FRIDAY, JUNE 29: Civil Service chiefs have to practice what they preach to ensure Premier Paula Cox’s drive for good governance takes off, a union president said on Wednesday.
Bermuda Public Services Union president Kevin Grant backed the raft of legislation aimed at achieving the highest standards of conduct in the public service.
But he said: “However, it cannot happen if all stakeholders are not involved and playing their part.
“It goes without saying that Ministers and Civil Service executives play a major part in maintaining and influencing a culture of good governance within the Civil Service.”
But Mr Grant added that attention to high standards came down the line from the upper reaches of the service to supervisors and then staff.
He said: “When rank and file employees think of good governance, the first thing that comes to their minds is how fairly their employer — Government — is treating them.
“If it is perceived that they are not being treated fairly, then unfortunately employees may seek some retribution from the employer by performing inappropriately and inefficiently within the workplace.
“One option to enforce good governance would be to reward those who practice and abide by the philosophy of good governance.
“This will show other employees that management holds good governance practices in high regard and will allow the culture to spread throughout the service.
“Conversely, when high-ranking officers adopt the attitude of do what I say and not what I do, the response is negative rather than positive and this will have an effect on good governance.
“Another important factor that we must keep in mind is that when employees notice that management starts to pay close attention and have a genuine interest in the well-being of the employees and the community, this encourages positive attitudes and good governance within the workplace.
“However, if employees have a perception that management only cares for themselves, the reaction is more negative than positive.”
He added: “It’s very important that continuous dialogue takes place on the pros of good governance so that it is ingrained in the minds of all civil servants, thus prevalent throughout the service, where the acts of wrongdoing will stick out like a sore thumb.”