Environment & Planning Allocated $27.44 Million

February 28, 2013

The Ministry of Environment and Planning — which compromises eight Departments with 321 employees — has been allocated $27.44 million for the upcoming fiscal year,  Minister of Environment and Planning Sylvan Richards said.

The Department of Parks will get $10.53 million, Conservation Services $4.85 million, Environmental Protection $4.07 million, the Department of Planning $3.78 million,  Land Surveys and Registration $1.75 million,  the Ministry Headquarters $1.11 million, Land Valuation $831,892 and Sustainable Development $500,482

The Minister said the Capital Budget has been enhanced, and the primary project for in the coming year will be the replacement of the roof at the Aquarium, with $2.2 million allocated for this purpose.

“One of the tough decisions that we had to make required us to eliminate the grant from the Department of Conservation Services to the Bermuda Zoological Society in support of the BZS’s very popular Education programmes,” said Minister Richards.

“We regret this sacrifice but under our current budget constraints, we do not have any other option. Similarly, our grants to the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences will remain at a level that barely allows us to maintain the Marine Environment Programme and the Air Quality programme that they manage on our behalf.”

Minister Richards’ full statement follows below:

Good Afternoon

The Ministry of Environment and Planning has been allocated twenty seven million, four hundred forty-six thousand, five hundred and eighty-six dollars ($27,446,586).

The Ministry is comprised of eight Departments, with three hundred and twenty-one (321) employees. The allocation by Department is as follows:

  • Department of Parks $10,536,611
  • Conservation Services $4,851,011
  • Environmental Protection $4,073,788
  • Department of Planning $3,781,698
  • Land Surveys and Registration $1,752,637
  • Ministry Headquarters $1,118,467
  • Land Valuation $831,892
  • Sustainable Development $500,482

The Departments of the Ministry are linked together by our Mission Statement, which reads

”We Lead Bermuda towards Sustainability by Protecting our Natural and Built Environment”

The biggest adjustments in our budget when compared to the current budget are seen in the Departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation Services.

In our efforts to consolidate the management of Agriculture in Bermuda, the Marketing Centre, along with its funding of approximately six hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($650,000) and revenue of four hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($420,000), has been moved from Conservation Services to Environmental Protection.

Now, the full responsibility falls under one Department, rather than two. This will result in clarity for stakeholders and efficiencies in management.

Ministry Headquarters also shows an increase, which is accounted for by the movement of two posts from the Department of Planning to Ministry Headquarters in order to create a centralized accounting and administration unit to serve the entire Ministry.

We have a number of small Departments, and in order to ensure the best use of our limited resources, we determined that it would be more efficient for us to consolidate these support services rather than duplicate the effort across small Departments. This will enable consistency in our financial management and will allow the technical officers to focus on the functions they do best.

Additionally, you will note that our Capital Budget has been enhanced. The primary project for us in the coming year will be the replacement of the roof at the Aquarium.

The main building at the complex is rather old, and it is important that we take steps now to secure the integrity of the roof before the problems we have detected worsen. We wish to ensure that the works do not severely impact the operation of Bermuda’s most visited attraction. Two million, two hundred thousand dollars has been allocated for this purpose.

We recognize the financial challenges facing Bermuda, and the Government in particular. In order to right the ship, tough decisions must be made. These decisions will not always be popular. But too much is at stake. Our Ministry, with an allocation smaller than many others, has done its part to reduce its expenditure.

One of the tough decisions that we had to make required us to eliminate the grant from the Department of Conservation Services to the Bermuda Zoological Society in support of the BZS’s very popular Education programmes.

We regret this sacrifice but under our current budget constraints, we do not have any other option. Similarly, our grants to the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences will remain at a level that barely allows us to maintain the Marine Environment Programme and the Air Quality programme that they manage on our behalf.

Essentially, the Departments of the Ministry will only provide the basic mandated services. For example, eighty-one percent of our allocation is dedicated to salaries and wages. That only leaves nineteen percent to pay rent, purchase paper, keep the lights on and other operational expenses.

As indicated by the Minister of Finance, the responsibility for addressing our fiscal situation is a shared one. We will take full responsibility for our part, while continuing to Lead Bermuda Towards Sustainability by Protecting our Natural and Built Environment.

Thank you.

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Comments (16)

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  1. BendEm Like Beckam says:

    Tough Times, tough cuts. Nobody will like but I believe most will understand why.

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    • Black Soil says:

      Sylvan won't play. He will protect the environment. He ain't der to pander to special interests. Thank God Bermuda voted for CHANGE.

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  2. Real talk says:

    Until our people are taken care of the birds, fish and trees need to have less! As much as I like them we have to tackle the economy, crime and violence on the island.

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  3. Great says:

    Really was it necessary to reduce children's programs at the Aquarium? There wasn't Anything else that could be cut? Really OBA? I'm finding it hard to stand up for you when my non-OBA supporting friends see this kind of stuff. You are making it hard for your supporters. I am with you with the work permit thing - I know Bermuda needs $$$ and The only people going to give it to us are foreigners. But educate the children people. That Is not an option.

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    • Loquatz says:

      Cuts gotta come somewhere. Thank the PLoP.

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    • keturah says:

      doesn't it say that funding from conservation services is being moved to the aquarium education program?

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  4. Watts Up says:

    Dear Bernews,

    Have they removed the Dept. of Energy from that Ministry? I haven't heard any announcement about its relocation to another one i.e. Public Works.

    Thanks

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    • Bernews says:

      Yes they have. The Department of Energy is now under the Ministry of Economic Development [Dr. Grant Gibbons]

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  5. Will says:

    its a shame when we spend more money on trying to eradicate drugs which is IMPOSSIBLE and we spend less on improving and maintaining our natural environment and beauty which is POSSIBLE

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  6. Verbal Kint says:

    Can some of the people marching on Parliament kindly ask the Government the status of the Spice Hill Development, and the status of Dodwell's 9 Beaches lease for me? These are two questions the electorate need answers to. Thanks.

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  7. reader says:

    How about you consolidate some of those departments and get rid of a few directors with their exorbitant salaries?

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  8. knowthyself says:

    Sustainable Development $500,482

    Oh okay..no surprise there.

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  9. oh my! says:

    ...eighty-one percent of our allocation is dedicated to salaries and wages...

    81%...how many people are on the payroll of this Ministry. Are we getting value for money? Time to get rid of the chaff.

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  10. idea says:

    they should legalize.
    1) Government can tax it which = more income.
    2) Less money put towards tackling marijuana related drug crimes.
    3) Less people in jail for marijuana related crimes. ($80,000 a year per prisoner)

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    • Will says:

      government is too stupid to ever realise this as an alternative source of income. the sin tax alone would be able to help education, healthcare and improve our environment. Even if we are allowed to grow our own it saves the environment from pollutants that guerilla growers introduce to the land. But of course a moral high horse is far more important than protecting what can be lost in a heart beat..shame really...weed never harmed anyone but loss of environment has a historical backlog of several thousands of years.

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  11. Pilot001 says:

    @reader: I agree!

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