Government saves $16 million through job cuts

| 25/01/2013

Franz Manderson_1.jpg(CNS): The next phase in government’s bid to reduce costs will take a harder approach than before, with government placing greater emphasis on reducing the number of civil servants, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has said. Speaking at a business conference Thursday, he said government would be providing enhanced separation packages where it made good business sense for civil servants who request leave of their jobs. In total, government has managed to realise $16.2 million in savings for the budget in this current financial year by cutting jobs and other areas. He added that the goal was to reduce the headcount by 350 positions over a five-year period.

In his address at the opening of the Cayman Business Outlook, Manderson, who is in charge of the Cayman government’s civil service, outlined recent cost reductions that had taken place within the civil service, netting government millions of dollars of savings during the current 2012/2013 financial year. During the 2012/13 pre-budget review 140 new posts had been eliminated, resulting in an estimated $6.4 million reduction to the draft budget.

Manderson said that the 3.2% cost of living allowance (COLA) had been rolled back, providing a further $4.2 million in savings for this financial year. Business cases must now be provided to his office prior to any employment decisions being taken and this, he stated, had allowed government to save an estimated $5.6 million for the first six months of this financial year. In total, these initiatives had realised the $16.2 million.

“While this first phase of initiatives focuses largely on mainly eliminating vacant posts and implementing short-to-medium cost reductions, the next phase takes a slightly harder approach towards actual head count reduction,” Manderson told the CBO audience at the Ritz Carlton.

“Under the voluntary separation policy no one will be pushed out of the service as the policy can only be triggered by a staff member making an application. However, enhanced separation packages will be offered where an accepted application makes good business sense for government.”

Running alongside this voluntary separation policy, Manderson said they were also conducting phase four of a review of public service to rationalise functions and services.

“This review will make recommendations about merging, consolidating or altering the services of agencies in order to better align their work with their mandates,” he confirmed. “In some cases it may mean eliminating the service altogether and, in others, contracting out to the private sector.”

Among other benefits that would come as a result of this review, Manderson said the civil service would become streamlined and a reduction of duplication would take place, resulting in an improved service for their customers.

“We must reduce the administrative cost of doing business in the Cayman Islands,” he said. “Government work in the areas of procurement and reduction of civil service costs is revolutionary.”

The outline initiatives showed that government was engaged in the battle to reduce costs and improve services and that it was working alongside the private sector to reduce the cost of doing business, he confirmed.

Category: Politics

Comments (54)

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  1. Socialista says:

    What a hard decision forthe Deputy Governor to make. 350 civil servants in 5 years – that means about 70 servants each year. The separation packages can not replace the loss of a job. When people lose a job and need work, they become deparate. Civil Service job performance will go downward, crime may increase and many Private Sector companies which have predominantly Anti-Caymanian / government bias, will not hire them. The ones who should be losing their jobs, are those in the top positions, but they will not feel the pinch. 

    • Anonymous says:

      12.40…are you for real? Do you actually understand what is happening here??

      1. There is no Anti Caymanian sentiment. I have repeated here time and time again, that it costs so much to employ an ex-pat now (thanks to Mac) that ANY Company given half a chance would employ Caymanians over Ex-pats any day of the week. Your comment shows me that you have no understanding of business and profits. So ask yourself the question, why does business not always employ local people? There is a damn good reason..and the attitude in your blog is the reason why. Your post says nothing about working hard or efficiently, just that Caymanians all deserve a job…I can tell you now, all ex-pats here have to work damn hard to keep their jobs and you will not find an attitude like yours amongst them. Nor will you find an attitude like yours in London, New York, China, Japan, or in fact any normal country. If one did happen to slip through the system, they will be on the next plane home, and in fact I know of a couple that got fired for that very reason. So do not bash ex-pats, its Caymanians that have all the rights, just some don't want to appreciate that..

