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Speech made by Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Public Management Reforms at the District Secretaries Conference at SLIDA on 24.03.2011

Hon. Navin Dissanayake stated that the Public Service would be reformed to ensure the provision of efficient service to the public.
 
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This was stated by him when he addressed the conference attended by District Secretaries.
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Addressing them he further said, “This Ministry has been created a few months ago with the objective of making enormous contribution towards country’s forward march. Former Prime Minister Hon. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka had been the first Minister of this Ministry.
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Now we want to develop this country as a united Sri Lanka various individuals have different view in this regard. For example, the people in the north had various problems, many of which are these associated with the development. Therefore, It is very important to examine the attitudes and thinking of the people in the North and East.
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You are the main guiding force to handle the Public Administration. In the process of management reform we should establish a public service in such a way to realize the contents in the “Mahinda Chintanaya” Accordingly the necessary structured changes would be introduced to the Public Service with the Mediation of this Ministry, but all of which are to be done in consultation with all stake holders in the sector. Now these structural changes should not be a burden in any way and implementation of the same is rather difficult task followed by detailed discussion and study.
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I am a politician with a less experience in the public service than you. We should work together in order to achieve desired objectives. The society in which we live always used to look at everything negatively. The public servants too have to face the same fate. Nobody seems neither talking about good work nor appreciation of it.
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As state officials we couldn’t finalize solutions to problems faced by the people limiting to office rooms only. Hundreds of peoples are visiting us daily seeking redresses to their grievances. Therefore, we should be extremely careful in dealing with them so that they may think positively rather than negatively that has been the practice in the past. In certain instances, the public servants are compelled to do what we want as politician and serve the public on the other hand adhering to the principals of the “ Mahinda Chintana Idiri Dekma”.
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We have taken measures to train public servants with the objective of providing efficient service to people. We are not here to do what the Public Administration Ministry is doing. In view of the insufficiency of the training programmes undertaken by the Ministry of Public Administration, we have planned to start a number of comprehensive training programme during this year with particular reference to employees in the lower grades such as Management Assistants/Clerks and those in minor grade as well.
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We are expecting donor agencies to fund this training programme as they have responded positively in this regard and your support is essential to make it a good success.
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In this exercise, we should work closely with all District Secretaries. Our objective is to serve the people to their satisfaction. Accordingly, the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries work hand in hand to ensure the discharge of qualitative and effective services to the people. Therefore, we should be prepared to adapt to the changing situations, equipped with innovative thinking and methods. It is true that we couldn’t achieve the target within a couple of days. But that wouldn’t be difficult, if your approach is collective one.
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We are inherited a respectable state service which ensure equality to each and every. As far as the country’s development is concerned, the public servants are entrusted with a heavy responsibility. There is a big challenge before us in achieving the development target in keeping with the ”Mahinda Chintana Policy frame work”
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Today’s concepts are different from what we had some twenty or thirty years ago. At that time directives given by superiors had to be implemented to the letter. Today it has been developed to be a team work. We should learn good lessens from the private sector in this regard.
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The superiors shouldn’t mediate unnecessarily with the functions of subordinators. It is only them that they could discharge their duties to the maximum satisfaction to the clients. Meanwhile charges are being leveled against junior officers for their alleged failure to achieve targets entrusted to them. However what is needed is to encourage juniors by superiors rather than finding fault with them.
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All in all we should be changed ourselves in a big way in attitude and thinking. The learning is unending and continuous process. Everyone in the public service needs to be equipped with advanced knowledge, innovative thinking and modern attitudes in order to provide letter service to the people to the entire satisfaction to both parties.
 
 

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