GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has begun the process of restructuring with reforms instituted in corporate areas, human resource management, finance, and in the way projects are managed, CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said on Friday.
CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque
Delivering remarks at the opening of the 33rd meeting of the Community Council of Ministers at the CARICOM Secretariat, the secretary-general announced that the Secretariat’s work programme had also been redesigned to provide for a more outcome-oriented focus guided by goal management.
“There is still some way to go, but change is underway,” LaRocque told the gathering of ministers and delegates who hold responsibility for Community issues.
Progress in undertaking reform, he pointed out, has encountered some challenges, including those that relate to the Secretariat’s aging information technology infrastructure, staff retention and the increasing inflexibility in the use of donor resources.
“Taken all together these factors along with the challenging economic and fiscal situation faced by our member states, affect the ability of the Secretariat to maintain and improve on our service to the Community and the implementation of the work programme. In the face of ever increasing mandates, the need for prioritisation, which lies at the heart of the decision by heads of government to devise a strategic plan, becomes paramount in order to ensure the focused and optimal use of our human and financial resources,” the secretary-general said.
His comments were made in the context of the finalisation and approval of the Community’s first community strategic plan, a major component of the reform process which is now being conducted and under which the restructuring of the CARICOM Secretariat falls. The Secretariat’s restructuring will be significantly influenced by the strategic plan.
The consideration of the executive summary of the five-year strategic plan of the Community was one of the key agenda items of the one-day meeting of the Community Council. The final draft of the plan is to be placed before the heads of government of CARICOM at their 25th intersessional meeting to be held in St Vincent and the Grenadines, 24-25 February 2014.
The Community Council will also deliberate on the budget of the Secretariat, contingent rights and the implications of the Shanique Myrie ruling handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the ruling of the Dominican Constitutional Court on nationality and matters related to sustainable development of the region.