The Public Service Commission has begun discussions around the creation of a Civil Service Institute for the Samoa Public Sector. A concept paper developed by the Human Resource Division shows the imminent need for a more structured and standardised mechanism to deliver training for the public sector. The current Public Administration Sector Plan places a strong focus on improving the capacities of public servants to raise the standard of service delivery in Samoa. It is no secret that a country’s greatest assets are its people.
To develop and nurture their talents in a carefully designed way is to invest in the long-term development of Samoa. The Institute will serve as a training institution for the public sector, catering to develop the skills and Knowledge of the public sector workforce to equip Government with the manpower it requires to serve its citizens efficiently. The Commission plans to offer accredited and quality assured training under this institution and is hopeful that it is a step closer to achieving a professional and competent public administration. While existing programs such as the Samoa In-Country Training Program (ICTP) have made training opportunities more accessible for public servants, there is room for further developments in this area. The Samoa Public Service Workforce Plan 2013-2016 points to a minute 5 per cent of public servants having access to professional development opportunities funded by development partners. Focus areas for these training and capacity building programs tend to fluctuate according to sector interests and investments of development partners.
The concept paper highlights several inconsistencies with training requested by the public sector against the number of training offered through different programs. The Government is hopeful that the establishment of the Institute would address this gap. It is also anticipated that this would be seen as a cost-saving measure particularly for significant costs expended on official travel for training overseas annually. The institution is another strategy aimed at localizing human resource development activities, tailoring specific training to suit the needs of the public sector, improving Government service delivery in the long run.