…as PPAM/PCM training programme launches in GuyanaAs several senior public service officials, mainly Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and Regional Executive Officers (REOs), gathered for the opening of a Public Policy Analysis Management and Project Cycle Management Training Programme, they were urged to step up their game and make more effort to become efficient in handling Government’s affairs on a daily basis.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon delivering the feature address at the opening of the Public Policy Analysis Management and Project Cycle Management Training Programme being held at Grand Coastal HotelThis advice was given by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who delivered the feature address at the opening of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-sponsored workshop that started as an online study programme and on Monday continued with face-to-face interactions, deliberations and discussions.Harmon said the role of these senior public officials, who are decision makers and senior technicians within the public sector, was one which was important to the Government. “And as you are well aware, there is cause to have serious conversations with PSs and REOs with respect to the manner in which we were handling our responsibilities…We have to step up our game and become better,” he asserted.The Minister told the participants that they should not see their role as clerks. “The Ministers of the Government lays out policies and you are responsible for administration. So, do not see yourself as pen pushers and paper pushers. You have an important responsibility in ensuring that the projects which have been identified and for which budgetary allocations have been made, that they are carried out.”Participants from various Government Ministries are taking part in the trainingHe also noted that the management of the Finance Ministry recognised the need for improvement in the way public sector projects were handled. “We recognised that in our Green State Development Strategy, that there were several innovative projects which we were embracing and which we will soon roll out…We must learn how to manage these effectively,” he added.Harmon also used the opportunity to thank the CDB for choosing Guyana as one of three Caribbean countries selected to participate in the revised pilot programme. He noted that Guyana’s Public Sector Improvement Programme (PSIP) is largely funded by international donor agencies like the CDB.“This developmental partnership has seen Guyana benefiting from many loans and grants administered through the Ministry of Finance. These funds are usually aimed at social and economic infrastructural projects providing skills training and support for Small and Medium Enterprises.”The Minister said the training was not only timely but it was also in keeping with Government’s commitment to the creation of a highly-skilled professional public service and to build the capacity of our human capital. He highlighted some of the work the Government has done to improve the public service, especially with the launching of the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service, among others.CDB Consultant Coordinator Reginald Graham said more than 2300 public officials, including 200 from Guyana, were being trained based on the home-grown needs of individual Member States. He said based on a visit by a CDB team in 2016 and follow-up work, the training programme has been crafted specifically for Guyana. He said already, online courses have been pursued by the Guyanese participants and plans were in the pipeline to train trainers who would continue to train the relevant public servants.The training aims to minimise disparities between policy commitments and the implementation of projects and programmes, build capacity, and assist to increase the rate of project implementation. It focuses on the areas of policy development and implementation, risk management, project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation, and other critical topics, including cross-cutting themes.The PPAM and PCM Training Programme is the most recent iteration of training initiatives introduced by CDB, to strengthen efficiency and build capacity across the Region. It promotes a sustainable, country-led approach to professional development that responds to national needs.