Govt. Considering Outsourcing & Privatization

February 21, 2014

During this morning’s [Feb 21] Budget statement, Minister of Finance Bob Richards said that Government is considering a number of departments for “mutualization, outsourcing, or privatization” including Airport Operations/Causeway, CITV, Waste Management, Parks Maintenance and more.

This morning’s budget indicated that the overall budget balance is projected to be a deficit of $267.3 million.

Minister Richards said, “Further reductions in costs after 2014/15 will not be achievable without either staff layoffs or the outsourcing of non-core functions through mutualization or privatization. Remaining as we are, with the current number of civil servants, will not be possible.

“No one, particularly this Government that has been elected to create jobs, would want to add to the ranks of the unemployed. There are too many struggling Bermudian families out there now. Furthermore, to lay off civil servants only to have them apply for Financial Assistance would be, financially, a wasted exercise.

“Outsourcing by way of mutualization and/or privatization is the alternative that offers affected staff and union members the least disruptive option. This option represents job shifts instead of losses and staff remain employed, retaining union membership if they so desire.”

Government is considering the following departments for mutualization, outsourcing, or privatization:

  • Airport Operations/Causeway
  • Emissions and Vehicle Testing
  • Aircraft Registry
  • Ship Registry
  • CITV
  • Waste Management, including Tynes Bay and Garbage Collection
  • Vehicle and Equipment Operations and Maintenance
  • GEHI and Health Insurance Department
  • Parks Maintenance
  • Water and Sewage
  • Department of Social Insurance
  • Highway Maintenance
  • Conservation Services

The Minister said, “We recognize and understand people’s fears about change and we will work carefully to make change work for the individual and for the common good.

“But let there be no mistake about why we’re moving in this direction: The cost of government, as the SAGE Report concluded, is ‘unsustainable and out of control‘ The status quo is not an option.

“I am hoping to lay the enabling legislation before Parliament before the end of this Budget session,” added Minister Richards.

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Comments (89)

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  1. Tony says:

    I predict you will lose the next election. Fear, that’s the same thing you told the employees at the Department of Tourism look where that got them.

    • CBA says:

      Yes, let’s vote the PLP back in. Even though they put us in this mess, let’s vote them back in. Let’s blame the OBA for the problems they clearly inherited from the PLP.

      If the PLP takes control again, look out.

      • street talk says:

        stop being a fool if gov can’t mke any money with these departmens what do thing the little men will make, the only way is to bring in 3 oer seas workers pay them peanuts compared to paying 1 bermudian all i see is work permits . bring in 1 bda pay him $36 na i”ll get 3 chinese and pay them 12 each hey and strate time

        • street talk says:

          pettey soon all gov workers will be china mon then i can pay them $9 that will save you money

          • street talk says:

            smoking MJ and blogging on de friday

            • street talk says:

              criag that’s wht you need to do have a MJ then you may have a brain fart and think out of the dumb box

        • Ignorance is not bliss says:

          Do you read what you write before hitting send? Spelling and grammar get you 1 out of 10 and make your comments practically incomprehensible.

          • One up one down says:

            What does it mean when a person who says they are intelligent can not understand someone who they say is dumb?

        • Right Stuff says:

          The little man can make lots of money. The problem with many government departments is the staff!

          Have you noticed how long it is taking for that wall to be built near Paget stop lights? The progress is disgusting. Why so long, because he workers don’t care and there is no accountability. A private firm could have done that wall in a month or two. Same with the sidewalk on Northshore.

          In any company the staff will make or break you. Unfortunately, too many of the workers in most departments have this sense of entitlement, and bad attitudes. I’m tired feeling like I should apologize for bothering a civil servant from doing nothing.

          Don’t expect me to stand up and feel sorry for them after bad service and bad attitudes everywhere.

      • Mile High Club says:


        Many of the people on this blog are either PLP trash talkers or products of the failed public school system.

