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Three major challenges in government reform this financial year

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Wednesday, April 09, 2003 - The issues of governance continue to be viewed as a major challenge to government in the redefinition of development. It is for this reason that government will undertake three major incentives in this financial year.

In delivering the 2003 Throne Speech on Tuesday Her Excellency the Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, disclosed that the first major challenge is reforming Saint Lucia’s Cabinet to make it more policy oriented, giving Ministers greater responsibilities and making them more accountable in the execution of their duties.

This strategy Dame Pearlette explained should encourage Cabinet to play a more pro-active role in addressing strategic national concerns while exercising greater supervision in the operations of government.

The Governor General said “Related to the first measure is the acceleration of the process of public sector reform. A Task Force on Public Sector Reform comprising some of the top public service managers as well as representatives of the private sector and the public service unions is already in place. It is charged with the responsibility of guiding the reform process and ensuring that every public servant is challenged to play an active role in that process. My government is clear that public sector reform is not a top-down process but one that requires the broadcast and widest participation of all public servants in identifying the bureaucratic and other bottlenecks that impede progress and in shaping solutions for greater productivity and public accountability.”

Yet another challenge facing the government during this financial year is developing an agenda for law reform and law revision, and to enact new laws to empower the nation to respond more effectively to recent events which threaten the peaceful development of democratic. “During the year just passed, work on the revision of the laws of Saint Lucia continued on schedule and I fully expect that this vital project will be completed on time, according to plan. It will indeed to a great day, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, when policy makers, judges, magistrates, legal practitioners, law students and the general public can be assured of an up-to-date set of laws in the conduct of their business.”

Government will this financial year, also continue to pursue the modernisation of the island’s civil law which is already well underway. “During this session of this Honourable Parliament, the first phase of the Civil Code Reform Project will be completed and the process of drafting a new draft Civil Code should commence early in the year 2004. My government expects that broad public consultation on the draft Code will commence during the second half of that year. In this new Session of Parliament, in addition to completing the enactment of certain laws carried over from our previous session, my Government intends to pay particular attention to the following areas: laws affecting regional and international trade; laws to deal with the threat of terrorism; laws to offer greater and more effective protection of our children and juveniles; laws to introduce greater efficiencies in the administration of justice,” the Governor General ended.

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