Cuts not just privatization

| 20/05/2014

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson were both keen to press home the message Friday that the review of the civil service currently being conducted by local management consultants Ernst and Young (EY) is not just about selling off or privatizing government assets. McLaughlin said that this 'Rationalization' process would examine how government can merge or amalgamate departments and services to help bring down the cost of government. He said the exercise was to determine how best services can be provided and the premier expected that EY will make recommendations about areas that can be restructured and not just sold.

“I want to make it clear that rationalization is not privatization,” the premier said. “A rather simplistic view has been taken by some that we can just sell of this agency or that company.”

McLaughlin said the process was about how best to deliver government services generally and EY is expected to make recommendations about restructuring, amalgamation, consolidation, streamlining, outsourcing and possibly privatization via this strategic overview.

Government has not identified any specific services or departments that would be the most obvious to sell off, as the premier said there were no preconceived ideas about what EY might find.

Manderson explained that the civil service had already done what it could so far without engaging the expertise now contracted to help make the next changes. He said this phase of rationalization would transform government.

Dan Scott, the regional partner of EY, said he was taking a particular interest in the project and it was critically important to get this right. He said the public sector has grown hand in hand with the private sector but it was time to pause and see if it can be more effective. Scott said that would also help the civilservice attract the right talent and warned that it was time to embrace change.

“I have taken a personal interest in it and will be very involved in the process because ultimately, while we can deliver solutions, it needs to be about delivering solutions that have an understanding of the local market place and not just solutions that come out of a text book,” he said, adding that EY had assembled a talented team.

Leading that team is Larni de Courtenay, an EY expert from Australia who has spent several years working with the government there on the same sort of rationalization of the public sector. She said she would be bringing that experience to the table here in Cayman. She said that in Australia they had adopted a number of different rationalisation strategies that were not just privatization and they were hoping to capture ideas from those inside the civil service.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Start by not dishing out $3 Million to former ex-formerly, working but not working, retiring but not retiring, chief officers. smdh.

  2. james Pouchie says:

    I am very sympathetic to this Government to have to deal with this very complicated issue, Either way you look at it its not going to be an easy task. I understand why people are calling for cuts but we also need to understand that this will have a direct effect on our economy. Notwithstanding this there are obvious waste in Government agencies that need to be curtailed. For example Cayman Airways is hemorraging money but still every tom, Jack and Harry and their families fly for free…these are some things we can change. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    So the PPM left KT in power until the public voted them out of office now 5 years later they are going to leave Alden, a politician with so much less support than KT and certainly not as likeable, in power so he can carry them down the drain too. Sus Christ does anything ever change in Government other than the faces ????

    • Anonymous says:

      not even the faces change, Bobo.

      career politicians, wasting your money and your children's future.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ask the Aborigines how well they've done out of Australian rationalisation in the past…..

  5. Cayman Mama says:

    Perhaps we could start with privatizing the Education Department. It has been proven that the Private Schools are graduating students with a better education at a much lower cost per student than Government does.  Also, those of us who have already educated our children (privately) and residents without children are having to pay for educating all these children in Government schools, and we are not getting value for money!  

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Everyone with any cranial capacity knows that the civil service represents the largest single voting bloc in the country so politicians may talk tough but will do nothing to emperil their position at the trough. That includes the single member constituency group who pretend that they are different.

    Until a politician comes along who is willing to risk their position at the trough and willing to go back into the private sector to do the right thing we will ge more of the same retreaded retoric.

