by Linda Straker
- New cabinet procedures to be implemented as part of public sector reform project
- Manual approved by cabinet in June 2019
As part of the public sector reform project, Grenada’s cabinet will be implementing new cabinet procedures, which among other things, will make the weekly meeting of the cabinet of ministers more strategic with less time on routine matters.
“This manual allows more time for in-depth discussion and how to focus on major priorities,” Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell told participants during the first training workshop which exposed ministers of government, permanent secretaries and other senior public officers to the templates of the manual.
Dr Mitchell said that one of the shortcomings identified is following up of decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers, but the implementation of the new procedures is expected to not only reduce the problem but to make it a thing of the past.
“Sometimes decisions are made and when you ask for a follow up there is a fight to find out the state of it,” the Prime Minister said, explaining that the new procedure will include a summary of an implementation plan, because many times decisions are made and implementation plans are not included. “Hopefully this manual will make a stronger cabinet secretariat which is the oxygen where cabinet decisions are made,” he said, promising to ensure a stronger secretariat.
Head of the Cabinet Secretariat, Beryl Isaac, told the participants that they should see the new procedures as the secretariat bible. “Not implementing the manual is not an option, this manual has to be our bible,” she said, reminding them that different results will not be achieved if the same format is continually used. “If we want to see a different result, we must do things differently,” she said.
Besides providing for less time on routine discussion, the main feature of the manual which was approved by cabinet in June 2019, includes a new process for proposed legislation with policy objectives and main features agreed by cabinet before laws are drafted. It revises the submission template and provides a summary implementation plan for all complex proposals.
It also provides for more consultation between ministries in preparing proposals for cabinet; more explicit engagement with local and international partners in developing policy proposals and a stronger cabinet office to better support ministers to comply with the procedures in the manual.
The new procedures were developed following a review of Grenada’s cabinet processes by Dr Mark Johnston, an experienced cabinet advisor from the World Bank. The cabinet secretariat will hold other workshops during September and October, before a date of effect is announced for implementing the new procedures.