      2. The civil service is so overstaffed it is unbelievable.  It is so ineffecient it is unbelievable. it was used by Mac to give jobs to people, that did not have to turn up for work or do anything, could run their own businesses on the side, just as long as they voted for him. If it was efficient it could actually be of great use to Caymanians and Ex-pats alike. The Civil Service is a Service to the Public…not a convenient means to employ people just so they get a cheque. In my view the 350 is just a start and should happen all at once…most of thise 350 never turn up anyway..

    • Anonymous says:

      With all due respect, civil service job performance, for the most part, can't go downward, when its already the lowest and slowest.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry Mr. Manderson. I do not believe you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please give a breakdown of exactly how much money and where it is being saved. Good luck separating the chaff from the chaff. How about streamlining some processes to get rid of jobs that could be done much faster using technology?

  4. Logical says:

    What is really required and I would have been more impressed if Mr. Manderson had said this is to undergo an independent audit of every government department.  Can you actually picture anyone in the civil service saying: "My job isn't necessary". Or:  "I've come to realize I've been overpaid for the amount of work I do?"  Without an independent audit for each department's expenses and employee performance this is like the fox guarding the henhouse.  Drastic times call for drastic meansures but this isn't drastic it is done in all companies. The civil service is by far the goverment's largest expense it is tremendous for a country of Cayman's size and needs and following those recomendations Mr. Manderson would take the heat off you.

    • Anonymous says:

      In my area they keep cutting down the number of workers and keep expanding higher ups.

      Please bring an audit!

  5. Anonymous says:

    "…enhanced separation packages…"

     

    Good grief!!! I saved the government over a million dollars by separating from the government civil service a number of years ago.

     

    Where do I apply for my retroactive "enhanced separation package"?

     

    I think that the government should share fifteen or twenty per cent of the savings with me. Sounds fair.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Small and good steps, but far too little and possibly too late. To see how bad it really is, one example is the 2011 audited statements for the Public Service Pension Board. The iceberg of the unfunded pensions liability for public servants is truly frightening. And its fellow iceberg, the contingent healthcare liability for public servants and their families is as frightening. These issues were spotlighted in both the prospectus for the 2009 Government bond issue and the Miller Report (both worth rereading frequently).
    One question we should all be asking the candidates for the 2013 election is what they will actually do about these icebergs as they will become large elephants in the room very, very soon. Vague assurances about “bringing fiscal responsibility to government” does not cut it.

    Tim Ridley

    • Truth says:

      Expecting an honest and competent answer even if its is that both the pension plan and health care plan will ultimately fail is asking too much of Caymans leadership of late.  There is no way short of a miracle that either of these Government promises will bear fruit for much longer.  When its time to pay for it who will they blame and who will be made to pay? The ones who are responsible?  The ones who are and have been misusing it?  Anytime you have a situation that you can take out more than you put in because of a promise only you are buying into a pyramid scheme and deserve to be disapointed in the outcome.  In this case fiscal responsibility means accepting the fact that they screwed up and promised something they can not give and many people fell for it.  Thats something that everyone who has been living on Grand Cayman lately can relate to.

    • Slowpoke says:

      I read the Miller-Shaw report and believe your suggestion that the “Miller Report (both worth rereading frequently)" would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

       

      A waste of my time on this planet that I will regret forever…

  7. Anonymous says:

    As a civil servant I have never heard of these so called packages. Maybe Mr Manderson would care to enlighten us civil servants as to what he is talking about. He could send out a CS message with this information. We get enough dam CS messages each week another one with this important information would be great

  8. St Peter says:

    Aha.

    We have to get the FCO to approve increased overdraft because our government just saved $16 million…

  9. Anonymous says:

    So Government has decided not to spend $16.2M that they didn't have – finally a step in the right direction. Now give each Ministry a reasonable travel budget and scrap the Nation Building Fund.

  10. Anonymous says:

    OK — BUIT.. whatever happened to the damning Phase Three Report following the very serious review of Education Services, after so much hard work by the private sector partners?

    Still Unpublished!!

