No ribbons as civil servants move to GAB

| 29/03/2011

(CNS): Although there have been no ceremonies, ribbon cuttings or photo opportunities to mark the completion and opening of the new government administration building (GAB) as yet, the first of the country’s civil servants are moving in. Computer Services, followed by the planning department were the first public sector departments to start moving last week, and during the course of this week the Public Service Pension Board will join them. Dates have now also been set for the health ministry staff, the Portfolio of Internal Affairs and the community affairs ministry to move during the first week of April. Civil servants from education, financial reporting, the Attorney General’s Office and the civil service portfolio will follow soon after.

“Moving into this state-of-the-art administration building is quite a milestone for our public service, said Chief Officer of District Administration, Works, Landsand Agriculture Kearney Gomez, who was the CO in the ministry when the project started. “This facility will no doubt enhance our service delivery but moreover, it provides civil servants with a safe and healthy work environment,” Gomez added.

He explained that the transfer of civil servants was being phased in order to streamline the move and minimise disruptions in service to the public. “Nevertheless, we ask for patience and understanding as departments settle into their new accommodations.” The CO added.

Although specific dates have yet to be confirmed, during the second half of April Hazard Management and GIS will move, followed by the relocation of Department of Lands and Survey, the Deputy Governor’s Office, the Internal Audit Unit, the ERA, General Registry, the premier’s ministry and the maritime authority in May.

Although there have been none of the usual ‘official photo ops’ when the keys were handed over to government or when the first staff moved in, it is understood that the ministry still plans to have an opening ceremony sometime in the future.

The project was initiated by the former leader of government business, Kurt Tibbetts, during the 2005-2009 PPM administration and is a certified LEED building as a result of a number of green energy saving features. Although the development of the public service building cost around $80 milllion to build, it is expected to save government more than $10m per annum in accommodation costs.

The building has become something of a political footballm with the premier blaming the construction of the GAB (as well as the school projects) for the public deficit. Bush has also toyed with the idea of selling or leasing the building to private investors in order to release capital but in the face of possible public protests the idea has since been shelved. 

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Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A huge thanks should go to McAlpine and their team of dedicated employees who had this building ready and completed both budget wise and time scale !!Typical that the Government would like to drag their heels even more on moving into this beautiful building as their lazy work shy days could perhaps soon come to an end,maybe they should look to employ people who really would like to work and put in an honest days labour!!!

     

    Not only may their cell phones not work but they will also have to be accountable for their comings and goings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There were supposed to be ribbons but someone put them with all the government accounting information and now they are lost for ever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait until the first civil servant decides to go and hide in the bathroom to talk on their cellphone for two hours and realizes that there is very poor reception in there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Although there have been none of the usual ‘official photo ops’ when the keys were handed over to government or when the first staff moved in, it is understood that the ministry still plans to have an opening ceremony sometime in the future.”

    NOW hear this! Absolutely not. Not only are we going to hear crap about getting a late/ even later response from these usueles civil servants, but we must pay for them to have opening ceremony. NO. FOR WHAT?

    Stop wasting my time and money!

    No where else in the world celebrates mediocrity like Caymanians. ENOUGH!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good! Keep it that way and do NOT expect to through any lavish, moving parties or housewarming events to WASTE any more frigging money.

    Tired of this Governments crap.

    WHEN is McKeeva’s latest european jaunt end. I want to go to frigging airport

  6. anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Kurt Tibbetts for such a foresight and a lovely Building.  Well deserving for the Civil Servants.  Thanks Civil Servants for your hard work over the years.  Youguys have to endure so much negatives from the General Public, but they don’t really know what iis involved in your day to day tasks.  They are classing you guys with today’s lazy Politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      FWIW, it was the Hon Minister Pearson who initiated this project

      • Anonymous says:

        Hon. Minister Pearson supported having a new Govt. Admin Bldg back in 2004 but he did not initiate this project. He should not receive any credit for failing to act.

      • Anonymous says:

        The new building is down to Kurt’s drive, determination and vision. Sure, Linnie and others before him had proposed that a new administration building was needed. Some even did some preliminary work on the idea. But make no bones about it, this beautiful facility is the product of Kurt’s and the PPM’s foresight and commitment. And for that, so far, all they have gotten is licks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Kearney Gomez, who was the CO in the ministry from the inception of the project"

    Really?

    • Anon says:

      9:09: Yes he was. He’s been the head of that ministry for over 30 years. The work on the new building, though, he handed out to a bright Canadian lady he promoted. She’s now with Dart.

      • Just Sayin' says:

        Best move she ever made.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ahh so you are saying that she just moved higher in the same organization after all Mac and Co. also work for Dart

  8. Anon says:

    “This facility will no doubt enhance our service delivery” (Chief Officer Gomez).
    That is very unlikely.

    • Philip says:

      well it can’t get much worst, when you set the bar so low its on the floor, hopefully it can only get better.