Civil service plans to fill over 100 posts

| 12/10/2009

(CNS): Despite the fact that this year’s budget states that the civil service recruitment freeze will continue throughout the 2009/10 fiscal year, the public sector still plans to fill more than 100 posts as a result of retirements or new positions, the chief secretary has said. Questioned at Finance Committee over those posts and what had happened to the $89 million of expenditure cuts to the public sector that had been cited by the leader of government business a few weeks before the budget was eventually brought, Donovan Ebanks said he could not give a break down of what that would have been.

Ebanks told the committee on Friday that there were still likely to be around 100 more people recruited into the civil service this year, but that still represented a significant reduction from what was an original request from the entire service of more than 250 posts that department heads wanted to be filled. He said the recruitment moratorium was in place but there were some posts that could not remain vacant, despite the need for cuts, if government was to continue to provide services.

He also noted that in the ensuing weeks following the announcement of the $89 million in cuts by the LoGB, many ideas were floated around and changed, but he was not part of the process so did not know exactly what those cuts would’ve been and why they were not made.

Opposition member Alden McLaughlin noted that the civil service still presented a major problem for whoever was in government because even in the most austere of times it was still growing. He said given that the administration he was a part of had been blamed for the current fiscal problems of the country and he was interested in what was happening with the civil service, an area that the elected government has little say over but which consumes half of the operating budget.

“I believe the decentralization of the service is a major culprit in the growing expense,” said McLaughlin. He saidthe new Constitution presented an opportunity for the elected arm of government to take back some of the control of the official arm of government and have more say in the spending.

He said one of the other issues was that every minister who is elected to office comes in wanting to implement their policies, and in the effort to do that they listen to their civil servants, who then tell them in order to do that they need a specific number of resources. McLaughlin said, given that situation, the minister will not pay close attention to that and leave it to the chief officer.

In light of the governor’s announcement to review the civil service again, McLaughlin said he believed it was something that could be done without external help as he felt elected officials and senior civil servants all knew exactly what the problems were, but it was a matter of addressing them.  Ebanks said that the review announced in the governor’s throne speech had not been planned out yet and no funding had been set aside, but he hoped to complete it using internal resources.

The LoGB came close to agreeing with McLaughlin when he noted the member was not all wrong. McKeeva Bush said it was true that it was difficult for the elected government to control the recruitment but he said he felt it could control expectations. Bush explained that government has to be brave when introducing a new service about the costs of providing that to the public purse. Bush also pointed to further demands that make it difficulties to cut human resource costs. “No one fought harder than me to bring back spending to the levels of 2008/09, but when the commissioner comes in and tells you if you want community policing it is going to take more staff, you have to accept that,” he added.

Ebanks noted that after thirty years of growth in the islands, Cayman’s business model has not brought as much as it should as the country was still struggling to pay for the things it needed. He said although the public sector provided a high quality of service it was efficient enough and the review must focus on that as well as making the civil service more accountable to the elected government. “What I see for the next wave of reform is not undoing what has been done but to empower you as the owner,” Ebanks told the LA members.

Finance Committee continues on Monday to examine the Financial Secretary’s Office and the Minister for Education, Training and Labour, who was largely absent from the chamber for most of last week, will be asked about his spending plans.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (24)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Uncivil Servant says:

    It is my understanding that next years FACE awards have been changed and will then take the form of a newly established CAYMAN IDLE competition

  2. Anonymouse says:

    Better increase this number now that the politicians have increased the civil service with a public defender’s office. Don’t worry, they can go back to blaming the service for needlessly increasing staff costs next year.

  3. Caymanian to the bone says:

    I don’t understand why the Govt isn’t utilising the skills of the diverse group of retirees and semi retirees that we have who would be only too happy to assist in sorting out the dire straits that we have put ourselves in. 

    We have a vast amount of untapped intellectual wealth in this country that we aren’t tapping into – why aren’t we asking them to help?? They have experience and in most cases would be only too willing to step up to the little to no cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would mean acknowledging that you don’t know what the hell  your are doing.

  4. CatMan says:

    I know… we can charge all small business a $100,000 per month fee and then hire 10.000 Caymanian school leavers to enforce it.  We should be in the green in a snap!

  5. Joe Average says:

    Civil service plans to fill over 100 posts

    When I read that I thought GREAT!!  They said they were going to start chipping in!!   Maybe they were going to put up some fence posts for someone in need??

    But alas.  I read it wrong. 

    And I blame you CNS for not saying what kind of posts they were.

    But, after reading the rest of the article…..they didn’t know either!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    And unna dont forget Government also going to be employing all the ‘unemployed’ at least for a few months – to clean up the Island – far as I’m aware they already paying civil servants to do that….but somehow even though we so damn broke, Mac could find $5.5M to pay out to the ‘unemployed’……and then another $2.4 for the ‘churches’ and other miscellaneous ‘persons/companies’ to help with ‘nation building’…..gimme a break – pure hogwash!! I sure hope that all the people who like Mac cuz he ‘makes’ decisions are in hogshit heaven liking all the so called ‘decisions’ he’s made since May 20th!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Elected Leaders of this country,

    Your recent decisions to raise revenue by penalizing the already-punishing private sector, (and I am not talking about the Financial Industry rather Hospitality, Retail and Construction), will create levels of unemployment and poverty in this country never before known.

    You are on a collision course with disaster as the small and medium businessmen throw up their hands in despair as you tighten the noose on their ever-shrinking margins.

    To those people who are groaning under the weight of this unrighteous oppression, I say, "Hold on", for your cries have surely come into the ears of the Lord.

    If the government will not trim fat and continue to lean heavily on decent, honest, hard-working individuals, then you will have your fat trimmed forcibly. Your time is extremely short as you have almost broken the back of your own economy to fill your greedy bellies.

