No Talks On Civil Service Job Cuts

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By Sonje Greenidge, Journalist

Updated 7:05 PM AST, Wed Jun 22, 2022

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Premier and Minster of Finance Dr. Natalio Wheatley.
(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)

(PLTM) - There have been persistent anxieties widely expressed around the possibility of public service cuts given the current political climate that has given rise to the recently formed Government of National Unity.

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These concerns have been exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, which resulted in a major negative impact on Government revenue. More recently, discussions about the suspension of the constitution have again stirred public discourse on the issue.

Further, since the public sector is undergoing significant reform and the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report are being implemented, tensions have been renewed. However, Premier and Minster of Finance Dr. Natalio Wheatley told BVI Platinum News that there have been no ongoing discussions about job cuts either with the United Kingdom (UK) or internally.

The public service accounts for a significant portion of the Territory's labour market, employing approximately 3,000 persons. Even with the intensifying global economic implications, the current National Unity Government and the former Virgin Islands Party Government administrations have sought to ensure government workers remain employed.

Instead, Dr. Wheatley stated that emphasis has been placed on public sector transformation. He also indicated that the Deputy Governor has been tasked with this transformation.

However, Governor John Rankin did not speak definitively about whether there are currently any plans to downsize the public service.

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In a recent interview he stated that while he cannot predict the size of the public service in future years, it must prioritize effectiveness and adaptability.

Governor Rankin also stated that: “I certainly want an efficient public service and I want public officers working in the most effective way possible. I also want the public service working on the right things and it has not been the right things where public monies have been expended and not to the public benefit.”

Governor Rankin explained that this was due to policy decisions made by successive governments.

As it relates to public sector transformation, the 2021 Annual Report from the Deputy Governor’s Office stated, “The annual strategic plan and the Performance Monitoring Framework (2020-2023) have ensured the Governor’s Group’s ability to fully carry out its mandate with key initiatives based on promoting technological innovation, improving communication, enhancing skills and competencies, improving communication, enhancing skills and competencies.”

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6 Comments
Road Runner
Carrying the financial burden of an oversized under preforming Civil Service has been detrimental to the BVI for decades. In my view at least 1/3 need to go, and the remaining 2/3's be put on probation during a performance review. The money saved could be put into Schools, roads, infrastructure etc. things of real value. The general public are clearly sick of the poor treatment, inefficiency and in some cases downright rudeness encountered by the very people they are paying to employ. This needs addressing ASAP>
Like · · 4d ago
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Licker And Sticker
Hmmm unemployment will increase and work participation will decrease. Thats the making of a serious problem. Productivity doesnt come from government and so a burdensome government operation is never good as well. We are basically screwed either way
Like · 3d ago
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Work Is Work Is Work. Means Work
Something needs to be done to improve service and getting Value for money, lateness is now the norm, Imagine a staff 20 mins late a day. That's like a day a month off, 12 days a year, no work but pay, So..Maybe a few cuts of the real bad ones may set things straight and encourage a more serious approach towards their work
Like · · 4d ago
20 Likes
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Tax Payer
Way too many Civil servants, it is not sustainable! and yet when you go into a government office there is no sense of urgency at all. i will go further and say that it does not seem like the civil servants in any department works for the public, rather for themselves. Fire all and start over with the vetted and good people.
Like · · 4d ago
25 Likes
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Downsize
of the civil service will be done by the UK through the Guv's office so no need for talks, consultations, meetings, etc. Some will be privatized(Post Office), some will be taken over by the UK(Customs) and many will be abolished(Complaints Commissioner). But there is good news in the hiring of many UK auditors to examine and investigate all the fiscal expenses of the BVI government from 1980 until now.
Like · · 4d ago
14 Likes
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Trevor
Any business knows its the money you keep that matters. Budget is enormous and still not enough? think squeezing the private sector with increased fees will solve things? CUT YOUR EXPENSES!
Like · · 4d ago
24 Likes
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