By Alagie Manneh
A second retreat for Permanent Secretaries opened yesterday at the Tendaba Camp in Kiang, Lower River Region.
The three-day retreat is designed to build stronger working relations and assist in heightening coordination between ministries and senior leadership of the civil service.
It is also an opportunity for heads of ministries and civil servants to network, share experiences and discuss issues underpinning the government in delivering its responsibility to the citizens.
The director general of the newly established Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery at the Office of the President, Alagie Nyangado, said the retreat is for “critical thinking” for these officials to come up with initiatives that will help better the lives of Gambians.
Secretary to Cabinet Ebrima Ceesay urged the officials to take the retreat “seriously” as their job is to “faithfully and diligently provide public service to the people.
“I am encouraged by the extra effort currently being demonstrated and the citizens continue to demand more. Every single one of us leads a government department that is expected to make significant gains if those expectations are to be met,” he told his peers.
The special adviser to the President Mai Ahmed Fatty, said the retreat is “very important for stocktaking” and the charting of a way forward.
“Senior functionaries, government ministries and departments who are administering the NDP need to come together occasionally in order to review performance, and also to critically evaluate where we are and where we are moving in order to strengthen and enumerate where we have failures.
It is key that we are able to get all of them in one place to provide better strategic thinking on wayforward and share knowledge and experience to improve coordination among all sectors of government,” the special adviser noted.
Fatty addressed the attitude of some permanent secretaries towards work, and admitted that government could have looked into these issues since but added: “It’s a learning process. No government has ever achieved all at once.”