  8. TruthBtold says:

    Its a good thing Mac got all that money to fund these positions.

  9. already left. says:

    Your goverment has your best interest at heart.

    Your goverment does not just think of themselves.

    Your money is being put to good use.

    Thanks to your goverment Caymans future is bright.

    Your goverment is doing all it can and should to limit unnecessary spending.

    Your goverment is under complete control of its finances.

    Your goverment is makeing money and not loseing money.

    Your goverment is there for all of Cayman.

    Your goverment acts as if all Caymanians are equal.


    Your goverment sucks.  (lifeblood)

    Which statement is true?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well since the first 9 statements are totally untrue, no let me say it straight, the first 9 statements are lies, DAMN LIES, the only one that is true is the statement "Your government sucks" & this statement is 100% true! THIS GOVERNMENT SUCKS!

      The udp government campaigned for the elections telling their followers that the PPM was:

      1/. borrowing too much

      2/. spending too much

      3/. notcutting expenses by cutting an oversized civil service.

      Now that the udp is in, they have changed it up just a little. The udp is instead of doing what they accused the PPM of doing, they are:

      1/. borrowing WAY TOO MUCH!

      2/. spending WAY TOO MUCH

      3/. ADDING to expenses by employing over 100 more people in the civil service (I know, they claim they have laid off a few, but does that make sense? They cut a few & add over 100? GOOD MATHS big mac & lackies).

      Now, Cayman people, you go figure! Who was it that was taken for a ride? Who was it that was fooled at the polls? UNNA that voted for them bunch-a-clowns, that’s who! NOT ME, because I voted right, I voted straight, & I voted PPM! POOR UNNA FOOLS, tricked again!


  10. Anonymous says:

    There a number of Government employee on work permitts, sure hope that someone is looking into having these permitts not renewed. On the other hand there are a number of Caymanian Gov employee that has an entitlement attitude…but the bottom line is; the elected officials are afraid of this large VOTING block.

  11. Amen to  having the ones they have now,  doing what they should be doing, civil service is like a cancer leave it in an out of control state and it is certain death.

    A lot of waste in the civil service and to think that they want to create jobs for 100 more, the the ones that are wasting their time standing around or warming a seat for their  comfort and having surly attitudes they should be told to step up to the plate and perform or find another job.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I knew that the current leaders wouldn’t cut anyone in their tribe but to actually add more? Theonly thing more incredibly foolish is that they can get away with it.  Is it so hard for the people of Cayman to see where their money is going?  Yes it is YOUR money.  The Goverment is just YOUR representatives.  Voted in by YOU.  YOUR money should go to YOUR  future.  If it’s not (and it is now going into paying for your past) then you have none.  YOUR children will have none. YOU gave them the power over YOU and only YOU can take it back.

    Think… Now not just half but even more than half is just going to feed the royal tribe.  It’s not helping the island at all.  They are not giving back anything of value to the future of the island. Its buying food,cars,cell phones,gas,plane rides,entertainment, and on and on but nothing the island can use for its future. If YOU do nothing about it YOU deserve no future for you and your children.  If you are one of the many that are benifiting from the leaders use of the future of Cayman…Shame on you!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I just had a brief look and Canada seems to have 450k civil servants in a population of 33M, the USA has 1.8M in a 300M population.

    Therefore: USA 0.59% Canada 1.35%

    Does anyone know the figures for Cayman? Would be interesting…. (figures from wikipedia so don’t take them as absolute fact but shouldn’t be far off)

  14. Anonymous says:

    What part of no doesn’t Donovan Ebanks understand. Frfeeze means freeze as in no more hiring. In the US states are cutting staff, forced days off and salary & program cuts.

    I agree, Cayman should be cutting an additional 100 employees. Cayman cannot continue its womb to the tomb government policies!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds so ignorant to talk about hiring and adding new jobs at the time of a freeze.  Please!!! there is no freeze.

  15. Anonymous says:

    but then if they cut 100-200 thats more unemployment……if they plan to hire at least 100 more people that cuts down the unemployment statistic and im sure alot of people will be happy with that. my only concern is the amount of contradiction that is going on. If they plan to continue the freeze on public sector then do that but dont say you are then hire 100 more people

    • O'Really says:

      I would like to think you’re right, but I suspect that with the way this was phrased, we are really looking at  employing expats from off island or at least from other firms locally.

      If these were non-specialised positions, it should be easy to move people around within the Civil Service, but since this doesn’t seem to be an option, I suspect they require specialised experience which the local unemployed pool is unlikely to have.

      I could be wrong, but let’s see.

    • soon broke says:

      They should be on welfare then.  Which means the people pay for their food and shelter.  Not their cars,gas,cell phones,TV, expensive clothes, shopping trips, toys, cable bills,drugs, medical bills AND pensions.  Get real Cayman!  We donot need any more goverment services!!! WE NEED LESS!!!  We would actually do better  with Quality NOT QUANTITY.  yOUR BEING ROBBED BY YOUR OWN!!!   Try holding your goverment responsible for their actions.  See how much they like their jobs then.

  16. Anonymous says:

    And Mac said the Government was broke.  I hope you all see what Mac is doing.

    • Anonymous says:

       The Gov is in control of the Civil Service, not Mac. UK wants us to fail listen to what is said in the house of parliament in the UK and the Gov here. Check the members of the LA who have been around ie Roy B, Gilbert M, Ezzard M, or Billy "Referendum" Adams he will tell you. 


      • Anonymous says:

        Well maybe you should try tell Mac that cuz he seems to think Kurt was in control of the civil service for the past four years!

  17. Anonymous says:

    They should be cutting 100 people not hiring more……have the people they have do the jobs they should and they could cut 200