The Second Retreat of Permanent Secretaries and other top civil servants has yesterday opened at Tendaba Camp in Kiang, LRR.
The retreat arranged by the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery, Office of the President, is meant to follow-up the progress of Ministries towards their 2019 priorities, which were set at the first retreat in February.
Speaking at the retreat, Mr. Alagie Nyangado, Director General Department of Strategic policy and delivery, office of the President, said the retreat is meant to bring together Ministries so that they critically reflect on common issues as policy makers, in order to better the life of the citizenry.
He said "the expectation is to assess the progress made in the implementation of the set priorities, unblock all the necessary issues that will affect the Gambian people, as well as to support the Permanent Secretaries in terms of quick decision making, in terms of getting the resources at the right place".
"As policy makers we have to reflect on issues that are affecting us to be able to serve the people of this country. We can only do it when we think and do things together, as the saying goes together, we stand, apart we fall", he emphasized.
He added, "as policy makers we should reflect on any decision we take, whether it is right or wrong. The reason why we are subjected to that swear in is to ensure that we are honest, sincere in anything that we do and I'm convinced that we will live to that expectation".
Lamin Jawara, Permanent Secretary, Personnel Management Office, urged his colleagues to continue to recognize and accept that they meet periodically, to discuss and interact and share experiences, so as to synergize in trying to deliver as a government.
He remarked: "As permanent Secretaries, we have to know that our work is very sacred and the entire country is hoping on us. We have to deliver so that our performance is able to reflect in a way that we can change the livelihood of the average Gambians".
He added "if we are not able to do that, then we have failed in our responsibilities. So, I think it is very important that we take our job very seriously and all of us innovatively, we should be looking at how we improve the way we do business".
Jawara urged that knowledge gained from trainings be translated into actions if they are to live up to expectations, because the taxpayers' money is spent on these trainings.
Ebrima Ceesay, Secretary to Cabinet, in his opening speech said the retreat allows them to interact more formally, as well as keep them up to date with their work, while stating the concerted efforts the Ministries are making to deliver governments' development plans.
"We can share challenges; exchange lessons learnt and recharge our morale as a group. The days we spent together, are exciting in asserting new culture of coordinated government action", he said.
He added: "Our job is to implement the will of the Gambian people, by faithfully and diligently providing public service. The expectation is very high with the advent of the new government and every Ministry is expected to make significant gain if those expectations are to be met".
Participants were urged to participate actively during the entire course of the three-day retreat to make it a fruitful one.