EY gets $155K to review PS

| 26/04/2014

(CNS): Government is about to spend over $155,000 dollars on another review of the public sector to see what services could be sold off, delivered in partnership with the private sector or streamlined to be more efficient and to review the reviews. In a statement released on Friday by the Portfolio of the Civil Service, officials announced that Ernst & Young had been selected following a competitive tender to carry out the latest assessment in what was described as phase five of the rationalization programme regarding the goal to slim down government and the civil service in general.

With over 80 core-government entities and 25 statutory authorities and government companies, as well as numerous boards, committees and commissions, portfolio officials acknowledged the growth of government, which, it said, was due in part to the fact that historically it had to provide most public services as there was no alternative because Cayman did not have a mature private sector. 

However, with more than 3,000 people working in public authorities, a budget of over half a billion dollars a year, burgeoning public sector debt, and a tax burden that the sluggish economy is struggling to carry, the pressure to slim down has increased significantly over the last five years or more but expectations among the public and the regulatory requirements of the private sector make cuts easier said than done.

“The Cayman Islands economy has grown considerably and the government seeks to evaluate opportunities to engage the private sector where this would result in improved service delivery and greater efficiency,” officials stated in a release from the portfolio on Friday evening.

In what will be another one of countless reviews and reports about government efficiency, or lack thereof, costs, duplication and what needs to change, Ernst & Young will receive a fee of CI$155,000.00 plus undisclosed expenses. The firm will undertake what was described as a “strategic overview of the public service and identify those functions that would better be carried out with private sector involvement,” officials stated.

The management consultant will also assess those recommendations which have not yet been implemented arising from prior internal and external reports – of which there are many. EY will also review the number of bespoke government entities to identify ways to streamline government’s structure and what could be realistically sold off where a fair market exists. The review also requires the consultants to develop a roadmap for execution.

Officials did not specify how long the process would take but stated that it would include stakeholder consultation and that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is assisting by providing strategic advice.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Read the fees:
    “Ernst & Young will receive a fee of CI$155,000.00 PLUS undisclosed expenses ”
    How far to 1million can we go?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The main philosophical issue that we need to get around is the notion that govt services somehow all constitute valuable assets that can be sold. Govt has properties that can be sold. But non-performing and non-essential services just need to be shut down. Boatswains Beach is the worst example. The property has potential value but the operation itself is just a huge drain on public funds. So the property should be sold, with the price taking into account that whoever buys it will not be interested in paying any premium for the worthless “business” that is currently operating from it.

    But streamlining of government operations is all wishful thinking. Govt is to a large extent a “make jobs” program and the employees constitute the largest voting block. So no politician is ever going to risk sacrificing his future by cutting jobs because that means losing votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      …i will offer another vote for Pedro Castle….sell that off to the highest bidder….A beautiful place to build a high end boutique hotel staffed by all da unemployed we have runin around…that gonna save some money and help da bottom line.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is my humble opinion that places like Pedro can draw great revenue to government, entities such as the QEIIBP, Hell, and Pedro are all natural money making business. The problem lies on the management; it is all a political affair, clean up these offices and hire capable, young and ambitious people to run these places.

        EY needs to take a look at the alarming decline of revenue since management was change in these authorities, and recomend retirement to those who are just warming the seats and collecting the top dollars while the country going to hell in a hand basket!

        Selling may be an option, once these places become "private entities" there a little or nothing that we can do to preserve history.

  3. MEM says:

    So when this report is all finished and we know who and who government wants to toss out, where are they going to find the private investors stupid enough to take on Government's debt causing departments/divisions…..????

  4. MEM says:

    Would it not be easier for Government to use common-sense and determine what Government entities it DOES need to keep, obviously they have alot of baggage authorities that are very unnecessary, Government must obviously maintain control of the Fire Service, Health Service, General Registry Service, Police Service, Immigraton, Customs, Passports, T & BLicensing (minus the useless "small business advisors", whatever portion of Monetary Authority they hold and other areas similar, did we really have to spend this blinking moneyagain to be told something that people INSIDE government are suppose to have a better understanding of!? Grrrrr!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “There will be no sacred cows” However Cayman Airways is ofthe Table. Sounds like another contradiction to me. Just like the Miller Shaw report Ernst & Young will make a ton of money telling the CIG what needs to be done, but the question is will they actually do it. Check back after they’re done and see what CI155K actually means. Probably more like 1.5 Million.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No sacred cows, eh? Except for CAL 😀

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new. Tendering? Cronyism?

