Premier Dunkley: Public Service Reform Update

June 6, 2014

“The Government accepts that the cost of running Government and substantial debt threatens to destabilize the financial foundation” and “public expectations coupled with budget cuts require realignment of the organization and the delivery of services,” Premier Michael Dunkley said in the House of Assembly this morning [June 6].

The Premier was providing an update on the Public Service Reform Initiative, telling the House that a Public Service Reform Strategic Framework has been completed, and several working groups have been established including the Human Resources Working Group, Asset Rationalization Working Group, Digital Services Working Group and the Pension and Benefits Working Group.

“In accordance with the spirit of inclusiveness and in an effort to remain connected to the people and to give the people a voice in the implementation process, each of the working groups will include representatives from the Unions, the private sector, and highly skilled technical officers,” added the Premier.

Premier Dunkley said the Public Service Reform Initiative objectives are directly aligned with those set out for the SAGE Commission work, which contained more than 200 recommendations and many more observations.

The Premier said that Government has already commenced work to address critical areas including structure and accountability, reduction in the size and cost of the public service through disposal of non-core functions and advancement of work that considers the implications of the structure of pension funds.

“The Public Service Reform Initiative represents a significant undertaking over a sustained period that will affect internal operations as well as the delivery of services.

“The working groups are our implementation teams and they will be held accountable for the delivery of the change initiatives assigned,” added Premier Dunkley.

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to rise today to provide this Honourable House with an update on the Public Service Reform Initiative.

Honourable Members are well aware that in 2013 the SAGE Commission was established to evaluate and analyse operations of Government in line with international best practice.

The Commission sought to determine the best means of structuring Government, streamlining Government processes, improving delivery of services, and introducing cost saving measures coupled with greater transparency.

The Sage Commission Report dated 31 October, 2013 identified a number of challenges relating to Government operations and recommended a number of transformative measures.

Mr. Speaker, the SAGE report contained more than 200 recommendations and many more observations. The Government has already commenced work to address critical areas including:

  • structure and accountability within the public service;
  • reduction in the size and cost of the public service through disposal of non-core functions; and
  • advancement of work that considers the implications of the structure of pension funds.

Mr. Speaker, the SAGE Report and the recommendations contained therein combined with the many reviews and reports conducted by internal resources, as well as external consultants, serves as the foundation for public service reform.

Mr. Speaker, the Public Service Reform Initiative objectives are directly aligned with those set out for the SAGE Commission work.

It is expected that there will be seamless integration between the research and recommendation phase – The SAGE Commission era; and the implementation phase – the Public Service Reform initiative era. This alignment is critical if we are to achieve our overall aim.

Mr. Speaker, a Public Service Reform Strategic Framework has now been completed and adopted by the Service with a view to the implementation of meaningful actions that will result in substantial and sustainable change. To this end, several working groups have been established. These include the:

  • Human Resources Working Group;
  • The Asset Rationalization Working Group;
  • The Digital Services Working Group;
  • The Pension and Benefits Working Group; and

Honourable colleagues will already be aware of the proposed Efficiency and Reform Authority that will be established as a result of the proposed Public Bodies Reform Act.

This too represents, though with statutory authority and with a different structure, a working group charged with implementation.

Mr. Speaker, draft terms of reference for each of the working groups have been produced and preliminary short and medium term action plans are in the development stages.

The action plans set out the steps to be taken to implement those SAGE Recommendations and other recommendations that the Government will determine that it supports.

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the spirit of inclusiveness and in an effort to remain connected to the people and to give the people a voice in the implementation process, each of the working groups will include representatives from the Unions, the private sector, and highly skilled technical officers.

This is in keeping with – Our vision: “A Connected Government.”

Mr. Speaker, to be clear, The Government accepts that the cost of running Government and substantial debt threatens to destabilize the financial foundation of the organization; further, public expectations coupled with budget cuts require realignment of the organization and the delivery of services.

The Public Service Reform Initiative represents a significant undertaking over a sustained period that will affect internal operations as well as the delivery of services. The working groups are our implementation teams and they will be held accountable for the delivery of the change initiatives assigned.

Mr. Speaker, we will endeavour to update this Honourable House and general public on an ongoing basis as we move forward.

Thank-you Mr. Speaker.

-

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Comments (12)

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  1. Anon says:

    This is asking the inmates to run the asylum. While we’re at, why don’t we get Chris Furbert to head up the team on outsourcing?

    • Sand says:

      Nonsense,

      A “spirit of inclusiveness” is exactly what’s needed here. Later we will see what that phrase actually means in this context.

      Less divisive two party nonsense would be a good thing. Less entertaining for some perhaps, but better for everyone in the end.

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    It is way past time talking about talking about reform. The OBA has been in the drivers seat for over a year & a half. Start driving. The hard facts are that we are in for a very bumpy road thanks to 14 years of PLP incompetence & questionable administration, to be very polite.

    Get on with it.

  3. On the road again….I just can’t wait to get on the road again…

  4. A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn…
    Helen Keller.

  5. PANGAEA says:

    A Day in the life of some civil servants.

    45 % of the time is spent covering their back sides, while another 45 % of the time is spent figuring out how to do the first part of the equation,

    The remaining 9% time is spent surfing W W W. finally the last 1% is spent watching the clock.

    The hard workers are those heroes who hang on to the back of the truck rain blow or shine and pick up your green plastic bags at the end of your drive two days a week, thank you.

  6. PANGAEA says:

    Down the road there could be some Government Workers who will get the ” DREADED PINK SHIP “.

    The Government owes it to them to help find suitable employment.

    Government “Do the right thing ”

    The Government should assist with the preparation of a resumes if needed and assist with employment notices in the news papers also establish an employment hot line 1 ~ 800 jobs for potential employers to call in.

  7. Window cleaner says:

    @ Pangea – in one post you talk about the amount of work that some civil servants do (100% true, incidentally), yet the second post says Government should help them. Why? These people have been milking the system for years, decades in many cases, getting paid for a job they don’t or can’t do. Taking jobs that could be done by other Bermudians who would produce a hard day’s work.

    Government has enough to do turning around the train wreck that is Bermuda, without throwing extra help at those who have effectively taken from their countrymen for years.

    • Allspice says:

      Oh that’s easy.
      We need to help them because unemployed people will be a greater drag on the economy than employed ones. Though it may be tempting we can’t just throw people into the street and tell them they got what they deserved.

      That way madness lies.

      So like it or not if we trim the civil service, which we must, we will have to work out what to do with those that get trimmed. We have to do this because the economy is too small to take on a large influx of unemployed people. Also it would be civilized.

      • Here’s where immigration can come in i.e. “scrutinize more carefully the applications for work permits”.
        Them who do apply for jobs that just about any Bermudian can fulfill shouldn’t be hired,”off the bat”.If an individual, a Bermudian who is collecting Govt. assistance month in and month out because they claim they’re unable to “find a job” are only unemployed because no-one is keeping track of where it is they do seek work.
        Those that are physically capable must apply for the job/s and here is where we can cut down on them locals that are unemployed. Believe me, there are countless menial jobs being done by no-Bermudians and we often complain when seeing…yet, do nothing about :-(