Civil service review starts this month

A Cayman Islands public service review is set to begin in mid-December, government officials confirm.

Four separate review teams will begin scrutinising all government services, including those delivered by government companies and statutory authorities.

The first four government agencies to be assessed are Her Majesty’s Prison Service, the Department of Tourism, Public Works and Cayman Islands National Insurance Company.

Seventeen civil servants have been selected to form four review teams and the private sector has been asked to provide support for the teams.

The teams will be trained and developed by an external trainer. Reports on the emerging findings of the reviews are expected in January 2010.

The review is being done as part of an agreement between the Cayman Islands Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following the UK’s approval of Cayman’s borrowing request earlier this year.

‘Government should be continually improving the way it does business,’ Acting Governor Donovan Ebanks said. ‘However, in these economic times of rising costs and diminishing revenues, we need to critically examine all the services we provide for the public and ask fundamental questions.

‘In essence, the reviewers will explore whether a service should be discontinued, outsourced or should stay within government, but delivered more efficiently.’

The review is central to government’s effort to reduce public expenditure, and Mr. Ebanks said he hoped to have it complete before the end this financial year on 30 June.

Mr. Ebanks said members of the project team were carefully selected and included personnel from the Internal Audit Unit who have experience and training in auditing the performance of government departments.

‘I believe that together we have the talent and energy in the Cayman Islands to drive this review without having to rely heavily on foreign consultants that will only add costs,’ Mr. Ebanks said.

Although the project is driven by the Office of the Deputy Governor, the four review teams will work under a project team headed by three chief officers: Franz Manderson, Gloria McField-Nixon and Jennifer Ahearn.

The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association has been consulted on the review, and Mr. Ebanks has asked civil servants to give their support to the review teams, so they can complete their reporting within the stated timeframe.