Lack of plan undermining CS goals, says OAG

| 30/05/2018 | 60 Comments

(CNS): The auditor general has found that government needs to develop a comprehensive workforce plan to meet its goals as there are significant gaps in managing talent, succession planning, recruitment and retention, and human resource strategies within the civil service. The latest report from Sue Winspear and her team warns that the deputy governor’s ambitions for a world-class civil service are at risk as there is no strategic direction about the future needs of government when it comes to its most critical resource — people. 

The Office of the Auditor General published a new report Tuesday, entitled ‘Workforce Planning and Management in the Cayman Islands Government’, which takes a look at the state of affairs regarding having the right people in the right place in the public sector.

But the auditors found that, despite the efforts being made to better manage the 3,600 plus government workers, there are still significant gaps and inadequacies in many important areas. Having examined issues such as the patchy and poor succession planning and managers avoiding dealing with poor performance, the auditor general made over a dozen recommendations that government needs to implement in order to better manage its workers and the more than a quarter of a billion dollars it spends on personnel costs.

“The Cayman Islands Government has recently launched a new five-year strategic plan, which sets out the ambition of becoming a world-class civil service,” Winspear said in a release about the report. “But it does not have a plan that sets out its workforce needs in the longer term to ensure that it has the right people with the right skills in place to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver the services that will be needed in the future.”

The auditors have acknowledged that the government is beginning to improve its workforce management but there is much more to be done to integrate its approach and the auditor raised concerns over the lack of medium- to long-term planning and any real data or understanding about the future skill and talent requirements to create a first class service.

That’s not all. The auditors found some serious shortcomings regarding the technology systems that the human resource teams across the civil service are using and the way the information that the public sector does have about its staff is stored and communicated.

“It also urgently needs to improve its IT systems for workforce management,” Winspear said. “The systems in place are not well-designed, integrated or user-friendly, which leads to inefficiencies in both inputting and extracting information for decision-making.”

Winspear pointed out how important people are to running government and therefore the need to address numerous issues, including the failure to implement a pay strategy to ensure it can recruit and retain the talent it needs. Although the recruitment freeze has been thawed and the pay of some key public servants has been reviewed, the civil service has not yet come up with a broader plan for pay.

“The civil service is entirely dependent upon its staff to deliver its strategic objectives, policies and a wide range of public services. The five-year strategic plan is an excellent start but it also needs to have a clear pay strategy that sets out how it plans to keep civil service salaries competitive to ensure that it can recruit and retain the right staff now and in the future,” Winspear added.

In the report the auditor also raises the issue of succession planning for Caymanians and points out that it has been five years since many of the succession plans in government departments were developed and none of them have been reviewed or updated to see if they are working. While the plans are primarily designed to ensure local people are climbing the ranks of the civil service, they are also about ensuring that management is planning ahead for critical roles so that important posts are not left vacant for too long.

The auditors’ findings are illustrated by the long-term vacancies and the placing of interim and acting leaders in key posts.

Concerns about the failings in succession planning were also raised by Public Accounts Committee Chair Ezzard Miller, who said he would be fixing a date in the very near future to call witnesses to address the report. He said that the lack of up-to-date succession plans for Caymanians and the poor HR systems currently in place are some of the areas PAC will expect the civil service to respond to when they appear before the committee.

“Despite the development of a new five-year strategy for the civil service, the lack of planning for how many staff with what skills are needed to deliver good quality services to the people of the Cayman Islands both now and in the future is worrying,” Miller said “The PAC wants assurances that the civil service is taking action to ensure that it is creating sufficient training and job opportunities for Caymanians both now and in the future.”

See the full report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Administration, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does it seem not a wee bit inapproprite for the Auditor General to be sharing (on Facebook) the newspaper/online articles on her Reports?

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought the same thing. The Office of the Auditor General should not only be independent and objective but also should be seen as such. Many of these articles take a certain slant (as is expected because journalists have views too). To the unsuspecting reader, this Facebook sharing by the Office could be interpreted as support for these views.

  2. Anonymous says:

    No surprises here.

    Franz neither has the qualifications nor the experience to run an organisation as large and complex as the CI Civil Service.

    Peter’s Principle in full effect. He does his best but that’s just not good enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:48. If our DG is not qualified then who is? Read the constitution idiot and leave our DG alone.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:17pm you respond like a spurned individual – the constitution has nothing to do with a persons qualification and experience in public administration.

        You may not know this but people actually study through post-graduate level for public administration.

        Come out of your dark place, won’t you?

      • Anonymous says:


        You sound like a civil servant or a retired one with no education that spend/spent your entire career referring to laws and regulations rather than getting things done effectively and efficiently!

  3. Anonymous says:

    CIG is so World Class that they prefer to hire the 3rd or 4th ranked candidate for a job instead of the top-rated candidate who was chosen by a panel appointed by CIG Management

  4. Anonymous says:

    “The Cayman Islands Government has recently launched a new five-year strategic plan, which sets out the ambition of becoming a world-class civil service,” Winspear said in a release about the report. “But it does not have a plan that sets out its workforce needs in the longer term to ensure that it has the right people with the right skills in place to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver the services that will be needed in the future.”

