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Cayman Islands Government

FACE Winners Named

Three of the FACE winners: (from left) Environmental Health Officer Sydney Moore, Biohazard Waste Collector Clive Bennett and Cayman Brac Department of Sports' Harold Sanford.

Winners of the 2009 Governor's Five Star Award for Customer Excellence (FACE) were announced last night (4 November) at a Government House function.

Selected from 93 nominees, this year's winners are Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, Environmental Health Officer Sydney Moore, Biohazard Waste Collector Clive Bennett and Cayman Brac Department of Sports' Harold Sanford.

Congratulating everyone, HE the Governor Stuart Jack, CVO, said the fact that so many civil servants received nominations, confirmed that customers still receive some quality service.

"The list also endorses the point that good customer service never fails to make a positive impression," he continued.

Governor Jack encouraged civil servants to keep building upon their successes, "particularly during these challenging times when a smiling face, a courteous approach and willing hands can make all the difference."

Also speaking at the event, Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks told civil servants to hold their heads high, despite the challenges.

"Being a civil servant is seldom easy. So often, particularly in this ongoing period of economic stress, we become the scapegoats, widely accused of being overpaid and under worked," he said.

"But there is an awesome amount of commitment, experience and skill in our civil service-a fact that gains special visibility whenever we work our way through national crises such as hurricanes Ivan and Paloma."

See what others say about the winners and read their reaction to customer service excellence at www.face.gov.ky.

(GIS)

Message from H.E. the Governor Mr. Stuart Jack, CVO

Governor's FACE Award Ceremony, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Good evening.

Without doubt, honouring the nominees and announcing the winners is my favourite part of the annual FACE Award campaign. Thank you all for coming along to share tonight's excitement as we celebrate the third annual Governor's Five-Star Award for Customer Excellence.

As I said at the launch in September, this year's awards have special meaning for me. It is of course my last round of FACE awards, but more importantly, it has been a turbulent 12 months, particularly for civil servants. You have found yourselves in the midst of a global financial storm, intensified by a rapid decline in government income. I believe we still feel amazed at our survival, even in the face of continuing budget cuts.

However, while we remain strong, every savings measure and every position left unfilled has translated into civil servants doing more-and managing with less. In real terms, this has meant absorbing additional duties, working extra hours without claiming compensation in money or time, and even sacrificing lunch hours. Government departments have also cut projects or run others with reduced resources.

Similarly, this year's FACE campaign operated on a shoestring budget and has come to fruition largely because of numerous volunteer hours from the planning and nominations committees. And yet, even confronted by the trials and stresses that affect us all, we managed this time, to receive 131 valid nominations for 93 civil servants!

I am delighted with these figures and I thank all who were involved in making this campaign a success. I also thank everyone who, by completing FACE nomination forms, has acknowledged the public servants who they feel show exceptional commitment to their work, and demonstrate respect towards those they serve.

Sometimes we regrettably experience situations that convince us that customer service is a forgotten art. However, tonight's long list of nominee civil servants does confirm that our customers still receive some quality service. The list also endorses the fact that good customer service never fails to make a positive impression.

From the start of FACE three years ago, one of the main messages we wanted to convey was that customer service is never an add-on; instead it needs to be an integral aspect of how we serve.

And although the customer is not always right-and sometimes they are downright wrong-we must never lose sight of the fact we are here to serve, both the country and the public.

Most importantly, as civil servants we are the face of government, and therefore more often than not, how people perceive us will determine or at least influence their perception of the entire government entity.

And so, with that tremendous responsibility in mind and on your shoulders, I encourage you all to keep building upon your successes, particularly during these challenging times when a smiling face, a courteous approach and willing hands can make all the difference.

Thank you.

Message from the Hon. Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks, MBE

Good evening everyone.

Welcome to the third annual FACE Award Ceremony. It is always a pleasure to highlight achievement, and I congratulate all the 2009 nominees.

Being a civil servant is seldom easy. So often, particularly in this ongoing period of economic stress, we become the scapegoats, widely accused of being overpaid and underworked.

Yet I have been in the civil service for close to 35 years now, and I must say that I have not encountered many of the public servants to whom the critics refer. Instead, I have had the privilege of working with many dedicated people who truly labor to serve their countrymen.

There is an awesome amount of commitment, experience and skill in our civil service-a fact that gains special visibility whenever we work our way through national crises such as hurricanes Ivan and Paloma.

However, while we know we have much of which we can justifiably be proud of, we must also acknowledge that public servants worldwide suffer from a poor customer service image. Neither can Cayman claim to be exempt from this problem.

And so in an environment in which the public rightfully demands and expects to be treated as valuable customers, the bar must continually be raised-and we must be proactive and do it ourselves. We cannot rest on the laurels of efficiency and experience either; today, we must also include quality customer service as a daily job requirement.

I accordingly challenge our civil service leadership to continue to tackle this issue head-on. Just because people need to access our services anyway, we must not shy away from understanding, developing and enhancing the customer-focus element. We must make every effort to get to know our customers and their needs; we must learn to empathize, and we must strive, always, to improve our service delivery.

I believe that if we consistently respect our clients, we will ultimately receive similar levels of respect in return. And thus by always emphasizing-and delivering-out-standing customer service, here in Cayman we can in time actually succeed in defying the worldwide government's stereotype of incompetency, inefficiency, and indifference.

Customer service is indeed the standard to meet. I am happy that a growing number of civil servants strive to regularly meet this standard and that the FACE Awards continue to highlight this fact.

Thank you.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver