CS fails to make target cuts

| 14/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline news, Cayman free classifieds(CNS): A memo from the Financial Secretary’s Office sent to senior civil servants yesterday reveals that most government departments and agencies have missed the deadline to submit their revised budget targets to the budget management unit. As the clock ticks on the time when government must bring the 2010/11 budget before the Legislative Assembly (30 April), the note, seen by CNS, from Kenneth Jefferson reveals that two thirds of government entities have failed to submit a revised budget plan and of the third that have made the deadline, none have actually met the reduction targets.

CNS understands that Cabinet will be holding a meeting with all chief officers and chief financial officers today, Wednesday 14 April, to discuss the current status of their 2010/11 budget preparations and how they plan to meet the reductions as set out by Cabinet last month. The percentage expenditure-reduction targets sought by the Budget Management Unit were set out in a memo circulated on 30 March. The civil service was asked to reduce the over all HR costs by 8% and were given the target amounts the government wanted to spend on other operating expenses.

The financial secretary said in the note that the senior staff would have to discuss where agencies are unable to meet the targets what is preventing them from doing so. He said they would also be expected to set out any significant consequences to the delivery of public services which could result from meeting the expenditure-reduction targets.

Given the budget deficit problems, Cabinet made a decision last month to present the administrative arm of government with a set target for its human resource budget of $219,000,000, some $19 million down on last year’s personnel costs. It also set out targets for consumables, transfer payments and other areas of government spending in order to reduce the 2010/11 budget to match expected revenue for the next fiscal year.

Government, however, has not stipulated where cuts to services should be made but asked for efficiencies by the public sector and a reduction in personnel costs, namely salary and benefit cuts or a reduction in head counts to cut the salary bill. Last week the governor denied that this decision was a cop out by Cabinet and said the civil service management were the right people to decide where cost cuts could be made.

The Civil Service Association (CICSA) has disagreed, however, and pointed out that if the political arm of government wants to reduce public spending on the one hand it cannot demand ever more services on the other.

See full statement by CISCA released on 9 April

Category: Headline News

Comments (62)

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  1. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    Capital Spending

    A magnificent opportunity for the Roads department to save the government some money. I just looked at the revised plans for the new access driveway to the new inspection facility. The facility has been open a few weeks and seems to be running fine. But someone has decided it needs a back entrance from Old Crewe Rd. to the tune of probably $500,000. 

    When the bush was removed some nearby residents started waving flags about having a new road a stones throw from where their kids play.

    The roads department was intending to build this road without planning approval until the protest.

    So they made an application to planning which was turned down for a variety of reasons and one of them I am sure is that it is just not needed.

    So the Inspection facility (i suppose) has gone back to the architects, who have gone back to the roads department, who have gone back to planning to make a new application for a state of the art driveway (which I still think they do not need) with sidewalks that no one will use, wheelchair access, drains, curbs, walls, a chain-link fence, and a locking system to prevent unauthorized use of the driveway. Now the planning board will be caught up in this time wasting expensive process less than two months after they turned it down.

    Someone made the expensive decision that the inspection facility have that "hanger style" roof (who knows how much extra that cost vs. something conventional) and they just seem to want to continue to spend.

    The message to save money is not getting through.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cut all salaries by 5-10% across the board and reduce the CS by 50% then let the restoration begin by doing the following:

    – Put a hiring freeze except for essential professionals

    – Let employees contribute towards their pensions and medical

    – Use the prison labour to work the DOE shift of 4:00am-6:00am 

     

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    responsibility:

    you can delegate authority but not responsibility……

    And, the responsibility lies with the elected members and the Chief Officers……( This is rule numbe one taught atany university Management Study)

    But, since the gov’t is asking for ideas, and attempting to dlegate their responsibility…. here are few ….

    1. eliminate all the HR psitions created in the decentralisation. These postions are redundant….. Not to mention the year old hiring freeze which has to have reduced their workload by at least 50 %. 

    2. reduction in salary :  no matter how small it will force out all those long term employees  at or near retirement age who are still on the defined benefit plan.  Their pension benefit is based on their salary, ergo, a reduction in salary will directly  reduce their pension benefit for life….This would trim down the "dead wood" and present an opportunity to hire new, employees with the aprropriate kowledge ,skills and abilities at a lower salary, and perhaps even a diferent benefit package.

    3. Change out the telephone system to a voip model for all overseas calls.  Using a company like Vonage would save millions.

    4. Close the DB pension plan completely, and cash out everyone.  The current situation demands that subsatantial contributions be made to the plan every year.  This required amount will only increase exponentially as the years go on.  A bank loan could provide the resources necessary, and the debt service wll be far less than the required contributions.

    5. Eliminate the Cinico staff……..  They (Cinico) already contract with a third party administrator, who  does all the claim processing, and administration of the plan. The claims that are sent  directly to Cinico are simply forwarded to the administrator, who adjudicates them and generates  the payment for the  vendor/providor. In fact, for all claims where their is direct reimbursement to the employee, the third party administrator cuts the checks and sends them to cinico (they are already addressed) … upon receipt, cinico staff put them in envelopes and remail them out to the claimants….  Is this not the definition of redundancy….

     

     

  4. Anon says:

    It’s a rather interesting conundrum to try and resolve the issues posed by two stories in today’s printed media.

    One story, and the topic of this thread, is the cutting of the Civil Service budget, and more specifically in the area of staffing. The overwhelming majority of people posting on this site (who are not Civil Servants) seem to want to see cuts in the CS staff.

    The other story, and it should be a source of concern for those who are not Civil Servants, highlights the problems with payments into the local pension schemes.

    According to British American, just one of the pension plan providers, over 700 companies were delinquent on payments into their pension plans. I will now extract and quote from another site:

    Quote

    According to Cayman Islands Complaints Commissioner Nicola Williams, about 670 companies in the Cayman Islands were delinquent with their pension payments to employees when the commission began a review of the country’s retirement savings system in January.

    Ms Williams said her office became aware during a month of pre-investigative research last year that some local businesses were taking pension contributions from employees and spending them on other things, including day-to-day operations. She said others were clearly “waiting until the 11th hour” – essentially withholding payment until someone forced them to cough up the money.

    Unquote

    I suppose the scary question is how many people calling for cuts in the Civil Service would like to reach retirement age and find that they have no retirement funds because their employer squandered the money instead of investing it?

  5. Sarah says:

    Its a pity that when setting the deadline they didn’t say – "If you have not responded by x date we will assume that you are agreeable to the y% cut backs as originally recommended." That way they certainly would have had better response – and those that didn’t would face the consequence of having the original proposed cut backs applied, as a result of their own apathy.

  6. Bobby Anonymous says:

    If the heads can’t do their job, get rid of them!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about sell the turtle farm, Cayman Airways, Post office,

    And now the biggies

    Little Cayman to  Ryan

    and Cayman Brac to Dart

    • Anonymous says:

       Great idea about Cayman Brac and Little Cayman..you sell the best part of the Cayman Islands to someone else.

      • Serena says:

        Seriously, I reckon a sale of the Lesser Caymans would be a terrific solution, especially as it would reduce the cost of all those extra civil service jobs given out over there to prop up an non-existent local economy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What about the reported tens of millions of "deferred" duty that is owed to government by certain developers.

    Who is responsible for failing to bring that money into the government coffers? With government finances being in such bad shape why has it not been collected? If it is a civil service failure somebody should be fired. If it is political interference that is keeping this money from being collected then the public should be made aware and politician ought to lose his or her job. 

    Perhaps the Auditor General ought to look into that one as well. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get real folks – the civil service do not really need a pay cut because  the largest section of the civil service is under paid i.e. teachers, nurses, lower rank law enforcement officers etc..  What the civil service needs is to get rid the Public Service Management Law  (PFML) and cut jobs from the senior management level of the service.   Why is it necessary to have 3 – 4 deputies in each ministry and department?   Another waste is the HR sections with 2-4 HR personnel for every department and ministry and 3 – 4 Chief Financial Officers in every deparment and ministry.  

    If these areas are down sized back to the previous numbers (before PMFL) there should not be a money issue.  But as long as PMFL exist, they will have the same financial problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right Wed  21:10. Lets go back to General Orders and the old Personnel Department. Things were great in those days.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a disgrace– how do they expect the public to continue to support  the bloated civil service expenditure.

    Since voluntary efforts are failing to cut expenditure, it is time for the Governor to use his powers and do the needful.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So the public says, "cut public sector cost"

    So the UK then told the Premier "cut public sector cost"

    The Premier then told the Governor "cut public sector cost"

    The Governor then told the Deputy Governor "cut public sector cost"

    The Deputy Governor then told Chief Officers "cut public sector cost"

    The Chief Officer then told the CFOs "cut public sector costs"

    CFOs then told the heads of Departments "cut public sector costs"

    Heads of Departments then told the Finance Managers "cut public sector costs"

    And the whole time everyone is standing around with their di** s in their hands all waiting for someone else to do what needs to be done. When is someone going to man up, take the bull by the horn, and make a decision that they can be accountable for?

  12. Opie says:

    You cant mess with the DA Big Deal my friend, them statutory authorities got some big spenders boy i must admit someone needs to make the cuts especially them that taking government money alot of abusers right there sir . Some of  them would not  get a cent if you instituted performance pay they would have to give money back. their motto appears to be government works for me.

  13. Dkk says:

    Watch out Big Deal you nah suppose to talk dem things mann dem man going to mess you up bro u interrupting de karma wid da kind na Chat  you got just about the same amount of haters and enemies as Ezzard now!

  14. Canary in a Coal Mine says:

    Wrongo.  The message is clear:  1. The Civil Service has/had no intention of meeting any guidelines.  2. This is a waiting game.  3. There are employment contracts in place for wages, pension, and health insurance.  4. Government would have a costly headache tryingto alter them.  5. Time is rapidly running out for government (see 2.)  6.  The theory is… if the civil service must suffer …we all must suffer accordingly.  7.  When the deadline is reached… income and property taxes… for all of Cayman.  8. Couldn’t we have seen this?

  15. Anonymous says:

     It saddens me to see our public service brought so low.  Now the whole Cayman Islands thinks badly of them, and this will continue until the civil service demonstrates that they are prepared to give up something to help with our budget woes.  I have seen nothing to demonstrate that the civil service has the good of the country at heart, they are only concerned about themselves.  Yes, many of them are inefficient, in many departments customer service is atrocious, and a vast percentage of the civil service feel a sense of entitlement like they can’t be disciplined, fired or get a salary cut.   I think they have a lot of gall to bad-mouth the Miller Report, which I  think most people in the Cayman Is believe to be an accurate representation of what is going on in the civil service. They had all better wake up, or our destiny will be taken out of our hands by the UK.  Hey CS you are not a union, and you don’t have the protection of law, all you have is the protection of politicians.  That won’t last forever, and you will be in the boat as the rest of us.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Even when there was an audit with the gasoline theft and it was obvious and blatant  was anyone held accountable? Of course not the entire country sees the government as the fatted cow to be milked at every opportunity.

    If you ever decide to get serious convict those who stole gasoline from those of us who pay and actually care.

  17. anonymous says:

    Why should the CS have to be the scapegoat for the mismanagement of funds by the elected officials for the last 25 years? This present Government is just standing by waiting for the CS to cut, so they can start up their pet projects.  This Government needs to get rid of Boatswaine and bring the Turtle Farm back to a profit making entitity.  They need to cut their salaries by 40%, they need to scale back on unnecessary parties and trips.  They need to scale back on some of those outrageous fees, so that the economy can pick back up because people will spend, when they have less to pay.  Charge a $10 Head tax to every man over the age of 18 and start the school fees back up across the board.  Collect the long overdue concessions from the Ritz Carlton and McKeeva you need to sell that Condo and give the money back to Government.  There are a lot of things this Government can do first to help this economy, before asking the CS to cut anything.  One other thing, this Government needs to stop all those family members of Cayman Airways staff from flying almost for free.  I give solutions, so use them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Governor Taylor, it’s time for some heads to roll. The Cayman public will be behind you.

    This is absolutely ridiculous. No one in the private sector would keep these buffoons on if they failed to do their jobs and that is reason they are holding jobs in government because they know damn well no one in the private sector would hire them with their record of mismanagement.

    It’s time to bring back some common sense in the civil service. this is the only place in Cayman where no effect of the worldwide or local recession is felt. these guys carry on like they are untouchable and no one can remove them.

    It’s time Cayman, lets rally around our new Governor an implore him to fire these incompetent and non-producing individuals. Let’s start at the top with the Chief Officers and get some fresh blood in there. They have been there so long and set in there ways that nothing but a good firing will make anything change.

    XXXX If they have written their contracts so that we can’t fire them, it may be a whole lot cheaper to give them early retirement and get some good competent people to do their jobs.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed! Buying out the expats and/or deadwood will be cheaper in the long-run, or maybe sooner.

  19. Unvcivil Servant says:

    Can anyone advise what the current membership of CICSA is, how many Civil Servants and Statutory Authority Employees are not members of CICSA and whether or not these non members have been asked for their advice, assistance, thoughts or help?

    I think it might be wise for all to remember that these (people) do not represent the Civil Service in it’s entirety.

    • Anonymous says:

      here here, I believe most of the statements are those of the President and do not necessarily represent those of the civil servants. He doesn’t speak for me and I wish he would stop purporting to represent the views of the service with his comments and positions.

  20. Big Ben says:

    With any luck the Financial Secretary will make a good start by sacking all the Chief Officers and their CFOs at the meeting today. Keep going through the process of asking for voluntary cutbacks from their successors or sack them too and try again.

    I know that if I missed this many deadlines for required work in my job I would be packing my belongings by now. Let’s see if the CS and its senior management come out with any orders that actually have teeth.

    I’m saddened to see how the institution seems to be prepared to lie down and die, and accept the inevitable consequences of enforced action imposed by London. Will this be yet another example of leadership by inaction? We know that those responsible here will point the finger of blame at the imperial overlords and say that they have no blood on their hands.

    And to CICSA I say this – WAKE UP!

    • Anonymous says:

      I still wonder, if the persons that are supposed to report are not reporting, have never reported to Kenneth Jefferson… what the heck has he been doing about keeping those people in line?  What? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like a good way to start is for the Financial Secretary to sack himself.

      If he has been at the helm during the period all this laxity has been taking place then he is as much to blame for the mess as the rest of the civil service.

      Looks like the most likely solution here is to completely clean the house and give it a new coat to start over with.

    • Anonymous says:

      He sack who?  He should be sacked and the CFO’s follow him, bunch of wasters……can’t produce a set of financial statements for their place of employment.

  21. Da big deal says:

    Governments dirty little secret is some of these statutory authorities who are spending money like we are in no economic recession. Who’s lack of performance and responsibility is a lot to be desired who’s oblivious employees show up to work when they feel like, off work if the sun does look right when they wake up. Car allowances and perks are the salaries of some private sector employees. When they do turn up in their pajamas to work wreak of spirits or drink from the previous night. Employing friends and business interest to further their economic and retirement plans and comfort levels . Throwing lavish official functions that we can ill afford traveling in style committing fraud with their expense reports with innovative accounting. This has been the way and life of the privilege few who literally write their own cheques every month at the Civil servants and this island’s expense. We all know these very folks as the they drive along their merrily way in their below 0 degrees vehicles without a care in the world no form of financial austerity measure or hardship affects them . completely immunized from economic hardships and reality. Come on Mr Bean Counter give them a reality check for God sake and Cayman sake.

  22. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    Seriously! Is anyone at all surprised?

    • Joe Mammas says:

      Absolutely no surprise here. Now before they are all laid off because there is no more money to pay them you can expect a lot of things to go missing.  There is no more money to steal so what can be taken next?  Computers, fax machines, radios, office furniture, etc.  Watch as the civil service performs a clean up on the way out. Watch and wait , wait, wait, for the financial report and the surprise surprise when Cayman finally finds out where all the money went to.  Then the surprise surprise to find out nothing will be done to those responsible for the loss.  Third world politics at its best.  Can you really blame them when they know nothing will be done about it? That’s the real question.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m shocked.  Hell must have frozen over.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the centralising of HR and Accounts. Back in the day the Personnel Dept took care of employing staff and Treasury dealt with the accounts; it has all been down hill since this was changed.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a pile of crap 13:46. The system was a mess then but no one knew about it. The Treasury never knew what money it had then either and couldn’t pay its bills – especially ay Xmas.The Personnel dept as well as being horribly inefficient broke every human rights recruitment rule it could as well as favouring senior English appointments in legal posts and computer services especially But I agree, lets go back to that so that people will see the centralising is not the answer because decentralising was not the problem. Incompetence and non accountability are the problems and they wont go away because we have so many lazy useless civil servants at the upper levels.

      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting post 14:51: I don’t want to get into the arguments about centralising etc because I don’t know enough about it. I am leaving Cayman in the next few months after several years here and I enjoyed it.

        But I was appointed in the days when it was done by the Personnel and Public Service Commission which was talked of as some godlike body and I must say it was a process that seemed very slow and inefficient in the extreme. I couldn’t understand how the Caymanian head of department who interviewed me and wanted to appoint me had to refer to some other people who took weeks to get back to me. I had almost taken a job in Bermuda and emailed the HOD who promised me the job even though I later learned he had no authority to do that. Another friend of mine was not so lucky. She waited 9 weeks after interview to hear whether she had the job. She took another one because she couldn’t wait. The HOD or whoever interviewed her said the Personnel Dept and PSC couldn’t give her an earlier answer. 9 weeks?

        As an aside, the managers here are pleasant but hopelessly inefficient and afraid to hold people accountable. Good luck Cayman!

  25. Anonymous says:

    ……………..and of course there will be no consequences for failing to meet the deadline. Why would any dept head, team leader etc take serious what the Government dictates? It just has been confirmed recently that they are the ones who are actually running this country!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Civil service got the chance to input and chose not to – so the Governent can go ahead and make the cuts they need to – and there should be no complaints from the civil service.

  27. Shamrock says:

    This is beyond absolutely ridiculous now! Will someone please grow a pair and get it done already! All of you legislators who are afraid to make the necessary tough decisions for fear of losing future votes, think of it this way: when the UK government takes charge because of this non-action, none ofyou might have the chance to ever hold office again. So do the right thing now! History will thank you.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Good. I’m glad to see that nothing is being done by our gov. Because once it’s gone far enough, the UK will have a free hand to slash happily through the CS and cut the fat that our gov will never be able to remove by themselves.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise!

  30. Anonymous says:

    What a surprise!!??

    As I have mentioned many times previously; again the  perfect example of the Inmates are running the Asylum, the Tail is waging the Dog or we are out for Lunch, pick either one!

    If you are all waiting on Donnie the Dep-Gov to make the final decission in this matter, good luck with that one too, he is to easy going and not worried at the end of the day "he wants be one of the good Fellows" and soon retiered ( I hope)!

    Sir Governor & Premier, bite in to the sour Apple, show some urgently needed Leadership ( & some b…s) and the good and right thing for the Country and make the decissions for those Jokers, enough time wasted with this Issue by now!

    Thank you

     

  31. Anonymous says:

    go back to school

  32. kiss says:

    CNS:  "The Civil Service Association (CICSA) has disagreed, however, and pointed out that if the political arm of government wants to reduce public spending on the one hand it cannot demand ever more services on the other."

    Well, all I have to say is that there are alot of services that are not ESSENTIAL – they can either be privitized or closed-down, and certain government assets can be sold. Also, top salaries can be trimmed down alot more. For those who may lose their jobs (God forbid) that is where the private sector can step in, and supporting charities as well

    We have to weigh what is ESSENTIAL

    1. FIRST AND FOREMOST THAT EVERY CAYMANIAN HAS A JOB IS ESSENTIAL – we don’t want more crime

    2. WE DON’T NEED TO BE PAYING OUT FOR MORE ENGLISH OFFICERS – It’s a strain on the private sector who has to pay for them by paying for the hike duties and fees

    3. ESSENTIAL – for instance, no one would say that the Post Office and Turtle Farm is more ESSENTIAL THAN IMMIGRATION and CUSTOMS

    4. LET US SUPPORT OUR LEADERS AND THE CIVIL SERVANTS INSTEAD OF ALWAYS CRITICIZING THEM. You will always need the Police, you will always need teachers, you will always need doctors… so let us at least support and encourage our CIVIL SERVANTS to do the right thing.

