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[Media Release-OPSC] A Public Service of Excellence



Achievement of the Public Service vision of a “Public Service of Excellence” was recognised on Wednesday 2 December 2020 through the presentation of special awards to Heads of Ministries (HoMs). One mission of the Public Sector Strategy 2016-2025 is to have a Public Sector that is well led and trusted by the people of the Cook Islands; and in his last HoMs meeting as the Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas acknowledged that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, high performance among agencies has improved overall.

The performance of the fourteen Public Service Ministries is assessed annually by Office of the Public Service Commissioner (OPSC) and according to the Agency’s contribution towards, their specific sector and management priorities. Their Business Plans are measured against progress towards the achievement of (i) Te Kaveinga Nui - National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) 2016-20 goals; (ii) the annual Budget Policy Statement; (iii) each HoM’s Critical Success Factors; and (iv) set organisational management tools.


The fourteen HOMs are also assessed according to their leadership skills; direction and delivery of their services; people or employee development; relationship management; engagement with stakeholders; and financial and resource management.

The conduct of HOMs is considered as well and comprises four critical elements – that they serve as role models by living and promoting the Public Service and Agency-specific values; there is a minimal public or stakeholder complaints that are valid and upheld; they are innovative and practice good stewardship of public resources to achieve results and there are minimal employment disputes reported to the PS Commissioner. The targets within these are rated according to specified performance.

In addition to the Annual Review, OPSC conducts a Mid-Year review which monitors the progress of implementation of each Ministry’s outputs. The purpose of the Mid-Year review is to identify any complications that may prevent full implementation of the Agency’s business plans and strategies or solutions that have been put in place to mitigate those risks.


For this fiscal year, the new Ministry of Corrective Services was included in the assessment.


Excellence Awards

· Dr Aumea Herman, Secretary of Te Marae Ora/ Ministry of Health – 5A (97%)

· Ms Temarama Anguna, Secretary of Agriculture/ Pae Anga’anga Tanutanu – 5A (96.5%)

· Ms Anne Herman, Secretary of Internal Affairs/ Te Tango ‘Akarangatira’anga Ora’anga - 5A (96.5%)

These awards were in recognition of their performance as Public Service Leaders or HOMs, whose performance exceeds expectations.

Merit Awards

· Ms Pamela Maru, Secretary of Marine Resources/ Tu’anga o te Pae Moana – 4A (90.5%)

· Ms Tepaeru Herman, Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration/ Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki – 4A (88.5%)

· Mr Teokotai Joseph, Secretary of Corrective Services/ Te Tango Akatanotano – 4A (88.5%)

· Mr Garth Henderson, Secretary of Finance and Economic Management – 4A (86.5%)

· Mr Anthony Turua, Secretary of Cultural Development/ Tauranga Vananga – 4A (86%)

· Ms Myra Patai, Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Public Service Commissioner/ Paepae Ropi’anga o te Kavamani – 4A (86%)

These awards were to acknowledge that they had raised the level of their respective Agency’s performance to a level where they are meeting expectations.

The Results and Organisational Management numeric ratings are determined as follows: 5 means exceptional performance, 4 means above average performance, 3 means performance meets expectations, 2 means in development or needs improvement, and 1 means unsatisfactory, poor performance.

The alphabetical rating measures the integrity and conduct of the HOM. An A means a Role Model and shows clear exemplary behaviour, a B means consistently meets or at times exceeds standards; and a C means the HOM requires development or does not meet standards.


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