  7. 4Cayman says:

    I suggest a two term MLA. Once elected twice, they should step aside this way there's no life time politicians!

    i am pretty confident we should see a sway in costs and expenses from the get go.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Start by cutting a random 1/4 of the staff at all levels.  Wait and see if there is any difference in productivity. Assuming there isn't, cut another 1/4.  Repeat until you are left with 100 or so staff that actually do some work and don't consider the budget to be their own personal goody bag.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lets start with the civil service in the Brac

    • Anonymous says:

      I suggest $40,000 US to 60,000 US Max across board for public service pay….. any more go to private sector or self employ…same .even to MLAs.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess you aint heard. We getting ready to buy new air planes so they can have direct flights to Miami and maybe New York. Will cost at least $100,000 to paint the soja crab on them 

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, 8:02. they have absolutely nothing to do on an island where nothing happens. But what we are doing (in modern financial terms is paying them a transfer payment – a grant to keep people going without any accountability for any work they have to do, which in the Brac  means hardly any work at all.But if you talk to them over there, they will tell you they are "totally stressed out". Ludicrous.

  10. Uncivil Servant says:

    Slash and burn! Occupy GOAB!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to see any politicians with a vision since the days of Jim Bodden, Benson Ebanks and Vassell Johnson.  And where there is no vision, mla's use consultants so they don't have to take the blame for the mistakes they make.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jin Bodden's only vision was whatever would make money for Jim Bodden.

      • Anonymous says:

        That's not fair. Jim worked hard in the public interest and did not amass a fortune for himself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jim Bodden's vision was rather crooked, bobo. Best you don't bring him up after all these years.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If Government is thinking about cutting Civil Servants cost, why do I still see people using Government vehicles for picking up their children from school? Half of those people who drive a vehicle paid for by Government do not need a vehicle available to them full time! This is a cost cutting exercise that could have been done long time ago!

    Another example is the free tickets employees and their families, plus ex-employees and their families, plus politicians and their families get on Cayman Airways. I wouldn't have an issue with that if the airline would make plenty $$$, but if the airline has to be bailed out year after year, why continue to offer such a perk? Give employees the benefit, but don't extend it to their entire family, scrap this perk for ex-employees, and politicians should only fly free if they are traveling on business.

    People simply have lost faith when it comes to the cost cutting talk because there are so many obvious things that are happening and so easy to fix, yet, they continue on and on with another committee being hired to investigate and recommend. Perhaps Government should actually begin to listen to the people who elected them…………… 

    • Anonymous says:

       

      Cayman Airways does not focus on making money, they feel entitled to bleed away the countries funds.

      By now they should be charging at least $25 for the second piece of checked luggage but no they don't need to do that, they get $20.5million annually. I would rather the subsidy be 18.5Million and pay $25 for the extra bag. What could we do with $2 million saved? Give one million to improving our children's ability to learn and do well in school (teachers, school social workers, supplies and afterschool/weekend programmes and activities) and the other million to fund an paid work/study adult retraining, skills development and work place readiness bootcamp for 250 unemployed Caymanians to help get who do want to work but simply lack skills into the workforce earning a salary and delivering value to their employers. 

      the $2 million CAL takes for granted (and we let them take for granted) could go a far way to doing more good for hundreds of children, families and unemployed adults.

  13. anonymous says:

    How about we make mla' s rebid and reapply for the jobs that we have given them?

    Only this time, it is for half the salary and the pension is pro rata of time served and doesn't kick in until 60.

    Additionally, they have to give a presentation of what they have previously accomplished and how much value for Money they have achieved.

    That way, you will soon realise who is doing it for the sake of the country.

  14. anonymous says:

    Stop the double dipping, pension for life, automatic pay raises carnival and we should save what we need.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who accepts or promotes the mantra that privatisation automatically results in savings and more efficiences for services to the public is, sad to say, a fool, or a cynical money-grabbing business type.

    Study what's happened in countries that have followed this (literally) "no brainer" : higher costs to the public (particulearly for electricity and gas) and indifferent (in some cases dangerous in the case of the railroads) service.

    Please think about what has happened elswhere, okay?

  16. Bean Counter says:

    The senior civil servants, Chief officers, deputies, CFO's their deputies, the judges and statutory authorities and government owned companies like Cayman airwAys need to be shaken up immediately. There are savings to be had if this government is serious about changing the culture.