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    Absolute BS. The labour and Pensions office have 11 new staff since October 2011 – special projects and temporary ?? Doing nothing at all – playing solitaire on the computers? at very large monthly salaries. They claim is they are temporary but we shall see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get rid of these Franz…they are useless. why do you need 11 new staff especially for labour. the immigration runs things, when it comes to labour.

    • Anonymous says:

      07:54

      I herd the temp staff was to do alot of work when they move one senior person out (temporarily) cause of thee 600 complaints that was left. talking about big salry for nothing!

    • Anonymous says:

      07:54

      Sound like inside information to me! Tell us more!

    • Anonymous says:

      How is it that this Department can hire so many new staff, and some Departments cannot.

       

  12. Anonymous says:

    Franz for Premier…Get er done!!

  13. noname says:

    you mean after 20 yrs i might be a leading firefighter?

  14. Eureka Ebanks says:

    And the moon IS made of cheese!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can we also make sure that the usage of gov gas pump is being properly monitored as well as the usage of gov vehicles? Can we pull the gov paid cell phones and black berries from those civil servants who don't really need it?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Meanders on I don’t believe you. Please publish a list of the 140 positions eliminated along with a list of which departments and the salary scale to go with each position. Also publish whether thse positions were just paper positions and not filled or if they were positions where a post holder left or was got rid of. Prove it please

  17. Truth says:

    Finally!   Some light at the end of the tunnel.  Caymanians might have a future in their future after all.  Mr. Manderson looks to be a Man who can see more than a week ahead and can make plans that will work and keep them.  Keep up the good work Sir.  You have my respect.

    • Anynomous says:

      What Minister  Anglin should do is to come and visit our North Side Library.  It  is in a mess, books all over the place and a foreigner running it.  What a shame.  Mr Manderson you should look into govenment projects up here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Light at the end of the tunnel? not for Caymanians. Government needs to look into all those foreign contract workers they have. I swear they employ more contract workers than Immigration issued permits. Even at the hospital a receptionist job is given to a foreigner, just issue the contract because it is not issued by the Work Permit Board so they are never challenged.

      • Truth says:

        Sorry.  I should have said Employable, trained, and ready to go to work every day Caymanians (yes there are some but not near enough to fill the need).  Caymanians that have no will to better themselves through hard work and great effort will never get jobs over anyone that will.  And if you mean that the foreigner is a qualified worker rather than an unqualified one then whats the problem again?  Try to keep in mind that an employer is looking to get a job done and done well and not just trying to fill a hole in the ground.  A trained and hard working Caymanian is in short supply.  Ask your government (the one that was lead by a 5th grade dropout) why that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      while you at it Franz, let go those who are running two and three companies on the side. let them see what its like to depend on their businesses for their  monthly bills and pay their own pension and health insurance .

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is he seems to be listening to the wrong people. Meaning those who dont have Cayman or Caymanians at heart.

  18. Anonymous says:

    stop wasting money on travel, so people can keep thier jobs!

    • Another Anon says:

      Cut the civil service AND reduce frivolous travel. That ought to Dave even more.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good-please just get on with it!!

    And don't be so delicate, why not also push out the uneeded, useless bureaucrats who do nothing and don't even turn up for a full days work..they can have enhancement too  just to get rid of them…

    • Anonymous says:

      How exactly do the heads of the Shipping Registry and the Govt Pensions Office get to be absent from work all the time with no one to reprimand them? All their employees will tell you that. One of them is now almost a full time farmer! How is this possible?

      • Anonymous says:

        So true, anon Sat 17:59. And everyone has known about this for years but nothing is done. That's one of the reasons the Shipping Registry has refused to move into the new government building -it's too easy to see who is at work and who isn't.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are lots of govt big shots who are not worth what they are paid. As a civil servant try calling them for anything and see if they answer first and second return your call NO they don’t and their voicemails full so you can’t even leave a message. They always trying to tell the minions how to word voicemails how and when to clear them and they can’t or won’t even do it themself. They need to start cleaning out from the top.

