Collectivité formally opens its School of Public Management

Collectivité formally opens its  School of Public Management

Collectivité President Louis Mussington talks at the opening of School of Public Management in Grand Case Beach Club on Tuesday.


MARIGOT--The first Public Management School for St. Martin (Ecole du Management Public (EMP)) officially opened in Grand Case Beach Club on Tuesday with an introduction to the first twenty candidates and an overview of the courses starting on the same day.

The opening ceremony was attended by Collectivité President Louis Mussington, Député (MP) of St. Martin and St. Barths Frantz Gumbs, and Territorial Councillors Raphaël Sanchez, Audrey Gil and Valérie Damaseau.

University of St. Martin past president Josianne Fleming-Artsen responded favourably to Mussington's request to be the godmother of the school, given her extensive background in professional training and education.

The school is designed to help local department managers, mainly in the public sector but also in the private sector, to structure and strengthen their management techniques through a nine-month diploma course, with three days of lessons per month.

Meeting in a plenary session on December 18, 2023, the council voted in favour of the creation of a Territorial School of Public Management on St. Martin. Supported by the Collectivité and its executive, the structure is designed to meet an identified need for professionalism in the management of local public services.

The project is technically managed by the Collectivité's Director General of Services (DGS) department and its Resources Delegation.

As for the choice of Fleming-Artsen, it was important for the Collectivité to involve a local figure with an exemplary track record in education. First a teacher, then head of a public school and finally president of University of St. Martin, she has also been a trainer during her professional career and now works as an education and training consultant. Although retired, she still teaches courses in business, education and leadership at University of St. Martin.

In her opening remarks, Fleming-Artsen told the candidates: “You have come here not only as directors or department heads, but you have come as architects to create a better tomorrow for our nation.

“You will delve into the depths of management theory, dissecting the principles and paradigms that underpin effective management. From classical to contemporary models, you will equip yourselves with a comprehensive toolkit, ready to navigate the complexities of the modern workplace with finesse and precision, excelling as exemplary managers.

“The world of public service can be demanding, filled with challenges and complexities. But remember, integrity is the cornerstone of effective management. It is the bedrock upon which public trust is built, and it allows you to manage efficiently, inspiring those around you to embrace the highest standards of conduct.”

Mussington praised Fleming-Artsen’s commitment to the Collectivité: “Education in new management techniques and acquisition of appropriate skills are major factors in facilitating the work of local authority executives and enhancing the career development of the teams they manage. Ms. Fleming-Artsen has a wealth of experience in the field of leadership and I am convinced that she is the ideal person to sponsor our school of public management. We are honoured by her confidence in us, and we thank her for immediately agreeing to support us in this unprecedented venture.”

Frantz Gumbs in his remarks went back in history to the time of the closure of Mullet Bay Resort and La Belle Creole after the 1995 hurricane and the subsequent loss of some 800 jobs in the tourism sector. Mayor Albert Fleming at the time recruited en masse with the help of government-subsidised contracts.

“Some 10 to 12 years later, at a time when the change of status was on the agenda in 2007, we realised the disproportion between a plethora of category C staff and insufficient category B and A staff,” Gumbs explained. “The local authority was far from having the human resources it needed to take on its new responsibilities. We had not properly anticipated the size of the technostructure required for good governance. That’s why we had to recruit almost all the management and technical staff from outside the region.

“I would like to pay tribute to this first intake of administrative and technical staff, who came mainly from Guadeloupe and France. They had to adapt as quickly as possible, and exercise a certain skill in a rather unusual context compared to their previous experiences.

“I believe that administrative efficiency is based on pure competence, but also on the way it is exercised in a given social and cultural context. That's essentially why this management school is useful.”

Some 50 candidates have volunteered to join the school’s class of 2024. The first training session began on Tuesday with the first 20 successful candidates.

The Daily Herald

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