CS bosses look for cuts via consolidation

| 12/02/2013

(CNS): With pressure mounting for government to cut its operational budget, civil service management is looking for more ways to cut the headcount. According to the latest minutes released by the deputy governor’s office from the public servant heads’ weekly meeting with Franz Manderson, the next cuts could come through a process of consolidation. With 13 ministries and portfolios, over 70 departments, 25 statutory authorities and government companies as well as numerous boards, committees and commissions, public sector management believes some functions and responsibilities of these entities may be duplicated, obsolete or misplaced.

Project 1 is part of phase IV of the ongoing Public Service Review, which was described at the meeting by the deputy governor’s strategic advisor, Peter Gough, as a rationalization exercise.

A team made up of Eric Bush, Dax Basdeo and Alan Jones, with support staff, has now been appointed to strategically review the make-up of the public sector and see where structural adjustments can be made to better serve the needs of the country and reduce public sector costs.

A report on the consolidation exercise will be delivered in April, which will contain a draft organizational structure, taking into account the two extra ministries that will be created after the May general election, which will help the governor in the allocation of responsibilities to the new government once it is elected.

While the civil service is under pressure to cut cost, the enlarged cabinet with seven elected members, as well as growing expectations for more due diligence in government reducing the operational budget, continues to prove elusive. In order to assist the project team in the consolidation, a request has been made to the Cabinet Office in the UK for an expert in field to help.

Despite claims to reduce the civil service, the UDP administration increased public spending every budget since in took office last May and the former premier indicated his position that it was up to the governor’s office and the portfolio to make job cuts in the civil service, not the politicians. However, the civil service has always claimed that it needs political direction on what services to cut before it can reduce head count.

Facing the impasse, Franz Manderson has nevertheless pressed on with efforts to seriously address staff number, which, when government companies are included, still sits at around 5,000. Manderson has revealed his intention to cut at least 360 over the next five years through attrition. On top of the pay freeze and a halt on recruiting civil servants, government is beginning to examine the possible privatization of some government service.

Balancing Cayman’s budget will be a major issue for candidates running in the May General Election and so far most candidates feel they can succeed where this current administration has failed to cut costs. However, the cuts required are far deeper than a few savings here and there as cuts need to be made to such a level that Cayman can return a surplus in its budget without increases or creating new taxes. This is likely to prove considerably more difficult for them once in office than it appears now on the campaign trail.

See the latest minutes from the deputy governor meeting below.

Category: Politics

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the civil service is the biggest employer of caymanians and the results are……

  2. Anonymous says:

    Could someone explain to this hard working private sector employee why the Department of Labour and Pensions AND the newly created National Work Force department that all used to be DER are not at the sparkly new Government building but instead rent upstairs in a nearby shopping complex???? Uhm sort of wondering when I struggle to find Caymanians to work (I am Caymanian) and it takes at least four weeks to get my job postings registered when I hand walk them in why I have to go to a privately owned shopping plaza instead of a publicly owned government building…sort of wonder why it takes at least four weeks as well but that is another topic….

  3. George Towner says:

    This will definitely effect job performance and many from the private sector will be complianing. The morale of the civil service is already at an all time low. To benefit the private sector and lower fees and duties, it means reducing the public sector. What a mess! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the Civil Service Staff Association in all of this?   In most civilised countries there are unions to protect people from indiscriminate actions. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Start by bringing CIMA into CIG and other Rogue Statutory authorities, as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just goes to show you have no idea of the great work CIMA does here. It is because of them and not CIG that investment comes here bringing the tax dollars to pay for most of CIG. CIMA is a hard but fair supervisor, working in the interests of the Cayman islands to protect and regulate, to keep Cayman law up at the forefront of international developments. They put the laws forward to the LA for discussion on how to keep Cayman attractive to invesment whilst protecting Cayman and investor/client interests. On Tuesday the court recognised CIMA's hard and diligent work in the Axiom fund case, basing his judgement on their sound advice.

      Without CIMA there would be no respectable offshore business here, it would be all the dodgy BVI stuff.

       

      Gotta ask, did CIMA fire you once for not understanding your job or just not understanding anything?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the kind of moron mentality we have here!  Obviously you don't know that the statutory authorities are the regulators for services provided so they have to be seen as independent. Please get informed before you open your ignorant mouth!

  5. Anonymous says:

    …and while you are at it Franz, cut those freebie trips on Cayman Airways. All those families, associated with and former staff, can pay FULL airfare for their weekly trips to Miami, especially. Put a docusharing system in place, centralize the HR Departments and the Financial Controlling Depts., we only need one of each. Major Banks on the Islands only has one of each. All those parading everyday in to the Premiers office for Nation Building Funds, they don't work,  they just scawage.  They are feeding at the through, cut the pigs.

