DG commits to address succession planning in CS

| 26/06/2015 | 48 Comments

(CNS Video): The deputy governor has said he will tackle the problem of succession planning in the civil service and has put himself on the line as the person the country can hold accountable for ensuring that top level posts in government will in future be filled with qualified and experienced Caymanians. As government completes its sixth attempt to recruit a collector of customs and struggles to find a local successor for the vacant fire chief job, succession planning and the development of Caymanians in government was a hot button topic during the recent Finance Committee sessions.

Kenneth Bryan sat down with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson to discuss the challenges and problems that civil service management has faced in recent years regarding the training and development of local government employees and transitioning them to the top jobs.

Cayman News Service

Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor of the Cayman Islands

A significant number of government workers across the public sector are acting in posts because plans were not previously in place to fill vacancies. The introduction of competitive recruitment for management jobs and the end of automatic promotion, along with the financial struggles of the last six years have resulted in gaps in management in core government as well as statutory authorities and left many important departments without a confirmed boss.

In addition to the chief fire officer and collector of customs, the complaints commissioner, the information commissioner, the head of the London office, the port director the chief officer in the ministry of education and numerous other lesser management posts are being held by individuals acting in the job.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Where is the current immigration chief anyway? Is she guilty of something? If so what? if not……. Why was this done to her. Very unfortunate. I think all persons on required leave need to be dealt with quickly. It’s costing the public purse either charge them or put them back to work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sonia, are you suggesting that the DG when he was CIO had a succession plan that involved two deputies neither of whom wanted to be CIO? If you’re going to train a race horse, you need to find out first whether he likes to run, not true?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Another civil servant that talks the talk but does nothing in reality. Zzzźzzzzz

  4. Anonymous says:

    Got to say I think Franz and Winston are two great examples of intelligent caymanians in public sector with a lot of integrity. The current immigration dept is a joke in comparison to when Franz was at the helm. Companies know they have secured their expat worker indefinitely with the easily attainable first permit.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The truth is the labour pool (in both the country and the CS) is several orders of magnitude too small to produce the requisite number of “executive calibre” civil servants. With a population one thousand times bigger, the UK struggles for Pete’s sake. And that is without a private sector clamoring (under intense pressure from the government and the public) to hire the best and brightest and lining up to hand out scholarships to the most academically gifted.

    Yes there should be succession planning to attempt to groom locals for the top spots but Franz (and the public) should acknowledge that the ultimate goal of government and therefore of the CS is not to provide a source of income for individual Caymanians but to provide services to the general public.

    As much as they want to see Caymanians in top spots, do the public really want the quality and cost of public services to take a back seat to instead benefit of tiny number of Caymanians that would benefit from taking these senior posts?

    Given that poorly run government services impact us all, wouldn’t it be best to just hire the best person available for the job?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I find it amazing how the Deputy Governor always comes across as being this great saviour who is going to deal with all of the shortcomings he has found.
    In this case, he would have shown some humility and reality by acknowledging that he had not practised succession planning in the Immigration department hence why no one from the department was able to succeed him when he left as Chief Immigration Officer. If another Caymanian hadn’t been found, Immigration would probably still be in the situation Customs is in.
    And I don’t believe that the person who replaced him as Chief Officer was someone who he had hired or groomed either if I recall correctly.
    But he got his current post as Deputy Governor without any acting so someone must have been practising some succession planning, don’t you think?

    • Sonia says:

      Let’s get some facts. I understand that Franz did have a succession plan at immigration but neither of his deputies wanted the job. I agree Mr Donnie did have a successful plan for Franz to take over from him as DG and he should be commended for it. What Franz is saying and we have to admit that it is true. Is that succession planning across the civil service was not a priority. He has allowed at least 6 chief officers to act as DG and prepare them for when we departs. So he is leading by example. I can tell you that if the government was not making a surplus Franz and the civil service would be blamed. Time will tell how effective he is but I really like what he has accomplished in a short time.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not especially a fan of Franz’s but this post by Sonia is 100% correct, clearly she knows what the truth is not that will matter to those who just love to give thumbs down.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pray tell who the six (status holders?) are that he has been grooming?

        • Alan says:

          What planet have you been living on? Over the past two years I have seen reports of Gloria Mcfield Eric Bush Mary Rodrigues Dax Basdeo and Jennifer Ahearn acting as DG. Wake up! Criticism without facts is kinda crazy don’t you think. Zzzzzzzz

          • Anonymous says:

            And that is what proper succession planning should be all about -giving a number of people the chance to get experience and not just anointing one person who happens to have been there forever, whether hopeless or not.

          • Anonymous says:

            Roll them all up and you still can’t make one! They are too busy with their egos to do anything!

    • Olivia says:

      Yes and look where that Caymanian who replaced him as Chief Immigration Officer is today. Very sad. Maybe Mr Manderson would have been better off bringing in someone from overseas for that job. He can only give Caymanians opportunities. We as Caymanians have to step and perform at the highest level. And those who think he won’t hold people accountable ask the civil servants who are on required leave if they agree. He has to approve every case.

