Clock ticks on PS review

| 04/07/2014

(CNS): The deputy governor said he is expecting the final recommendations as well as the road map for implementation on government’s major public sector reform project before the end of this month. Ernst & Young (EY), the consultants who won the contract to examine which public authorities and services can be sold off, centralized, privatized, restructured or amalgamated to cut the massive $710M+ annual spending by government, are expected to provide the solutions to a modernised civil service in matter of weeks. The firm has been engaging in consultation with civil service bosses and private stakeholders for several weeks in order to offer solutions for cutting the size of the CIG.

“I am pleased that the project is progressing according to schedule and look forward to receiving the final report,” Franz Manderson said Friday but has given nothing away on the specifics of the review so far and those areas identified for sale.

There is considerable anticipation over exactly what government will sell off, what it will cut and what the consequences will be for the existing army of people who depend on government for work. The much talked about Public Services Rationalisation Project (PSRP) is expected to cut the operational costs but there are concerns that government cannot afford to lay off hundreds of workers without finding them new jobs as a result of the impact mass redundancies would have on what is already a very tight job market for local people.

So far, neither government nor EY have given any hints about what the major changes will be, though the premier had stated at a recent press briefing that changes would begin to be implemented even before EY completed its final report. But with just four weeks or less before the report is due, there have been no official announcements on what government will be tackling first. Premier Alden McLaughlin has said, however, that there are “no sacred cows” and his administration is willing to consider any possible suggestions that would improve efficiency and the government’s bottom line.

EY has been examining information from over 80 core-government entities, 25 statutory authorities, government companies, and numerous boards, committees and commissions.  Consultation has included Chief Officers, Heads of Departments and representatives of government as well as the Chamber of Commerce, the governor, Cabinet and elected officials, including opposition leaders. 

Keiran Hutchison, a Partner, with EY Cayman and a Restructuring Specialist who is part of the consultants team on the project, said, “I have been very pleased with the response in providing operational information, as well as the level of engagement by stakeholders as they share their professional insights and contribute to solutions for consideration with the EY assessment team."

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cut the total numbers and freeze pay.  If the civil servants do not like that then they can leave, which is a positive thing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Civil Servant I totally agree that there is a lot of money being paid out to people in "high positions".  But you have to remember, there are a lot of us Civil Servants (Caymanians – born and bred) who probably make less that $3,000 per month, would like to leave Gov't but – there's nothing in the private sector to go to.

       

      This mentality of Citizens vs. Civil Servants has got to stop.  Remember there are a lot of Civil Servants who are Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        So basically you are admitting that the civil service is an extension of social services?  Well it is more honest to reduce the civil service.  If the reduction in numbers increases those looking for work then this will have the ultimate effect of reducing the cost of living for all of us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a trip to the doctor for some people.

    You know what needs to be done, you then go to the doctor who tell you what you aready know, but will you do what is necessary, or find yet another doctor when the problem gets even worst.

    Government knows what needs to be done.  They have done their own internal reviews, but I suppose they might imact close colleagues, and perhaps their own job, so they out-source to get a "second opinon" at the costs of who ??. 

    It's quite simple, its just business as usual. Unless you get a foreign consultant, who spend the time to learn what your local experts already know, you are not prepared to do a damn thing about it.

    This is nothing but just another wast of money on an exercise which is totally un-necessary. We have all gotten so used to the "great white man from north" syndrome, that we even doubt ourseleves to follow our own recommendations unless its reviewed by an "expert."  Just get rid of all those senior chiefs and deputy chiefs and assistant to the chiefs and analysts to the deputy to the chiefs …. eveything wants to get paid to supervise somone or sign off on something.

    And I almost forget …. its not in the interest any of the above to do anything cause they would be complete failures in the private sector where they had to really work.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wasn't this topic already covered in the Miller-Shaw report? I guess the government needed a fresh report before doing nothing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank God we finally have an Administration that have the balls to save these Islands from going under.