    • Anonymous says:

      What the CS really needs is someone like PWC or EY or similar in there to do a PROPER study of the CS efficiencies (or non efficiencies), stream line it, make it effective, put the right people in the right places-as an independent non interested party they could do that better than anyone. Yes it will cost, but the savings and efficiency improvements would be unbeleivable. And no I do not work for one of those companies, different field altogether.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course Govt needs an armslength audit of all its departments, but this will never happen as the result will be damning. A survey some years ago revealed we have more civil servants per capita than any other country, yet every internal audit identifies incompetence, inefficiency and mis-management that is mind boggling.

           We have been through these "downsizing" exercises on numerous previous occasions and the result has always been completely contrarian i.e we ended up with more not less. And the reason? – each time the project has been headed by a civil servant!.

          

  6. Dept.of Redundancy says:

    "13 ministries and portfolios, over 70 departments, 25 statutory authorities and government companies as well as numerous boards, committees and commissions, public sector management believes some functions and responsibilities of these entities may be duplicated, obsolete or misplaced." No!! You're kidding. 

    What this obviously needs is.. a Commission. And soon!

     

    To examine the overall situation of this duplication. And provide a report. On their recommendations. To be intricately examined by an overall oversight board even further. Then, when the examining and recommending is completed, forward the findings. To another board. That board will then break up into committees to examine……..

  7. Anonymous says:

    With regards to previous comments, the thing about expats training caymanians continue to rear its head but let me say this, in most cases the expats come here with “proof of qualifications”, most times with no knowledge of the laws or the workings of the job hired to do, the Caymanian who has learned the job after years of experience is then asked to train the expat with the paper and then shoved in a corner to do the bits and pieces asked to do by the same expat they trained. This is not just in the civil service its prevalent in the private sector as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah right, having an dyslexic moment?  I see the exact opposite.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got jokes, proof of qualifications!!  So many of them have been discovered to have nothing called qualifications once they arrive here!  Thanks for making me laugh, I needed it.

    • Anonymous says:

      So why do Caymanians employ these expats?

      • Anonymous says:

        Cheaper, easier to control.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is your answer!!!  Because they are a friend of a friend in the Civil Service, and already knows  of the gains and benefits of our fool, fool government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I sincerely doubt anything will come from this exercise. The people performing the review have no clue!! More blah blah blah…..yawn!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Omg the assistance is now not going to have an assistance who isn't going to have an assistance either….

  10. Disgusted says:

    I hope and pray that this " the next cuts could come through a process of consolidation. With 13 ministries and portfolios, over 70 departments, 25 statutory authorities and government companies as well as numerous boards, committees and commissions" and "Facing the impasse, Franz Manderson has nevertheless pressed on with efforts to seriously address the head count which when government companies are included still sits around 5000. Manderson has revealed his intention to cut at least 360 over the next five years through attrition".  I am wondering if this solution to the Civil Service expenditures will also include the Private Sector absorbing ex Civil Servants or will it be the Govt Social Services.

    Many other solutions can also be introduced to curve/balance the budget, these are just some of my thoughts and contribution to this problem,  

     

    1)Collect all outstanding Debts owed to Governmnet from Developers & Companies etc.

    2)Overseas Travel: 

    In this new era/age of technology, have teleconfrencing and SKYPE is FREE, so SKYPE these meetings,  set up one of the Govt Admin Boardrooms for this,  (no more jet setting on Cayman Airways or any other airlines on tax payers pockets, this will save the taxpayers & Government millions of dollars, this needs to be implemented thoughout Govt. Locally this will also save on GasBoy as well, no need for the "I'm running out to a meeting excuse and doing your own personal errands on Govt Time and Gas.Utilize the fax machines and get proper working office equipment e.g photocopy machines, printers, and most of all computers and a server that doesn't crash after each transaction. If travel is neccesary then ALL delegates have to pay their own travel exspences, as they are being paid enough to do so.

    3)Chief Officers & Senior Staff:

    These are the people who are going to make these choices of who goes and who stays, yet they are the ones who need to be reviewed, getting paid to work for Government yet attending to their own personal businesses on Govt's time.  Personal favors for "pet" staff while the hardworking CS's are bypassed for the lazy bunch. The moral of the Civil Service is at it's lowest now because of this.  Give credit and rewards to those who actually worked and earned it.  Their salaries need to be decreased more than 3.2% they are making over $3000.00+ monthly, Those Civil Servants who are on contract needs to be the first to be released, and Caymanians promoted to their positions, this is only fair as the Caymanians should have been giving the oppurtunaty to train and promoted accordingly.

    4)Re-centralization of the Human Resouce Dept.

    Why did Government seperate the various departments Human Resources departments? what were they really thinking, how was this cost effective? For every new HR manager you have to hire support staff? Yes this created additional employment but at what cost.

