CS bosses ask that experts make final cuts

| 30/09/2013

(CNS): Records released by the deputy governor’s office of a civil service managers’ meeting show that the public sector bosses want outside experts to be the ones that make the major cuts in the size of government. Minutes from a chief officers’ meeting on 16 September show that while Deputy Governor Franz Manderson believes that good progress had been made in reducing the cost of the civil service, more work is needed and this must be achieved by structural changes. With civil servants doing much more work with fewer resources and some mergers of departments having already happened, the next step will require a comprehensive report, which civil servants should not be asked to do, he said.

“The deputy governor stated that it was important that a comprehensive report be prepared that will allow Ministers to determine what services provided by the government should be abolished, amalgamated or privatized. It was agreed that civil servants should not be asked to perform this work and that expertise from outside of government was necessary,” the minutes record.

Although the civil service heads said it was important for ministers to also hear the views of chief officers, the public sector leaders are clearly reluctant to carry the can for future cuts.

However, as well as the civil service's own internal reviews and reports over the last four years, the Miller-Shaw report, which was published in 2009, also pointed to areas to cut or privatize but it is believed that the document has largely been ignored. That report pointed to the possible sale of the Port Authority, the airport, Water Authority, UCCI, the Development Bank and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, as well as the Cayman Turtle Farm.

Speaking at the Chamber Legislative Lunch meeting last week, the premier pointed out the main problem government faces when it came to the privatization of its companies or statutory authorities:  the only ones people are interested in are the profitable ones. Answering questions after his key note speech, Alden McLaughlin said if anyone wanted to buy the Turtle Farm to let him know.

Despite another $12 million being shaved off operation costs this year, the government still needs to drive down the civil service bill further unless it can find a new revenue source.  McLaughlin pointed out, however, that government was fast reaching the point that it would need to make decisions about divestment if it was to continue to drive down costs.

He explained that already some cost cuts were not sustainable, such as putting recruitment on hold or not buying what a department really needs. The premier warned that continuing to make unsustainable cuts would leave the public sector in crisis and so divestment was the remaining solution.

“We need to shave off some services but when it comes to true privatization, the only ones people want are profitable ones … that is the stark reality,” he said. He also warned of the dangers of creating private monopolies by selling government companies, as well as the costs of regulating private sector entities that deliver public services.

In the meantime, with the civil service wanting to hand over the tough cuts, the minutes show that the policy for voluntary separation has now been approved by Cabinet and an implementation schedule is being finalized and will commence this week. This is expected to also help cut costs and reduce headcount during the coming year. Civil servants who accept the separation package will depart from the service in January 2014.

In a step towards a more transparent public sector, the document posted below also reveals that the performance assessments deadline is today, 30 September, and public sector bosses were reminded that the assessments were a key component of driving accountability across the civil service.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree that these Chief Officers are paid a hugh amount of money and most of them HAVE NEVER put pen to paper or use the computer to prepare a report. THEY ALL HAVE STAFF UNDER THEM THAT ARE QUALIFIED TO DO THIS. We should not have to pay outside expertise to decide which services need to be merged, cut or privatised.  Notwithstanding other reports that the Government have already paid for; there are also a number of reports that were conducted by Civil Servants themselves around 2011-2012. These reports were supported by experts in the private sector/overseas and the recommendations have not yet been implemented. SO STOP WASTING GOVERNMENT FUNDS BY BRINGING IN OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS TO TELL US WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW. THESE HIGH PAID CHIEF OFFICERS SHOULD BE RETIRED/DEMOTED.  IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO MAKE DECISIONS, GET RID OF THEM AND PROMOTE OTHERS WHO ARE NOT SCARED TO MAKE DECISIONS. SHAME ON YOU DEPUTY GOVERNOR.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To 6.17 you might be right there are more 'Caymanians' in the civil service now , if you count all those who got in on the infamous status grants and those joining the service to avoid the roll over.  I think the point the other poster was trying to make was that the commission was there to see that Caymanians had a fair chance at jobs in the service, something we do not have now. The new Caymanians are in charge there too.

    • Anonymous says:

      The proportion of REAL Caymanians in the civil service is higher than it has ever been in the past, thanks, amongst other things, to a policy which appoints them even after they have been fired by the private sector. Your post is, unfortunately, entirely inaccurate, from start to finish.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am totally shocked at this story and the comments of Premier McLaughlin !!!!!!!! Please tell me that I was dreaming when this man said right after being sworn in as Premier that there would be no cuts to the civil service and that civil servants didn't have to worry !!!! I guess our memories are shorter than some people said they were…….we've forgotten already. Premier McLaughlin has gone from saying no cuts to the civil service to here is how we can and will cut the civil service. Civil Servants better join the march next Friday too !!! Now please don't get me wrong I know that the civil service needs to be cut and Premier McLaughlin knows it too……..what I am saying is that we need to confront these politicians about their bare faced lies and hold them accountable and remove them from office by whatever means !!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So let me get this straight. Alden looking out for work permit holders and Franz looking to cut jobs, which we can assume will be mostly Caymanians. So, where are these newly unemployed people will go? If they are going to lay off, I suggest they start with those who have professional quslifications. At least that way, they can find another job somewhere in the world, because they won't be able to find on in Cayman. And using the private sector to do thecuts?!! The same private sector that is guilty of not even giving QUALIFIED Caymanians an opportunity? Oh boy, this is going to be another great step forward. 

