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20 September 2016
Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas this week, delivered the public service induction programme to over 100 public servants on Aitutaki. “The induction programme was a success and I felt privileged to help shed the light on our nation’s voyage to statehood to fellow public servants”. Thomas confirmed that the programme “is part of our public sector strategy initiative to ensure all government employees understand their role as public servants and the workings of government”. The workshop was well attended with public servants from Health, Agriculture, Infrastructure and the Island Administration over the four days from the 12 to 15 September 2016.
The delivery in the local language made it easy to understand the concepts and content well said many participants, “we as public servants are here to serve our people.” Participants were impressed with the presentations given by the Commissioner with support from OPSC Human Resource Manager … read more
29 June 2016
Public Servants attending a training workshop at USP 2015
A group of 25 senior public servants will commence a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management at the University of the South Pacific (USP) from mid-July. This week, public servants from health, education, finance, foreign affairs and immigration, justice, infrastructure, crown law, parliament, the ombudsman’s office, prime ministers’ office and the office of the public service commissioner received their letters of acceptance into the programme.
The programme is funded by the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) and targets public officials who are in middle and senior management positions. It is designed for those who do not have an academic background in public sector management and provides them with the opportunity to learn about the unique features of the public sector and how to manage public sector agencies effectively.
Students attended an orientation meeting with the Public … read more
Eleven legal interns from the University of Newcastle in Sydney Australia commenced a three-week internship programme within government agencies yesterday. The group led by their law school lecturer Dr Kevin Sobel-Read, were hosted by the Office of the Public Service Commissioner to a Public Service induction programme on their first day.
Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas said “this is a wonderful opportunity for these students to work alongside our public servants and contribute to the work we do, while gaining insight into how we operate. Internships have been beneficial to the people of the Cook Islands for many years, explained Thomas. Undergraduate students from Germany have worked in our public health dental service for decades and teachers from Monash University in Australia have worked in our schools for many years, often bringing resources for our children.”
The interns have come in under the New Colombo Plan, an Australian Government initiative … read more
The Office of the Public Service Commissioner is seeking the view of the general public on key areas you think the office should focus on in its Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
Please see below for the questionnaire. Please be advised these are due by Thursday 25th March.
26 January 2016
“It is a privilege to publicly release the Cook Islands Government Public Sector Strategy 2016-2015 in English and Cook Islands Maori today”, said Public Service Commissioner, Mr Russell Thomas.
The ten year Strategy focuses on strengthening the people, structures and systems across the sector to achieve the government’s vision for a Public Service of Excellence.
Thomas explained that “this Strategy is our journey to excellence – focusing on improving our leadership and workforce capacity, reviewing our agency structures, and strengthening our systems to improve our performance and services to the communities we serve. While our primary focus is on strengthening the public service, the outcomes of the Strategy are aimed at ensuring we achieve our national sustainable development plan goals and vision”.
The Strategy has three phases: Phase 1 – preparing for change, phase 2 – implementing change and phase 3 – sustaining change.
“I would like … read more
7th December 2015
Today marks the launch of the Cook Islands Government Voluntary Retirement Policy for those aged 60 years and over. The incentivised policy provides voluntary retirement payouts for those who retire during the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
The retirement payout can only be paid once in a person’s lifetime and the maximum payout any government worker can receive is eight fortnights’ pay for those aged 65 years and who have worked for 30 years or more. Payouts increase with the age of employees and years of total service in the public service, up until the maximum payout threshold at age 65.
“The policy allows public servants aged 60 and over to retire to make way for younger workers and graduates wishing to work for the public service,” said Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas. The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.
There are almost 170 people eligible to … read more
24th November 2015
The PSC 2014/15 Annual Report highlights the public service performance for the year with the ministries of education, health and finance taking top awards.
The public service continued to expand the country’s economic base by way of taxation reforms to ease the burden on our people. These reforms reduced personal taxation rates and our senior citizens receiving significant increases in pensions during this period. Eligible residents aged 60-70 years received an additional $100 per month bringing their total pension to $500 per month, while those over 70 years received an increase of $240 per month bringing their total monthly pension to $640.
National educational results confirm that our students at the secondary level now have higher average pass rates than students of all ethnic origins gaining these same qualifications in New Zealand. Extensive training opportunities were provided to develop public servants, particularly our teachers and nurses, who … read more
10 November 2015
Heads of Finance, Health and Education have topped the annual Cook Islands Public Service Excellence Awards. Based on performance over the 2014/2015 fiscal year, Richard Neves, Elizabeth Iro and Sharyn Paio were rewarded this month for the exemplary performance of their respective ministries.
“These awards demonstrate our commitment to recognising and rewarding high performance and encourage us to share our successes with our teams – the people who help us achieve these milestones” said Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas.
The leadership qualities of former education secretary Sharyn Paio, health secretary Elizabeth Iro and financial secretary Richard Neves were acknowledged in front of colleagues at a monthly public sector heads meeting.
The Ministry of Education was the best performing ministry. Sharyn Paio explained “All staff at the Ministry of Education deserve to be congratulated on achieving the performance excellence award from the Public Service Commissioner for the achievements … read more
22 September 2015
Congratulations to the twelve heads of Public Service Departments.
Eight former heads of public service departments commenced their new contracts from 22 September 2015 with all employment contracts ending on 30 June 2018. They include: Matairangi Purea, Secretary of Agriculture; Elizabeth Iro, Secretary of Health, Bredina Drollet, Secretary of Internal Affairs, Tingika Elikana, Secretary of Justice, Ben Ponia, Secretary of Marine Resources, Ned Howard, Secretary of Transport, Elizabeth Wright-Koteka, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Prime Minister, and Daphne Ringi, Chief Executive for the Office of the Public Service Commissioner.
New leaders include:
Anthony Turua is the new Secretary for the Ministry of Cultural Development and commenced employment on Monday 28 September 2015.
As the former Director of Finance at the Ministry of Education and a member of the Ministry’s senior management team since 2002, Mr Turua brings a
wealth of experience in public … read more
11 September 2015
In June 2015, the Cook Islands Public Service Commissioner engaged a Consultation Panel to lead a consultation process on the draft Cook Islands Government Public Service Strategy 2015-2025. The Strategy was developed in response to the government’s vision to ensure the people of the Cook Islands enjoy the highest quality of life, and achieve their aspirations through an effective and efficient Public Service.
The Panel was tasked with the responsibility of seeking the views of those who had an interest in the design and delivery of public goods and services in the Cook Islands.
The Panel comprised of three esteemed members of the Cook Islands community: Mrs Cecilia Short, former Public Service Commissioner; Mr John Herrmann, former Secretary of Education; and Mr Rohan Ellis, former Chief Executive of the Cook Islands Development Investment Board.
Consultations were primarily held at the Office of the Public Service Commissioner on … read more