valuable means to bridge the gaps left by shutdowns and social distancing measures.

During the pandemic more people have moved towards online channels for payment of bills, working from home, streaming services for films and fitness sessions, delivery of courses from schools to universities, telehealth, virtual meetings, conferences, etc.Without digital tools and technologies, the world would have been greatly hampered to remain connected.

The pandemic is a reality check for public sector organisations that have been reluctant to embrace digital transformation and now find themselves unprepared. They are now seeing the need to migrate their operations and workforce to a virtual environment. They are more aware of the need for new strategies and practices in digital initiatives.

MDAs need to do more in this direction. Chief Executives need to see how they can be more creative and innovative in the transformation of the public sector. If there were doubts about the necessity of digital transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has silenced this. In a contactless world, the majority of interactions have taken place virtually proving that operating digitally is the only way forward.  Current events have accelerated this paradigm shift.

It has proven that organisations that embrace digital solutions have greater resilience in the face of adversity and have demonstrated versatility in service delivery that has benefitted service users amidst challenges caused by the pandemic.

As we move forward, I urge all public service organizations to consider the need to harness digital technologies to streamline operations and automate manual processes for greater speed and less waste and to focus on leveraging collaboration technology and tools to maximize workforce productivity even when working remotely.

It is clear that there is no return to the old normal anytime soon. We have experienced an unprecedented shift in our routines:  in the way we live, work, study, communicate and socialize. The public service must prepare the service to be more resilient by turning the challenges of Covid-19 to devise strategies to better prepare for future crisis

Although the new normal involves greater dependence on online activities, virtual meetings, and keeping distances from one another, nothing has diminished in the manner we care about and respect the people that we serve, for they remain forever close to our hearts, and their satisfaction is our ultimate reward.

As we celebrate the public service, I would like to thank all those public servants whose selfless efforts helped the Nation weather the Covid-19 in our shores. Let us all reflect on how each one of us can serve our organization and our people better.

I wish everyone a happy Public Service Day!

 

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