Premier Cannonier On Cabinet Office Expenses

March 7, 2013

The Cabinet Office Group’s overall summary budget in 2013-2014 is $16.8 million, a reduction of about 3% year-over-year, Premier Cannonier said yesterday [Mar 6] in the House of Assembly.

The Cabinet Office provides policy advice and other support services to the Premier, the Cabinet, and the Civil Service, and  is also responsible for the administration and management of the London and Washington D.C. offices. The other service Departments in the Cabinet Office group are the Department of Statistics, the Department of Human Resources, and the Department of Communication and Information.

Some of the expenses and subjects covered by the Premier are listed below:

  • The full-time staffing, including posts in the London and Washington offices, is 44.
  • The budget for General Services in 2013/14 is $5.4 million
  • The allocation for professional development & travel is $255,000, an increase of $55,000
  • The Budget for the Central Policy Unit is $817,000 in 2013/14, up by $30,000 or 4%
  • There is a budget provision of $335,000 for PATI in 2013/14
  • $1.1 million has been allocated to the London Office for 2013/14
  • The largest cost for the London Office is rent at $585,000, salaries are just under $400,000
  • The Washington DC Office will receive $474,000 a decrease of $24,000 or 5%
  • The Seniors’ Tea attracts about 1,800 senior citizens and can cost nearly $100,000 to host.

Premier Cannonier’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Chairman, the summary budget information for the Cabinet Office departments is shown on page B-29 of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Year 2013-2014.

Mr. Chairman, the Cabinet Office provides policy advice and other support services to the Premier, the Cabinet, and the Civil Service. It coordinates initiatives on cross-cutting issues and discharges the role of corporate headquarters for the Civil Service Executive in providing advice and guidance for other government departments.

The Cabinet Office is also responsible for the administration and management of the London and Washington D.C. Offices.

The other service Departments in the Cabinet Office group are–

  • The Department of Statistics
  • The Department of Human Resources, and
  • The Department of Communication and Information

The Cabinet Office Group’s overall summary budget in 2013-2014 is $16.8 million. This reflects a reduction of about 3 per cent year-over-year and is in line with the target reduction set by the Ministry of Finance for 2013-2014.

The full-time staffing establishment, including posts in the London and Washington, DC offices, is 44.

Mr. Chairman, the two major programme areas for the Cabinet Office shown on page B-30 are:

  • General (Services), and
  • Economic Policy and Foreign Affairs.

General (Services) – Programme cost centre 0901- includes General Administration, or Head Office, with a budget of $2.6 million and 5 other cost centres within the Cabinet Office. These are:

  • Professional development and travel with a budget of $255 thousand;
  • Protocol and Hospitality with a budget of $625 thousand;
  • Central Policy Unit with a budget of $817 thousand;
  • Public Access to Information with a budget of $335 thousand; and,
  • Management Services with a budget of $736 thousand.

The 2013-2014 allocation for General Administration covers the cost of advisory, administrative, and other support services to the Office of the Premier; arranging Cabinet meetings; appeals to the Cabinet; liaison with Government House on treaties, international conventions, deportations and high-level visits; oversight of performance across all Ministries and Departments; publication of Government Notices and statutory instruments; and conduct of Civil Service disciplinary matters.

The budget for General Services in 2013-2014 is $5.4 million which reflects a decrease of $276 thousand or a reduction of some 5 per cent compared to 2012-2013.

Looking further at some of the detail shown on page B-30, the allocation for professional development and travel is $255 thousand in 2013-2014 or an increase of $55 thousand. This provision covers the costs of overseas training including travel and associated costs for attendance at conferences and meetings outside of Bermuda. It also resets the expenditure level closer to the revised estimate of $241 thousand 2012-2013.

The travel in 2012-2013 included costs related to attendance at the annual meeting of the Risk Insurers Management Society (RIMS) in Vancouver, British Columbia (May 2012), Business Bermuda Investor Briefing in London (April 2012), the inaugural C-3 Summit Meeting in New York City (September 2012), the trade and commercial outreach visit to Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi (October 2012), the Joint Ministerial Conference meeting (London 2012), investor meeting in New York (January 2013), US Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC (January 2013), and meetings with the UK Overseas Territories Minister in London (February 2013).

