Message of the Ombudsman on the occasion of Public Service Day 2023

Message of the Ombudsman on the occasion of Public Service Day 2023

This twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Public Service Day as we celebrate thirty years of our Third Republic gives us another opportunity to “celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”.

In our country, public services are delivered to citizens and non-citizens alike by battalions of public officers operating within their respective ministries, departments, agencies and authorities. These public officers are neither judges nor politicians. They are not constrained by political commitments or by judicial considerations or legal rules. They are duty-bound to carry out their work and deliver their public services in an open, transparent, fair and accountable manner. They are required to remain customer-focused and act fairly and proportionately in dealing with the demands and expectations of the citizens they serve. They are expected, should things go wrong in their service delivery, to put right those things as quickly and effectively as possible.

The public service is on the front line of our collective journey to a sustainable future – the same future of the functioning “democratic system which will ensure the creation of an adequate and progressive social order guaranteeing food, clothing, shelter, education, health and a steadily rising standard of living for all Seychellois” adopted by the People at the start of our Third Republic.

In our reflection on this day, let us consider how effective our journey has been over the past three decades.

It is of interest to note, as the nation follows the presidential meetings in districts around the country, the many shortcomings in our public service delivery. Too many of the complaints made serve as a direct indictment of the quality of the public services being delivered. Naturally, all these complaints must be verified and addressed so that the issues can be fixed and similar occurrences can be avoided in the future.

In my work as an administrative watchdog of the public service, I continue to push for ‘a fair, open, accountable and effective public service’ that will promote a transparent and accountable public service delivery, firmly based on the foundation stones of good governance.

My wish is that one day the success of this task will be measured by a national Public Service Award that could be bestowed on deserving public officers who have risen above the line of duty to contribute to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige and visibility of public service.

Nichole Tirant-Gherardi


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