    The non-performing high earners should be the first ones to be let go not those at the lower levels who barely make 2k per month. Look at the pension payments for the big shots, MLA 's and everyone  else before you cut people out of work. They are trying to distract from the real issues and protect the top end. Franz Manderson and all the big shots in government need to lead by example and cut their own salaries by 15% then MLA's need to cut their salaries by 20% after years of giving themselves pay raises. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Any recommendations (if implemented) from this exercise with EY will not affect the very next budget – 2014/2015. This budget has already been spoken for. When the Minister of Finance brings his 2014/2015 budget to the House next week (or the week after) these funds have been assigned already. We need to 'GET OUT AND AHEAD' of our financial plans. If we are going to keep this exercise, and the funds spent on it, real our government and Civil Service must make decisions now before December 2014 as to what recommendations from this exercise they will implement such that they can be given priority in the 2015/2016 budget year. We keep hearing about re-centralizing HR and Finance. Well, that decision must be made by the Deputy Governor NOW. If he needs to consult with the Governor then that needs to be done NOW. If the Civil Service comes under the Deputy Governor then Cabinet, the Backbenchers or the Opposition cannot make this decision. This is a decision to be made by the Deputy Governor. Between 8:30am and 5:00pm we need for our Government and Civil Service to be at their desks working at the jobs they ARE PRESENTLY HIRED AND PAID TO DO. We need them to maximize the results (in services) from the money we do have.             

  17. And Nother Ting says:

    What a pile of switch hitting Mr. Premier. First there were no sacred cows to be considered in the evaluation of selling off and/or privatizing Authorities, now it's rationalization previously also called right sizing. All of these buzzwords mean what Sir, ya spinning wheels think before engaging mouth, ya beginning to look utterly confused and ya making civil servants especially giddy. And Another Ting I know what each of the terms mean, but ya can't kill a cow to eat meat from it and then rationalize if it was the right cow or rationalize whether the cow should have been killed in the first place.

    • Anonymous says:

                    19:51. There is a saying that goes something like this "Better to be thought of as a fool ,than to open your mouth and confirm it." You might want to give it some thought. It is quite obvious you do not understand exactly what is being said ,but rather than asking for clarification you chose to write a lot of BS in an attempt to make the Premier look bad.Sorry ,but you only succeeded in making yourself look silly.

      • And Noter Ting says:

        05:12 no me don he doing it all by his lonesome self. You will see further as time goes along who is wise and who is foolish.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Quite a lot of duplicated effort and wasted time.  None of the government departments seem to talk to each other – each office has to re-invent the wheel with their own separate database of who lives here.  We should hope that Vehicle licensing and RCIPS would share a common database of plate numbers and registered vehicle owners, but I've been assured by investigating RCIPS officers that the most fundamental crime-fighting capability is not yet a reality here.   

  19. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure EY along with the Lady from down under will do their best, however the 1st., first exercise MUST BE to ensure that the adminestrative arm of CIG rules, regulations, meet deadlines and policies are inforcable and that everyone are held accountable including the highest of the high.

    2nd. that CIG get value for money spent AT ALL TIMES. If those 2 things are not achieved, down siding, up sizing, privitization whatever is done will achieve absotuly nothing as the CIG and the elected arm of Govt., will just continue doing what they have been doing for decades.

    A 50% value for money spent is redicolus and they all should hang their heads in shame, (do you know of anyone paying $100k for a home valued at $50k!!),  up the value for money spent to 75%  and the yearly budget can be reduced by $100 million, $100,000,000.00 dollars, =======!!!!!!!!!!  that will leave around $90 million, $90,000,000.00 for them to do, God knows what with.

    Yes I know Govt. cannot be run like a buisness, however we can do a lot better and still show compassion and maintain good human values.

    It's time the word "ACCOUNTABILITY"  is held to it's true meaning, it wa'snt me is got to go for good, yes for good, for the good of all of us.

  20. Anonymous says:

    For a small community why aren't we trying to amalgamate some of these commissions, for example is there a need for a full time  Complaints Commissioner, consider the overhead, why not  join that office with another commission and have joined up Administration.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Privatize departments:  BIG mistake.