A similar schedule of official business visits is anticipated for the fiscal year 2013-2014.

The ‘Protocol and Hospitality’ cost centre covers the cost of sponsoring official events one of the largest of which is the annual Seniors’ Tea which has exceeded $100 thousand in recent years. The operational costs of Camden, the Premier’s official residence is included here as well. The allocation in 2013-2014 is increased by $63 thousand or is up by 11 per cent.

The Protocol and Hospitality team plays a leading role in arranging ceremonial functions including the presentation of the Throne Speech, the Remembrance Day ceremony, official dinners and receptions at Camden and facilitating VIP delegations and visitors on arrival and departure at the LF Wade International Airport.

The Budget for the Central Policy Unit is $817 thousand in 2013-2014, up by $30 thousand or an increase of 4 per cent.

Mr. Chairman, the Central Policy Unit, also known as the CPU, provides integral support to the Cabinet Office.

The work of the CPU is designed to reflect best practice in policy development and delivery by ensuring that proposed policies are sound, inclusive and strategic. These practices, Mr. Chairman, feature as hallmarks of good governance.

Mr. Chairman, The CPU’s mandate is to:

  • Improve the co-ordination of policy across Ministries to deliver the Government’s platform objectives more effectively;
  • Assist Ministries to gain a long-term, strategic view of challenges in their policy areas;
  • Identify key cross-cutting policy challenges for Bermuda and ensure that these are addressed;
  • Draw on international best practice in policy co-ordination and strategic planning; and
  • Encourage innovation and creativity.

Mr. Chairman, the CPU is currently manned by two policy analysts whose main functions continue to be to develop and co-ordinate Government policy. Ms. Marisa Sharpe has been a Policy Analyst at the CPU for more than 7 years. Mrs. Alberta Dyer Tucker, who is also a Policy Analyst, has been seconded to the CPU from the Ministry of Education. Through secondments of this nature, the Government is able to both offer a cost–effective form of professional development and to extend the CPU’s reach from the Cabinet Office to Government Ministries.

In this current year, 2012-2013, the CPU has had a hand in the following projects or initiatives:

  • Absence management policy (Department of Human Resources or DHR)
  • Drug testing policy for public servants (DHR)
  • Election Guidance for Civil Servants
  • Research into, and development of the Referendum Act ( Parliamentary Registrar)
  • Briefing notes for the UK Joint Ministerial Council (gangs and illegal activities)
  • Collation of information for the United Nations Article 73a – UN Special Committee on Decolonization
  • Orientation packages for new Ministers of Government
  • advice on at least 50 Cabinet memoranda before submission
  • reviews of more than 200 Cabinet Memorandum before consideration by the Cabinet
  • meetings and consultation re: any of the above
  • Review of Dumpster truck legislation
  • A Day of Giving (community service for the Cabinet Office staff)
  • Feral Chicken proposal x2

Mr. Chairman, the CPU also manages the Cabinet Office Internship programme which is now in its fifth year of operation.

In each year, the Cabinet Office Internship Programme provides a limited number of recent university graduates with full-time employment for a one year period, giving them direct exposure to the workings of the Cabinet Office, the Government of Bermuda and the Civil Service.

Four new Interns started the programme in October 2012 and, after undergoing a structured three month orientation at the CPU, are now involved in their first placements in other areas of Government:

Ms. Aliyyah Ahad is working with the Human Rights Commission;

Mr. Zayne Bean is in the Ministry of Public Safety;

Ms. Caitlin Gordon is with the Sustainable Development Department; and,

Mr. Kijaun Wilkinson is with the Bermuda Business Development Corporation.

Mr. Chairman, each deployment lasts an average of 3 months. Based on past experience with the programme, we have no doubt that the exposure gained by the Interns and the skill-sets which they develop place them in good stead for the future.

