NASSAU, The Bahamas – A virtual call centre, a digital document management system, and a human resource management information system, are among the initiatives of the Ministry of Public Service for 2023.
The Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle briefed the media following the Ministry’s second annual symposium Friday, January 20, 2023 at Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, East Street. The theme for the symposium: “The Re-imagination Continues: 2023 Improving Operational Efficiency”.
She said this year’s agenda addresses a “critical” component in improving the efficiency of the public service.
“Our digitalization is twofold,” said State Minister Glover-Rolle.
“First and foremost it is a Document Management System. The Bahamas Public Service has over 22,000 employees which represents a paper file for every employee based on the length of time they’ve been in the service and speaks to the amount of volumes that their files would include.
“The digitalization process speaks to scanning of our paper files into a digital Document Management System which speaks to ease of access of files, which speaks to shortening the time in terms of processes that need to be engaged, and which also speaks to an ability for accuracy in terms of processing of any files or documents within the Public Service. We look forward to adding this Document Management Solution because many of the long waits that we engage in the Public Service is simply because we’re looking for actual files. If we have these files centralized in a Document Management Solution then there is easier and swifter access to files and documents.
“The second portion is our HRMIS System. When we hear about promotional backlogs, confirmations, reclassifications that have to be engaged, we now will have a system where we will have a digitalization check and balance in regards to ensuring that we keep on top of all of the needs of our employees and no public servant can fall through the proverbial cracks anymore.”
Several units were launched to introduce changes to the Public Service during the first symposium last year. Over 14 teams and units from the Ministry participated in the 2023 symposium.
“In the last year we have analyzed, put an ease to the backlog of files within the public service but in doing so we analyzed the process to see what was necessary to improve the process so that we don’t get back to the place of backlog.
That speaks to us having to move quickly from an analog system to a digital system. So we are about to engage in this year a digital Document Management System in the public service as well as an Human Resource HLS system which speaks to the digital management of human resources processes within the public service.”
Minister Glover-Rolle addressed other initiatives by the Ministry.
“A public relations unit where we will make a focused effort, a website and a social media presence so that our community, our public servants as well as those that engage public services can communicate with the Ministry of Public Service and various platforms. We will also look at the implementation of a call centre and in doing so we will be rebranding with the unveiling today of a new logo for the Ministry of Public Service.
“The goal is for the Public Service to go paperless. We’re still at the point in the Public Service where we’re asking people to fill out paper forms in triplicate. We want to do away with that.
“We also spoke to growth and providing that growth through a relocation into a new public service ministry building which will allow us to not only enhance our office space in a physical building but also allow us to supplement our human resources adding more hands on deck to do the work that’s required in the public service,” she added.
In a recorded message, the Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service, welcomed participants and expressed thanks to them for the past year.
Attendees received progress reports and agenda briefings from leaders of each team and unit within the Ministry of Public Service. A question-and-answer session followed.
In a statement, Minister Glover Rolle said the symposium is “essential” to “setting the public service up for success” at the beginning of the year with the objective of maintaining a high productivity culture within the government through effective HR and operational policies.
The statement continued, “Our document digitalization efforts are already underway and we will begin the implementation of the HRMIS system within coming months. Momentum is on our side at the moment and it is critical that our teams are prepared for the tremendous amount of productivity that will be demanded of them from day one.” By the end of the year, we believe we will be well-positioned to have completed or made significant progress on every aspect of our initial 10 Point Plan for Public Service Transformation.”