Another top job opens in civil service

| 30/06/2015 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jen Dixon, Director DCFS

(CNS): As succession planning remains a key issue in the civil service, the retirement of a top public sector boss in September will open up yet another critical leadership post in government. Jen Dixon, the director of the Department of Children and Family Services, will be retiring on 1 September and officials have not revealed a successor. However, the minister of the department told CNS he was confident that there would not be an issue with succession for this particular post.

Although ministers are not responsible for the hiring or firing of public sector officials, the issue of succession planning in the civil service has become a political hot potato recently.

Concerns over the numerous and significant vacancies at the top of the civil service, the failure to find Caymanians to lead critical government departments and agencies, as well as the practice of having staff act in top jobs for years without confirmation have caused concern for both politicians and the public at large.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who heads the civil service, said in a CNS interview recently that he would be held accountable in future for addressing the issue. The DG admitted that after more than six years of civil service pay and recruitment freezes, succession planning has been neglected and has therefore become a significant problem. But Manderson told CNS that he is committed to addressing the issue.

Dixon’s retirement will create a gap in leadership at one of government’s most important direct service departments, as it deal directly with some of society’s most vulnerable people and is responsible for government’s costly welfare tab.

CNS has contacted the chief officer to establish what the succession plan for Dixon’s retirement is, and we are awaiting comment. However, Minister for Community Affairs Osbourne Bodden told us he was happy to say that “succession planning is alive and well” at the department and he believed the post would be filled by local staff “well positioned to do so”.

Dixon has worked in government social services for more than 37 years after joining the public sector as clerical officer in the then Ministry of Health, Education and Social Services in 1978. She was appointed the first Caymanian deputy director in October 1987 and became director of the Department of Children and Family Services in 2012. In 1996 she received an MBE for her work with Cuban refugees when in 1994 some 1,200 illegal Cuban migrants arrived in Cayman  and were housed in what was known as ’Tent City’, which was managed by social services until it was taken over by the immigration department.

Read Director of Children & Family Services retires on CNS Local Life

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope the new leader is from a first world country with at least a masters degree and at least 10 years experience perhaps a suburb of a large city where their is a demographic makeup like cayman
    I hope its not a local why because unless you have first world experience some behaviors may appear normal for example physical discipline, sexual behaviors, etc that said if the new leader comes from a third world country they may believe female circumcision is ok
    and a womans place may be in a kitchen and education ends at puberty
    get where I am going with this

  2. Len Layman says:

    I would like to than Jen for here hard work and dedication to her job, and most importantly to the people of the Cayman Islands. Enjoy your retirement, Jen. It is well deserved.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have had the pleasure of working with “Ms. Jen”, as she is affectionately called. Ms. Jen, you are a wonderful human being, thank you for your commitment, compassion, foresight and leadership in the DCFS. I am certain that you will continue to serve the community in various ways. Do enjoy your retirement. All the best!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is her hard work over the years that have made Cayman the paradise it is today

  5. Lorraine Ebanks says:

    That’s good some civil servants have been in their position to long now and others like her also.
    We need new and more educated persons to help those that really need assistance and not just because it’s your friend that your helping. Also, hopefully now this will bring in jobs in that department that Caymanians can hold (Yes Ms. Rivers new jobs) and fade out those that have also been there to long and not assisting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Her leaving has nothing to do with the arrival of Bodden.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @8:08 – Can you not articulate what you want to say without being so incredibly rude?

  8. Anonymous says:

    CNS, stop trying to inflame this succession planning thing. You do not know as much about the civil service and the total lack of local talent (leaving aside all those suspended for alleged corruption (immigration), misconduct in public service (immigration), criminal charges involving a traffic accident (Fire)) as you think you do and your pandering to the anti-foreign idiots on your website on this issue is disturbing.

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