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Strengthening Public Sector Leadership in the Cook Islands

A group of 25 senior public servants will commence a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management at the University of the South Pacific (USP) from mid-July.    This week, public servants from health, education, finance, foreign affairs and immigration, justice, infrastructure, crown law, parliament, the ombudsman’s office, prime ministers’ office, and the office of the public service commissioner received their letters of acceptance into the programme.

The programme is funded by the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration (PICPA) and targets public officials who are in middle and senior management positions.  It is designed for those who do not have an academic background in public sector management and provides them with the opportunity to learn about the unique features of the public sector and how to manage public sector agencies effectively.

Students attended an orientation meeting with the Public Service Commissioner and USP Advisory Committee Chair Mr Tevai Matapo at the office of the Public Service Commissioner earlier this week.  Matapo who has coordinated many post graduate programmes in the Cook Islands since 2007, encouraged students to “embrace this opportunity to equip themselves to be nation builders”.

Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas says “this initiative is part of a broader leadership development programme in our government public sector strategy towards achieving our vision for a public service of excellence.  Many of these public servants are in senior management or specialist roles and have the potential to advance into senior executive roles in future.”

PICPA is committed to building the professional capacity of public servants in the Pacific by offering relevant training that meets the needs of the region.  PICPA in partnership with USP have previously provided training in the Cook Islands in the areas of policy analysis, procurement, ethics and governance.  The Cook Islands and Fiji will be joining other Pacific Island countries such as Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu that have benefited from this programme.

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