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| December 2014


CAPAM 2014

for excellence in the public service. The conference

agenda was designed to offer insightful dialogue,

theoretical and practical knowledge exchange and

networking to an international audience that was

building the public service for the future across the

Commonwealth countries.

The central conference theme for CAPAM 2014 was

Public Service Transformation: A new conversation

and there were three sub-themes that have been

explored during the event:

1. Shaping the Future Together – focused on the

people aspect of transformation, highlighting

the critical importance of active engagement

with both citizens and the public service itself.

In every corner of the Commonwealth, public

service leaders understand that prevailing public

service models needed to change in order to

deliver savings and citizen-centred services. In

many cases, this evolution was well underway.

Trends were emerging in the ways employers

were articulating their strategies in order to obtain

employee cooperation and commitment. Public

service organizations must often work with long-

standing principles, practices and attitudes to

manage and support the people who delivered

services to the public. One thing that clear was

employee involvement underpins buy-in, and what

will ultimately define success was the willingness

of the public service to engage their workforce

throughout the transformation. At the same time,

the public service has been challenged to bridge the

gap between the complexity of government and

the need for more accessible services to citizens.

Increasingly, governments were reaching out and

responding to citizen expectations of accessing

services when and how they chose.

2. Towards a Better Future – emphasized the

mechanisms employedduring transformation

and details what processes, technologies,

policies and/or other devices have been


As the need for change in the public service

intensifies, it was clear that governments must not

only alter what they already do but also look for

options to cope with issues and opportunities as

they arose. The change process was a journey. It

startedwith creating a vision for the future and it cut

across needs evaluation, the work culture, design

issues, fiscal barriers and people management to

name just a few challenges. The public service must

take advantage of new technologies, stay abreast

of the latest best practices, and integrate a culture

of continuous change in the work environment.

As for examples, practical change management

approaches and successful transformation projects

at all levels of government inspired public servants

to think about innovative ways to broach their

issues, replicate what works and avoid pitfalls.

3. Building Global Resilience – provided





context that governments have experienced

when building a public service that can

nimbly react to shifting trends in the future.

The issues that countries faced as they engaged

in public service transformation pose major

challenges to their ability to meet economic

pressures and citizen expectations. The public

service must plan and implement transformative

activities, but it must also develop capabilities

to respond to ongoing demands and challenges

once change was achieved. In this day and age,

it is expected that a culture of change will be the

new norm. Governments are being challenged to

resolve the problems of today with an eye on how

to build reliable systems to cope with decision-

making, competing demands and very different

priorities tomorrow. Resilience became central to

good performance and leadership.