        There is NOT ONE SINGLE government department in this country that was more efficient and better run after the OBA, except maybe TCD. However, there was even drama behind that contract and the RFP.

        My question, why outsource the Emission Department? Shut it down, it is a major waste of time and money. Todays cars and trucks are much cleaner burning and we are prevented from imported the old “dirty” vehicles. The cost of running that building do not justify the reward.

        Close the emissions Department Down. Millions saved.

        • Mile High Club says:

          After the PLP I meant.

        • Sara says:

          And as far as I know their has never been a standard emissions to decide if a vehicle passes or fails so they all pass. What a waste of time that is!

          • Right Stuff says:

            There are small devices that garages can purchase themselves too get the same result.

    • LiarLiar says:

      Jobs in the BTA for the majority, while the rest were absorbed into roles within the Civil Service. So no job losses.

      Unless you are referring to the DoT NY team that was fired by Dr. Brown and replaced with the foreign firm Sales Focus.

    • js says:

      get rid of Cannonier in 12 months, have Richards Premier and Finance Minister, focus on the economy and they will eke out another term

      when push comes to shove people ultimately vote with their pocket books

      • HeyBye says:

        I agree Richards as Premier/Finance.
        Finance is a driving force for Bermuda’s economy and we need such a minded person driving Bermuda forward with a no nonsense approach.

        • And so? says:

          I agree! Bob for Premier!

          • JustAskin2 says:

            But then Richards won’t be able to continue to hold his ministerial office will he? I believe that was the major concern by some re the last Premier.

    • Right Stuff says:

      Hey here is an Idea!!!! Everybody wins!!! The B.I.U. can start their own companies and bid for some of the contracts. They can hire the same workers and show us all how to make lots of money even while their staff get 100 sick days a years, refuse to work on days when it rains in the morning, come in late on all days ending in “y”, down tools whenever someone else strikes and leave the site.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Excellent idea. Since so many of them seem to know so much about running a business how can this possibly fail?

  2. Cowpolly says:

    Looking at the list of potential departments to be outsourced there’s some opportunities for the entrepreneurs amongst us to start new businesses, however I for one wouldn’t even consider investing my $$$ in such a venture if one of the conditions is to continue Union membership.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Definitly a deal killer. Not under the current mentality of the BIU.

  3. so sad says:

    Done with Bermuda im outie

  4. JAWS says:

    Minister Richards finished by saying, “The stakes could not be greater for Bermuda. Now is the time for all of us to work together, to do our best and be at our best for the sake of the island we call home.”

    Oba you told me this 2012 when I voted for you, what have you been doing with tax payers money? Get off your high horses and tell the Clown stop taking trips to pray and do some work at home. You men and women have been in charge for months and you still don’t know how to bake a cake. Get out of the kitchen if you can’t handle the fire. The buck stops at the top the Premier is weak. Stop reading a script someone wrote for you. You sound fake.

  5. HeyBye says:

    Ferry service should be out sourced as well.

  6. nuffin but the truth says:

    GOOD Idea…make the lazy government employees have to work for their buck

    • Impressive says:

      Can you take a break on the stereotyping please, at least long enough for you to post a comment that is somewhat objective.

    • JustAskin2 says:

      Stereotyping again are we?

  7. LiarLiar says:

    If you PLPers are so against privatization then why didn’t any of you complain when the NY DoT team was fired by Dr. Brown and replaced with a foreign firm?

    Why didn’t you complain when St. George’s golf course was closed and gifted to a foreign developer? And why didn’t you complain when the PLP issued a RFP to try and sell Ocean View golf course to a private investor?

    Why didn;t you complain when parts of TCD were privatized and gifted to a ‘friend’ who just happened to be paid to build the new facility?

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      Stonington gifted to Jefferis?

    • Hmmmmm says:

      So because it was under the PLP, leases approved by the House of Assembly and the Senate are “gifts”? You people are so dishonest. If only you could hold yoursleves and your government to the same standard you try to hold the PLP to. So is Masterworks rent of $1 per year a “gift” too or is that one ok because of who’s involved? You people are sick.