  8. Anonymous says:

    E&Y has been trying to convince the government to do this for a while. Hope something good comes from this exercise.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No one, including the Government likes to spend money unnecessarily. We must ask ourselves why has so little happened as a result of the inhouse reviews? Do you think it is because the persons conducting the reviews do not really want to be the ones responsible for cutting their collegues? Ask yourself, would you lke to decide which entire department is outsourced from where you work? Even private companies bring in "consultants" to do this.

    If action is finally taken then this will be money well spent. Only if no action results can we say that money has been wasted.

    Maybe we should be offering suggestions instead. I'll start with the Parks & Cemetaries Maintenance division. Contract out this work.

    • Dodger says:

      But we bought the Parks Dept all those Ram pickups with fancy brackets for holding rakes and shovels. At least let them have a couple more years to destroy them by driving up and down doing not much else.

  10. Anonymous says:

    For 155 dollars i can say close the turtle farm and sell Cayman Airways. In fact I will say it for free!


  11. Dawdlin says:

    The purpose of these studies is not to obtain expert analysis or to waste money (although both often accrue inevitably) but rather to delay. In government delay is everything (except when it comes to wasting money in which case delay is usually put aside for later).

  12. Anonymous says:

    Where was the tender?  Where was the transparency?  Why as the Regressives doing what they criticized Mac for?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I'd be amazed if they can do it for that price – honestly sounds very cheap.   Even understanding all the different components in place, discussing with the stakeholders, and actually doing the analysis *should* take quite some time.  I'm guessing $155k means somewhere in the 700-1000 hours range of actual effort.  Either they have a very specific scope (looking at a sample of the more important entities based on certain criteria), or the analysis is necessarily going to have to be very high level.   Unless of course they are doing it as an investment so they are placed to help sell off all these assets and try and re-engineer departments



  14. Uncivil Servant says:

    For 77.5k I'd be more than happy to write them a 350 page report that concludes that they are a waste of time and space. 

  15. Young Man says:

    An expensive study and report is needed for everything in government it seems. By the time implementation rolls around it's election season, everybody get busy campaigning, new government comes in and all the recommendations get shelved. The only one who wins is the firm that got paid to do the report. 

    And you can expect this cycle to continue. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    first the bloggers criticized the civil servants for conducting the first set of review themselves. Now when they go out and get help which is a really good deal the bloggers flog the service again. Everyone here they know the not one has given a list. ZZzzzzzzzzzz

    • And Another Ting says:

      progressives Legacy, the Government that spends and spends and gets their butt kicked out after 4 years, and leaves things unfinished. Less ona forget. Maybe sooner this time.And Another Ting.

  17. Anonymous says:

    What should have been done years ago is a work study of all civil servants i.e. an independent team would visit every department and log what each employee does during his working day. This will reveal not only those who do not have enough to do, but also those who are overworked (Yes there are some, generally those who interface directly with the public). Then an analysis is done to see how the various tasks can be performed more efficiently and with fewer people. A study some years ago compared the public sectors of a large number of smaller scale territories and guess who came out on top with the highest number of civil servants per capita (and by a large margin)!.    

    • Cayman Sheen says:

      Duh! Winning!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup no surprises there.

      Coming to the present situation I think we should save $ and just spend some on some high spec cameras recordingthe goings on of every part of every gov building and office and vehicles and let the facts speak for themselves. A bonus with this approach is the gov workers get protection from it too.

  18. Anonymous says:

    you all voted them in. "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

  19. Anonymous says:

    How about we reinstate garbage fees and attach them to utility bills?

    How about we secure all debts to Government by way of a charge on land, with interest?

    How about we enforce the pensions and health insurance laws so that Government does not have to pay so much itself?

    How about we deport all PR holders who lied about their means on their applications and are now a drain on our society?

    How about we stop giving free education to hundreds of children who have no immigration permissionto be here?