    • Anonymous says:

      omg we need "outside" help to cut our civil servants…what kind of government do we have running our country that they can't do a simple thing as GET RID OF ALLTHE USELESS EMPLOYEEs…you sound like  a bunch of morons stating you have to get outside help…more money spent that WE DON"T HAVE

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cut cost by making the retirement age mandatory to 65, private & public.  That should help Social Services. Then all those Status grantees that cannot do for themselves, revoke their status and send them home along with their families, they are not solvent. Reintroduce the school fees, Primary schools $50 annually, High Schools $150 anually, reintroduce the garbage fees $100 per year, per househole. every male should pay $50 head tax like before. Get rid of the Boatswaine Beach, not the turtle farm. National Trust should be under the Government, not the trust. Centralize the HR Department, the Financial Controllers and introduce a docusharing scanning system. Reduce the consultancy services, hire retired Caymanians as the CIG Securities. Bring CIMA to the 2nd Floor of the CIG, let PWD do any  constructions that are needed, such as schools, prison, cemataries and more. Let the prisoners do the roadside clean ups, painting of buildings and those are some of the necessaries right now. You got my ideas and they were free.  Government just needs to ask for ideas from the general public without having to pay for it.  There is still too much wasting within the CS and they are mostly caused by those expats that are in those high level CS jobs. Cut them!

    • Anonymous says:

      8:12, could you please list the names of all "those expats that are in the high level CS jobs" who according to you are "wasting within the CS". Please make sure you do not include any who have Cayman Status, because although you probably hate the fact, they count as Caymanian. Oh dear, can't think of any? No, I thought not.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So the civil service bosses don't want to make the tough decisions, so why are they there? If they need someone else to do their job, THEY should be the first to go. Fire their lazy asses!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, this is their sub rosa way of telling the politicians "we've done reports about 'right sizing' until we're tired of talking about it but politicians don't act" (see recent article on NRA for example) "so now leave us out of this next debacle". (Remember, at the same time 'they' are talking about cutting the Civil Service 'they' are talking about adding more posts. The Chief Officers can see this doesn't add up. They are just making sure no one tries to pass them the calculator.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lets start by getting rid of all those expat nurses, teachers, doctors. That will show them how smart we are!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cut the ex-pats who are using the government cars and gas to go do their personal business every evenings.  I am gravely offended by that. It is my tax money they using by driving all over the island before they get home by  going to supermarket, gym, hairdresser and doing all their personal business with our government vehicles.  

    • Anonymous says:

      cut the Caymainins two for the same abuses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes 20.32..but only the expats right? Its OK for the Caymanian ones to drive around all night, windows down, smoking…yeah thats fine. Just those damn pesky expat muskrats have to stop. No racism here boyo.

  8. 4Cayman says:

    If I was premier first I would stop all unnecessary travels despite a show of face is mandatory at these conferences. Then I would look at sourcing some of the external employment that are handed to companies such as the security companies. Pretty certain you can obtain cheaper rates. Then I would merge some of the chief officers roles. Cut double dipping of politicians. Sell some of the government assets such as the governor's house, pedro saint james and the new government building of course on a 99 year lease so that the land remain for caymanians, reduce the head count of politicians (do we really need a minister for every portfolio?).  Then look at cutting civil servants. If you cut CS, where are they going to go? Who will take them? If you cut some of the chief officers at least you know these guys are employable in the private work place.

    With the above action, I am certain this would get this country on some strong footing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Suggestions: bulk garbage collections & skip rental can be privatised (multiple companies competing) within 6 months; Grabber truck services for private hire should be stopped immediately as there is already 2 private companies offering this service; Radio Cayman should be put up for sale immediately as a Government radio station is no longer necessary and if no one (including the current management) wants to purchase the equipment & license then it should be closed; all landscape/park/cemetary/road side maintenance should be put out to tender as the multiple private companies can do thework more effeciently at less cost and be fired if they do not  Just a few quick suggestions that could be accomplished easily. I am sure that there are many others. Once the train starts to roll then everyone will get with the programme and really clamp down on waste otherwise they know they may be next.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought they were going to say-our final cost-saving measure is to cut the experts! Imagine how much could be saved if some of the consultancy contracts were terminated and Government decided to rely on the valuable expert advice that is an existing resource which already available and paid for – within the civil service!

