During the course of 2010, “civil service” almost became
a dirty word in the Cayman Islands.
It’s true that this newspaper has at times taken a harsh
stance against what we feel is a civil service that is too large and not
willing to take its share of the pain from the government budget crisis. We’ve
also expressed our displeasure at the number of pay raises given to civil
servants after the elected government announced that there would be pay cuts.
In addition, there have been many in the community who have
said Cayman’s Civil Service is under-worked and overpaid.
All of this had to affect the morale of the Civil
However, there have been Civil Service successes over the
past year, and they should not go unnoticed.
People might think we wanted to see Deputy Chief
Secretary Franz Manderson’s head roll with one of our recent editorials, but
the truth is we feel Mr. Manderson is one of the hardest working, most
effective civil servant managers in the Cayman Islands. The efficiencies he’s
put in place in the Immigration Department and in the Portfolio of Internal and
External Affairs are the kind of thing we’d like to see throughout the public
Another success story is the The Department of Vehicle
and Drivers’ Licensing. The subject of a fairly harsh Complaints Commissioner’s
report in 2005 because of its service standard, the Department of Vehicle and
Drivers’ Licensing is setting a customer service standard in the Cayman Islands
Aided by a new and modern facility, customers now get timely,
efficient and friendly service at the Department.
The welcome improvements are quite evident to anyone who
had to stand in line at Immigration or the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’
Licensing five years ago. They aren’t the only Civil Service departments that
have shown great improvement over the past five year, either. What this should
show is that with the proper technology, training and management, civil
servants can excel. What we need going forward is for more Civil Service
department heads to show a similar commitment to excellence.