    Over to you E & Y. They won’t listen. They never do.

    • Young Man says:

      Speaking of garbage fees, in 2007 they sent me a bill for $1400. I paid it. 4 years later then sent me the exact same bill. If people ignored their garbage fees, it's probably for a good reason. That department didn't know what they were doing, which made it very hard for anyone to take them seriously.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      How about… I like your ideas. tie garbage and other overdue fees to utility bills, (sorry locals won't care if you put fees on land- they will sell it for $1 love & affection)

      but agree if can't support yourself you should lose your PR – all sound and rational actions.  

      Accountability is what we need and value for our dollar. The era of good governance needs to be more than lip service 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh boy! EY must be laughing all the way to the bank.  How many reports will it take?


    • And Another Ting says:

      I wonder who else was asked to bid, and what was their bid price, isn't that supposed to be revealed under tranaanmanship.

    • Anonymous says:

      You've got to be kidding.  $155,000 is nothing to an audit firm.  It's two junior accountants' salaries.  It's also nothing to a government that spends 600 million year in year out.

      This is money well spent and the sum is not bad value, trust me.  It only needs to save 20 grand a year over 8 years to pay for itself.

  21. Anonymous says:

    waste of more money!

  22. Anonymous says:

    i can't believe we're paying another audit firm to tell us what we already know. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    Corporate Elite working with PPM. Government know what needs to be done

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is excellent news. $155k seems like excellent value for money. If only one Government agency is privatised the report will have paid for itself 100 times over. E&Y has an excellent reputation and will do a great job.

    The Premier has said more than once that this is the way to really reduce The cost of Government and that there are no sacred cows.

    Let’s see if he gets the support from his elected colleagues to make the difficult decisions.

    More great news!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I t'inks we needs an expert!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Really, there is no one in the Civil Service that could come together as a team and do this review?  That's one saving straight away.  It's not rocket science, how many Chief Officers / Deputies are there.   Speed a few of them up to start with!

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      Correct. Anyone with any common sense has long since left the Civil Service. Only the scraps are left. Private sector positions are now available for the remaining semi-competent.

    • Anonymous says:

      The answer to that is simple: no.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you serious???  This has been done numerous times and nothing has ever happened.  Best let the private sector in.  That way it will actually get done.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be a conflict of interests.  Civil servants are biased in one way or another.

  27. B. N. Onneste says:

    $155,000 to tell the government which services should be privatised? I wonderif they will have 155 people working to make a decision @ $1000 each or some wizard who just says, "Sure.  Just privatize this and this and that, etc.".  Really, folks,,,, I can tell you which ones to privatize for much less than that.  In fact, isn't that what our glorious leaders are up there for?  If they can see all the waste why can't they do something about it?  It's not rocket science.  For starters I'd privatise the turtle farm by making them self-supporting.  If the people operating it can't make it profitable, GET SOME WHO CAN.  The same goes for all the others under consideration for privatising.  If our leaders can't make decisions, why are they our leaders? 

    • Anonymous says:

      "It's not rocket science."


      Rocket science is not the problem, it's those damn "sacred cows".

  28. Count d'Money says:

    “…phase five of the rationalization programme…..”

    Even the most addicted crackhead up at Northward could achieve full and lasting sobriety in less steps than it will take the Cayman Islands government to reach its goal of fiscal responsibility.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The first to go must be…
    All those CIGovt HR experts, and CO+DCOs who couldn’t or wouldn’t do this exercise on their own!

  30. Anonymous says:

    More waste of the public's money. Review after review, when will the madness stop. Over 155K plus undisclosed expenses. The accounting firm is having a field day. How do you justify this type of waste? 

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t a C4C member somehow linked to E&Y?

  32. And Another Ting says:

    No can't believe it, no man, another pay out no man. Are we being told that there is no expertise within the Service to do these things. Bullocks man stop spending our money so man, you should have technocrats by who can do this,.CNS the tender documents, and bids need to be revealed. What a Ting, the Government of blowing out in the wind.

    CNS: The tender is supposed to be listed here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turkies never vote for Christmas. And who wants loss making turkies; and profitable turkeis will never be sold. Result. Nothing will happen.