    But of course this requires a change in thinking – to see the wealth of resources that’s already available! That would mean some of those individuals and companies that relied on the politicians reimbursing them for contributing to campaign finances would be disappointed and we all know that could not be allowed to happen!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is why DG Manderson gets paid the big buck$ to make those decisions as the head of the Civil Service. stop delegating the responsibility and do your job. start with non performing big earners like cfos who dont comply with pmfl and professional standards.

  12. JTB says:

    Two easy steps to cut CS costs (and incidentally help with employment)


    1. Enforce the retirement age

    2. Stop double dipping of pensions and salaries



    • Anonymous says:

      3. Apply roll over to the civil service expats.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get rid of the costly security gaurds and there should be enough money to spend elsewhere.  Who are we protecting? And Why?  Get with the flow, and reduce costs!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Experts!  Wasn't it the New Zealand experts that got you in this mess, why don't you bring them back to undo it.  Where are the success stories from privatization?  I wonder if the Monetary Authority continues to contribute to government revenue, or if the roads authority or any other is more cost effect now than before.

    • Anonymous says:

      No 9:31, nothing to do with New Zealand or any other country. The failure lies in our own "experts"-the FS and his mostly incompetent team in Finance who never wanted to change anything because it would expose how little work they do and how low is the level of some (not all) of the top peoples' skills-one in particular. This is very well known in the civil service and among the politicians but nothing can be said because we don't do firing of Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are some major issues at the senior management level in Finance, but there are also some very hard working and competent individuals there too, it is very unfair when people try to paint the Ministry with a broad brush because of the incompetence of a few.

        The FS may not be the rockstar leader many would prefer him to be, but at the end of the day, you won't find a more honest person and he gives 100%. His 100% may still fall short of some people's expectation, but the most you can ask from anyone is that they give their best. I honestly believe the FS does.

    • Anonymous says:

      These should receive no less than  the one at The Airports Authority "DENIED".  I believe if we took some time and listen to the Susie Orman Show we would learn a hell of alot on problem solving – Persons in these positions do not look out for Caymanians they bring their own to enjoy the fruits of our labour..

  14. Anonymous says:

    Please start cutting all the HR positions that ex-pats presently holds in the government and Statutory Bodies. Caymanians can do these jobs. In other words, all HR ex-pats that are on a CONTRACT must go.  Do not renew them. FINAL. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So, 09.31, you love expats, right? All HR roles must go to Caymanians whether they are capable of doing it nor not…great strategic thinking…have you ever run your own company? Did not think so..

      • Anonymous says:

        You can't blame 9:31 for foolishness, 11:00. Ezzard never ran a successful company (his pharmacy didn't last long) but it hasn't stopped him being an expert on expats, Caymanians and the labour market.

        • Anonymously says:

          Ezzard sold his Pharmacy and shares in the first medical tourism center in Cayman to go into politics (to be transparent – he should not have done it should have kept his business like so many others in Government).  Don't worry about Ezzard you can't and will never be half the man and business person that he is he did not have to go into government to make a living he had a life and made a good living before going into government.  Hater the man is a qualified Pharmacist and can work anywhere in the world. What are you qualified to do ?  May I suggest that you get a life, Ezzard has one, go, move on, get a life HATER. FYI the great one Ezzard also has a degree in HR do you have one?  If not as I suspect shut up and go get a life.


          • Anonymous says:

            So, 8:34, why was he let go by Deloitte? The rest of your post about Mr Miller's brilliance and his not needing politics as a source of income is just nonsense and most of us Caymanians know that.

    • Anonymously says:

      Let the HR positionsrevert back to the civil service commission board they did a better job and far more qualified Caymanians were employed in the CS.

      • Anonymous says:

        Every single part of this statement is totally wrong, 11:50, including the name of the so called "civil service commission board". And the fact-inconvenient as it may be to  someone like you who just wants to make a (wrong) point – there are far more Caymanians in the civil service now than in the days you refer to.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank God there is at least one poster on here who knows the truth about the civil service staffing situation. Thank you 6:17.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's always entertaining hearing people like you talk, qualifications, experience, proper work ethics (e.g. showing up to work on time and actually producing during working hours whiles still being friendly to customers), somehow all these things don’t matter, because I’m Caymanian and could "do it" somehow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Terminate those who were brought in through the back door and given high positions and high salaries because of religious connections.  Stop placing friends in positions that can be filled by caymanians.  Keep religious connection out of government employment.  After employment one was given a very high increase in salary when he threatened to leave.  Ask some of the staff in the departments and I an sure they can identify some of the cui-favored individuals.  Some heads of departments gave themselves large increases as well.

      The CivilService needs a thorough cleansing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Religious? You mean the Masons?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, I think the poster means the Seventh Day Adventists brought in by a very senior lady who is big in the SDA movement.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Right approach I feel, but soooo slooowwwwwwwww.