      • LiarLiar says:

        Was what I outlined above privatization? I mean these were Government run facilities that employed Bermudians. And which party undertook these actions

        So please explain why this is a more acceptable form of privatization as comapred to what the this Government is potentially suggesting.

        Don’t get mad, just state the facts as to why you accepted (by virtue of your silence at the time) those privatization efforts but now you are up in arms about further privatization proposals.

        Explain to us lowly plebs as to why it is somehow different.

      • Hmmm says:

        Masterworks is non-profit

    • Impressive says:

      I don’t thinks its a matter of PLP supporters being against privatization, but more a less an issue of many PLP supporters being uncomfortable with who are the persons who are going to receive these new contracts, Based on the actions of the past week and the anti-union sentiment amongst many OBA supporters, I think many are concerned about their futures as far as who they will be working for and are anticipating that they will not have a leg to stand on in this soon to come environment. All in my opinion ofcourse

      • HeyBye says:

        The will have to learn to wean themselves off of mama government and start to stand on their own two legs like the majority of non civil service working people,in society.
        If one is not afraid to work and be responsible, there will be nothing to worry about.

  8. bluebird says:

    and don’t forget the “BUS” routes privitize them to get a “BETTER SERVICE”
    And don’t forget the “FERRY’s” the same thing.
    Or do we just continue to “BORROW” $300Million per year of other peoples money which we can pay back.

  9. postman says:

    What about the Post Office?
    Please this should be the first on the list!

  10. Betty Dump says:

    I am all for this! I have been hoping for a few years that we would consider this route. However, it must be done right. The current employees need a fair chance to be able to start their new business ventures. Many would most likely need a hand from government because not many of them may not have the immediate start up cash to form a new company. It would hurt me to see individuals who are already financially well off expanding their wealth at the at the detriment of the already disadvantaged.

    I hope the OBA is able to make this paradigm shift in a way that benefits the current employees and Bermuda as a whole. It will be a difficult task, but if can be done. The government is going to have to assist the current employees, but the current employees are also going to have to be go-getters, and not complainers. The worst would be for the employees to look at this as a means of further oppression, instead of an opportunity to chart their own destinies! This is what we as Bermudians need… to stop sucking on the teat of Government and forge our own fates. I wish the initiative well!

  11. dafaq says:

    as long these company hire local workfoce then im all for it.

  12. wendell says:

    If you cant get rid of civil servants, at least replace the ones that do nothing all day with bermudians who will actually produce something. as it is there are so so many who are getting paid to do nothing.

    • Lemon Tree says:

      Well said Wendell. How many times do we drive by and see a crew “working” which means they are just standing there watching the traffic or watching one person’s feeble attempt at working. So frustrating to see our tax dollars being wasted. And this is just one example. This level of productivity would never be allowed in the private sector.

      • Impressive says:

        How about paying an adviser to help an incompetent Premier do his job on a daily basis? How much is that causing us, and why can’t the Premier take on a Ministry to help save us a few bucks?? Nevermind, don’t answer the second question, I think anyone can tell you why.

        • Betty Dump says:

          Personally I don’t feel that Mr. Cannonier is the best choice for premier… However, I disagree with your position that the premier should hold a ministry to save a few bucks… Brown did it… Fail. Cox did it… Fail… The premier should be just that… The premier

    • wendell says:

      it disturbs me that anyone could dislike my previous comment, unless its someone who does nothing all day.

  13. Coffee says:

    Thru all this one thing is certain . Uncomfortable uncertainty .

    • Hmmm says:


      Quoted from Keep Calm and rant on:

      “No layoffs announced in the budget. And yet you still complain.

      Not one tax increase to be enacted. And yet you still complain.

      The current tax breaks for struggling sectors remain in place. And yet you still complain.

      They announce that they are to open up the energy sector to counteract BELCO. And yet you still complain.

