[Updated w/PLP comment] Insurance executive Brian Duperreault will head the new Spending and Government Efficiency [SAGE] Commission, Finance Minister Bob Richards announced this morning [Feb 28]. The other members of the Commission will be Kim White, Kenneth Dill, Peter Hardy, Kathy Duffey and Don MacKenzie.
Minister Richards said the Commission’s primary objective will be to “streamline Government processes, including Quangos, improve delivery of services and make Government more efficient, more cost-effective, more transparent and more user-friendly.”
“Commission members will be working with all stakeholders, including the general public, to formulate ideas and get suggestions on how best to manage, control and reduce Government spending over time contributing to a proactive deficit reduction plan.”
Minister Richards full statement follows below:
Thank you all for being here today.
On February 8th, during my post Throne Speech press conference, I announced that, in order to eliminate wasteful Government spending and reduce the public debt, Government will table legislation, in the upcoming budget session, to establish a Spending and Government Efficiency [SAGE] Commission.
This Commission’s primary objective, as you may recall, will be to streamline Government processes, including Quangos, improve delivery of services and make Government more efficient, more cost-effective, more transparent and more user-friendly.
Meanwhile Government must also do its part by setting clear policy priorities. Faced with this unprecedented fiscal challenge, tough decisions have to be taken to improve control over spending and to contain costs.
Commission members will be working with all stakeholders, including the general public, to formulate ideas and get suggestions on how best to manage, control and reduce Government spending over time contributing to a proactive deficit reduction plan.
The SAGE Commission will include a broad and diverse range of individuals and will commence its work as soon as is practicable following enactment of the required legislation, which could be as soon as next month, and will submit its recommendations and final report not later than six months after it commences work. The Commission will terminate its work upon submission of its final report.
Today I am pleased to stand before you to share the names of those individuals who will make up that Commission:
- Brian Duperreault (who will be Acting as Chairman of the Commission);
- Kim White;
- Kenneth Dill;
- Peter Hardy;
- Kathy Duffey;
- Don MacKenzie
So, as you can see, we have a strong team of individuals who I am confident will complete the arduous task ahead to the best of their abilities and for the betterment of Bermuda. Now, permit me if you will, to tell you a little bit about our Chairman.
A well-known individual in both the Bermuda and the international insurance sector, Mr. Brian Duperreault was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. from January 2008 until January 2013. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of ACE Limited from 1994 to 2004 and served its President from 1994 to 1999.
Having now retired for the second time I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to catch him between assignments. Prior to ACE Ltd. he held several senior positions with American International Group. Mr. Duperrault also served as the Chairman for The Centre of Philanthropy and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Bios) Inc.
I could continue with a long list of accolades but think it is suffice to say…we are in good hands!
As this Government begins its first term in office with the country’s finances in poor condition and with Bermuda finishing its fourth consecutive year of economic contraction, it is more important than ever to ensure that we call upon the proven expertise possessed by individuals such as those I have named here today, to guide us forward.
Update 9.22pm: Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt said, “As evidenced by the Hon. Finance Minister’s 2013-2014 Budget, there is no magic wand to wave to reduce spending.
“It seems likely that the SAGE Commission will find that there is very little to reduce in terms of expenditure without severely constraining services and productivity, however we will reserve formal judgment and await the results of the Commission in its attempt to significantly reduce Government expenditure”.
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