Massive civil service restructuring eyed

The management of the Cayman Islands civil service is beginning a “rationalisation exercise” that will involve all of its ministries, portfolios, departments, statutory authorities and government companies.

The wholesale review was announced via e-mailed department head meeting minutes, sent out to the press on Saturday, and was to be led by current civil service chief officers Eric Bush, Dax Basdeo and Alan Jones.

“There are 13 ministries and portfolios, over 70 departments and sections, 25 statutory authorities and government companies and numerous boards, committees and commissions,” the meeting minutes from 21 January read.

“Some functions and responsibilities of these entities may be duplicated, obsolete, misplaced or require structural adjustments to better serve the needs of the country.”

A report was expected in April detailing the civil service’s new organisational structure, including the addition of two new government ministries created under the 2009 Constitution Order.

The rationalisation review was set to assist Governor Duncan Taylor in allocating responsibilities for the new government following the May general election.

A UK expert has been requested to assist the project team.

The Cayman Islands civil service has been working for quite some time on downsizing. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has previously announced plans to cut civil service staff by some 360 positions within the next five years.

There is also a “pay freeze” for all members of the civil service that was announced last August.

The service and its related authorities and companies still employ in the neighbourhood of 6,000 individuals – well more than 10 per cent of the Cayman Islands entire workforce.



  1. Great News.Start with the thousands of work permits in the Civil Services and Public Authorities.When a work permit comes up for renewal, the Government must advertise the job and give full consideration to qualified Caymanians applicants. If there are no qualified Caymanians, non-Caymanians can be rehired, assuming they have not exceeded their seven-year term limit or any extension granted to it. But even a person who had received an extension (or a full waiver) of the term limit is not exempted from having his or her job re-advertised and being replaced by a non-Caymanian. That’s because the sole purpose of term limits is to avoid creating a situation where Cayman has a large population of non-Caymanians who have been on the Island for decades demanding more rights. Thus the ten-year work permit, if and when ever granted (considered in March 2013 and approved in principle, for a fee of 30,000, but highly unlikely to be issued except perhaps in special cases) is fairly limited in its scope, although for those who have a waiver already, it will give some security to them and to their Government.

  2. Spoiler, just being ‘qualified’ for a position, doesn’t mean you are the best candidate.

    You seem to have some quality ideas, you should go into the political arena,you’re obviously very knowledgeable.

  3. The one thing that surprises me about this is I would think that the Civil service of all people would be the last ones to hire expats unless there is an absolute need and in that case you’d think they would just hire someone who’s sole job would be to teach a trainee or group of trainees the job. They could also benefit a lot from taking on Interns during the summer and hiring top high school graduates into trainee positions. These young people could work their way up through the civil service into great positions. In other words get them while they are young, teach them well and let them lead the way. Programs like this would also motivate young people to work harder for better grades.

  4. With respect NJ2Cay, I hold you in high regard here and will continue to do so, but I think you can understand that it is difficult to gain an education in positions such as Police, Nursing, and Teaching, or other jobs that require a degree.

    In the modern world Nursing and Teaching require at least a B.Sc or B.Ed, and Policing in the Commonwealth has its own requirements. None of these education programs are easy or cheap.

    In short, and I’m sure I’ll be down-voted heavily for this comment but; Cayman Islanders cannot supply this sort of eduction for on their own people, but these people are badly needed.

  5. Spoiler, seen the Mosquito plane lately?

    THEY trimmed the ex-pat job – trouble is, he was the departments only certified aircraft mechanic and you can’t take a plane to NAPA for a tune up.

    It takes at least 3 years to train one so there’s a job for a Caymanian if the government will sponsor them – but then they’ll realise they can get better money elsewhere and leave the island – back to square one.

    The mechanic had job offers from all over the world all with MUCH better salaries. He was even offered his old job back when they realised their mistake but by then….

    If you know the rug can be pulled from under you at any time you have an exit strategy and avoid putting down significant roots – without it he’d have had a mortgage and been more tempted to stay.

    The Rollover/immigration policy is Caymans self created BRAIN DRAIN problem. Most countries are actively seeking to attract and retain skilled individuals especially those trained by other countries at great expense.

  6. @Sonic. Judging by the recently released school test scores the ‘Brain Drain’ problem starts in the fourth grade. Ultimately, most of Cayman’s problems can be traced back to the breakdown of the family and the lack of rigor in public education.

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