      They announce numerous capital projects to enhance our infrastructure. And yet you still complain.

      They announce talks with the Banks to provide relief to the economy. And yet you still complain.

      They announce that only 3 gaming licenses will be offered to NEW developments. And yet you still complain.

      They announce they are going to reduce our ever ballooning deficit. And yet you still complain.

      They announce employee empowerment programs via mutualization. And yet you still complain.

      I could continue but what’s the point as you will still complain. The ironic thing about these perpetual complainers are that they were the ones, undoubtedly, defended the PLP to the hilt in 2010 when Paul and Co. raised payroll and foreign currency purchase taxes in the midst of our deepest recession.

      These are the same complainers who cheered on the PLP while they only denied BELCO one rate increase in their total 14 years of power and that was only at the very end as a means to try and attract votes. And not once in their reign did they try and to counteract BELCO via strict regulation or allowing competition into the island to bring down prices.

      These are the same complainers who railed against the banks here, and rightfully so, but did not rail against the PLP for trying to figure out a solution in 14 years against these institutions.
      These are the same complainers that championed the PLP while they increased Govt expenditure by 74% while only successfully increasing income by 30% between 2004 and 2012. As a result our budget deficit grew by 2,286% over the same time period which inevitably piled on the mountain of debt we now find ourselves in.
      These are the same complainers who sat in silence as the PLP received 4 consecutive qualified audits on the consolidated fund by the Audior General. If you don’t know what a qualified audit is I suggest you do your research as in the private sector 1 qualified audit would result in firings.
      These are the same complainers that supported the PLP while they allowed our pensions to become grossly underfunded and who failed to audit the NCSF since 2005!
      Anyways, you get the picture.

      Keep calm and rant on. ”

      thought the above was very well put.

      • JUNK YARD DOG says:

        Complaining is an Art Form, it starts from the cradle.

        The complainer always expects some one else to do their bidding.

        They are not happy with the house of straw they built for them selves.

        Complaining will not get you a free lunch.

        They complain because they think that Paradise is not good enough.

        Complaining, wining, moaning, dose not solves problems.

        Millionaires like you complain.

        Here I am complaining about complaining it gets a little tiring after a while .

        You can only be free when you wake up one day to the realization that the world in not perfect.

        Be part of the solution.

      • Coffee says:

        I think Independent MP Terry Lister has basically Summed up my interpretation of this non budget .

  14. AbsolutelyINSANE says:

    PLEASE PLEASE – Privatize the ENTIRE Public Transport System…. Please get these lazy BIU workers out of here… I have never in my life experienced such frustrating idiotic behavior… As much as possible needs to be taken away from ANY affiliation with the BIU… SHUT that worthless entity DOWN!!!!!!!!!

    • Impressive says:

      You sound like a socialist, be done with all unions, lets leave the interest of all workers in the hands of the people that they work for.. We all know that all business owners have the highest integrity and will never do any thing that isnt the best interest of their employees..

      • Wake up Bermuda says:

        Actually, unionization is closer to a socialist ideology than entrepreneurialism. Unionization is a collectivist based institution, where individualism, blazing your own trail and entrepreneurship are usually the antithesis.

    • JUNK YARD DOG says:

      Be careful what you wish for :-

      You are the proud owner of the N.T.S National Transport System where you have invested millions.

      All it takes is a 7 day boycott to put you out of business.

      Unions are great if they perform their intended services and can break a country and them selves when they walk.

      Governments will win when they have more money than the unions

      May be the answer could be for an entrepreneur to start up a luxury buss / coach the ones with the soft seats why should our visitors ride around in a pink school bus , why did the Bermuda Railway Company fail ? It was Maintenance costs

  15. Herb Adderley says:

    Here’s a statement I heard today on the Sherri J show today from a parks department spokesman.

    If govt privatise us we will not be making the wage we are making now and the new company will only need 25% of the workers we now have to do the same work.

    hmmmm now how interesting is that, and what does that tell us, the taxpayer.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I don’t know which one is worse, Sherri J or trying to listen to The
      house. The amount of ignorance is limitless.