  20. Grandfather Troll says:

    Not a bad idea, Mr. Manderson.  How about reducing the number of foreign workers to make more jobs available for the ones leaving civil service?  Assuming that the ones leaving don't mind working for a living, of course.

  21. Anonymous11 says:

    With the service performance of the civil service being so slow and effective, the private sector will have to prepare for the worse after they reduce their numbers. Who is to blame for this serious reduction?  None other than our leaders of course 🙂 

  22. Anonymous says:

    The most positive and encouraging item I have read in years.

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be good to hear from Mr. Manderson, why there are so many expats from all over the caribbean and elsewhere in the Civil Service.  Is it an indication that the Civil Service is being down-sized ( when Caymanians retire expats replace them),  or the jobs are given to certain religious friends of friends in government?   

      • Anonymous says:

        You see, its like this, someone has to do what little work there is, so you need expats!

      • Truth says:

        Or is it an indication that expats do much more and way better work than the usual Caymanian civil service worker?  Try to get some customer service from them and see what you think then.  Mr Mandersons job is to get things done and done well and not just to give jobs to religious friends or friends in government like the former and ex-honorable for life premeir.

  23. Anonymous says:

    So Mr. Manderson, can we have some information on what "enhanced seperation package" actually means?

    • RRP says:

      Spot on! So asa civil service employee I can quit my job, get a nice lump sum and then apply for welfare? The people that separate better not be allowed on life support for at least a year. My concern is that what is saved in wages is spent on govt assistance programs for the individual who is now “unemployed”.

      Other countries define unemployment as capable, willing and able. People who quit jobs are not allowed to collect unemployment since quitting demonstrates unwillingness to work. Is that the case in our country? Or are we robbing Paul to pay Peter?

    • Anonymous says:

       

      Reduce the cost of doing business by hiring more expats.  Check the departments and you will have a better idea.  How many of us would be welcomed into someof those countries Civil Service.  We open our arms too wide, it is time to keep them closed.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      simply put..you're fired ..here's a few more dollars than the previous government would have given…now move along! next!

    • Anonymous says:

      Redundancy package (all dressed up with a fancy new name)

  24. Shock and Awe says:

    What comes to mind along with these policies of supposedly 'waiting for civil servants to leave' is the logical step of the removal of CFO's who have not been functioning.. This should be an easy step. Ask them if they have provided accurate and updated accounts for their departments. Which has been the request by TWO Auditor Generals, followed by:  "When was the last time they did?"

  25. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Forgive me for reserving my attaboys and backslaps until the audited Government accounts for fiscal year 2012/2013 confirm this very good news which given the historic timing of the release of such things will be sometime in the next decade and qualified. Or never. But is it a nice Nancy story for the time being.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I saved one million dollars this year already. I was going to surprise my wife with a million-dollar diamond ring, but at the last minute decided that it was not worth it. Does anyone know  how long it will take for this million-dollar savings to show up in my bank account? I could use that money for a vacation like Big Mac.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Wow, at last the real problem is being addressed!

    Next, try a bit of managing the departments properly and get the service you are paying for. Not only do you have a grossly oversized service, but the standards of service are appalling, this is partly an attitude issue, and partly bad management. Solve that, solve the dreadful accounting, get the auditors issues sorted and you may find that you can balance your budget!

    Theres a slight problem here which is that if you have proper accounting and audit, you might need to expand Northwood to house the politicians!

    • Anonymous says:

      On reflection and looking harder at the detail, I think my earlier post was overstated!

      The cuts talked about dont address the immediacy of the problem, they are to be put in place over 5 years! Second, it appears to be voluntary. The problem is of people who do nothing or very little for a monthly wage, they wouldnt give that up voluntarily, the ones that might consider severance are the ones that could be employed elsewhere so win both ways. Those are the ones you need!

      There is a need for action now, you have to grasp the nettle because your costs are out of control.