    Thank you Alden and your crew.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets start with the present government why on earth do we need over a dozen people running the country and paying them GREAT Salaries????? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention the way over 65 year oldexpats that are allowed to remain while Caymanians are booted out at 60!  Shame on those who allow this!

        • Anonymous says:

          If the expats were not performing very highly they would not be employed. Maybe there is a reason the Caymanians are not employed after 60. I can suggest two reasons: Government is relieved to see them retire at last. And the Caymanians often have excellent pensions to support them in their retirement so they are happy to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are over optimistic!

      this survey is really only to show they thought about it. If the problem is to be solved there has to be an admission that many or even most of the jobs are unnecessary, the service is grossly overmanned, management is non existent, and appointments are largely to friends. Actually, the employment of many is to fund the unemployable.

      so, honesty would require such cuts as to require the payment of subsistence benefits and that in turn requires taxation. That's too much realism all at once so it ain't going to happen!

    • And Another Zing says:

      I want you all to look carefully at who is doing all the consulting , open ona eyes and ona will see the depths of the sea that ona have to be swimming through.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree it is good they have the balls to try fix the mess they started in the first place. PSML, Finance law and other policies. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK are demanding this action not the elected government so they being instructed to get it done don't be fooled by the rhetoric.

    • Anonatymous says:

      The big waste is not on current workers, but on the overinflated self-imposed Pensions+salaries (eg. after life pension just 4 years on Cabinet or as Speaker) and double dipping.
      Why are the MLAs salaries+benefits not being scrutinised separately, instead of just looking at CIG operations alone?

      Not to mention the manybroken contracts and lawsuits; and the ‘required leave” exec payoffs for doing nothing at home.
      Tom Jones, Dr Horter-Hurlston Construction, etc etc

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought that MLAs and Speakers had to complete two terms in office to qualify for a pension. Can anyone clarify this? Two terms is meagre enough but to give pensions to people based on one term's work is plain ridiculous.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think it's One term for Cabinet members & Speaker, based on what I heard in the LA debate last week; and 6 years for other MLAS…

          Perhaps somone else can confirm…

          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks. I hope you are wrong. To pay the Speaker a full pension on that huge salary for four years work would be utterly obscene. And we worry about the sustainability of the pension scheme for civil servants and parliamentarians??! Madness.

            • Anonymous says:

              And the interesting part is that the regular civil servant works 30-40 years to get a full salary and their pension is significantly lower unless you retire near the top.

              And yet ther has been a push for more politician Their saaries start at around 10K per month when their is a push to cut the CS thats three staff members yuo could pay from one politicians salary.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes – it's for real!

    • Anonymous says:

      Balls to save these islands from going under? You must mean turn a blind eye to all the slackness and corruption. Different Government but to a certain degree same crap.  

      As the great MLK said, "there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it  because conscience tells him its is right".

      Majority of our politicians need to start practicing this and we would be much better of as a result.

       

  5. anonymous says:

    Why not cut the salaries making over $6000 per month. We got people making ridiculous amounts of money working in Gov't with outside businesses. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cut all the salaries by 10% and cut total numbers by 10%.  Saves 19% of costs with no real downside.

      • Slowpoke says:

        Taking 10% of disposable money out of the economy and adding hundreds to the DCFS beneficiaries list, has " no real downside"?  Study economics much?

        • Diogenes says:

          You accuse the poster of being simplistic, but your comment is equally superficial.  The consequences for the economy of a pay cut would depend on a wide variety of factors, such as the alernative use of the monies saved.  For example if CIG cut the CS wage bill by $50 million, but then spend 100% of that money in the the local economy, that would inflate the economy rather than reducing it (as you can assume at least some of the wages avoided would have gone either on savings or on expenditure overseas).   As for the redundancies point, you are assuming that these civil servants are un-employable.  To the extent they are employed by the private sector, first there would be no reduction in the money going into the local economy, and second there would be no burden on DCFS.  This idea that the government must spend money to create jobs, irrespective of whether they are productive or not or add value other than stopping someone from either being employed or having to find a job on their own merits, , just to inflate the economy, first fails to recognise the obligation to ensure that the taxpayers – you and me- get some value from their hard earneddollars, and second is grossly inefficient way of both ensuring there is a social safety net and of boosting economic activity.  If you follow your logic we should simply give every civil servant $30,000 in vouchers that can only be spent in Cayman stores and leave it up to them whether to come into work.  It would get 100% of the cash spent locally and no one would have to ask DCFS for a bean. 

