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The Personnel Department in collaboration with the Comptroller of Accounts, Ministry of Finance, and the Auditor General of Trinidad and Tobago hosted a three (3) day interactive workshop on June 27, July 28 & 29 virtually - via Microsoft Teams that exclusively focused on improving the processing of Pension benefits for retired Public Officers.

The Personnel Department’s team comprised the Deputy Chief Personnel Officer (Ag.) Mrs. Vera Deonanan – Balkaran who delivered the Opening Remarks on behalf of the Chief Personnel Officer Commander Dr. Daryl Dindial, senior staff members of the Department’s Compensation Management Division, and Ms. Debra Agong of the Human Resource Management Services Unit who definitively coordinated the event. Together, the team presented what can be described as a carefully planned and cleverly crafted presentation that offered relevant solutions to assist with streamlining the Public Service processes and procedures regarding the timely processing of Pension and Leave documents. 

Not only was the information well received and timely, but sought to encourage discernment in Public Officers charged with overseeing the processing of Pension and Leave payments, utilising creative elements (voice-over skits) in the presentation that delivered a sense of realism of the adversities retired Public Officers presently face while awaiting benefits. Similarly, the Ministry of Finance representative, Ms. Andrea Ragbir of the Pensions Management Branch opted for the utilisation of interactive activities (quizzes) to form part of a theoretical presentation on the efficient preparation of Pension & Leave records and the necessary tools that officers are required to possess in processing Pension and Leave records.

As part of the pre-planning activities, the team spent many full days and hours refining the final presentation which saw their participation in numerous trial runs with the Department’s Information Communication and Technology Unit (ICT), and allowed for the required inputs to guide the workshop’s implementation. Moreover, with the utilisation of Microsoft Teams, the facilitators of the workshop were able to successfully focus on providing an interactive, informative, and engaging experience for the participants.

Accordingly, the topics were specifically designed to address:

The  Who, When, Where aspects of the Pension and  Leave Process with the inclusion of examining core principles from Personnel Department Circular No. 5 of 1976, the core concepts that are applicable when determining Incremental dates and salary of Public Officers, and features of a Classification & Compensation Plan  - Horizontal & Vertical values.

Some one hundred and sixty (160) Human Resource Management practitioners have benefitted from the initiative which forms part of the Capacity Building for HRM Professionals in the Public Service.

Based on the high level of engagement and responses from the planned assessment initiated by the Pension Management Branch for the participants, one can safely say that the workshop has served its critical and targeted purpose by informing the participants and creating a platform for continued learning through the sharing of various experiences in the subject areas subsequent to the workshop.

“Team CPO”: Deputy Chief Personnel Officer (Ag.) Mrs. Vera Deonanan-Balkaran in photo (L-R ) Ms. Debra Agong - HRMS Unit, Mr. Nathan Rajnauth - ICT Unit, Mr. Ronald Lessey Director - ICT Unit, Mrs. Lorraine Harper - CMD, Mr. Nigel Hernandez—ICT Unit Ms. Merlin Williams Blake - CMD and Shauna Marie Cornwall—ICT Unit Mr. Mohan Ramgulam, Senior Human Resource Advisor- CMD.