Mr. Chairman, I think it would be enlightening for Honourable Members to hear excerpts of the views of these interns who reflected on their three-month orientation module that was completed in December 2012.

First Intern: “I walked into the Central Policy Unit with few expectations. What I subsequently discovered was a hub of expertise and research with its finger on the pulse of Government…. Much of our time at CPU was spent learning hard truths. At times these were very disempowering…… Nevertheless, we discovered that even in the face of sceptics one must still do their job to the best of their ability. One thing my experience at CPU has taught me is that I always want to be one of the people that tries.”

Second Intern: “Given my time at Central Policy Unit it has been a valuable experience in working with great like- minded interns and being advised by very insightful and critical thinkers. ….. We had the opportunity to sit and meet with “higher ups” within Government, ranging from Ministers to Permanent Secretaries and even the Speaker of the House. It was enjoyable to pick their brains, especially the brains of Ministers who are charged with the component of political party mandates and having those mandates being transferred into legislative and civil reality through policy and law.”

Third Intern: “Upon request for a reflective statement about my experience as a Cabinet Office intern thus far, I realized that the opportunity has exceeded my expectations. I have been pushed to excel through working on challenging projects as well as to grow as an individual by networking, interacting with my fellow interns and recognizing the areas in which I need to improve myself. I have come to the realization that although I studied politics in college, I was naïve to many of the important issues plaguing Bermuda’s sustainability. In the last two and a half months, I have learned more about Bermuda’s issues, and the work being done to solve them, than I have known in my twenty-two years of being a Bermudian.”

Fourth Intern: “From a professional standpoint, my term at CPU has assisted in my growth tremendously. I believe that my analytical skills improved a considerable amount. This is primarily due to the discussions that we had on political platforms. I then developed the ability to attack all problems from multiple angles whilst keeping in mind the overall effect an initiative may have socially, financially, and environmentally. Working at CPU I have been able to improve upon two weaknesses of mine. The first is my public speaking and presentation skills. We had to work on a handful of projects in the two and-a-half month programme. This has given me the opportunity to frequently present on researched topics and improve my ability to communicate findings and ideas.”

Mr. Chairman, the Cabinet Office is helping Bermuda’s young graduates to gain valuable work experience and develop skills and positive attributes that will stay with them for life.

Mr. Chairman, I turn now to PATI, or Public Access to Information, which has been delayed in order to review certain provisions of the statute for amendment prior to bringing it into force, and also to complete a few important preparatory steps.

There is a budget provision of $335 thousand for PATI in 2013-2014.

Mr. Chairman, Information Statements – one of the PATI requirements for public authorities – have been completed for 90 per cent of government departments. These statements provide a ‘window’ to those wanting access to information held by a public authority. The information statement identifies the types of documents held by that public authority, what that public authority does, and how a person can access the information they require.

The outstanding preparatory issues remaining for PATI are as follows:

Recruitment of permanent PATI staff
Promulgation of PATI Regulations
Amendments to the PATI Act

PATI regulations are in the process of being drafted and there are a few amendments required to existing provisions in order to provide protection against liability for statutory boards.

Recruitment of PATI staff will commence in the new fiscal year.

A commencement date for PATI will be determined after the amendments and regulations have been approved by the Legislature.

Mr. Chairman, the final cost centre in the general services area is the Management Services section. MSC has been allocated $736 thousand in 2013-2014 which represents a decrease of $22 thousand or a fall of 3 percent.

There are seven posts in the section, but three are vacant. It is anticipated that two of the three vacant posts will be filled in fiscal year 2013– 2014.

Management Services provides a powerful tool and resource for central control, facilitation and monitoring. It was brought into the Cabinet Office to concentrate on more strategic organisational development interventions which are mandated, and not voluntary on the part of line Ministries and Departments.

Internal consultancy departments are common in most modern administrations; they are a key part of an organisation’s capacity for self-improvement.

The Management Services Section’s mission is “to proactively provide objective management consulting services that contribute to enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of the Public Service and their ability to deliver public value”.

