Making Government More Accessible and Affordable

STRENGTHENING OUR DEMOCRACY AND OUR CONSTITUTION

Our country enjoys a fine and proud democratic tradition. There are always, however, avenues for improvement. The Constitution Review Commission that was appointed by our administration during its previous term in office, listened to the voices of our citizens and made certain recommendations that it felt would improve our governance arrangements.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Consider the passage of legislation to establish a fixed date for the holding of General Elections;
  • Begin the transition to a system of elected representation at the Local Government level;
  • Devolve more power and autonomy to Constituency Councils for the management of some services at the community level;
  • Continue to strengthen oversight of the work of statutory agencies to ensure there is accountability, proper use of public finances and value for money in the delivery of services;
  • Appoint a Joint Select Committee of Parliament to proceed with the implementation of the recommendations of the Constitution Reform Commission.

PROVIDING MORE EFFICIENT PUBLIC SERVICES

We are committed to the improvement of service delivery in the Public Service. Over the past four and half years we implemented several measures that were designed to increase efficiency in the Service. Some of these like the 311 Contact Centre, GPS Vehicle Tracking, the Unified Communication System and the Employee Assistance Programme were trail-blazing and dramatic in the improvements they achieved. Others, like the Senior Management Mentoring Programme, payment by credit cards and improvements in service delivery in the Registry have made a significant difference in the lives of the people who use Public Services.

We will continue the process of transforming the Public Service.

GREATER EFFICIENCIES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enact a modern, comprehensive Public Service Management Bill and regulations;
  • Completely digitize the authoring, management and distribution of Government documents and records to allow for more efficient transfer, storage and retrieval;
  • Fully integrate the Unified Communication System in the operations of Government so that all public offices in Saint Lucia and all of our overseas Missions and Embassies are digitally connected. The annual savings to the Government from this exercise is expected to be approximately $2 million;
  • Continue to review and streamline the structure of critical Public Sector agencies to eliminate wastage and inefficiencies and to make these agencies more responsive to the needs of their clients.

BETTER SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Use the modern state-of-the-art Public Service Training Institute to equip our Public Officers with the enhanced skills they require to improve the range and effectiveness of the services that we provide to the general public;
  • Create a child care facility on the Waterfront to provide a safe place for Public Officers to keep their children after school is dismissed;
  • Continue to address occupational health and safety issues in the work place.

DECENTRALIZED SERVICES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Complete the Vieux Fort Administrative Complex and provide a wide range of Government services to persons living in the south of the island, who previously had to travel to Castries to obtain these services;
  • Make it possible for the Community ICT Access Centres to serve as ‘Government Service Centres’ to provide a range of Government services online to the public using the revamped Government of Saint Lucia Portal.

EMPOWERING CITIZENS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

We recognize that a modern and vibrant Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is a major catalyst for growth. ICT brings opportunities for employment creation, personal and professional development through continuous learning and knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship. ICT can also significantly transform the operations of Government. It is one of the few available tools with the potential to facilitate the sustained economic prosperity of a country, particularly a small island developing State like ours.

We have worked hard in the ICT sector over the past four and a half years. The launch of the new Government Web Portal, the establishment of a dedicated Saint Lucia Internet Exchange Point, the commissioning of new ICT Access Centres and Wi-Fi hot spots in Soufriere, Canaries, Anse La Raye, La Resource, Vieux Fort town, Micoud village, Garand, and Monchy, and large financial grants for ICT training and ICT related businesses, are all examples of our pioneering efforts in this sector.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enhance the Government of Saint Lucia Web Portal to allow citizens to access more services online, such as renewal of Driver’s Licences and Application for Birth Certificates;
  • Complete the roll-out of our Island-wide integrated ICT network infrastructure. This will include providing Wi-Fi hotspots at all libraries, community centres and secondary schools around the island;
  • Expand our Community ICT Access Programme so that every major community has an Access Centre. By the end of 2016, we intend to have twenty (20) ICT Access Centres established across the country;
  • Continue its efforts to make data services more affordable to the population and work to increase the level and quality of telecommunications services provided island-wide.

TRAINING

Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide training to young people, using the Community ICT Access Centres, in subjects such as mobile app development, digital photography, website development, animation, and video editing;
  • Continue to provide support for ICT business ventures through a dedicated funding facility.

OPEN DATA AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enact Freedom of Information legislation to enshrine citizens’ right to public data;
  • Create an Open Data Portal that will make available disaggregated data, from sectors such as education, agriculture, health, tourism, meteorology, construction, finance, in an open format that may be used for research, mobile app development and other constructive activities.

SERVICE ENHANCEMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Integrate the successful Government 311 Call Centre with the Emergency 911 and 999 services for enhanced and more effective and efficient response services;
  • Continue the process to digitally map Saint Lucia so that every public asset and every building or place of interest is geo-located and identified on a digital map of Saint Lucia.

RE-TOOLING THE WORK FORCE

Unquestionably, Saint Lucia requires a skilled, competent, modern workforce that is technologically savvy.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Institute a programme to upgrade and enhance the information technology skills of Public Officers;
  • Provide incentives to private sector companies to encourage them to invest in the retraining of their workers for a digital, knowledge-based environment;
  • Require the SALCC to re-establish a strong continuing education program to enable working adults to pursue higher education using both face-to-face and distance learning modes. This new distance learning outreach of SALCC will use Secondary Schools and the ICT Access Centres to facilitate delivery in most communities

DEVELOPING STRATEGIC FOCUS IN OUR EXTERNAL RELATIONS

The world is our marketplace. Saint Lucia must be deeply connected to the globe for trade and development. Over the past four and a half years, we strengthened our cooperation with the global community through a number of development partners, resulting in major gains for our country. We witnessed the establishment of a new embassy by Argentina, as our island became the hub for diplomatic missions in the Eastern Caribbean. In particular, we saw increased assistance from Taiwan, Mexico, Morocco, Venezuela, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

STRONGER PARTNERSHIPS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Within the first 6 months, host a major Development Partner Conference, involving all friendly countries wit which we enjoy diplomatic relations, development partners such as the World Bank and USAID, as well as representatives of Saint Lucia’s Missions overseas. This conference will set the basis for seeking support for a number of our country’s critical development initiatives;
  • Work towards establishing deeper diplomatic relations with Central & South American countries by expanding the responsibilities of the current Ambassador to Petro-Caribe/ALBA to be Ambassador-at-large to Latin America;
  • Strengthen our partnerships with the French Caribbean, particularly our cultural and economic ties with French Guiana, Martinique & Guadeloupe;
  • Expand our outreach into the Diaspora. As a first step, we will establish an online database where Saint Lucians living abroad can register to indicate their skills, areas of expertise and interests.

COLLABORATION WITH TOURISM, TRADE, INVESTMENT & ENVIRONMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Pursue economic diplomacy with non-traditional countries in order to expand Saint Lucia’s economic links internationally, and increase inward flows of foreign direct investment;
  • Develop synergies in the marketing and promotion efforts of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Invest Saint Lucia, TEPA and our foreign missions by the sharing of resources and the hosting of joint trade, tourism and investment initiatives;
  • Undertake a review of current postings of Saint Lucia Honorary Consuls worldwide with a view to ensure that our country maximises its trade and investment reach;
  • Host regular Trade, Export, and Marketing Events for Saint Lucian businesses and professionals so that they can become aware of the available opportunities under existing bilateral assistance;
  • Leverage our global successes and leadership in Climate Change to gain greater financial support from climate financing agencies and instruments.

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