Newly created top CS job goes to local

| 04/05/2017 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

Aubrey Bodden

(CNS): As government continues to overhaul the civil service, cut costs and improve efficiency, officials have announced the creation of another top-level job. The new Cabinet Office post is the chief internal communication officer for government, which was described as being “wide-ranging”, though officials have not outlined the specifics of the job. Aubrey Bodden, a Caymanian who has been rising quickly in recent years through the government ranks, has been appointed to the new senior post. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said she was “eminently qualified” for the role, which he said would be important to the ongoing civil service changes.

“The chief internal communication officer is pivotal for advancing several of the key objectives of the 5-Year Strategic Plan for the Civil Service,” Manderson said.

In a press release about the appointment, officials said the job would “have a huge impact on how civil servants are engaged to deliver on government’s and departmental priorities. Embedding a new internal communications framework and strategy is also part of a broader move to increase communications capabilities in the public sector.”

Bodden is a graduate of John Gray High School and went to the United World College before attending Cornell University, for her degree. Since joining the civil service, she has completed a Masters in Public Policy and Management at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

She has worked in Gender Affairs and Freedom of Information and was the policy analyst in the Cabinet Office before taking up the new post, where she will reported directly to Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, who said he was confident she will excel. “This is an outstanding achievement for both her and the civil service,” he added.

Bodden said she was excited about the opportunity to engage with civil servants and support organisational change.

“With the launch of the 5-Year Strategic Plan we hope to connect and reconnect people to our purpose and vision, promote collaboration, and ensure all civil servants have the information they need to know what is expected of them and perform at exceptional levels,” she stated in the government release.

“My experience implementing the Freedom of Information Law – including supporting information managers and other public servants across almost 100 different public authorities in complying with the new framework for access to information – demonstrated the importance of communication and engagement to ensure everyone understood what was required of them and had the information and tools to meet those expectations,” she added.

Bodden said the immediate goal is to better understand where the public service is presently and to ensure it can respond to staff needs.

Clarification from Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose: 

“I can confirm that this new post was advertised for a period of three weeks within the civil service given that the focus of the role is internal. Therefore an intimate and current working knowledge of the civil service is required. We were also very confident that we could find capable and qualified Caymanians within the civil service to fulfil this role.

“At the end of the advertisement period a total of seven applications were received from across the public service (including an SAGC). Three applicants were shortlisted, put through an assessment centre and interviewed by a three-person panel, which I chaired. The other two panellists were a communication professional from another ministry and a communication professional from outside of the civil service. Ms Bodden was unanimously selected as the successful candidate.

“Ms Bodden is an outstanding civil servant and an exemplary Caymanian who’s hard work, dedication and achievements are well known throughout the public service and indeed throughout this community. She has diligently applied herself to earn this new post as well as every accolade and achievement contained in her resume. She is an excellent addition to the team of highly qualified and capable professionals delivering communications both externally and internally across the public service.

“Today is a day to celebrate another truly inspiring success story within our civil service.”

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Comments (46)

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  1. Anon. says:

    Reading some of the comments confirms my belief that usually Caymanian posters have nothing credible to question, they just like to complain and tear down their fellow Caymanians.

    When the Government hires an expat, they complain that a Caymanian was not given the opportunity.

    When a Caymanian is hired, they question or just discredit their qualifications.

    Ms. Bodden is certainly qualified education wise and her experience working in the service gave her the experience to do the job.

    I don’t see anything wrong with only advertising internally, particularly when the experience they are requiring is specific to Government.

    What I have found with a lot of Caymanian applicants is that they feel that once they have a degree they are qualified for and should be considered for any job.

  2. Ima Wondrin says:

    “As government continues to overhaul the civil service, cut costs and improve efficiency, officials have announced the creation of another top-level job.”