Mr. Chairman, the Management Services section consists of internal management consultants who, by conducting various types of projects (strategic, feasibility, operational, organization and staffing reviews to name a few) and undertaking evaluations of job descriptions, provide value-added advice across the Government of Bermuda.

Mr. Chairman, during 2012-2013 Management Services assisted ministries and departments with delivering better public service. Some of the projects completed by the Section included:

  • Providing facilitation and process guidance to the Senior Management of the Bermuda Post Office by assisting them with developing and implementing a more efficient, sustainable business model that will reduce cost, introduce alternative revenue streams and align the organizational structure with the changing trends of customer utilization and sustainable service levels;
  • Conducting and organization and staffing review of the Ministry of Health Headquarters. This comprised an examination of the overall management and macro-organisational structure of the Department of Health, and in particular the scope, role, functions and responsibility of the Chief Medical Officer, and the Department’s optimal positioning within the Bermuda health system;
  • Amalgamation of the Survey Section and Land Registry Section to form the Department of Land, Surveys and Registration resulting in streamlining of the Civil Service, providing a needs-driven focus service for public delivery and the alignment of resources dealing with similar issues.
  • Conducting an organization and staffing review of the Department of Labour and Training. Taking into consideration the increased demands resulting from the changing social and economic climate, the objective of the review was to recommend a structure that supports workforce development on the Island;
  • Providing the Corrections Department with advice and contract management of the “2012 Review of the Department of Corrections which was conducted by the Wheatley and Roy Associates Limited in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Chairman in continuing its focus on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Bermuda Government Management Service’s work plan for 2013-2014 includes:

  • Providing assistance to the Department of Corrections in a review of its Mission and Strategic Plan. MS will also help the Department implement the necessary organizational changes to improve its operations.
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of the Ministry and Department of Education that will enable the Ministry HQ and Department to perform their work in a manner that provides benefit to citizens and educators and ensures good governance, value for money, efficient and effective use of resources, and proper accountability.
  • Conducting a review of the structure and operations of the Departments of Energy (Head 89), Telecommunications (Head 46) and E-Commerce (Head 67) that will assess the feasibility of amalgamating these three (3) departments, and recommend an organizational structure supportive of the new functionality of the amalgamated operations.
  • Performing an organization and staffing review of the Department of Social Insurance to support the improvement of the debt collection function.
  • Conducting a review of the structures and operations of the Departments of Civil Aviation (Head 57) and Maritime Administration (Head 73). The objective of the review is to assess the operational effectiveness and efficiencies of each Department, and identify possible operational synergies between the two departments.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to take a moment to go through the process of the ‘Prior Options’ approach that is used by Management Services in conducting its reviews and analysis.

It consists of a series of searching questions that seek to focus on the core business of government and how those core services can best be delivered.

The first question is:

Does the work need to be done at all?

What evidence can we gather to demonstrate the value of what is done e.g. customer surveys or endorsements?

What historical data/trends can we refer to in order to plot the demand for the service? Is demand increasing or decreasing? What is likely to happen in the future?

What would have happened if the service had not existed in the past? What would happen if the service did not exist in the future? What would the reaction of the different stakeholder groups be to the abolition of the service?

If the work is necessary, does the Government need to be responsible for it?

If Government absolved itself of responsibility for provision of the service would market mechanisms ensure its independent survival? Is there a market price for the service?

Would we be creating a private monopoly from a public one? If so, could we put in place an effective and economic regulatory framework which ensures that the consumer interest is protected?

Are there data protection issues which mean that privatisation would be undesirable?

Are there defence, security or emergency preparedness arrangements which would be compromised by Government relinquishing responsibility?

Does the actual work need to be performed by civil servants or could aspects of the work be delivered more efficiently by the private sector?

Is there scope for contracting out ancillary services or “non-core” services to the private sector where they might be more efficiently managed e.g. cleaning, building maintenance, security, catering?

Is there scope for “benchmarking” the services currently provided by the in-house team against a private sector provider either by “market testing” the service or by parceling out bits of the service to the private sector and comparing prices and levels of service.