    • Peso says:

      Hey Betty Trump your comments on this. I am sure you of all people will be able to educate us on this.TRUTH again??

  16. HeyBye says:

    Those that are afraid of out sourcing are the unproductive,those that spend their days under the radar,pretending to work or suck their teeth when asked to work and still collecting a pay cheque and benefits.

    Those that scare monger that it will take away Bda jobs is a crock and they know it. Those who are currently employed in those jobs,who have a work ethic and the experience will be picked up immediately to fill those jobs. The lay abouts are the ones to be afraid.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So true. The productive people have nothing to fear. Those companys picking up the contracts will be looking for them.

      • Ignorance is not Bliss says:

        @ Triangle Drifter — The plural of ‘company’ is ‘companies’.

        Call me pedantic but sloppy use of the English language is annoying.

    • Impressive says:

      I will not sit here and say that there aren’t employees in the civil service that are unproductive, because contrary to what you believe we don’t live in a perfect world, but for you to make a broad statement against so many people is really not fair and smacks of stereotyping at the highest level.

  17. Jus' Askin' says:

    “…whose friends and family are benefiting by the sale of the entities being sold…”?

  18. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    Until you F****** realize that you were born to be on TEAM BERMUDA INTERNATIONAL…seems as though your content to be playing in the minor league lil’OBA’s n lil’PLP’s…tsk tsk tsk…BERMUDA will never win.

  19. Take it Easy! says:

    Thank u OBA for creating jobs for Bermudians! The PLP biggest fear! Now the lazy GOV workers have 2 work for there money! As a ‘real boss’ would say “come work late again i dear u!” They aint use to that!

  20. Really says:

    Bring back the PLP give everyone a pay rise and or a job and rack up billions of new debt we all will be happy then ahhhh

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      To many that plan sounds just fine. The consept that they actually really do owe all of that money & it really does cost each of them $28 per week just servicing the interest on the debt is beyond comprehension.

  21. And so? says:

    I am convinced that the vast majority of people havent a clue about how the economy works never mind getting their heads around the concept of how we might get ourselves out from our present situation. All of this financial stress is building up and the unrest will only contiinue. I am coming to the conclusion that there is an organised effort to disrupt any attempt to make progress. Bob spoke about the dire effect of union unrest on attracting investment to create job creating projects. It is sabotage. I hope I am proved wrong.

  22. more than enough says:

    maybe we should outsource the parliamentary seats.
    once every thing is privatized, what is left to do?
    oh yeah, with a 48% rise in the travel budget, there will be a lot of globetrotting to cover. for ‘jobs for bermudians’ of course. that should keep the chaps busy.
    how do you expect to privatize anything? are you going to provide the funds for the start up, like with the bta? or do you expect people to buy into the existing infrastructure?
    i put it to you, that the cuts in hours and wages, from the top down should be the first of the sage recommendations to be instituted. then consideration should be given to privatization, and possible job losses being the last option.
    i definitely do not think one of the recommendations was to increase the travel expenditure.
    and this whole immigration must be viewed as economics crap. it would seem as if they have already lined 2000 foreign workers to come and take over these positions. with friends and family, with the infrastructure already in place to run tings.
    put the travel budget towards strengthening what we have here. and keep your broke, and in debt a$$%$ here! or at least keep travel to a bare minimum.

  23. more than enough says:

    %5,000,000 travel budget, divided by 20 ministers, equals $250,00 each.
    could you imagine how much traveling you could do in a year, with that much money? even a family of four could spend a good chunk of the year traveling on a budget of that size. is this not excessive?
    this is not a fortune 500 company, where all the execs get free travel stipends and paid vacations, housing, ‘gifts’ and the like. this is one broke a%$ government sinking deeper into debt. stop parading around like you are the ceo’s of a successful multi billion dollar industry. reduce ministerial salaries by at least 50%(which would still be more $ than most people make), you can all afford that. also reduce all top civil servants pay significantly, and smaller reductions for the lower paid positions.keeping in mind cost of living. continued non performance on all levels should result in job loss. after all you are in charge of a failing buisiness, and find yourselves scrambling to get a grip.
    cut the spending throughout, rumspringa is over.

