Parks unit merges with Public Works

Cayman-Islands-Public-Works-Lead

As part of the government’s initiative to restructure the civil service, the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit has merged with the Public Works Department. 

Formed in 2006, the parks unit had 24 employees – all Caymanian – as of June 2011, according to the government’s annual HR Report 2010/2011. 

Alan Jones, chief officer in the Cayman Islands Ministry of Finance, District Administration, Works, Land and Agriculture, announced the decision 19 March via a news release. The merger is expected to save government about $270,000 per year. 

The ministry budgeted $1.6 million for “management of public recreational facilities and cemeteries” this year, according to the government’s 2012/13 Annual Plan and Estimates. 

The government’s overall restructuring plan is known as Project 1: “Rationalisation and Transformation of the Public Service”. The purpose of the review is to reduce public sector costs by restructuring government ministries and agencies whose functions overlap. The project is led by chief officers Mr. Jones, Eric Bush and Dax Basdeo, along with a UK “expert”. 

A report was expected to be complete this 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.  

According to the news release, “With 13 ministries and portfolios, over 70 departments and sections, 25 statutory authorities and government companies and numerous boards, committees and commissions, the idea is to amalgamate government entities to improve overall efficiency and reduce costs. 

“In this case, RPCU’s current staff levels are well below what is required to meet the demands of cleaning 16 parks, 18 beaches, 26 beach accesses, 16 restrooms, 13 docks/ramps, 12 cemeteries and nine beautification areas. This equates to over 100 facilities on Grand Cayman,” the release continued.  

The projected cost savings will result from Public Works’ taking on part of the finance and management work carried out by parks unit employees, “thereby allowing three RPCU employees to be transferred to other areas of government where vacancies presently exist”, according to the news release.  

Additionally, the merger means the parks unit will no longer have a separate office – and utilities and other office-type costs – and will operate from the existing Public Works office and compound. Also, the merger means Public Works and the parks unit can share each other’s equipment rather than renting from the private sector – for example, the parks unit can use Public Works’ flatbed truck or Bobcat, while Public Works can use the park unit’s backhoe. Employees from the two entities will also be able to help one another. 

The news release identifies parks unit assistant manager for operations Mark Bothwell as the unit’s acting general manager. The unit’s general manager, Jonathan Jackson, “is still the substantive post-holder, but has been on secondment to ministry and filling the role of an additional deputy chief officer”, Mr. Jones said. “[Mr. Bothwell] has been fulfilling the day-to-day role of GM at Parks.” 

Cayman-Islands-Public-Works-Story

Public Works Department Director Max Jones welcomes Acting RPCU General Manager Mark Bothwell to Public Works.
Photo: Submitted
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9 COMMENTS

  1. This group has been doing an excellent job at the parks and cemeteries. Public works department is well respected hard working element of government, I am sure the association will add value to both.
    Keep up the good work folks, your local call sign as poor working dogs is a point to a badge of honor to many..

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  2. My comment will not be popular because sometimes the truth hurts.

    Government should eliminate both departments by outsourcing to the private sector. Jetison the pension costs, croynism, and nepotism. Competitive private sector bid process will save the government 3x’s more than their restructuring plan.

    Providing cushy government pension jobs is NOT the purpose of government. Getting the government budget under control is. Government should outsource wherever it can. No one will lose their job. Instead those same workers will be private sector employees whose employer will have a higher expectation of productitity.

    Vote my comment down I expect. But if the government can not get expenses under control, the result will be Cayman will become a Greece.

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  3. It was announced today that the Govt came up with a solution to the landfill problems at the Georgetown landfill.
    After years of study and expert opinions It was determined that a Goat Poultry farm would be established at the landfill to take care of the waste problem the island faces.
    Goats are very smart and contrary to beliefs they dont eat tin cans. The Chickens will clean up after the goats eat the waste currently dumped in the landfill.
    This is not a total solution but at the end of the day its a good start experts agreed.
    Additionally when the goats and chickens are retired they will be rolled over into tasty treats that will be enjoyed by everyone.

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  4. Mac’s famous Park Rangers should be rolled into this same department and removed for the politicians control. I am sure that this department could effectively, fairly. and properly manage it.

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  5. The persons that clean the Parks has been doing a very good job, and I am glad they are merging with Public Works Department. That was they way it was before. Now, I would like to see more interest shown in the cleaning of road sides, they are a disgrace with overgrown shrub. I see nothing wrong with them weed wacking the side line of the roads. In fact it is only done when election time. Shame on those responsible, and they only do the high way they never go into the side roads.

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  6. This is april fool.

    Panama’s booming transportation and logistics services sectors, along with aggressive infrastructure development projects, have lead the economy to continued high growth in 2012. Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity, as Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America. About 30% of the population lives in poverty;

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  7. This is brilliant,

    a True Win/Win – both departments get access to additional resources, while the public purse saves over a quarter million.

    I’m sure Mr Miller (The Government efficiency Guru not the northside one) will cite it in his presentation next monday)

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