If the work has to be carried out within government, is the organisation properly structured and focused on the task with clear lines of accountability for performance?

Is there scope for establishing the “business unit” concept with an accountable Director, with clear objectives and performance targets set by the Minister but with the managerial freedom to operate along business lines with the minimum of interference from the Ministry?

Mr. Chairman, this is the kind of work that the Management Services section is undertaking within Government for improvements in service delivery and performance.

Mr. Chairman, I turn now to the second programme area in Cabinet Office: Economic Policy and Foreign Affairs comprising the London Office and the Washington, DC Office.

Mr. Chairman, $1.1 million has been allocated to the London Office for 2013-2014 as shown on page B-30. The budget is virtually unchanged from the prior year.

The largest cost component of the London Office is the rental space for Office which, at $585 thousand, absorbs just over 50 per cent of the total operational budget. Wages and salaries are just under $400 thousand. Rent plus the salary bill together account for 84 per cent of the London Office budget.

Mr. Chairman, in 2012–13 the Government of Bermuda London Office continued to promote Bermuda’s interest in both the UK and the European Union.

The London Office provided assistance to the Premier and the Minister of Finance during meetings in London at the FCO and Treasury in February 2013.

The Director of The London Office was recently elected as Chairman of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association.

The London Office represented Bermuda in meetings in Brussels re visa free travel to Schengen countries.

The London Office continues to accommodate the Department of Civil Aviation’s Satellite Office. Their presence in the office allows a dedicated civil aviation inspector to be based in London with close proximity to their European registered aircrafts.

Mr. Chairman, in 2013-14, The London Office will continue in its role of monitoring UK and EU policy or regulation which may have potential impact on Bermuda and in promoting Bermuda as an cooperative and transparent international financial centre.

Mr. Chairman, the allocation to the Washington DC Office in 2013-2014 is $474 thousand, a decrease of $24 thousand or a reduction of 5 per cent.

The Washington, DC Office of the Government of Bermuda was established in September 2009 to generally strengthen relationships with the United States public and private sectors.

The Washington, DC Office has served as a full time liaison to US Congressional members and staff since May 2010. The Director, assisted by Bermuda’s various industry and political lobbyists, has accepted and attended several meetings with Congressional members and high level staff and advisors to inform them of Bermuda’s broad public policy agenda in the United States.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to: taxation and protection of the reinsurance industry, promotion of Bermuda’s tourism sector through its linkage with the Department of Tourism Office in New York and the general promotion of Bermuda as an international business centre.

The establishment of the Washington, DC Office has strengthened ties with the US business community and enabled a direct link to the Cabinet office and the Bermuda Government.

This office has provided a forum for discussions on various business topics ranging from fiscal regulatory status, diplomatic protocol and attracting new business that has not previously viewed Bermuda as a viable business destination.

The Washington, DC Office has made inroads with establishing key relationships with US Congressmen and their representatives, desk officers from the US State Department, the UK Embassy in Washington, DC, and the UK Consulate in New York. These relationships have already proven beneficial in resolving immigration issues and are planned to play a key role in future initiatives of this office.

Additionally, the DC Office has attended meetings with officers representing the District of Columbia, and the states of Maryland and Virginia, in an effort to develop and promote relationships with Bermuda’s business sector.

In cooperation with the British Embassy and the Ministry of Public Safety the Washington, DC Office has become the first line of communication in working with various US agencies and Bermuda Immigration for matters arising from Bermudians traveling and working in the US. The issues have included: students entering US on improper Visas, deportation of illegal Bermudian resident from the US, and resolving conflicts with travel visas for foreign visitors entering Bermuda via the US, etc.

Mr. Chairman, turning now to the expenditure analysis by category of expenditure shown on page B-31, I wish to highlight just a few categories of expenditure for further comment as the overall picture is that of a budget reduction of some $300 thousand against the previous period.

