CS bosses urged to press on with ‘proper process’

| 24/09/2014

(CNS): The deputy governor is encouraging the civil service management to continue to follow the rules when it comes to procurement despite some criticisms in the local press. According to the latest minutes released by his office of an August meeting of public sector heads, Franz Manderson is urging his staff to press on with the major projects in accordance with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility and recommendations by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). Discussing the OAG’s reports on major projects and management problems, Manderson said mistakes had been made in the past but he believed lessons had been learned.

In the short account of the high level civil service meeting on 11 August Manderson said significant progress has been made on implementing the recommendations in Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick’s reports regarding procurement. The deputy governor and public sector boss said a major projects office was being established and confirmed that a director of procurement was being recruited and should be in office within the next few months, though he was not specific about the timeline.

Manderson had first announced plans for a procurement office over one year ago at a Public Accounts Committee hearing in September. He said at the time that the new government department would address issues relating to large public capital projects and procurement, develop new laws and establish business cases for public projects. Manderson said some $350,000 has been budgeted for the office.

During the meeting Manderson said that in the meantime major capital projects currently under consideration, such as the seaport, airport and landfill, are all being carried out in accordance with the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (an agreement signed with the UK and incorporated into local law) and the Auditor General's recommendations. Noting the criticism in the press about the process being followed with some of these projects, he told the bosses “not to be deterred and to continue to follow best practice”.

The DG said the auditor general had expressed a desire to audit the progress of these projects at an early stage and it was agreed that chief officers Jennifer Ahearn and Stran Bodden would meet with the Swarbrick the week after the meeting.

Referring to past mistakes on major capital projects, Manderson said he was of the view that lessons had been learned and that proper process was now being followed and would be followed going forward. This, he added, was in keeping with the vision of providing value for money in everything the government did.

See a copy of the minutes below.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Alice says:

    Excellent news. Keep up the great work.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you don't do your job, you should get fired.

    Don't create a new department and spent 350k to enforce people to do their job.


  3. Anonymous says:

    It is shameful that we pay all these people to have what seems to be less than meaningful meetings.  What happened to all the really important topics that require discussion?  Lots of big egos in that room.

  4. Uncivil Servant says:

    They wouldn’t know what proper process was if it grabbed them by the short and curlies.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Changing a culture takes time.


    Mr. Manderson is on the right track. Keep up the good work sir.

    • anonymous says:

      It is also like trying to herd cats. I really don't think that the ethics, propensity or capability is held in this region to make this happen.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you DG and Chief Officers. The public is seeing the positive changes as a results of your efforts.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The Auditor General's opinion are not always right either, because he advocated having the Boards more involved in some projects and we all saw what a mess they made of previous Port projects.  Best practice says that while Boards should set the direction, projects and contracts should never be handled by them, but rather by Civil Servants using the Central Tenders process.  That way, there is far less chance of corruption occurring.