Civil service invests in business case skills

| 16/07/2018 | 22 Comments

(CNS): Government has launched a new training programme to help government workers incorporate management principles, practices and business case skills into their day-to-day operations, especially those who have the responsibility of spending public cash. “This programme will provide additional opportunities for civil servants to build skills and knowledge in business case development and project management best practices,” said Acting Governor Franz Manderson. The training project is costing around $60,000 to upskill more than 100 public sector workers. 

Officials said this training would contribute to the development of professional standards by exposing civil servants to best practice standards for project management and business case  development. It will also support the effective implementation of the Procurement Law and its requirements for business cases.

In a press release about the new initiative, officials stated that government has partnered with UK-based company CITI to deliver the training, and the project is being coordinated by the Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit (SRIU), under the deputy governor’s office. Over the last two weeks of June, one hundred government workers selected for the pilot programme participated in an orientation session, marking the first step in the five-month training that will lead to an internationally recognised qualification in either project management or business case development.

Thirty different government departments are currently participating, including the Cabinet Office, the fire service, police, education, the Needs Assessment Unit and GIS. The programme also includes workshops for political and strategic leaders, which will be delivered later this year.

The aim is to identify and fill knowledge gaps, and the data collected will be used to measure the outcome of the training. Officials said the interactive in-class sessions are designed to encourage a culture of learning while building skills, knowledge and competencies in key topics. And ensuring participants gain a good understanding of the topics, external exams confirm the newly acquired skills.

Deputy Chief Advisor SRIU Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia said it was a cost-effective way for civil servants to develop these skills and gain access to an internationally accredited certification. “I am confident that we can demonstrate value for money given the programme deliverables, the quality of the programme and the anticipated benefits this programme is expected to deliver.”

The 2018 programme will cost the Cayman government CI$59,850.40, which includes all programme expenses including: individual assessments; learning modules; online access to learning resources; course facilitated by accredited trainers from the UK; exam, including fees; workshops for political and strategic leaders; travel and other related expenses for accredited trainers; and all related training material and supplies.

Ebanks-Garcia said that translates into a per-participant cost of CI$527.53 for those pursing the project management certification, and CI$564.96 for those pursing the business case
certification.

Acting Director of Special Projects in the Cabinet Office, Robert Lewis, who is also participating said, “This initiative, in due course, should significantly professionalise project management and business case development within the service, ultimately enhancing value for money and effectiveness.”

Lyneth Monteith, the director of the Department of Education Services, who is also on the course, said she was excited about the opportunity to develop her skills and knowledge in producing business cases, given the importance to her department.

“At the Department of Education Services the procurement of goods and services is a crucial part of our work. This requires the officers to execute the correct procedures in the right way. The course schedule is a ‘no-hassle’ one, which has been crafted to accommodate personnel with extremely busy schedules.”

Chief Information Officer Suzette Ebanks said it was obvious from the comprehensive orientation
that a lot of thought has gone into the programme. “I look forward to taking part in the project and believe it has the potential to greatly benefit GIS staff.”

Acting Deputy Director of Operation and Work in the Public Works Department, Robert David
Johnson said the programme will provide the tools needed to put forward proposals.

CIG has faced criticisms in the past for farming out the work on business cases to costly consultants because of the skills gap in the service, despite the increasing head count. The training should ensure more civil servants at management level are able to justify and formally present the case for spending public cash as well as cutting the costs on consultant fees.

The Cayman Islands central government spent more than CI$38.5 million on consultants and temporary staff between June 2012 to June 2017, according to an Auditor General report earlier this year. Although not all of that spending related to making business or procurement cases, it illustrated the skills and knowledge gaps that need to be plugged in the administrative arm of government.

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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Remember any business case that transfers value from the Government to a Lodge member is a winner. #Endemiccorruption

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Futile, ho hum nonsense. Trying to make yourselves look busy, whilst accomplishing nothing.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, all attempts to improve are futile and so we should just accept the current level of mediocrity. You should run for office. Then you could stop everyone doing anything based on your “ho hum” theorem.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Civil servants going on trips to conduct due diligence on ‘bidders’ who respond to Request for Bids should stop.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    really and this is news! people do this on a daily basis! its like the DG just woke up and decided you need training.

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  5. Say it like it is says:

    Do the “deliverables” include a session on the importance of answering the telephone?.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ooh, hopefully a full day session on how to respond to email as well.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I do hope there is a session on answering phones. For example when you call in the afternoon to hear on the other end ” Good morning” makes you sick.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anything that up-skills the workforce can only be good. However unless people are held accountable all the training in the world will not help. Training does not only take place in a classroom environment nor is it something that is done to you. Training is an ongoing process taking place on the job with evaluation of work undertaken regularly scrutinized. Our “re imagined Civil Service” should not be a quasi welfare state or a place where nepotism is rife.For instance if Performance Management actually worked, half of the teachers would be looking for other jobs, Social Services and the postal service closed, and on and on we go. The idea of a re imagined Civil Service was a great marketing exercise but, like with so many things in Cayman, it didn’t achieve anything because of the entitlement culture.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    until people are held responsible all the training in the world wont do any good

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Amazing that the Civil Service is just doing this when project management was around before they put a man on the moon using such techniques.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    A really great idea, the private sector has been charging huge fees for this work.

    I am so impressed with all the training in the civil service.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought that a certain level of education is a requirement for employment.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Foolishness!

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