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Focus on Good Governance

Organisers and presenters of public sector governance seminar are (from left) Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, the Hon. George McCarthy, OBE, JP; Prof. Anthony Clayton from the University of the West Indies; Portfolio of the Civil Service's Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues; Professor Clayton's assistant, Ms Brigette McDonald Levy; and Civil Service College Director Ryan Lanham.

The Cayman Islands Civil Service College (CSC) recently hosted a regional, two-day public-sector governance seminar for directors, board members, and high-ranking government officials, to reinforce the principles and competencies associated with good governance.

Directors from Turks and Caicos, and Montserrat, attended the seminar, which was funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Held on 20 and 21 February, the agenda included public service governance elements, principles and challenges. Also discussed were board meeting practices, forms of corruption/bad practice, and oversight of the state accountability frameworks.

Day two of the seminar included a simulation, in which participants had the opportunity to apply principles covered in the seminar to a range of governance challenges.

The main speaker was Prof. Anthony Clayton, from the University of West Indies' Institute for Sustainable Development. Dr Clayton is also a member of the strategic advisory group for the Commonwealth Heads of Government 2009.

"The aim of this seminar is to make people who run public agencies in British Overseas Territories more aware about public sector governance principles, and give them tools for strengthening the structures of governance," he explained.

"We can learn from recent financial scandals that fraud was present in some governance systems, which enabled organisations to continue their operations for so long," Prof. Clayton added. "Evidently there is a global need to rebuild these systems."

Prof. Clayton was assisted by Ms Brigette McDonald Levy from Jamaica, who is expert in social policy development and analysis.

Discussing the challenges of governance were (from left) Prof. Anthony Clayton from the University of the West Indies (standing); Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, the Hon. George McCarthy, OBE, JP; the Ministry of Health and Human Services' Chief Officer Diane Montoya; PoCS Management Support Unit team member Michael Johnston; CINICO Chairperson Sheridan Brooks;

Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, the Hon. George McCarthy, OBE, JP, said the presentation was useful, especially in the today's difficult economic environment. "Anyone in the position of director or board member should know what is expected from his performance, in order to effectively discharge their activities," he said.

Portfolio of the Civil Service's Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues commented that the seminar was part of the CSC's growing range of programmes in the areas of leadership and governance, and an opportunity to begin establishing the CSC as a regional resource. She thanked the FCO for its sponsorship of the seminar, as part of its committment to support initiatives with a regional impact.

Added CSC Director Ryan Lanham, "One of the aims of this seminar is to ensure that standards continue to advance, and that leaders are informed about risks, challenges and best practices."

For further information contact: Susan Watler