    Sue Winspear only has to ask herself the question “Why wasn’t a Caymanian selected to be Auditor General?”

    Caymanians with the right skills for any job in the Civil Service can earn significantly more in the private sector, and they don’t have to report to an incompetent.

    Fire the incompetents and pay the one with the right skills enough money to keep them in the Civil Service. I would explain how that can be done, but I’m only a few years away from solving String Theory.

    • UnCivil Servant says:

      The buck stops at the top and starts with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and his hand picked puppets called Chief Officers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Watch out – allegations of inappropriate sexual relations coming soon to a theatre near you!

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah boy sounds like another scandal similar to Port… Well we shall see but allegedly the last CO recruitment was due to “relations”. So common now that it discourages the more qualified persons from applying for these top jobs.

          • Anonymous says:

            4:55. Sour grapes and crabs in a barrel again.

            We Caymanians can’t stand to see our people do well.

            The really sad part is that so many of our MLA’s who preach about jobs for Caymanians are leading the crab in the bucket charge.

        • Anonymous says:

          Normally these false allegations are made when people can’t get their way!

          But we understand that puppets will be puppets.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh really…? a Cayman #metoo is long overdue! Might leave the country too unstable though because some big ones would fall for sure! This is a small and an even smaller glass house….so nothing really stays secret… getting away with it for so long they have just become completely arrogant about it. Definitely they feel untouchable. A Cayman #Metoo you say? I say RUN IT!

      • Anonymous says:

        Uncivil wakes again.

        I agree the DG is responsible. And should be commended for the high praise given to the civil service in this report.

        I shudder to think how this report would read 5 years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      The pay scale in the civil service is many years behind the cost of living and unlike the run away SAGC’s the civil service has kept cost down.

      Many civil servants are suffering because of poor pay. Address this now.

      My friend in the private sector gets a bonus and raise every year. But does not work the long hours that I do.

      I am proud to a civil servant and I can say that my civil service has greatly improved and finally I am seeing staff being held accountable.

      I know many of the bloggers seem to dislike our DG but the vast majority of civil servants love and admire him for all that he has done for us.

      We have a boss that cares. Stop being so jealous!

  5. Anonymous says:

    The biggest problem with the Civil Service is ACCOUNTABILITY! You have heads of departments that don’t know their head from their ass. But yet instead of dealing with them, they are allowed hinder progress.

    There are some bright people in the service. Problem is, they aren’t in key positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is by far one of the best AG reports of the civil service. For the first time ever the AG admits that the civil service already has plans in place to solve the issues she has raised. Except work force planning which I would venture to say 99% of all businesses don’t have a work force plan.

      Go ahead and critize the civil service because it has Caymanians leaders. But I can tell you that this is best performance by the civil service I have seen in years. You remember when all of their financial statements were unauditable. When promotion were done on the basis of tenure nepotism or gross political interference. Do you remember when 17% of the civil service did not even have a performance agreement. When customer service was a foreign concept.

      How quickly we forget.

      Ask the civil servants who are being arrested for corruption or drugs if there is no accountability in the civil service.

      Once we can keep the politicians away from civil service hires we will be fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Accountability is alive and well in the civil service. I have never seen so many reports of civil servants being held accountable in the history of the civil service.

      9:14 Stop with the fake news.

  6. Say it like it is says:

    God bless the DG, at least he can organise a 5K run, but that’s about his limit.The problem is we have the blind leading the blind – bring in some Philippinos!.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:17. You sound like someone the DG held accountable. Stop being jealous and come out and do the DG5k. It might help you de- stress a bit.

      Ask the special Olympic athletes or the victims riding in the new ambulance whether they think the DG5k is a bad idea.

      Shame on you. Get a life!! And get some glasses if you are going blind!

      • Anonymous says:

        U need to ask yourself “Why do we need the DG5K to help buy an ambulance?” When the politicians are gunning to spend eventually over 200 million Cayman dollars on a salty wet dream for the merchant class

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you 10:50.

        When Caymanians rise to the top. Instead of us being proud and supporting them. We tear them down. I am so tired of this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Lack of plan, are you kidding. The only plan they have is change a few headers and add 10% to the previous budget. We need a serious approach to accountability (delete the wants ) with emphasis on value for money spent. On a quarterly basis all portfolio heads must be called to a meeting to account for the expenditure under their charge. All approved expenditure not spent by the planned date must go back to the treasury. That will help to increase the value for money spent as all will have to ( what the old people refer to ) get up and go.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Civil service will soon be full of expats

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller / PAC – Don’t ask the Civil Service for answers since the answer, that to do this right will cost a lot more money, e.g., replacing the HR software, is an answer they can’t give you. You and the rest of the LA need to decide on the answer (leave things as they are, or spend the money to improve them).

  10. Anonymous says:

    10:26AM, you’re so correct. First of all, Managers should be properly trained and be able to handle all situations. If a Manager can’t manage, then there will be a trickle down effect of a poor run workplace.
    Also, Managers should be held accountable for poor management as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:55. What you are describing happens every day in the civil service.