    • Anonymous says:

      These PS workers that own private companies should be the first to go.

      They are double dipping into the country's economy, while some of us have to shut down our businesses.

  6. Anonymous says:

    "…there are “no sacred cows”…"

     

    Hmmmm, I wonder if I should believe this statement.

    • Anonymousand says:

      Yet, the top ‘executives’ Are indeed sacred!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden might be correct about "no sacred cows".

       

      The "sacred pigs at the trough" are the ones we need to worry about.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know of at least one "sacred cow"……..Alden's pay and pension packet.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that a EY Cayman partner currently has a 19.5 million dollar  house for sale in Crystal Harbour?   I have no problem with someone having a house like that, but is this the firm thatis best connected to the people to make recommendations  on putting people into unemployment?  Hopefully EY is not charging full rates on this project and is at least contributing to society without profiting.   Although I'm sure the CUC bill on a 25 thousand square foot house is quite a bit, so maybe EY partners need some extra cash.   Kidding.  

    My point is that the human cost needs to be factored into this, and realize that a full force axe might make the numbers look good, but it will out people on the street with little safety net.  EY, be thoughtful please.   

    • Anonymous says:

      19million! Hello 

    • Anonymous says:

      They are a business not a charity it would be free if the cig had smart enough people to make these choices themselves beside they still won’t implement what the recommended just like the Miller Shaw report this is all smoke and mirrors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully EY is not charging full rates on this project – I would be astonished if EY were gettting even 10% of their normal rates for this.  And they are flying in experts on government finance from overseas.  Once you factor in expenses and the overseas experts fees EY's own time is probably going in at zero.  We should be saying thank you, not bitching about the size of the guy's house.  Hey, if you had to pick someone to advise you on how to better manage your finances, who would you pick – the guy who has made millions running a financial services and advisory business, or the guy without 2 pennies to rub together – because he can empathise with the poor.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    No real gains will be made because as always rhe political will is not there. Obvious targets for getting rid of/selling would be Parks and Cemetries, Radio Cayman, GIS, Hazard Management, Weather Office, Petroleum Inspectorate, Protocol Office, DVES. But it will NOT happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      And Caribbean Haven. 4 patients max and how many staff? 17 is it?

    • And Another Zing says:

      Hmmm sounds like inside info, let off  nah!

    • Anonymous says:



      Easy to say get rid of but who will provide these services?

      Are you expecting te US/Jamaica to provid disaster manageent and weather?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good to hear of progress – but why has the civil service association not been involved as a key partner and link to all workers?

    If they have indeed been involved, they've also very quiet (as usual) about it.

    • Bling Man says:

      It because they are sacred cows too.

    • Anonymous says:

      For the sake of progress two things are needed.  One the association is kept out of the whole thing.  Two whatever is recommend is something which the association disapproves.  The association has been an impediment to necessary change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Given that the CSA is essentially unwilling to negotiate any cuts whatsoever, often to the detriment of the Civil Service in the long run, I am very thankful that it seems they were largely uninvolved with this process. It's one thing to look out for the overall interests of the organization, it's quite another to be obstinate for the sake of obstinancy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because then the review would take ten years and not ten weeks, and would no longer be impartial.

    • Anonatymous says:

      What do you expect when the head of CSA (and several CSA Exec members) is a retiree back on contract?
      He will not mess up anything by rocking the boat.
      Just the usual meaningless chatter to try to show like they really represent members.
      Every CSA president over the years has toed the govt line – and have then gotten big promotions as a result.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you serious, 13:28, when you say the Head of the Civil Service Association has been hired back on contract? Mother of God!

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      Because no Civil Servant in their right mind (and there are only a few) would sign themselves up to be a part of that waste of space organisation.