    5)Lease dont Sell Crown Land/the Peoples Land.Letthe developers develop but they can't own the property, if the Bermudians can implement this so can we and we are a larger country by far to them.

    Bermuda's land mass and population 

    54 km2 (20.8 sq mi)

    64,000 (2007 estimate)

    Cayman's land mass and population

    264 km2 (101.9 sq mi) 54,878

     

    6)Have HMP inmates maintain the Prisons, male and female alike.  There are inmates who have various trades that can eliminate the cost of labour for the PWD,and those PWD workers that are there to Maintain all of Govt's Buildings need to do just that as well.

    These are like I said just my opinons that would help our Government and my people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is money, but an invention of man? Everyone is too afraid to down tools.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Manderson can start reducing the CS by firing heads of department who do not show up for work like at the at the Shipping Registry and the Public Service Pensions Dept.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tues 23:02, what you write about has been going on for years and is well known to be the case but no one will deal with it. It is doubtful if Mr Manderson will do any more than any of his predecessors. He could start by insisiting that the Maritime Authority moves into the new government building office floor that has been prepared for it since the building was built. But the General Manager does not want to move so nothing happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        It must be areal drag for the good hardworking heads of department to see that behaviour from some of those bad apples. Is there not an appraisal system and means of tracking absences? The people who work in those two departments will freely comment on what goes on so why is it so hard to fire them if it’s been going on for years? I have heard it from both those places for myself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Focus efforts on eliminating all those retired expatriates and contract workers who are strategic advisors etc and others who are adding no value, and doing what Caymanians can and should be doing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, 13:18 but the problem is these "strategic advisors etc" you would like to get rid of are hired by VERY senior Caymanian officials and the reason is because they get the job done, pure and simple. They perform and within brief timeframes – they don't say well I'll need to look into this and get back to you. It's market forces, Bobo,. If a Caymanian can draft a Cabinet Paper within 6 hours, he or she will get the job. But that is not what happens. We Caymanians need to up our game considerably but those who can perform like the foreigners are not in the civil service. They are in the private sector.

        • Anonymous says:

          The real reason is because the senior advisors have no clue where to start from lack of experience and exposure, but have the power to hide thier incompetence.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is why I don't understand the system of government – they will retire or make any caymanian redundant, and still turn around and hire aged expatriates or Work Permit Holders to fill those positions under a different title and doing the same job a caymanian had been doing.  There is  no logic to this move.  Only filling the pockets of people who have already retired and collecting double  "Pension from their country and salary from the Cayman Islands Goverment", taken care of their medical bills. While watching caymanians live off a meger Pension, and probably having to work otherwise to compensate their monthly bills, this is a result of being kept down within the Service, and qualificatons does not matter.

        Long serving Civil Servant  process has been twisted, It is amazing to see the caymanians or status holders who had to fight to survive in the service. Ministers and MLAs have nothing to do with the employment. If ever it is a time  for them to be vigilant it is now,   To learn of the processes used  it iwll amaze the caymanian populace.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Public Service Pension Office you have to wait for week or weeks before you can get attention, and  of course, it is by making the initative to call several times before a problem can be given attention.  The  stories are relayed by  three or four persons that are conflicting.  Mr. Manderson needs to straighten this department up that persons can get straight goods,  not twisted stories. Pensioners they do not care about you all and cause more complications in your process.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Alan Jones? The same Alan Jones that flew of with JUJU to collect a postal award on the other side of the planet? An award that he had nada contibution towards?!!!

    Even so, the cost to the taxpayers of this country should have been enough to stop him from going. But I guess he was misslead.

    What a joke, people like him to seriously cut cost, while his record so far is, shall I say…not the best of examples.

    All those Civil Servants that don't kiss backside now can wait for it. While this group may be overseeing the process, something tells me that the HoD's will be the ones giving "input".

    If you not their favorite or croonie, look out. To hell how good a job you have been doing.

    • Voter says:

      Really, really, really, review every single Ex-Pat's contract and dig deep to see if a Caymanian can be trained for that that position.  IT Services, Disaster Services, HSA, Communications, all have expats that would have been rolled over, but a job with Govt is a fast track to status.

    • Disgusted says:

      You know what your saying!!

      "All those Civil Servants that don't kiss backside now can wait for it. While this group may be overseeing the process, something tells me that the HoD's will be the ones giving "input".
      If you not their favorite or croonie, look out. To hell how good a job you have been doing"

      This is going to cost Government a whole lot in lawsuits, just watch…… This is so sad, for us hardworking CS's.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually Mr Jones was embarrassed about going on a trip that he knew was a worthless freebie but if in the civil service your Minister says you need to go for appearances' sake and in case she needs a speech written at short notice, then you have to go. Trust me, you can't say no.