Government freezes jobs

| 28/10/2008

(CNS): In the face of the global financial crisis and economic slow down and its impact on the government budget, Cabinet has asked chief officers to restrict the hiring of new staff and filling of vacant posts to be reduced to the absolute minimum required. A statement from Government Information Services (GIS) said that government revenue would fall short of predictions by some CI$15 million in the 2008/2009 fiscal year.

(CNS): In the face of the global financial crisis and economic slow down and its impact on the government budget, Cabinet has asked chief officers to restrict the hiring of new staff and filling of vacant posts to be reduced to the absolute minimum required. A statement from Government Information Services (GIS) said that government revenue would fall short of predictions by some CI$15 million in the 2008/2009 fiscal year.

In a special meeting with chief officers on Thursday, 23 October, Cabinet advised senior civil servants of the circumstances and asked for the staffing freeze. The measures will apply to all public service entities, including statutory authorities and Government owned companies, GIS stated.

Chief Officers were also reportedly instructed to take measures to reduce their approved operational expenditure by 6 percent over the course of the present financial year. "This Government is committed to fiscal prudence, particularly in these difficult and unpredictable times," said the Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts.

 "By law, the Cayman Islands Government cannot incur a budget deficit and we are taking steps early to ensure that this does not occur.  We are doing so not in a reactive way, but by restricting the growth in the size of the public service and by reducing operational expenditure."

Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service George McCarthy, OBE, described the measures being taken by the Government as "prudent action".  He said it was hard to predict the full impact of the global financial crisis and economic slow down on the Cayman economy and specifically on Government’s finances but early action was key to minimising its impact.

Acknowledging that a total ban on all government hiring is not possible or advisable McCarthy noted that "inevitably there will be instances where recruitment is still necessary.”

In order to address these exceptional situations, appointing officers will have to make application with detailed justifications to the Head of the Civil Service who may authorise recruitment on behalf of Cabinet in their ownership role, if justified. Statutory authorities and government companies will make submissions to Cabinet via their respective ministers.

McCarthy said the restriction on government hiring will not inhibit the appointment of necessary and essential personnel such as policemen, doctors, nurses and other specialised positions.  He also reportedly gave assurances that this measure is not a precursor to job cuts in the civil service.

"I encourage all chief officers, appointing officers and managers to find creative ways to minimise expenditure and conserve Government’s strong cash position,” McCarthy added.

“As such, I have tasked the Portfolio of the Civil Service and all other government agencies to identify ways in which the public sector can reduce operational costs."

Addressing the government’s substantial capital works programme, the Leader of Government Business said all major government construction projects which are underway will continue.  These include the new Government Administration Building and the new schools.

“In times like these it is important that government takes the lead in ensuring that the economy continues to be stimulated.  These major government construction projects are providing employment to hundreds of workers and are injecting millions of dollars directly into the local economy on a monthly basis," Tibbetts said.   

In relation to capital works projects for which contracts have not yet been awarded, however, Tibbetts said those were under review to prioritise projects based on importance, affordability and their potential positive impact on the local economy.

Tibbetts said he is confident that with continued careful management and enterprise the Cayman Islands will successfully navigate these troubled times. 

"The Cayman Islands has a proven track record of sound financial management.  We have every reason to be confident that with God’s grace and our own efforts we will weather the present global storm and emerge from it stronger than ever," he added.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes one position they could do away with is the NEW electrical inspector position in Cayman Brac that they have hired a foreigner to fill DISPLACING a CAYMANIAN who incidentially has filled the position for the past 18 years and is now told that he is not the best candidate or suitable or words to that effect for the job. A bunch of hogwash and once again corruption corruption corruption. While at it the two incompetents at the top in the Brac couldbe retired now that they have hired a finacial controller  who is doing all the work – no need for us to have figure heads here. That should take care of the 6% downsizing of the budget for the Brac.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Of course you cannot do away with the hiring of essential services but one has to wonder where all these new postions are coming from. Also you have senior civil servants who have taken mandatory retirement at 60 (2 alone from the Portfolio of the Civil Service) and then new positions are created within government for them and they are re-hired on contract. How in the world can they get away with this. One way to downsize is to get rid of retired civil servants who have been rehired on contract as they are already receiving a pension. Granted the postions that they currently hold would have to be filled but chances are if they looked hard enough they would be able to fill from within.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe what Mr. George McCarthy should have said was that he will ensure that  he will see to it that none of the Permanent Secretaries under his rule will not use the public funds to redecorate their office three times in 12 months because they were bored with the furnishings and decorations.  That would certainly help to pay for the filing system so badly needed by one of the offices in this same ministry in order to see that order is restored to the office and be better organized.  Ooops! what am i thinking Government, organized!  That is unheard of.  Tell you what I will donate that filing system to that office in Government just for bad mind.