    Cut costs? By adding another Top Level job? I wish they would post the salaries of all the top-level jobs in the Civil Service. I didn’t understand exactly what this new position actually is. Just exactly what is a Communications Officer? Are the other Civil Service heads unable to communicate? With whom do they need more communication? With telephones, computers, mail, etc, why can’t they communicate efficiently? It just doesn’t ring true…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    A village with the crime problems of a city and a political infrastructure of a large third world country with values to match.
    It can only run so far before all of the taking and job creation implodes on itself.
    Hopefully, my house will be sold by then.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just one more talented Caymanian sacrificed on the altar of empty platitudes who will be sucked into the anonymous vortex of yet another useless government quango.
    We’ve had eight year plans, five year plans, millennium plans and plans ad nauseam.
    The plans suck.

    To me it seems like Dart spends his money to support this government. His cash for development pays a whole heap of our obese government’s wages.
    The piper will need to be paid soon. He has led us a merry dance, n’est-ce pas?

    Run, Aubrey, run! Follow your dreams!

    • Anonymous says:

      2:46. Seriously you need help. Call the “I need a life hot line quick quick” I can’t imagine ever thinking so negative!!

      Congrats Aubrey you make me proud to be a Caymanian and a civil servant.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i am so proud to be a civil servant these days. To all the jealous persons out there – get a life!! This job was advertised within the civil service. Why would we advise outside when we have so many superstars in the service.

    Gone are the days of persons just being slotted into positions. I am so proud of the changes we have made in the civil service and I am proud of Aubrey.

    Stop the hate!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kick some a__ Aubrey. There are lots that need it. Or maybe just take away their chairs so they don’t spend too much time sitting on their a__.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:04. You are mistaken Aubrey works in the Civil service. You must be referring to the whacky private sector.

      This is an excellent appointment and I am proud to see so many Caymanians moving up the ranks in the Civil Service. Now if only the whacky private sector would follow.

      Proud Civil Servant.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t you want someone with a Communications degree for this? Also, doesn’t the head of GIS get paid a lot of money to do this already?

  8. Anon says:

    Aubrey is qualified for the role and should do well. But to the Government heads:

    If you’re going to create an important high level position such as this one, please follow the normal procedure and advertise it. Give equal opportunity to others who may also be interested and aptly qualified.

    You know better than this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Watch out for heather bodden next yikes

    • Anonymous says:

      The post was advertised within the civil service since the focus of the role is internal and an intimate and current working knowledge of the public service is required.
      At the end of the advertisement period, a total of seven applications were received from across the public service (including an employee of a statutory authority). The applicants were shortlisted, put through an assessment centre and interviewed by a three-person panel chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.
      9:17 wake up!! you must have been asleep when the post was advertised

  9. Anonymous says:

    The position was never advertised…they just stuck her in it…rules are for suckers.

  10. Frustrated/Ashamed Caymanian says:

    I have a masters degree and know the time it takes.
    But seriously, no offense, but did she get a masters while at work in the civil service….is this part of the publicly funded “civil service college” that no one questions……and exactly who paid for that?
    United World College….never heard of it…..Oriental and African studies….uhhh seems relevant.
    Franz WTF, you are supposed to be trimming the fat, not adding to it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I like how you conveniently glazed over the Ivy League university.

    • Anonymous says:

      Besides being frustrated and ashamed, I suspect that you are also disenchanted and apathetic, since you didn’t take the time for a simple Google search.

    • Anonymous says:

      Frustrated/Ashamed Caymanian – Your comment is a fine example of that Caymanian crab in the bucket mentality.

      Congrats Aubrey! Continue to work hard and excel.

    • Anonymous says:

      UWC and SOAS are both extremely well known. Maybe you should try google.

    • Please address your ignorance... says:

      I do not know Ms. Bodden but United World College (UWC) is the pre-eminent International Baccalaureate High School with multiple campuses around the globe. To go there from Cayman she would have been selected through a competitive process and becoming a UWC Scholar is both an honour and a privilege!

