(Dominica News Online) Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said the government plans on taking Dominica to the next level in terms of better public engagement and a more structured dialogue within the government system.
At his swearing-in ceremony on December 7, at the State House, Skerrit said the country’s social rift will be looked at to ensure that more persons are reached with the available resources especially those who do not have the ability to access the system.
“I also think too, with regard to the social partners, we should seek to have more structured dialogue, not when we always want something from each other but to see how we can work together to address some of the fundamental issues confronting the country and find common solutions to them,” he observed.
He also plans to appoint a “think tank” of persons to provide greater advice to the government on various aspects of social and economic plans for the country.
He said persons with varied backgrounds will be recruited locally as well as professionals who reside out of Dominica.
“I also think that would be helpful to the public service in terms of transfer of knowledge, abilities [and] capacities so that policies can be more soundly reviewed [so] that they can be better documented,” Skerrit said.
He said if there is a social problem, one should be able to go on the government’s website and see a copy of that specific policy and understand the background on how someone can benefit from it and how they can access it, so there is more transparency in its implementation.
He further stated that he thinks that the government needs to engage residents of communities more in terms of their intentions so that when projects are being conducted in their constituency, persons will have an idea of what exactly is happening and how long it will take.
“I also think too, that we need to as a government engage the public more in terms of what we intend to do with them and for them…I think we need to address this issue of having more consultation with the public on all aspects of government’s interventions and programs so that there is more buying and ownership of it,” suggested the prime minister, who has held that office for the past sixteen years.
Skerrit added that he does not think that government services are reaching the public in the correct manner and hopes to change this by empowering parliamentarians and improving services when delivering at a community level.