      Haven’t you been reading the press.

      My godness I’m reading the posts and have to wonder if the posters live in this land of milk and honey. They seem to be so out of touch.

  11. Anonymous says:

    World Class Civil Sevice my ass

    • RICK says:

      No carribean country has world class civil service. All of them is biased on who knows you to get any service done. Some are biased on bribes and favors. The Caribbean is rotten to the core.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Auditor general needs to go into all of the government departments including the deputy governor’s office and talk to each staff member not just the managers on a one-one basis too really know what have and what is happening.

  13. West Bay Premier says:

    I agree with the OAG opinion on these matters , and the D.G needs to forget about popularity and friends and be a tuff and better boss and hold everyone accountable for their actions . You can’t run a successful business being soft and nice to all employees , while they are running the business in the ground . It will not be long before the game is over . That why they say business is business and love is love , and you shouldn’t mix the two together , because that’s a receipt for disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      West Bay Premier if you are a West Bayer then you must live in East End. Cause it’s clear you don’t know the DG. Let’s pray you don’t have to find out who you are really dealing with.

      Ask anyone who really knows him if they agree with your assessment.

      Ask the immigration officers who he led especially those in enforcement if they agree with you.

      I can answer cause I worked with him for over 10 years. Don’t mistake smiles for weakness. So many have made that mistake and paid dearly.

      Come on west bay p. Can’t you find a Caymanian you like.

    • Anonymous says:

      West Bay out of touch Premier you should be same of yourself.

      Start supporting Caymanians and ask Bernie how nice Mr Manderson is.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Watch them start giving even more employee awards now. Reminds me of the pointlessness of having a graduation ceremony for children when they leave nursery school.

    • BELONGER says:

      Better yet……. ust watch for more consultants being hired due to this new finding. In the end, another $200,000 CI being spent on a consultant report – which will catch dust in some Chief Officer filing cabinet.

      “Same old same old, just another day”

  15. Anonymous says:

    There is no assignable individual penalty to continued deferral of sound governance decisions. In the absence of basic accountability and enactment of Standards in Public Life (2014), it would be like going into a Casino with a pocket full of someone else’s credit cards thinking you’ll only pay them back on the chance you should get caught. Similarly, the duty and conduct of our MLAs and Cabinet are not specifically enacted yet – and shockingly, no date set to do so! Hello McFly?!?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with that. They struggle to fulfill their paid duties.

  17. Anonymous says:

    ‘Lack of planning’ or in plain English ‘the whole lot of them couldn’t organise a p*** up in a brewery’. It’s CIG, what does the OAG expect?

  18. Anonymous says:

    The key phrase in the report is “Managers avoiding dealing with poor performance” Why should they when they them selves are not held accountable. It doesnt matter what pay strategy you come up with as long as everyone gets great evaluations nothing will change. Until the Deputy Governor holds senior staff accountable we will have to keep suffering. Grow a pair D.G. Talk is cheap.

    • Anonymous says:

      This holds particularly true in Education. We have some real humdingers….don’t get to work on time, no lesson plans, no lessons in fact….check Brac….

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26. What are you doing besides talking. Are you part of the problem?

      Support our DG. Even the AG admits that the civil service is on the right tract.

      I have never read that before in any AG report.

      I am a proud civil servant who sees real Change in the civil service in the last 5 years. I was promoted last year to a job that was always filled with an expat.

      Hopefully the Premier and his Government will join the Opposition and start supporting the civil service again and we can get that raise that we have been waiting on for over 10 years.

      We delivered surplus budgets for the Premier for the last 4 years by not getting a raise and working harder with less. However our patience has run out.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26 you are out of touch and spreading old rumours. Or worse you work in a SAGC.

      I work in the civil service and I can tell you you are dead wrong. Our civil service has made dramatic improvements and we are well on our way to a world class civil service.

      Our civil service is not perfect some Ministries are doing better than others but I see a collective effort to raise performance and to improve customer service.

      I am a proud civil servant who has worked in both the private sector and SAGC’s. The civil service is by far the employer of choice. I know many of you are envy of us. Maybe you can step up and join us.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:28 From where you sit Im sure everything looks fine and its a great place to work. But from the other side of the window not so much. Just talk to anyone who has to deal with immigration, customs or get some type of permit.

      • Say it like it is says:

        8.28am Try phoning a Govt dept and see what happens, more like World’s a-se!.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26. I think you are part of the problem. I wonder if you are being held accountable and this is your response.

      What are you doing to make our civil service better btw blogging on your employers time is stealing.

      Thank you DG the fact that you have haters prove you are doing a great job.

      Off to work in my amazing civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26. Leave our DG alone and go back to work. You can’t be a civil service.

  19. Anonymous says:

    yawn….just read miller shaw or e&y reports…..zzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      Still waiting for you to explain MS’s ‘inverted’ tourism graph. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no …not biller/ paw report again.

      EY report has been largely implemented

      Stop the fake news.

  20. Anonymous says:

    the people’s plan or the freemason’s plan??

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