November 25, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Is our Civil Service value for money?

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In the 12 month period between years 2012/2013 the total number of civil servants employed was 3,601. At the lowest end of the scale – under $30.000 nearly 850 persons were employed and at the highest $200,000 and above only 2 persons and 3 between $190,000 – $200,000.

The largest section of just over 2,000 employees are between $30,000 and $70,000. Just over 200 employees are between $70,000 and $100,000. The rest range from $100,000 up to $170,000. There are no employees between $170,000 and $190,000.

Taking an average between the scales the approximate civil service wage bill to the country three years ago was around $142M.

On average each civil servant costs us $40,000 each per year.

We have to add into this the payments we have to pay for their insurance to CINICO. This could add another $25M to our bill. During that period the civil servants did not make any contributions for their health insurance.

Contrary though to popular belief, following an there are only three employees who also have outside jobs in 2017.

The population of the was just over 58,000 and say 75% of that figure are of working age that equates to 8% of our workforce are employed by government.

In the the latest figures show that it takes 1.8 more employees to run a government than it does for the equivalent private sector company.

One can only ask the question why?

From all the statistical figures I have been able to find I cannot compare our ratio but the popular consensus is it is a higher ratio than the USA.

As our figures also include police, fire service, prison officers and teachers, who are said to be understaffed it actually makes nonsense of anything I am trying to prove.

It is a very interesting question and perhaps someone out there more qualified and access to more information can come up with an answer.

I, at this time, cannot say but there is plenty of proof around that in many other countries more government employees are needed to do the same amount of work in the private sector and that really is the burning question.


Is it because we foot the bill every time and inefficiency is no criteria to change anything?

Finally. There are the questions of how many of the recommendations put forward by the latest Report to streamline the Civil Service have been put into place? And how much cost savings have been made by the streamlining? And has the cost savings paid for the cost of the Report and if not when?

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  1. A thought provoking article and, of course, comparisons can be tricky because of the relative size of countries, how many tiers of Government they have and their policies on public service matters (eg how much of the public services are provided directly and how much are out sourced to contractors). Cayman is a small country which will inevitably lead to higher relative Government infrastructure costs, it has one single tier of Government providing every public service both local and national and its services tend to be provided through Government employees rather than contractors. My office is currently part way through undertaking a performance audit into the Government workforce with a view to this being completed and published early in 2018 for the PAC to consider.

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