OECS Member states have been engaging the public through a process of public consultations aimed at securing wide support for the OECS Economic Union.
A panel discussion in Dominica recently explored the implication of the integration process for the public service on the island and its relevance to public officers, business persons, artistes, students and professionals who wish to expand their services to member states.
Speaking during the event, Cabinet Secretary, Steve Ferrol, pointed to some the changes which have taken place within the public Service since the signing of the Economic Union Treaty saying that departments within the public service have now been charged with advising on policy.
“We have to see the economic union as providing policy guidelines for us to implement and we have to advise on those policies before they are implemented. So we are superimposing the role of the local public service to the role of what will fast develop into a more regional public service,” he stated.
Ferrol added that the Economic Union is here and said efforts have to be made by the public service to ensure that it is implemented in a timely fashion.
“Because we are at the early stages of implementation, the public service has a chance to impact the Union as against the union impacting the public service. We are well placed in various Ministries and Government departments to do so. We already have deep functional cooperation in Education and Health. We see more legislation now being passed at the level of the OECS Assembly for us to both advise on provisions and apply when they are legislated,” he noted.
Other speakers at the function were President of the Dominica State College Dr. Donald Peters, OECS Export Development Unit Information Officer Darin Grell, and General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang.
The process of discussing the impact of the of the OECS Economic Union began in Dominica last year under the leadership of the Ministry of Trade and deceased Ambassador of Dominica to the OECS and CARICOM, Charles Maynard.