PRESIDENT Paula-Mae Weekes says the public service has a reputation for inefficiency, and it was time for the stigma to be eradicated.
She was speaking last night at the inaugural President's Award for service excellence and innovation in the public sector held at Cipriani Labour College, Valsayn.
She said public institutions are the platform through which people are served and the bridge between people and government.
"They should be functional, modern and well run. Sadly our public sector has earned the invidious reputation for ineptitude, inefficiency and stagnation."
Weekes said, while no one doubts there are pools of competence within the service, the overall impression is disheartening and alarming.
"Alarming because our economic climate, our international partners, the reasonable increasing demands of our population and advancing technology all require that the service be efficient, sophisticated (and) responsive to the needs of those it services. It is high time that we eradicate the stigma."
She said TT has committed to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which seeks to eliminate many of the challenges and inefficiencies that hamper country development. These goals include goal nine to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
"The public sector must therefore became an exemplar of excellence in service delivery with the capacity to manage technological, social and economic changes that have taken place and will continue to take place here. TT cannot allow itself to be left behind in the march to progress and good leadership and innovation are two prerequisites for that journey."