Top Civil Servants of the Year awarded

THREE outstanding public sector workers have been chosen as Civil Servants of the Year for 2023.

They are secretary, Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Christene Rowe (technical support); senior case officer, Administrator General’s Department, Ruth McGrowder (middle management); and corporate planner, Administrator General’s Department, Opal Bryan (management).

With 6,000 votes across the public service, Bryan was named the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

During a ceremony held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on Friday, the award recipients were each presented with a cheque for $200,000 by the main sponsor, First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC). They also received a plaque and a citation.

FHC also allocated $150,000 for a joint community project.

Minister of state in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Zavia Mayne, in a speech read by director of corporate communication and public relations in the ministry, Shelly-Ann Weeks, hailed the country’s civil servants for their continued dedication and commitment. He noted that the awardees epitomised the theme for Civil Service Week: ‘Raising the Bar: Strengthening the Bond’.

“We are celebrating the public sector workers who raised the bar by selflessly performing beyond the expected targets, who, without prompting, coercion, give what is required and more. They strengthen the bond by connecting with others who are so positively impacted by the service they receive, they could do no less than to nominate them for this award,” he said.

Citing the strong economic recovery from COVID-19, including the 2.3 per cent growth for the September 2023 quarter, Mayne said that the achievement could not have been possible without the contribution of public sector workers.

“You continue to bring to the job more than the knowledge you gain from your education, more than your years of experience, but by your commitment and efficiency to continue to show the best of what it means to be a civil servant, you raise the bar in service to your country,” he said.

Cabinet Secretary Audrey Sewell, in her remarks, said that the Civil Servant of the Year competition “helps us keep in view the qualities that a public officer should possess, qualities that we celebrate and encourage”.

“We celebrate the outstanding achievements of all 12 nominees, who, by embodying the spirit of determination, have excelled in their respective areas,” she said.

Chief executive officer of FHC, Roxann Linton, expressed gratitude to the ministry and the Civil Service Week planning committee for their commitment to “this long-standing partnership and for allowing us to honour your colleagues and celebrate with you in this very special way”.

Winner in the management category, Opal Bryan, who responded on behalf of the recipients, said the awards programme serve as an acknowledgement “of the work and worth of some very committed and excellent people”.

“I just want to say thanks be to God for providing us jobs in the public service, where we are able to positively change lives. Every day that we dress up and go to work, we do service as unto God,” Bryan said.

This year marks the 19th anniversary of the Civil Servant of the Year Awards. The programme was organised by the Civil Service Week Steering Committee in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in partnership with FHC.

— Jamaica Information Service