    If you don’t have anything to say that is positive or constructive, it is best not to say anything!

    5. HOW IS IT THAT THE GOVERNOR is all of a sudden talking about CUTS and he is bringing in a NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION TEAM. I am very worried about their determination to find CORRUPTION in the CAYMAN ISLANDS. He sounds like a another Gov. Jack to me.

    Peace

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny how the Caymanians tout themselves as godfearing citizens but even their own people accept that they should turn to crime if they are unemployed for a bit. How about saving up duirng the good times or cutting back on non essentialslike kfc, mobile phones and 4X4 vehicles and leaving a safety net for if you are unemployed for a while rather than resorting to stealing from the hard working people of the island.

      Or how about spending less time at work messing about on the internet, phoning your friends and eating and more time working, this would make your employers more effective and help them be more efficient and perhaps increased private sector business can help drive the economy anfd increase government fees.

      The civil service should not be a charity that is there to employ the weak, the incompetent and the foolish. it is at the moment but is now unsustainable.

    • Joe mammas says:

      I think you mean

      1 Every responsible, hard working, and skilled Caymanian has a job.  Giving jobs to a non working person because he/she is a Caymanian is what is causing most of Caymans problems right now!

      2. You need to pay out for a trained,experienced, person period.  If there are not enough local talent then you do need to look offshore. Hiring by last name only breeds corruption.

      3.You got this one right.  Unfortunately the persons who make these decisions where hired by last name and not skill and or experience.

      4.You should support those civil servants who do their jobs for all to see BUT NOT the ones who so publicly DO NOT.  Unfortunately as all can now easily see they were hired by last name instead of skill by those with the last name and no skill and now no one can be held accountable for anything.

      5.It should be easy to see that Corruption in the civil service starts at the very top and works it way down from there.  In other words the cancer is in the brains.  If you just cut it all out what happens to the parts that still work? The operation to save the civil service must be done correctly or the whole thing dies. In other words it must be done with skill and experiance and not with the prejudice twards last names.  Good luck with that one.

    • Anonymous says:

       

      I like how right off the bat on your first point you are implying that if Caymanians are not working they are committing crimes. Nice one!
      We all know how there were zero crimes commited during the road clean up for Caymanians only.  Strange that is? A couple weeks of peace for local enforcement officers.
  33. Anonymous says:

    How about firing each of the chief officers, chief financial officers, and HR heads of each government entity that did not complete the assignment on time? That might send a message and would definitely move government closer to the required savings.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Fire the useless 50%. They are easy to identify, talk on the phone all day, show up late, leave early, take lots of sick days and otherwise don’t do sh*t at work…how hard is it honestly ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately that 50% are the voters and government wouldn’t dare fire the electorate.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The same incompetent people are running the departments so why would anyone expect any change?  (Not trying to simply be negative here but just stating the facts).

  36. Solong says:

    Yet more Government mismanagement. Where will it all end?

  37. islandman says:

    Offer early retirement…and write new cotracts!

    And go back to centralized accounting and centralized HR.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Indecisive political posturing will bankrupt this country. Make the necessary cuts and move on!

  39. Anonymous says:

    civil service fail? Impossible…

    • anonymus says:

      Who or what in the hell are they going to investigate this time?

      Are they going to frame some one or make up a story to spend millions of dollars we don’t have and then pay off somebody for label and slander of their good character again!. Keep an eye and an ear on them!

      They’re up to something, I’m convinced some corruption probe brewing!

       

      WE DEMAND ANSWERS!

  40. Anonymous says:

    With this type of "non-response" we will soon be in the same situation as Turks and Caicos.  At least then the UK can mandate a 10% (or more) cut across the board in Civil Service salaries, and perhaps cut out some of this dead weight that can’t (or won’t) meet critical deadlines.