September 19, 2020

The Editor Speaks: I am surprised Chamber seems to support EY report but agree with bi-partisan support with private sector

0
0



Pin It

Colin WilsonwebIn one of our lead stories today, “ says CS team to implement Report will have conflicts of interest”, the of Commerce is calling on government for bi-partisan support with private sector experts to implement the Ernst & Young (EY) report for rationalisation of the Civil Service (CS).

The Chamber seems to support the majority of the Report and said it had met with the consultants and “provided them with a letter addressed to the Deputy Governor listing the actions that we believed based on our consultation with the membership could assist them in their work.”

The Chamber through their President, , says, ” The Council supports measures to reduce the cost of government, improve performance and relate efficiencies, increase enforcement, privatise non-essential services, introduce and apply reasonable regulation and eliminate waste and unnecessary bureaucracy. Members believe that Government works best when it creates a regulatory and enforcement environment that foster business development and growth rather than competing with the private sector by providing services that fall outside the central role of Government. The public service should be seen as an enabler of business and the regulator of standards and the protector of persons in our community who are most vulnerable and require assistance.”

In calling for bi-partisan support of the EY report the Chamber “questions the decision by Government to assign a team of civil servants to lead the implementation of the recommendations that are to be accepted. We are concerned by the potential conflicts of interest and whether the team will have the requisite change management skills required to carry out this challenging process. We would have preferred to see some independent private sector involvement that can offer relevant expertise in, or oversight of, the implementation process. This partnership would strengthen the initiative and help to ensure the successful implementation of the recommendations. Creating a new department rather than simply outsourcing the implementation contradicts the aim of the report which is to change systems and to reduce expenditure. The implementation phase should not be led by bureaucrats who may lack the objectivity to guarantee the success of this initiative.”

Whilst I agree with the Chamber’s assertion for a need for bi-partisan support and their question of potential conflicts of interest in the Cayman government’s decision to assign a team of civil servants to lead the implementation of the recommendations, I am surprised they seem to support the EY Report so whole heartedly.

Quite frankly, I could have done a similar report just sitting at my desk without bothering to visit any of the government departments. I found the EY report very disappointing. Where was the in-depth analysis that we were promised? So many of their recommendations give no analysis whatsoever and certainly no justification. Some are totally absurd and show a total lack of understanding especially with the lumping together of different bodies.

As a result I doubt whether many of them will be implemented and the wastage that is currently going on will continue.

I therefore, strongly urge the government to sit down with the Chamber. There are many members with the necessary expertise, who would be able provide much needed advice and invite them to join the civil servants who will be implementing the recommendations, discarding the ones that make no sense at all, and suggesting other areas not in the Report.

I must say I would have been happier if the Chamber had registered some disappointment too in the EY Report.

Where I can 100% agree with them is when they say:

“What is clear is that the status quo cannot continue. Total public service debt at 30th June 2014 is stated to amount to $874.5 million. If unfunded pension liabilities are included, total public sector liabilities amount to $1.15 billion. Furthermore, the Government is not in a position to significantly invest in infrastructure upgrades that are vital to Cayman’s future.”

 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

  1. “the Government is not in a position to significantly invest in infrastructure upgrades” not because of the Civil Service but because they’re still paying off the last round of ‘infrastructure upgrades’. But I know, lets cut something. Lets pick something expensive. Like the Turtle Farm. Lets just shut the gates, turn off the lights, open the sluice gates and just walk away. Not even a security guard left. (Well, no mention of reducing that outsourced Govt. cost by EY, so maybe we’ll be able to keep them employed.) No more salary costs, no more operating costs, no more subsidiy. Except that Government will still be paying millions of dollars a year to service the debt from the ‘infrastructure upgrade’ that was Bosun’s Beach. You’ll have a lot of out of work Caymanians and bored tourists but maybe the Government will be able to free up enough ‘leverage’ to get themselves another loan to employ more CoC members as consultants and contractors on the next round of ‘infrastructure upgrades’. That will make it all worthwhile. For the CoC.

Speak Your Mind

*