In Salaries, the reduction of $343 thousand is explained by internal savings from posts that will not be filled in 2013-2014. One of these posts is in the London Office, another is in the Central Policy Unit and there is yet another in the Management Services Consulting Section.

Mr. Chairman, the second category of expenditure that I would like to comment upon is the increased budget for travel. I touched upon this item earlier in explaining the Professional Development and Travel cost centre under General Services.

To avoid being repetitive, I will simply note here that the planned business trips in 2013-2014 will mirror those in 2012-2013 with a focus on business development and job creation by foreign investors in Bermuda.

Mr. Chairman, the category ‘Other Expenses’ is largely comprised of food and beverage expenditure for official receptions and gatherings under the auspices of the Premier.

One of the largest annual receptions is the Seniors’ Tea which attracts about 1,800 senior citizens and can cost nearly $100,000 to host.

The average cost per senior is about $55.

Other events in this category of expenditure include the annual Cup Match Reception at Camden for the St. George’s and Somerset cup teams, and occasional official dinners or lunches hosted by the Premier at Camden.

Mr. Chairman, this line item accounts for just over 2.5 per cent of the Cabinet Office’s proposed budget for 2013-2014.

Mr. Chairman, the increase of $50 thousand in the ‘Grants and Contributions’ is associated with an allocation for the provision of assistance to sister countries and territories affected by hurricanes.

In the wake of such natural disasters, the Bermuda Red Cross often launches a public appeal for funds to assist the country in need.

Subject to available funding, Government matches, to a certain extent, the funds contributed by the general public to such appeals. The matching funds come out of this allocation in the Cabinet Office budget.

No allocation was provided for this purpose in 2012-2013.

Finally, the Output Measures for Cabinet Office are on pages B-33 and B34.

Mr. Chairman, all of the goals set by General Administration; Professional Development & Travel; Protocol (with one exception); Central Policy Unit; and the London and Washington DC Offices were achieved.

The one exception in Protocol was the failure to issue a revised protocol list within 5 working days of any changes.

PATI as we have stated has been delayed pending a review of the legislation and the completion of all necessary preparatory steps.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my comments on Head 09, The Cabinet Office.

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Comments (25)

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  1. Argosy says:

    What exactly are the benefits of these offices in London and Washington?

    I thought we were going to make sacrifices and cut expenses?

    $55K MORE for travel….???

    I voted for the OBA but don’t have blinkers on and am going to query this thru’ my MP.

    • Measure Twice says:

      Of course the travel budget went up. Craig Travels with an entourage.

    • Qball says:

      Argosy, don’t worry about it man, it will be covered in the $1 Billion debt ceiling increase…..

      • Bermy Gooner says:

        When did you guys become so worried about debt?

        Thought it was racist and hater-like to even mention the level of debt which ballooned under the previous administration.

        And on another thread you are whining about the potential paycuts that the civil service will have to endure. You know the pay which eats up 50% of Government revenue and is currently the greatest contributor to our ever-increasing debt levels.

        Which one is it?

    • Verbal Kint says:

      What part of 3% reduction did you guys not understand?

      • Hmmm says:

        A 3% decrease on a budget that is 25% to high is worthless. And that’s from an OBA supporter!

  2. sonoso says:

    lol you lot must definitely be government workers, all over these threads every day.. watch out, civil service expense cuts are coming down the pike next

  3. Family Man says:

    $1.6 million for fancy offices that we don’t need.

    $100,000 for tea for (about) 1,800 people. Seriously?? $55.50 per person for tea? For that price you could take them to brunch at Four Ways and still have change left over! Why don’t we contract with Hamilton Princess to put on tea. I’ll bet they’d do it for far less.

    • sonoso says:

      you can thank DREB for that one, he started this tradition back in 2006 and i am sure that based on the financial situation BDA is in now, that $100k is most likely pocket change compared to what we were previously charged.. just sayin!

