Some of the bureaucracy found within the public service will be changed under his watch, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham indicated at the 9th Annual Public Service Week Thanksgiving Service held at Christ Community Church Sunday.

“The public service in The Bahamas has become so bureaucratic; and it so difficult for so many hard working persons to move, because the public service is driven by too great an extent by what is called paper qualifications, rather than the ability of persons to perform functions,” Mr. Ingraham said.

“So God’s willing by the time I speak to you next year, I expect to have made tremendous changes in this respect.”

Prime Minister Ingraham meantime praised civil servant retirees to be honoured this week, many of whom served the public for more than 30 years. He also praised the 13 persons nominated for the 2008 Public Service Officer of the Year.

Mr. Ingraham said, “The theme for this year’s Public Service Week, ‘Focused on Improving the Delivery of Quality Customer Service’, appears to be challenging nowadays. It used to be the hallmark of public service.

“The retirees we honour today know of what I speak, so also do our nominees for the Public Officer of the Year.

“In their working years they have lived by and honoured the precept ‘an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay’ and some of them started out at the lower end of the public service and worked their way up the ranks.”

The Prime Minister added, “They were willing to attend evening classes, they were courteous, they were disciplined, they respected authority and they were not afraid of hard work.”

He explained that the 13 nominees for the Public Service Officer of the Year have been selected by their respective ministries and departments for outstanding and exemplary service over the year.

Mr. Ingraham also noted that many of the nominees are clerks, two are administrative cadets and the rest represent the service.

“I think that speaks volumes of what the employees in the Public Service think about the Clerical Grade in the Public Service,” he said.

The 2008 Public Service Officer of the Year will be chosen on October 18. The nominees are:

      Jacqueline Fox, Administrative Cadet, Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources
      Paula Mae Bowleg-Russell, Finance Officer II, Cabinet Office
      Marion Rolle, Senior Price Inspector, Formally of Lands and Local Government now with the Office of the Prime Minister
      Shirlelle K. Strachan-Bevans, Chief Clerk, Ministry of Housing
      Chandell Johnson, Administrative Cadet, Ministry of Labour and Social Development
      Omishee Sears, Senior Accounts Clerk, Ministry of Finance
      Michelle Ferguson, Chief Clerk, Governor General’ Office
      Verna Ellis, Chief Clerk, Ministry of Works and Transport
      Charmine Williams, Accounts Clerk, Ministry of Health
      Neil Braitwaite, Senior Counsel, Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs
      Anne Pritchard Archer, Senior Clerk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      Ethel Rolle, Head Messenger, Ministry of Education
      Andrea Deleveaux, Head Telephonist, Department of Public Service