  4. Annoymous says:

    I agree that the Government need to not suspend the hiring of Caymanains, but of expats.  So for them to make this mistake now and I say a mistake is only going to add to the other nails in the coffin they are all going to be buried in come May 2009, and I mean all of them both sides.

    How can you stop hiring?  This is the time to hire your own people, and get rid of some of these expatriates you have employed that are only clogging up the system.  What’s the latest, they have retired American’s working in the Government depts.  How sickening is that, they are collecting a pension and social security whilst getting a full pay check from our Government. 

    I can see the change coming, no more wasteful spending next year people, just give it a few more months.  The time to change the face of how the Government works and spends money is coming and those NEW REPRESENTATIVES we elect in 2009 will fix all these problems.

    I hope more women decide to run for the next election so we can show these stupid men running our Goverment how to spend money wisely and how to organize a disorganized mess as the current operational practices of the Government.

    Too many greedy money hungry persons are in our Government, the MLA’s we might as well don’t even bother elect them because they don’t do a thing anyway.  When was the last time we saw one of their faces in the papers bringing something of importance to the floor.  The foolishness that they debate is only to satisfy a few of us ignorant people out here to make them think they are doing something, but let me remind you not all the population is ignorant just the 20 or so callers who call the talk shows everyday without any

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can someone explain why certain government ministries are allowed to run wild, spending far above their budgets and creating new staff positions left and right (some of these positions are for work that should be done by other government departments that already exist and are already staffed)?  Waste, waste, waste, waste, unchecked waste.  And this morning, Mr. McCarthy is on TV asking everyone to reuse the paper coming out of copy machines in order to "save money".  What we have is "pigs" wallowing around in piles of our money.  Everyone deserves better.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if they were to advertise the work permit holder positins at the end of their contracts instead of just renewing these contracts and attempt to fill these positions with qualified Caymanians it would assist the crisis. Furthermore, every time you turn around there is a new position created in the ministries with fancy titles and big pay – many of which are never advertised. This government is very good at making rules ie. The public service management law and then not complying with it. The same goes for the rollover policy for the civil service – just watch and see if they are not all made KEY EMPLOYEES. Corruption all around.

  7. Twyla M Vargas says:

    What a mess,  I suggest Government and the Private sector start down sizing of expatriate staff, and give Caymanians a chance during these perilous times ahead.

    It will get worse, believe it or not, and crime will be increased to a maximum.  What do you think will happen when Caymanian men cannot find a job to feed their children.  and pay bills.  CRIME thats the word.  The poor people do not have to worry about being robbed, because they wont have anything to rob. I would suggest that all companies making grill work offer some deals, good discounts with a term payment plan.  We are going to need it verry soon.  Houses and business all grilled up.

    why did the Government went on a vicious spending spree for the last year.   It will be like judgement day soon no where to run and nowhere to hide.

    Anyone who does not think there are serious times ahead, go visit with the locals and hear what they have to tell you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well! The writing was on the Wall for Some time, just that some people can not read..Look out for the lay offs and the big wigs still retaining their big salaries & expenses. Also Immigration still granting permits which Caymanians should be given the first option. 

    Does anyone read history? Does anyone have their Eyes Open? What you sow you will reap and thesituation if not corrected will be our dismay!

    Remember We Caymanians Live in Cayman & this is our home, and being a refugee is not our plight, hopefully. The Private sector need to do better by giving Caymanians a Chance in their Own Country & not leaving the burden on Government alone.

    Be grateful to the Cayman Islands who have made you all millionaires, give back to their people the generosity they have given you to operate business in this Tax Haven.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I have read some stupid comments before but this is the best. Fool get up
      and go to work.