Immigration Minister discusses how to improve department morale
The Ministry of Immigration has had its difficulties over the years. Yesterday, Minister Eamon Courtenay conceded that there have been fraudulent activities happening and he intends to get to the bottom of it. In the discussion with the media, Minister Courtenay stressed that he will continue to insist that the various officers in the department will continue to follow the rule of law. His comments come in the context of what he categorised as a “surprise sick out” at the Philip Goldson International Airport and whether there was an issue of morale in the department.
Eamon Courtenay ,Minister of Immigration: “In any organization there are differences, personality clashes and it’s not easy to manage a ministry in which there are risks. You see this permanent residence card situation there are other things that we see the smuggling it’s human smuggling it’s a major issue for us and when people are disciplinarians and insisting that the letter of the law is complied with there are people who don’t like it but we have to as best we can in order to protect the integrity of this country to ensure that we minimize as best we can the abuse of migration, the abuse of people in the migration process to enforce the law and to insist that our workers our employees, our officers enforce the law and to call them to account where we see something happening here or there. And so yes there have been differences. Yes there was a surprise sick out but I think speaking for myself I will insist on the law and the procedures and the processes being complied with.”
Minister Courtenay also conceded that there is disgruntlement among officers in his department and that some officers do not perform their duties satisfactorily. Despite these challenges, Minister Courtenay feels that with additional training opportunities, service delivery to the public can be improved.
Eamon Courtenay ,Minister of Immigration: “I don’t want to cast aspersions on anybody but there are some people who perform their jobs at lot better than others and there are those who are weak in their performance. The public service is not the private sector where you simply say here is your letter, here is your cheque and don’t come back on Monday. There’s a very elaborate process as you’re aware if you want to even report or discipline somebody. We have strong officers, we have excellent officers, we have first rate officers and we do have officers who don’t perform to the level that we would want them to perform and it impacts the delivery of service to the general public and so you know one of the things that we speak to the CEO about is training. I’m not prepared to give up on all of them. I believe that with some training and some communication that we can lift the level of their performance so I will not deny that there is some disgruntlement, I will not deny that some people are unhappy but they must do the right thing.”