Civil service running up overtime bills

| 17/06/2019 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The auditor general has noted that government has been running up overtime bills for civil servants across a number of departments, leading to budget overruns, as a result of a number of vacancies across the civil service. In Sue Winspear’s latest report on the state of public finances, the independent auditor warned government that “continuous extended working hours creates a risk of inefficiency in the quality of work performance”, and this level of reliance on public sector workers doing extra hours could have a detrimental impact on their well-being.

Winspear stated in the report that overtime bills within government up to the end of 2017 was much higher than in previous years. She said the civil service bosses need to analyse overtime costs and prepare a business case to either justify the increased level of spending on overtime costs or hire the staff needed to fill the gaps.

“The result of this analysis should be properly reflected in the preparation of overtime budgets,” she added.

According to the report, the Health Services Authority exceeded its budgeted overtime allocation by more than 500%. In response, the HSA said it was difficult to eliminate overtime budgets because of the nature of healthcare but it did now have a policy to address the issue and was working on filling important vacancies.

Meanwhile, at the home affairs ministry the overtime bill for HM Cayman Islands Prison Service and the Cayman Islands Fire Service also increased significantly, though Winspear did not find any business cases to support the 58% increase in spending or that it was being monitored, despite the susceptibility to abuse. However, prison management said they had recruited 22 new officers and were working on dealing with the overtime overruns.

The increase in fire service overtime budget is because the headcount is short by 50 people. In addition, eight officers are injured and on light duties, while another eight are on sick leave or suspended from work. A service which should be 148 strong has only 82 people able to work full time. CIFS management said in its response that this significant shortfall in the headcount had been compounded by the need for additional officers at some stations to meet mandatory staffing levels.

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Category: Government Administration, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Winspear better start looking for another job. She’s making too many waves and telling the truth far too much for Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tell me something new?? lmao They have been raping this system for years.

  3. Anonymous says:

    With a side of Gasboy

  4. Anonymous says:

    Damn expats, us caymanians would never claim. We work for the love of the country

  5. Elvis says:

    Overtime should not exist simple.
    Employ the people to do the job, fire or pay off those sick merchants. Suspended for 18 months? Well that one speaks for itself.
    Cayman govt love to waste money it seem

  6. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is I am sick of being woken up at 3 am by the unnecessarily noisy garbage trucks and the equally noisy garbage men yelling instructions at each other. Roydell has gone but they’re still taking the pi$$. Abusing the system so they can work at night when it’s cooler, and get paid overtime, and wake up entire neighborhoods. Time to get tough at that department.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention the moron who cleans the parking lot at the 911 center with a leaf blower at about 5am. I’ve moved away from that area now because it was getting way too tempting to go out and shove the damn thing up his arse.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Overtime is very often the result of the obsession with reducing the headcount of the civil service in recent years while the politicians still want to promise their voters more and more services. It cannot be done. There is no point in having, say, six desks/positions available at a certain department under huge pressure and being able to staff only three of them. It just drives the public mad with frustration. Overtime is also the result of promoting people out of these same front line jobs where things are actually getting done and the public served, into positions with words such as “strategic” or “adviser” or “senior adviser” or, increasingly, ‘deputy” in the title, where it is unclear that any real service to the public actually takes place but higher salaries are paid.

    • Anonymous says:

      The biggest problem with overtime , is during regular work hours they are too many sitting around drinking soft drink/coffee, eating and doing nothing , then after regular work hours they go and make overtime. Need to be orginazed better, with some off during regular work hours and then go to work where needed without overtime like police, security officers, etc, etc , etc.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The gravy train rumbles on!

  9. Anonymous says:

    When HSA is so blatantly underfunded (look at the state of the hospital) and civil servants keeping jobs that shouldn’t exists (police reports in person) than no one should be surprised. Just a few examples, I’m sure people will add others.

    As for police reports, that whole department should have only employees working behind the scenes to facilitate the online request. If you can’t pay online then you can go in to one person just taking cash payments after filling the online request out. Leave two computers in the building for those that do not have access. You get a number and a date when yo pick up. For all others your request is emailed to you and the department who requested the copy. And don’t get me started on 25$ for a police report. Insane we are paying for the governments work welfare program.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Or they can just do nothing about it as usual. Its not like they are scared of getting fired. What exactly will happen to them if they do not perform up to world standards? Their managers come in and talk to them about it and they have a good laugh and tell them to just wait until the auditor is canned. Cayman Culture. Can’t change it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    lol! That thumbnail, shout out to the employee who used it, i thought it was funny.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Before anyone runs with the headline and starts trying to justify unpaid overtime or reducing the size of the civil service period, read the fine caveat:

    “as a result of a number of vacancies across the civil service.”

    Overtime is not evil and is required when a day requires more than 7.5 hours of commitment, which is a fair exchange. I’m sure that I didn’t need to remind you of that, though.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason Govt. Office workers only has to be on the job 7.5 hrs a day (and
      the outside workers has to work 8 hrs) up until the early sixties,Office workers had to also clean their offices, they had to come in at 8 am to clean their offices and be ready to service the public at 8:30 am, when the Govt. Could afford outside help to clean the offices then the officers came in to work at 8:30.

    • Anonymous says:

      They all should have to work, be on the job 8 hrs a day like some others have to be, like those working in the hot sun.

  13. Anonymous says:

    HSA by 500%.. damn that is alot.. some can’t even speak English. maybe the OT is for translation

  14. Anonymous says:

    All these Agency Heads apparently did the same thing that Roydell Carter of garbage collection fame did…. mismanaged overtime pay.

    Question is – does this qualify them also for the secret golden handshake?

    • Anonymous says:

      What you mean to say is, they all did what Roydell did and kept their agencies going despite chronic under-staffing and under-equipping.


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