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Cayman Islands Government

New Role for Chief Officer

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has appointed Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues to head a new unit charged with overseeing implementation of the Ernst and Young report on the rationalisation of the public service.

“The rationalisation project is perhaps one of the most important projects undertaken by the Civil Service in the last decade and extremely important to the future direction of the civil service. For it to succeed there needs to be strong leadership and expertise. Given this, I am most pleased to have a civil servant of Ms Rodrigues’s calibre and background leading the implementation team,” the Deputy Governor remarked.

Thanking the veteran civil servant for her contributions to the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs over the last five years, the Deputy Governor noted that during her tenure with the Ministry there has been a remarkable improvement in external exam results for high school students.

Under her watch, secondary education was restructured, and the Year 12 programme at CIFEC introduced. New graduation criteria have been developed and implemented, which include academic requirements for the first time.

Strategies to tackle underperformance in literacy and numeracy have been introduced as well as key national policies and the first National Professional Standards for Teachers and for Principals. Reception has been reintroduced in government schools, along with the first National Curriculum Framework for Early Years.

Other notable achievements are the establishment of the National Work Force Development Agency and the Passport to Success Programme. While at the PoCS, Mrs Rodrigues also played a key role in the establishment of the Civil Service College.

Functions of the new office will include overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the Cabinet-approved recommendations from the rationalisation report, briefing Cabinet on the outcomes, and overseeing communications with all stakeholders.

As the senior staff member in a team that will include an additional three to four existing civil servants seconded from other agencies, Mrs Rodrigues will develop the policies and procedures that will guide the work of the unit. Officials expect full implementation of the recommendations contained in the EY report to take some years

Mrs Rodrigues joined the Civil Service in 1986 and taught for 10 years before moving to the then- Schools Inspectorate, where she became Chief Inspector within four years. She held this position until 2004, when she joined the Ministry of Education as Deputy Permanent Secretary.

Two years later she was named Chief Officer Designate in the Portfolio of the Civil Service—succeeding to the role of Chief Officer in 2008. She became Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education in 2009.

Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Education Christen Suckoo will assume the role of Acting Chief Officer.

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks