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Public Service of Excellence

Honesty, Impartiality, Service Oriented, Transparency, Accountability, Respect, Efficiency and Effectiveness

Recent News

New HoM for Internal Affairs 

Friday 24th March 2017

The Public Service Commissioner has appointed Paul Allsworth as the Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

Mr Allsworth replaces former Secretary Bredina Drollett who has taken up the position of Acting Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister. The Public Service Act 2009 enables the Commissioner to appoint an Acting Head of Ministry (HoM) into a vacant position.

“As the Commissioner I am responsible for administering the recruitment process for 13 Public Service HoMs, negotiating their terms of employment and managing their performance, in consultation with their respective Minister. From time to time I am required to make Acting Appointments and this is one of those instances,” says Thomas. 

Allsworth comes with a 15-year track record as the Director of the Cook Islands Audit Office. He has also served in senior roles in key Government agencies such as the Office of read more


Honouring Excellence

Friday 17 March 2017

Elizabeth Wright-Koteka this week ended a successful five year term as the Chief of Staff and almost 10 years of services to the public through the Office of the Prime Minister.  Ms Koteka has been a formidable performer leading the development of the recent national sustainable development plan and a number of capital projects that have put the Cook Islands on track to achieve its renewable energy targets by 2020. 

She was instrumental in developing the country’s access to the Green Climate Fund that will enable the Cook Islands to build climate change resilient projects throughout the Cook Islands. Koteka was also leading discussions to establish a telecommunications submarine cable through the Pacific Connectivity Project and overseeing governance support for the Pa Enua.

“Her strong background in policy and planning within a central government agency and prior management experience in the private sector, placed Liz in read more


Office of the Prime Minister, Appointment of Ms Bredina Drollett

Thursday 16 March 2017

The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Bredina Drollett as the acting Chief of Staff and she will commence her work at the Office later this week.  Ms Drollett was the Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Cook Islands Government and has ably lead this Ministry since her appointment in 2009.

In her previous role Ms Drollet was the principal advisor to Government for the delivery of social protection and some economic regulatory functions and had primary responsibility to ensure delivery of relevant Government laws, policies and programmes in these areas.

Her role included social protection responsibilities including administration of the government’s welfare payments system and pursuing policies and programmes that improved the social outcomes of elderly, families, children, youth, persons with disabilities and women.

The role also included economic regulatory responsibilities including administration of employment … read more


Salary Cuts reporting Unfounded

Friday 10 March 2016

Senior officials from the Office of the Public Service Commissioner (OPSC) met with staff from the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday this week to refute any fears of pay cuts inferred in an article in the Cook Islands News of Friday 10 March 2017.  OPSC was made aware this week that the process used to develop the job descriptions compromised the objectivity of job description development and job evaluations.

OPSC is currently leading a review (Capacity Assessment) of the ministry with a national consultant and the Ministry of Finance.  The intention of the review is to identify capacity gaps within the ministry and provide practical solutions to address the key issues identified.  The governments’ intention is to have short term measures in place within the next budget 2017-18, with medium to long term measures in the following years. 

Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas stated “I expect read more


HR Taskforce supports good HR practices

Thursday 09 March 2016

A government Human Resources (HR) Taskforce comprised of 45 HR practitioners working across the public sector was established last month.  The practitioners represented most government agencies and three state owned enterprises. 

The role of the taskforce is to advise and support public sector managers embed good HR practices within government agencies. The establishment of the taskforce is part of the government’s Public Sector Strategy goal to ensure we have progressive and high performing public sector employees. 

The two day workshops were held at the Office of the Public Service Commissioner’s office in Avarua and facilitated by Commonwealth Secretariat-funded HR specialist Mabel Shuma-Dalgaard.  The training included an overview of the benefits and responsibilities of the taskforce members, in relation to understanding the governments HR policies such as recruitment, job evaluations, remuneration, performance management, leave and training.  Developing job descriptions was also covered with participants who had not read more


Strengthening a Public Service of Excellence

Thursday 09 March 2016

Over 100 public servants on the islands of Mauke and Mitiaro enjoyed the public service induction training facilitated by the Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas and Human Resources Advisor, Teresa Tararo, over two weeks commencing 13th February to the 24th February 2017.

The Commissioner encouraged the participants to “make a positive difference in their livelihood and the sustainable development of their islands by applying the learning from the workshops to their workplace and daily lives”. Thomas added “Knowledge without application is useless!” as he continues on the mission of building and strengthening a Public Service of Excellence

The participants expressed their appreciation for the practical and fun manner in which the workshops were run, but more importantly, the delivery in Cook Islands maori which ensured better understanding and the freedom to seek further clarification. Comments from participants include; “Ka ta’i nei workshop ka raveia ki read more


Public Service Commissioner’s Annual Report Release

 

Public Service Commissioner’s Annual Report Release

17 November 2016

Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas, today released his 2015/16 Annual Report.  This Report highlights key achievements and challenges faced by the 13 Public Service Ministries under his management.  Some key achievements have included the 15 per cent growth in tax revenue, installation of solar energy on all Northern Group islands and 6.2 percent growth in real GDP.  Both the National Sustainable Development Plan 2016-2020 and the government’s 10 year Public Sector Strategy were also launched during this period.  Through both these strategies the government can focus on its accountability for the development of our nation and the people, structures and systems that shape the way we operate.

Key achievements for the Office of the Public Service Commissioner included the establishment of a transparent human resource management framework for the sector.  We also introduced a public service wide induction programme for read more


Cook Islands Public Servants join GCPA alumni


public-servants

Twenty-three (23) senior public servants in the Cook Islands recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration (GCPA) offered by The University of the South Pacific’s Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA). 

Courses covered included public policy analysis, public sector leadership, and public sector governance from 26 September to 14 October 2016. 

Participants were from the Prime Minister’s Office, Public Service Commissioner’s Office, the Ministries of Finance, Education, Health, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Infrastructure, Internal Affairs, Justice, Environment, Parliament, Ombudsman and Crown Law.

Mr Russell Thomas, Cook Islands Public Service Commissioner, said he was pleased with the commitment of officials to continuous learning and strong achievements to enhance their capability. 

This he said,will goa long way in helping improve the work and quality public services provided to the people of the Cook Islands.

“The face-to-face method of delivering each module of the programme has been successful for our read more


VACANCIES

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Training Opportunities

For International Training Opportunities Please Click Here

Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) also offer training opportunities: https://picpa.usp.ac.fj/read more


Public Service Induction programme gets thumbs up from Aitutaki

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.  

group-workThe 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


Strengthening Public Sector Leadership in the Cook Islands

29 June 2016

Public Servants attending a training workshop at USP 2015

Presentation1

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


Cook Islands Government partners with Australia to implement the New Colombo Plan

Eleven legal interns from the University of Newcastle in Sydney Australia commenced a three-week internship programme DSCN0383within 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


Strategic Plan 2016-2020

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.

OPSC Public Private NGOs Questionnaireread more


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    Cook Islands Public Service Strategy

    Click here to view Video.