      This being followed by a degree from Cornell is not to be scoffed at just because you never heard of something. Further the School of Oriental and African Studies is a College of the University of London and is well over a hundred years old. In addition a Masters in Public Policy should be directly applicable to a Civil Service role.

      You can question the process but you should not disparage someone’s education without being aware of the facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you never heard of something, you should probably take some time to educate yourself on that topic before passing judgement

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps 7:56 should do some research before writing – United World College is a very respected institution and scholarships have been offered to Caymanian High School Graduates for at least the last 20 years. Congratulations to Miss Bodden.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lucky for you research was not a part of your masters degree programme. Definitely not your strong suit.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:56 you represent what’s wrong with Caymanians. You are the shining example of the crab in the bucket. I suspect that’s why you are unemployed.

      How dare you cry down one of your own people. Shame shame shame on you.

      Franz thank you for believing in Caymanians and giving so many of us an opportunity.

      Proud Civil Servant.

    • Anonymous says:

      As you have access to a computer. Use your master’s degree to research UWC.

    • Just Saying says:

      You can only be labeled as an idiot when you open your mouth 7:56 am.

      Which institution gave you a masters degree?????

      Actually you are the typical Caymanian, always ready to put another Caymanian down instead of elevating them and supporting them.

      Congrats Ms. Bodden, young Caymanian, smart, ambitious and beautiful. This is your country, be the best and do the best job you can.

    • CGS says:

      You should be ashamed of your ignorant comments.
      Just because you have never heard of the United World College doesn’t mean it isnt valid. It has been around for years, every year the Cayman Islands National Committee sends at least one person to one of their colleges around the world. Many of our UWC scholars are very successful today. Ever heard of Linburgh Martin, Lizzette Yearwood, Samuel Rose, Kellie McGhee? All UWC scholars.

      Despite your Master’s degree claim, I wouldn’t hire you in the Civil Service because clearly you don’t read much nor are you up to date with current events, even though you have something as easy as Google at your fingertips.

      Interesting how you chose to ignore that her first degree was from Cornell, an ivy league university, or maybe you have never heard of that either.

      While I encourage people to question Government appointments, at least do your research before you end up making ignorant comments because then your inquiry becomes less credible and just makes you appear to be a sad, pathetic Caymanian with “crabs in a bucket” mentality.

    • Anonymous says:

      You claim you have a Master’s degree, but this is seriously doubted, and if it is true then it couldnt have come from any reputable university. If you have, well you could’nt have learned much from such an advanced degree, where such a degree teaches research and independent learning. Which world are you from anyway?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Ms Bodden! I love hearing of qualified Caymanians rising through the ranks in their chosen career field.

  12. Veritas says:

    Was this new position advertised externally?. I note the job title in typical civil service fashion is prefaced by the word “chief”, allowing for a number of subsidiary positions to be created. I have no qualms with Ms Bodden’s suitability for promotion as she is admirably qualified but I feel strongly that the job title should also have included external communications.Anyone who has attempted to call a Government dept or employee will have experienced the almost certain frustration of listening only to a voice mail response, which offers to return the call, but invariably does not. This is a long standind and serious problem that urgently needs to be addressed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would it be advertised externally if they had someone internal to do the position? No business would ever do that it makes no sense.

      • Veritas says:

        8.37am In that case no civil service position would ever be advertised and it will continue to be a den of nepotism, but of course this only applies to locals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Government Information Service (GIS) handles external communications.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is an excellent appointment and will provide a golden opportunity for us to hear all the great things happening in the Civil Service. So many Caymanians are being recruitment in or promoted within the civil service these days and they all have one thing in common. They deserved the job.

    So many good things happening in our Civil Service these days.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Aubrey Bodden, I don’t know you personally but I’m very happy when I hear a Caymanian gets a top job in their country it makes me feel like a million dollars. God bless

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s appropriate because that’s how much it will cost the government over the next five years or so!

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