  24. more than enough says:

    $5,000,000, that is…

  25. Jus' Askin' says:

    “Bermuda, The Twenty First Century Plantation”
    I will admit, it was fun while it lasted :-D

  26. Lone Wolf says:

    They should definitely privatize the bus and ferry services. They should be the first to go. And I agree with not adding those two services on the list just yet because the very second any of those employees read anything even remotely related to their jobs they will strike (again). So they should keep that idea quiet until it is ready to go. Then just FIRE them all with the same amount of notice they give the public before they down tools.

    Not so sure I agree with privatizing the garbage collection / tynes bay employees. Unless there is an agreement to keep the staff already employed there. In my personal observations, those are the ONLY government employees who actually work hard and do a good job under rather unpleasant conditions. And the majority of them (in my experience) are friendly, pleasant people despite their working conditions.

  27. JUNK YARD DOG says:


    It is some what amusing to think that may be we all who contribute here could be blowing in the wind.

  28. JUNK YARD DOG says:


    It is some what amusing to think that may be we all who contribute here could be blowing in the wind.

    • Ignorance is not Bliss says:

      What does a condiment have to do with a short work week?

      • somuchless says:

        You’re too dumb to get the joke. Read the sentence and you’ll get they really mean catch up but wrote ketchup as a joke.

        Guess you’re a part of the failed school system. Dummy.

      • JUNK YARD DOG says:

        It is the same thing as seeing a ” DRY PAINT ” Sign on the hand rails in the mall.

        • JUNK YARD DOG says:

          I am not as good as I think I am, but! I am better than I was the day before yesterday.

          Ladies: Gentlemen and young people, things will get better if we all pull together,and that is a promise, I will not tea break.

  29. Ignorance is not Bliss says:

    One problem with privatization of bus/ferry transport is that fares would have to increase substantially to offset the current subsidies. Unlike Government operations Private companies cannot run at a loss so that the costs of transport (equipment, maintenance, gas, insurance, employees salaries & benefits, license fees etc.) would then be from the pocket of users without a substantial portion from Tax Payers by way of subsidy.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      I do not feel they need to be privatized. We can step into the 21st century and reduce operating costs.
      Bermuda would be the perfect place for electric buses. The savings on fuel would be great alone. The upfront costs may be greater with the purchase and charging stations but will be offset in time.
      With our current system of Dockyard, Hamilton, PTB HQ and St George’s we can manage quite well. Some electric buses have a range of 30 miles and need 5 minutes to recharge. Bermuda would be ideal for such a system, with it’s size and speed limit and bus schedule.
      Electric vehicles require less maintenance than fuel vehicles. The carbon and noise pollution will be reduced as well. I personally would just like to be behind a bus and not feel like I am going to die.
      As science advances, there will be a while before I can see electric ferries but I see it in the future. ;-)

  30. Alvin Williams says:

    The plan to create a Bermuda without the Bermudian is on course with this government.
    They have not learn a thing about Bermuda’s history; you think that we are going to take this laying down; you better think again. Next time even grandma will hit the streets and than you will be running to Britain to once again convene a board of enquiry.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      A quote that was shared with me and I thought you might like it – “War is when your government tells you who the enemy is. Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.” ;-)

      Bermudians Please, Please stand up for Yourselves

      We rolled over with the UBP and the PLP and look where we have ended up. “Get Up, Stand Up…” :-D

  31. Fred says:

    Re: Tourism
    You have to start somewhere to save; It costs much less to fly from New York to Hawaii for a 1 week stay than go to Bermuda for a 1 week stay in a comparable Hotel ! Think about it!!!