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Public servants are 'not doing the public a favour' - Hon Archibald C. Christian

- says public servants should change their unpleasant attitudes when dealing with customers
Honourable Archibald C. Christian (AL), Junior Minister for Tourism, during a sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) urging public service workers in the Labour and Immigration Department to cease with their unpleasant treatment towards expatriates who are visiting or conducting business within the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Following the passage of the hurricanes of September 2017, persons have been complaining about the poor service that they have experienced at the Immigration and Labour Department. Photo: VINO/File
Following the passage of the hurricanes of September 2017, persons have been complaining about the poor service that they have experienced at the Immigration and Labour Department. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - "The way we treat people when they come into our ports of entry. The way we treat people when they go to the Labour and Immigration Departments to deal with their documentation; we have to fix those systems.”

This is according to Honourable Archibald C. Christian (AL), Junior Minister for Tourism, during a sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) on April 27, 2018 when he urged public service workers in the Labour and Immigration Department to cease with their unpleasant treatment towards expatriates who are visiting or conducting business within the territory.

Hon Christian further explained that government had been trying to address this longstanding issue by having meetings but noted that some action needs to take place as well.

In addition, the tourism minister pointed out that the public workers are “not doing a favour” but rather they are providing a service that other individuals are paying for.

“The people who work in these agencies have to understand that they are not doing the public a favour. They’re delivering a service to the public; a service that the public is paying for,” he said.

Public servants might not get paid because of unpleasant service

Meanwhile, Hon Christian indicated that if public servants are not careful in the way they deliver business in the territory, they might not get paid.

“I know that it is going to sound a little bit contentious to some people but I am saying that if we are not careful with the way government delivers business to the public, these same people will find one day when they go down to the bank that they weren’t paid,” explained the minister.

However, while hitting out on poor service provided by public servants, he mentioned that the Immigration Department and the Labour Department have improved since the aftermath of the hurricanes of September 2017.

Following the passage of Hurricane Irma last year, the public has been complaining about the poor service, long lines and the frustration of losing sometimes a full day of work just to get an extension of time in the territory while work permits are processed.

Since then, the government has implemented an online system to ease the daily operations within the Immigration Department.

18 Responses to “Public servants are 'not doing the public a favour' - Hon Archibald C. Christian”

  • ccc (13/05/2018, 12:15) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Good points archeie
    • Hrmph (13/05/2018, 12:58) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
      Civil servants do not seem to realise that (i) the need to be civil, or (ii) that they are servants. If a few were fired for being rude, the rest would fall into line.
  • Ah boy (13/05/2018, 12:21) Like (17) Dislike (14) Reply
    Archie enjoy your last few months as an elected official.
  • Luvz (13/05/2018, 12:54) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thank you Hon Christian. I am glad this is been address and hope some of those very civil servants are listening. I have heard and know of person who don't like to visit those offices mentioned. I understand we as humans go through things in this life but we should always try our best to be professional in the work place. If people are not nice to us lets be nice to them. It reflect bad on us and not them when we are rude.
    • huh (13/05/2018, 15:01) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
      I think the public needs to understand that although I am a public servant that does not give you the right to shout and belittle me for the procedures which i am told to follow. Its a two way street.
      • Luvz (13/05/2018, 22:36) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        I understand your point and no one have a right to shout or belittle anyone in the work place or otherwise. However; in a situation like what you just mentioned you should try to remain calm or even try to calm down that person because if you retaliate it just make matters worse. I have been in situations where people and even clients make you feel stupid but you have to remain calm and try your best to be professional at all times. My thing is if they are not polite you be polite; trust me you will feel better at the end of the work day when you take control of a situation the right way.
  • Bohannon (13/05/2018, 14:11) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    Government has been rude and disrespectful to government employees also. Talk that too Archie.
    • Linkum (14/05/2018, 09:22) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Add ---------- What about 7 years without any salary adjustment for Civil Servants. Political dirty unfair and inhumane if you ask me. When will we stop all this back biting? Social Security contributions increased 3 times in the same period. Enough is enough. Voters continue to speak up for your God given rights.
  • ThankYou (13/05/2018, 14:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    There was a guy in Immigration who thought he was Napoleon, short, rude and arrogant like a French taxman.
    Should've been shown the guillotine.
  • Saba Rock (13/05/2018, 17:33) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    We got fed up and left. Tired of insults and
    hostility in the “System”. Place on downward spiral! Many years, if ever, will it learn.
    Listen to your younger generation!
    Don’t say no to changes just due to ignorance.
    Take care of your own people. Be open for proven changes. Join a little bit of the world.
    We bid you all found Aloha.
  • VG Also (13/05/2018, 17:58) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    We have the same issue in VG. The receptionist at Labour Dept is always in her personaal cell phone while attending to customers. She is always late for work- mornings and after lunch. She needs to get serious and provide better service.
  • Better watch it girl (13/05/2018, 20:12) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    @VG, yep, seen her in action. That job is going to get snatched up right from under her soon. Like they say, don't get to comfortable, someone is always watching.
  • Golom (13/05/2018, 21:19) Like (8) Dislike (15) Reply
    Y’all know the other islands around the Caribbean call the bvi the “unfriendly islands” it used to upset me but now I just accept it. We should all feel ashamed.
  • Hmm (14/05/2018, 08:01) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    while some civil servants may not act the way they should or perform at their best you first need to at the bosses i.e the ministers who either act the same or accept and foster this culture of behavior. so while he pointing finger should check how in their direction.
  • Arrogance (14/05/2018, 10:43) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    The rudeness and arrogance has been an issue for decades. The govt has spent money training the staff on several occasions. Elsewhere, they’d be fired if they did not adjust post training. Since they have not, one can only conclude that the leadership finds this kind of behaviour acceptable and does not wish to make people accountable, furthering the attitude of entitlement. Not sustainable. There is only so much lack of respect any reasonable person can put up with. It’s not like there aren’t other places with sun, beaches, beautiful water, many with friendlier and welcoming inhabitants.
  • Observer (14/05/2018, 14:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with the sentiments of the previous post.
    In hindsight there are members of the Public who will visit certain departments or move to a designated reception area just to anoid and provoke the hell out of some workers. It's not that all Customer Service Personnel are disrespectful and rude. Some just have past their boiling point in dealing with utter ignorance and stupidity.
  • vi (21/05/2018, 14:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    He need to talk about the conditions some Civil Servants are force to work under.


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