    • Nick says:

      This is really refreshing to see a leader step up and take responsibility. We are behind you Mr Manderson please don’t be deterred by the negative posters.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Succession planning is just another buzz to fool people or to let young people who have the right connections to believe that youth and a college degree without real experience can thrump those with experience and loyalty and they don’t want to wait long enough to gain experience and respect of their peers. Also, the DG was head of Immigration and it was a non-law enforcement officer that succeeded him so where was the succession planning and two of the current deputies are not from within the department?
    History is also important to note as they continue the same thing to this day by getting rid of highly skilled, educated permanent secretaries as they were then called up to the now chief officers once they and a minister might have a professional disagreement or because they worked too hard for the previous administration as if they wont do the same for the incoming administration. I recall when a certain senior civil servant was retired early a British gentleman marveled at why the politician could get rid of one its brightest as if the pool of talent was wouldn’t dry up without going outside or promoting people above their competence. The truth be told can be found in what a politician once said in the house that Caymaians is there own worse enemy. The Fire Service is another example of a failure of vision to plan. Another buzz word thrown around recently was ‘rationalization’ of the civil service now replaced by another buzz word as referenced above.

    • Anonymous says:

      So much talk about succession planning but that only applies to Caymanians obviously. What about replacing certain people in that ministry who are close 70! Yet Caymanians are booted the minute they turn 60! You have to set the example DG.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just maybe its about people whom they are glad to be rid of and holding on to those that still can contribute in a positive way to the overall objectives of the CIG? Its not a race issue.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the nearly 70 year old is doing a good job and gets rehired on his or her merits. There is nothing to stop Caymanians working on contract after the retirement age BUT they have to be rehired by their fellow Caymanian bosses and all too often those bosses just cannot wait to see the back of certain longtime non performing employees when they reach retirement age.

  8. Anonymous says:

    take sh*t sturr its still the same its too bad some of your useless leaders have been in power for so long What ya going to do about that.
    Leaders will be shown naturally they are not made or happen after a period of time.
    Most of your potential leaders work in the private sector and make big bucks Thus you are left with Sh*t and that is the way it is.
    Its almost funny that your former leader and future leader can barely read but he is one hell of a sermon giver and on Comedy island that is all it takes

  9. Alan says:

    I wish to thank Mr Manderson for his efforts in this area. He has already achieved in 3 years what no other DG has achieved in that there all succession plans in place across the civil service. It is obvious that Mr Manderson has a plan and has a proven track record of delivery. Sir we are all behind you in this effort and we know you will succeed one again.

    Succession plans tick
    Improved Financial Satements tick
    Significant Improvement in performance managment tick
    Huge budget surplus tick
    Removed promotion by tenure alone tick
    Improved customer service… in progress

    well done!

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn’t have a clue about succession planning which is why some of the best talent in the Civil Service is leaving out of frustration. He had nothing to do with improved financial statements except to show up at the press conference and take credit. The Budget surplus is mainly a result of increased taxes which Franz played no part in. The removal of promotion by tenure came into effect in 2006 under the Public Service Management law, again, had nothing to do with Franz. Customer service will never improve in the Civil Servants until some heads start rolling, Franz is not the guy for that so I suspect he is going to fail in that department too.

      • Kenny says:

        So much hate. I guess Franz must have not promoted you What gives people the impression that he won’t demand accoutablity his nice smile. Ask anyone who has worked for him if they agree. I have and I can tell you he has no hesitation

        • Anonymous says:

          Its not an impression, it is called experience. From what I see, there is a lot of efforts being put into photo ops and PR, however, the deep rooted cultural issues of the service are not being addressed, the reason is because he wants to be everyone’s friend and is unwilling to make the tough calls. His position is an important one, he needs to earn the respect of the service by doing what is necessary and not just what is popular.

          • Perry says:

            Well I’m sure 2:50 he is not your friend or you would know better. Stop tearing down our educated caymanians. Ask any civil servant if the service is the same since Mr Manderson took over. Ask the staff at immigration if the department is the same since he left. Stop making decisions based on FB and compass articles do you really think Mr Manderson is going to manage the service in the media?

      • Kenny says:

        I have been in the civil service for over 10 years and during the last two years I have seen performance mangement improve I now have a performance agreement and a assessment is done on my performance each year. This has made a huge difference in my department. Please stop tearing down our DG. He is trying.

        • Anonymous says:

          You both must be “true-born” caymanians as the succession theory does not work if you’ve become a caymanian (and I’m not just talking about December 2003 inductees). ‘Driftwood’ is just ‘driftwood with papers’ as far as the Government personnel departments are concerned (or is it that they are being told who to put in place). If you don’t believe there’s a glass ceiling for ex-ex-pats, then there is still prejudice and an unequal society. Shame!

