Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Cabinet Office has been named the first COVID-19 Public Service Heroes following the launch of a recognition programme spearheaded by the Department of Human Resources, to recognise Public Officers who have performed exceptionally within the Service in support of the Virgin Islands’ Public Service and Territory during this global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cabinet Office team was nominated for their remarkable efforts and the extraordinary work that they continued to perform during these challenging times. Due to the need for urgent policy decisions, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands met daily, which included weekends, requiring the Cabinet Office team to work at a heightened pace for extended periods, which was far beyond their usual weekly duties.
Additionally, the team was required to prepare and issue executive policy decisions taken during meetings of the Cabinet and the National Security Council within short periods so that the Governor, the Premier and the Minister of Health could announce decisions in their much anticipated COVID-19 Cabinet Updates.
Deputy Governor Mr. David D. Archer, Jr. congratulated the Cabinet Secretary, Ms. Sandra Ward and her team for their outstanding and exemplary performance during such a critical and unprecedented time within the Territory. “It gives me great pleasure to extend heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Ward and members of the Cabinet Office team for their achievement as the first COVID-19 Public Service Heroes and their commitment to providing essential services during these challenging times.”
The Cabinet Secretary said she was delighted, but more excited that her team’s performance of excellence has resulted in the Cabinet Office being recognised as COVID-19 Public Service Heroes. Ms. Ward especially noted that the team also worked as late as 11:00 p.m. to publish extraordinary issues of the Official Gazette to ensure that Curfew Orders, COVID-19 related Orders, Bills and Legislation could take effect.
Meanwhile, Director of the Department of Human Resources, Mrs. Michelle DonovanStevens described the programme as a timely one, to celebrate and inspire officers as they are instrumental partners in keeping this Territory functioning during this novel period of global pandemic.
The Director said that the contributions by the COVID-19 Public Service Heroes will be posted on various forums including the Government’s website, Facebook page and in a special Public Service album. Honourees will also receive a written letter of commendation.
The COVID-19 Public Service Heroes programme was launched by the Employee Relations Unit of the Department of Human Resources on June 2, 2020 to recognise Public Officers or teams (ministries, departments or units) that performed above and beyond in support to the Public Service and by extension the Virgin Islands during this COVID-19 season from March 2020 to present.
Photo 1: Group photo of the Cabinet Office team. Left to Right: Kemp Callwood, Abanat Frazer, Vicki Samuel-Lettsome, Jasmin Choucoutou, Sandra Ward, Rushawn Johnson, Samaria Ahmad, Bethsaida Smith Hanley.
Photo 2: COVID-19 Public Service Hero – Cabinet Office eFlyer.