Govt To Reform Human Resource Operations

November 30, 2018 | 4 Comments

The current decentralized HR model spread across multiple departments results in a “duplication of effort, inconsistent service delivery, a weighty compliance regime, and an inordinate amount of time to execute basic functions,” Minister Walton Brown said, adding that the Government will “reform its human resource function” and “take steps to centralize its human resource.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Nov 30], Minister for the Cabinet Office Walton Brown noted that the Government is Bermuda’s largest employer with 4,680 employees, and the workforce is represented by six Unions and/or Associations and the conditions of employment are set out in seven separate Collective Bargaining Agreements and/or Conditions of Service Orders.

“Currently the Government of Bermuda relies upon a decentralized HR service delivery model which has grown organically over the years. Services are delivered via sixty-eight posts, spread across nine different human resources departments and units in addition to the Department of Human Resources,” the Minister said.

“Some of the primary HR functions including employee compensation and benefits and job evaluations are executed outside of the human resource service centres by the Accountant General’s Department and the Management Consulting Section, Cabinet Office respectively.

“This decentralized delivery model, coupled with the layers of collective agreements and regulatory requirements has long been regarded as an impediment to the Public Service,” Minister Brown said. “There is duplication of effort, inconsistent service delivery, a weighty compliance regime, and an inordinate amount of time to execute basic functions. ”

The Minister said, “The Government has taken the decision to reform its human resource function to ensure increased efficiency, effectiveness, and equity” and ”will take steps to centralize its human resource and organizational development functions.”

“The new department is expected to result in improved service delivery and understanding of the business needs through the creation of HR Business Partners.

“It will have the responsibility for managing all seven union agreements and union partners which is expected to enhance labour relations and employment practices within the Service.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, members will already be aware the Government is Bermuda’s largest employer. As at November, 2018 there were 4,680 employees in the Public Service.

Mr. Speaker, the Government’s workforce is represented by six [6] Unions and/or Associations and the conditions of employment are set out in seven [7] separate Collective Bargaining Agreements and/or Conditions of Service Orders.

Mr. Speaker, human resource services are delivered in accordance with statutory provisions as set out in the Public Service Commission Regulations 2001 and the Public Service [Delegation of Powers] Regulations 2001, as well as statutory provisions contained in other legislation such as [Contributory Pensions Act 1970, Payroll Tax Act 1995, Payroll Tax Rates Act 1995, and Public Service Superannuation Act 1981], to name a few.

Mr. Speaker, currently the Government of Bermuda relies upon a decentralized HR service delivery model which has grown organically over the years. Services are delivered via sixty-eight [68] posts, spread across nine [9] different human resources departments and units in addition to the Department of Human Resources.

Notably, the Department of Human Resources is only responsible for the provision of human resource services to the members of the Bermuda Public Services Union [general membership], those officers traditionally referred to as Civil Servants, which is approximately 40% of the workforce.

Mr. Speaker, some of the primary HR functions including employee compensation and benefits and job evaluations are executed outside of the human resource service centres by the Accountant General’s Department and the Management Consulting Section, Cabinet Office respectively.

Mr. Speaker, this decentralized delivery model, coupled with the layers of collective agreements and regulatory requirements has long been regarded as an impediment to the Public Service.

Resultantly, there is duplication of effort, inconsistent service delivery, a weighty compliance regime, and an inordinate amount of time to execute basic functions. Further, there is limited talent management across every level of the service as well as a lack of consistent performance structure, including recognition, and aligning performance commitments with career development.

Mr. Speaker, this Government aims to establish conditions within the public service that attracts, develops, motivates and retains a quality talent pool. An environment where a strong performance culture is present and public officers are rewarded for effectiveness and achievement of clearly stated outcomes. A workplace where public officers feel empowered and accountable for achieving performance metrics.

To this end, the Government has taken the decision to reform its human resource function to ensure increased efficiency, effectiveness, and equity.

Mr. Speaker, the Government will take steps to centralize its human resource and organizational development functions.

Mr. Speaker, The Cabinet Office, working through a Project Team and using a consultative and collaborative approach has designed a new structure which aligns all HR services under one Department.

The new structure will facilitate the strategic repositioning of the role of HR with respect to organizational capital development and improvement.

Mr. Speaker, the new structure, to be titled The Department of Employee and Organizational Development, establishes a strategic leadership and change management position. The proposed Chief Employee and Organizational Development Officer will lead the transformational change and develop high impact strategies and programmes in consultation with stakeholders.

Mr. Speaker, the new department is expected to result in improved service delivery and understanding of the business needs through the creation of HR Business Partners. It will have the responsibility for managing all seven [7] union agreements and union partners which is expected to enhance labour relations and employment practices within the Service. The introduction of an Employee Relations Adviser will also enable a proactive approach to Industrial and Employee Relations.

Mr. Speaker, the Talent Acquisition Manager will modernize recruitment and position Government as an employer of choice. The creation of a dedicated Recruitment Unit will reduce time to recruit. The renewed focus on Talent Management will improve the Government’s capability to deliver value to the public by developing a talent pool and thus filling critical skills gap.

Mr. Speaker, further, an HR Systems Specialist is fundamental for the digital transformation of HR, a critical enabler for success of the proposed structure. Moreover, the Service will benefit from integrated employee management services.

Mr. Speaker, given the complexity and magnitude of the change, the structure will be implemented in three phases.

In Phase 1, the new department will be established administratively, the Chief Employee and Organizational Development Officer will be recruited, and the transfer of the Management Consulting Section and the Compensation and Benefits Section to the new Department will be completed.

It is expected that Phase 1 will occur over the next six months.

Mr. Speaker, Phases 2 and 3, which will see the transition of all of the other HR resources from across Government into the new Department, will be executed over the course of 12 to 24 months. As a part of the latter phases the existing Department of Human Resources will be abolished.

As a note Mr. Speaker, it is anticipated that all of the existing resources will be incorporated into new roles within the new Department.

Mr. Speaker, the new Department of Employee and Organizational Development will be built on a shared services philosophy which will reduce the duplication of services, as well as ultimately reduce the cost of service delivery.

Mr. Speaker, this Government will continue to take bold steps to transform the public service as we work towards establishing a future-forward Government for the people of Bermuda.

Thank-you Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (4)

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  1. DeOnion says:

    same number of jobs?

  2. J J says:

    I think this is a great idea. I have written to the MoE about returning to the island and heard nothing. It seems if an organisation cannot even answer an email it is time to reform.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Sounds like an excuse to hire yet more civil servants, when the need has to be to reduce numbers. The population is shrinking yet Government continues to expand. The budget will never balance as any extra revenue will be spent of more bodies on seats, surfing the net.

  4. No Money says:

    Jokers

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