      • Anonymous says:

        12:39, am I right in presuming that you do not approve of the “removal of promotion by tenure”? In other words that promotion should go by seniority to the person who has warmed a seat for more years than the next one, without any regard to whether they are competent for the job?

    • Anonymous says:

      Improvement in performance management is a joke. You have to make the process meaningful which it certainly is not. It is just another bureaucratic tool to fool the masses into thinking we are more efficient than we actually are.

      • Anonymous says:

        a hundred thumbs up, could not have said it better, everyone fills out the little spreadsheet so the DG can say he has 100%, however, it is a meaningless exercise with no sanctions or rewards at the end.

      • Anonymous says:

        One only has to have some experience with the Planning Department. These guys go to sleep and wake up the next morning with new regulations which the personally apply to the rules.

        Succession is not to burden-down building applications with red tape and bureaucracy, that is irrelevant to the projects.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which sycophant is this?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Heard we losing another good one in the head of Treasury.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s who I think it is, she is a good person who has reached retirement age and is probably happy to retire because she is a bookkeeper not a high powered accountant such as the job requires. The one before her-happily retired- was also a bookkeeper thrown into a finance system she could not possibly understand as her intellectual competence was low.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        To 7:32 If that’s the case, why not send these recipient back to our learning institution, for the necessary degree?
        We have two fantastic University right here on on shores, which have turned out some of the most brilliant minds. It appears CIG is not thinking outside the box.
        There are 70 year old now acquiring their Masters. In other parts of the World of course!

        • Anonymous says:

          “two fantastic university (sic) right here on on (sic) shores which have turned out some of the most brilliant minds”. Either you did not attend either of them or you did and they are poor institutions or both.

        • Anonymous says:

          Which universities are you talking about, 12:09? Surely not UCCI or ICCI?

  11. Anonymous says:

    So what’s happening with the head of NWDA are will looking a successor from now? what he has 2 years and seems to not be doing anything… with that agency.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many people are brought here thinking they can make a difference and time proves them wrong. They can only make the changes the politicians allow them to make. They cannot for instance replace an incompetent workforce, or work against the natural order if Cayman which is if you have connections you are untouchable.

      • Anonymous says:

        Again you prove Mr. Legge to be correct. your last paragraph…”have connections you are untouchable”! corruption at the highest!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is disappointing to hear that Mario Ebanks DLP has not identified a Cyamanian to succeed him and now he’ll have to wait for someone to be recruited and then trained… status holder or PPM/C4C member perhaps?

    Chief Officers need to note that some staff may never have potential or ability to be leader and start seeking staff that can pass exams, be fast & efficient, disciplined and fair so that we can stop this foolishness.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Succession planning takes organisation, planning, commitment to long term goals, a good infrastructure to support returning graduates as apprentices and lastly (for once)resources to support the scheme.You may need to hire from overseas to get someone…ironic!

  14. cimboco says:

    We will always need foreign labour that is just a fact but the DG really need to step up to the plate and make sure that the hard working Caymanians educated, qualified ladies and gentlemen in the civil service are given an opportunity to get the top position whenever possible which might mean retiring those who are keeping the qualified Caymanians down. A succession plan is long overdue but better late than never. However not just the civil service need to adhere to succession planning , it is also woefully lacking in the private sector.

  15. Clear As Mud says:

    The Chief Officers in the various portfolios should all be accountable, because policy and the seeing to it that the departments under them are carrying them out, are their responsibility. They have failed even more than the heads of those departments who failed to do so, whether it was because they were protecting their own positions, or they couldn’t get the funds to further develop their staff. There should be clear criteria of what it takes to hold the top positions in all departments and that way everyone knows what they have to achieve if they want the job. But the current system allows for manipulation as they are able to make anything up as they wish.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bernie Bush is one of these MLAs who was a failure in the civil service and private sector but shines as an MLA (it’s basically a non job after all) because he can make crowd pleasing remarks about “people not originally from here” allegedly keeping “real” Caymanians down. And of course no one challenges him-even those (a few) in Finance Committee who know very well he is talking BS.. In the old days, people were automatically promoted if they had warmed a chair for a certain amount of time -ability had nothing to do with it. Times have changed worldwide and ability, especially managerial ability, really matters. But there simply are not enough very bright Caymanians, especially in the school leavers departments like Fire, Customs, Postal and Immigration to fill the vacant jobs at higher levels. Add to that, far too many senior staff having to be suspended for wrong doing or alleged wrong doing and a bright Chief Officer being moved to a job implementing a Report (that will never be implemented) because she and her Minister are two very headstrong know it all ladies and you end up with these vacancies and “acting positions”. And on top of that, sizeable numbers of the very brightest Caymanians do not enter the civil service in the first place because the jobs in the private sector (or even some statutory authorities) are so much more rewarding, especially but not solely, financially speaking. All the talking in the world from Franz or verbal flatulence from Bernie n’ Ezzard wont change that.

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