  4. Hmmmmm says:

    Imagine that; travel expenses increased. This from the crowd who campaigned for years on all travel being bad. They all but told Bermudians they would run the country from their offices. Every week they asked Parliamentary Questions about travel, provided them to the press and for days we had stories about ministers’ travel. And NOT ONE media outlet has the increase in travel expenses by the OBA and in particular the Cabinet Office as a headline. This kind of bs and bias is what is so sickening. If travel was bad for the PLP and deserved front page, banner headlines then explain why this increase receives little or no attention. In that debate yesterday the Premier said: “Cabinet Office travel will mirror that of the previous fiscal year…” ; in other words “I’ll be doing all the trips Paula did”.

    The ultimate of hypocrisy.

    • Bermy Gooner says:

      “I’ll be doing all the trips Paula did”.

      You mean Cannonier will be traveling around the globe to accept frivolous awards?

      Or do you mean trips to on the taxayers dime to the Playboy Mansion or to India to procure genetic drug contracts (for yourself, not country) while purporting the excursion to increase tourism while lyign to the people abut a Bollywood film was to be filmed in Bermuda?

      Let’s talk about Chinese trips?

      • Hmmmmm says:

        Take your medication and focus. Ewart is history. If you accept that all of that was wrong, tell your leader to keep his backside in Bermuda and meet investors, world leaders and everyone on Skype.

        • Mad Dawg says:

          You’ve changed you tune all of a sudden. Not surprising really.

  5. Truth says:

    The difficult part of leading is doing the stuff that needs to be done that no one wants to do. I encourage the Premier to revisit the policy of not laying off members of the civil service that we cannot afford to pay for. Several million dollars in reductions are required – not several thousand. We must be honest that we can only spend that which we have. It is tough medicine and I encourage the OBA and the PLP to make it happen.

    • Let's Have It says:

      @ Truth. I most certainly agree. The rest of us out here in the private sector are being financially squeezed to death, and why??? To pay for SOME govt employees not pulling their weight ??? BRING ON THE CIVIL SERVICE CUTS !!!!

  6. A Civil Servant says:

    I wish people would stop speaking about the Civil Service employees like we are the most indispensable group of workers in Bermuda. There are hard working dedicated real people behind that term which for some reason seems to be despised amongst many. I for one returned to the Civil Service from the private sector because I enjoy working in a role in which the actions taken directly impacts the community that I love. I accept that sacrifices must be made due to our unprecedented fiscal challenges, but please stop pointing your daggers at us. We have families and mortgages and responsibilities just like everyone else and we are no more deserving of the unemployment line than any other worker in Bermuda.

    • sonoso says:

      which is a valid point, and no one really directs their daggers at any particular segment of the civil service. the police force is part of the civil service as well and you dont hear people talking about get rid of more officers. the fact of the matter is that the aggregate civil service numbers, and the costs associated with paying those workers, is grossly higher than the productivity produced by said workers. in the past few years during this whole depression that they say we are in, which sector has seen record job losses? which sector has seen cutbacks in pay? not the public sector.

      the real issue is that while thousands of private sector worker have lost their jobs, with their families and mortgages and responsibilities as well, the civil servants have been largely unaffected! in one instance a pay raise was given, albeit 1.5%.

  7. Wow says:

    All you people couldn’t organize a piss up at a brewery! Sit back and watch how OBA run the country! Plp had no one there with any buisness sense!

    • stfu says:

      You act like the ancestor of a former Slave Master. That’s like saying all black people are stupid. This is why we will never unite as one, because of people like you and I voted for OBA. Not because I thought that they were correct, but because everyone should be given a chance as Gov. In 4 to 8 years I could change my vote again back to PLP.

  8. Chardanae Mellow says:

    Wow! How much does the Director in the London Office earn I wonder?

    • Let's Have It says:

      I bet 100k minimum. BRING ON THE CUTS !!!

  9. Why do we have an OFFICE in LONDONq says:

    Still dont get why we have a London Office…… Let me call up there and see if anyone is even in the building. Just to make sure that my taxpayers money on renting the place is not going down the toilet….

    Ring Ring ring….no answer….go figure.

  10. god1st says:

    Well done to the bloggers.

  11. god1st says:

    @ why do we have a office in London lol