Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, yesterday acknowledged the hard work of Samoa’s public service. He did this during the celebration of Samoa Public Service day which started with a parade on Beach Road. This is what he said:
Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi
Prime Minister of Samoa
It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all our distinguished guests and public servants attending the commemoration of the 6th Samoa Public Service Day, since its inception in 2012. Talofa and a pleasant morning to you all.
Today, we take the opportunity to honour, reflect, celebrate, learn and inspire.
As we observe this significant event, we pause to remember and honour the memories of those public servants who have passed on and are no longer with us.
We salute and acknowledge their important contributions and valuable achievements which no doubt lent to the improvement of public service performance while upholding the values and ethics of a truly accountable and transparent Samoa Public Service.
The vision of the current Public Administration Sector Plan is for Samoa to be enabled to acquire a ‘professional and competent public administration that provides quality, efficient and transparent services for and to its people’. In essence, WE, the Samoa Public Service, regardless of your position or status within your respective Ministries, are to become the epitome of excellent and exceptional service delivery. We have a public duty to contribute to improving the quality of life for each and every Samoan.
Today, we reflect not only on the quality of public service we’ve managed to deliver over the years, but also the commitments we’ve made to ensure we continue to aspire to be better than our best. I believe the public service stands or falls with the calibre of the people who work in it, and the way in which we, as public servants, succeed in addressing today’s challenges.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Celebrating the Public Service of Samoa”. It is my humble belief that the Samoa Public Service has a lot to boast about amongst its peers both worldwide but particularly within the Pacific region. Our unique “Samoan” experience is an intertwining of both modern day public service ideologies and practises, with the values and ethics instilled within the Samoan culture which is of utmost importance ‘Founded on God’.
Our Government has undertaken comprehensive processes of restructuring and realignment to modernize the public sector.
Since the 2006 Public Management Reform Plan and the launch of the first Public Administration Sector Plan in 2007, there have been marked improvements in strategic planning, policy development and coordination, human resource and fiscal management.
A decade later, we are still pursuing new and innovative ways to streamline our internal systems, to support the development of our country. Some of these initiatives include the development of a Clever Country Policy to guide Samoa’s transition into becoming a Knowledge Based Economy, ongoing reviews to our public sector structures and functions to identify where savings could made, continuous reforms to our recruitment processes to ensure we employ the right people with the right skills and mindset, and significant legislative and regulatory reviews across Government to achieve an ethical, accountable and transparent public service.
In truth, these are only a few of the milestones we have achieved thus far, and we would be remiss in failing to acknowledge that we still have a long way to go and a lot more to do. Advancements in technology to date has meant greater scrutiny of Government service delivery. Public servants are therefore required to undertake the execution of our duties and our decision-making in workplaces with the highest level of integrity.
I strongly encourage you to serve our country with professionalism, in a truly coordinated manner, ensuring that you as individuals be held accountable for your actions. You must strive to become the solution and not the problem, to be facilitators rather than encumbrances.
You as public servants provide the solid and firm foundation upon which all the three prongs of Government rely and depend on. Perhaps at times you may feel that your services have been taken for granted, that they go unrecognized and often criticized.
As public servants, we are just those – ‘servants of the public’, and while we may think that such a calling is demeaning, I believe that if you have the heart of God, you will find the grace to serve from a Godly perspective and with Godly humility. Today is without a doubt, a noble cause worthy of recognition and I thereby wish to express on behalf of the Government and the people of Samoa their congratulations and heartfelt gratitude.
In closing, I extend to all the public servants of Samoa, which incidentally includes all of us, former and current, old and young, my own best wishes for all your various achievements – past, present and future, in the numerous endeavours you have and continue to be engaged in.
It is my great pleasure to declare the 6th Samoa Public Service Day Open. Soifua.