    What happens in reality, is that, yes civil servant cost will drop, but the services still need to be performed.

    Government will then have pay private companies for these services at outrageous rates.

    Yes the civil service cost will reduce, but the general expenses will go up, more than the savings.

    Additionally the laid off civil servants will end up at the social services, since private companies hire mostly foreign labor. Another burden to the government.

    Solution:

    More efficiency, less committees, less parties, less flying, cheaper cars, less advisors, etc.
    Turn back the 10-20% salary increase of the speaker, the mla's etc from a few years back.
    They all have private businesses and don't need that money.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      18;39

      I see you point, but the UK wants the bloody cost of  our CS to come down. They couldnt care less about the expensive cost, should these services be  ran by  private entities.

    • Anonymous says:

      18:39 think there is a bit of confusion there.  Government does not pay for privatization unless it is also using the services, those who use the service pay.  Most other jurisdictions have utilized privatization quite successfully.  Those who fear it are usually the ones who are using a particular service and don't want to pay directly instead they want us all to pay.

       

      On another note decentralization has been our biggest problem the amount of redundant processes is insane.  At least start with a centralized procurement office that all departments must go through to get everything from paper clips to vehicles to buildings this department then gets watched like a hawk and they follow the normal business rules for purchasing.  In the private sector most businesses get at least two to three quotes before purchasing and bigger companies have certified procurement specialists.  That alone would save us significant money because at least there would be a record of where items went and for how much this might help in stopping the Joey syndrome!  Pretty sure all those iPads wouldn't have been purchased if the trail went back to a central purchasing group that had to disclose monthly all purchases authorized by whom and where delivered and spot checks to see items where in use in those locations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed.

      Also, this is not the first time the CIG has engaged in these "reviews". Nothing came out ofit, other than the "experts" who came down to "review" Government ended up staying and becoming full time Civil Servants themselves!!!

      FACT.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow. The government is finally making a decision to be fiscally responsible.

  23. Anonymous says:

    C4C made these recommendations back in early part of the year.  But government is now paying over $100K just to hear it from someone else???  WTF????? 

  24. Anonymous says:

    One of the things I learned long ago in management school was that consultants always give the entity that hires them the results they (the consultants) have sussed out ahead of time they want to get; that is why management consultants are called "the second oldest profession".

    • Anonymous says:

      That is why the oldest profession offers much better value for money.  With management consultants you get screwed but not in a good way.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Some private sector people would privatise their own families if it improved the bottom line of their companies and therefore their salary, bonuses and stock options. What they will not do is take on the Caymanians put out of jobs in the civil service in this "cutting", "right sizing" "rationalisation" blah blah  exercise that EY are doing.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Amend public management and finance law…………… then Centralise recruitment, place those activities under Deputy Governor, make all those HR managers redundant and replace with administraive assistants to CO as was done before.

    • Something to think about says:

      But then we would have experienced qualified HR Managers unemployed and unable to secure positions (at the CIAA?) and no chance in heck a getting a private sector job in their own field! Those are now the expat realm jobs and Ritz glam recruiter events.

      Dan Scott I admire you and hope you do stick to your statement, but we should have never let the civil service get so bloated.  Instead these middle management jobs should have been groomed and mentored into private practices like E & Y.  Sorry, show us the stats of how much % (in Cayman) you hire and employ IT personnel and HR.  I thought so…..

      • Anonymous says:

        07:18,

        Are you another disgruntled person with a degree who cannot find employment?

        1. Update your resume with some new things / qualifications

        2. A degree from 2000 with no further training in your field of expertise (IT/HR) isn't worth the paper its printed on without further training up until now.

        3. If you have such stellar credentials then its probably your attitude, verbal skills,  past employment record and a host of other things that are stopping you from getting a job and not because of a foeigner.

        4. Competition is something that exists everywhere. You have to succeed to win.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      "As was done before". That was NOT how it was done before. It was far more complicated, time consuming and inefficient than your simplistic suggestion implies.People have very short memories.