Outgoing Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis, has been hailed as an outstanding, committed public administrator, who has served the country and successive governments with dedication and distinction.
At a reception held in his honour at King’s House on Thursday (May 8), Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, said that Dr. Davis, who is retiring at the end of May, had demonstrated tremendous capability in many spheres of public life and noted the integrity that he has brought to the various offices that he has held, while commending the respect of many.
“One of the things that is so remarkable about him is that he has served under different administrations with seamless comfort, not skipping a beat, because his commitment is to serve and it is demonstrated in so many ways.he has assisted me in that transition and in making sure that the process of government continues,” Mr. Golding said.
He added that, “I have leaned on him heavily for guidance, for advice, and I accept the advice he has given with the confidence that it is given with the best of intentions, sincerely, and with the interest of the country uppermost in his mind.
Particularly pleased that he has indicated his availability to serve in other areas.and importantly, that the enormous knowledge and experience that he has built up is not going to be lost to the service of the people of Jamaica, I want to thank him especially for that. Thank you Dr. Davis for all that you have done for Jamaica. Thank you for the fact that Jamaica can still continue to call on you for guidance, advice and for the sterling leadership that you have offered the country over the years”.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, said that as the past government examined the need to reform the public service in order to make it modern, efficient, accountable and transparent, he was pleased to have had that process led by Dr. Davis as Cabinet Secretary.
“Since Carlton’s arrival, the Cabinet Secretary and the Cabinet Secretariat will never ever be the same again. He has performed with exemplary efficiency and dedication, the task of transformation of the public service. He is captain of the team and he has been able to marshal the permanent secretaries, the heads of executive agencies into a group that can and has contributed to the progress we have made in Jamaica in the field of public administration,” Mr. Patterson said.
“Carlton, in the performance of his public duties, has managed to master them completely and to give advice that is objective and is always in the interest of Jamaica. It is for me a pleasure and a source of great comfort to have had him during all those years. I wish him well in retirement,” Mr. Patterson told the gathering.
In his tribute, former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, outlined Dr. Davis’ outstanding contribution to the overhaul of the bauxite industry and thanked him for the important role he has played in the gains made in that sector.
“He is not only an expert in bauxite, but having been positioned as Cabinet Secretary and has built around him a formidable programme of involvement in all aspects of the government, we can be sure that that expertise is not going to be lost on the present Prime Minister. I hope you enjoy the years ahead and that they are as meaningful to you as the years past. You have served three Prime Ministers and all of us have been extremely satisfied with your service,” Mr. Seaga stated.
In his response, Dr. Davis thanked his family, relatives, public officials, and well-wishers for acknowledging his contribution to public life. “I thank you for honouring me.if I can give a piece of advice to the younger members of the public service it is to say that learning is a continuous process. I have found rather frequently that many professionals think that a collection of a string of academic degrees is all the equipment they need to give service. They simply stop learning, they stop being curious,” he observed.
He pointed out that the country faces many challenges, such as the continued food crisis, energy costs, crime and violence, and natural disasters but noted that “with fixity of purpose and a continuity of effort, we can overcome.”