• Today
    April 24

  • 12:47 PM

Krystle Clear: Reducing duplicated efforts in the Public Service


Added 01 December 2017


Continuing in the Deficit Report series, the controversial topic of streamlining government services was broached.  Many persons believe that this is another way of sending home government workers.  However, I strongly believe that this does not need to be the case.

How many times have we walked into a government office and it was clearly understaffed?  Or we were privy to the fact that there is a severe backlog in addressing key issues of public interest?  On page 5 of the most recent Auditor General’s report, this office reported an allocation of 39 posts for Auditor I/II; however, 28 were not occupied; i.e., either vacant or the substantive holders were acting in other positions within the public service. 

I am sure as we go through several government offices, this will reoccur.  Yet, there are arguably many offices where multiple persons are performing duplicated tasks, or several functions could be streamlined and performed by one person to reduce customer frustration.

There were several targets identified by the Deficit Report, which include starting points that can be developed into workable plans for increasing efficiency and streamlining duties within the public sector:






Eliminate Waste

  • Projects have been suspended but still fully staffed
  • Funds not drawn but paying ongoing commitment fees
  • Lights in Government buildings on all night


  • Close inactive projects and release staff
  • Cancel undrawn loans or accelerate effort to meet conditions
  • Turn off lights at night and expedite implementation of the IDB-financed Sustainable Energy Investment Program


Enhance effectiveness and efficiency of central government

  • Pubic-sector reform efforts are underway; however, progress is slow
  • Opportunity to save on governments wage bill by end to end process improvements


  • Accelerate implementation of critical process improvements with private sector help
  • Complete a manpower/skills audit to facilitate reallocation of resources to close critical gaps
  • Partner with willing private sector entities to hire and retrain affected staff and share salaries – government continues to pay wages but transitions responsibility in increments over a 9-month period until the private sector entity takes full responsibility
  • Offer targeted Voluntary Separation Program


Wages growth control

  • As staff leave through attrition, tendency is to replace 1 for 1


  • Limit staff replacement to 1 for every 5 that leave to focus discipline around talent selection and sustaining the benefits of IT modernization and process improvement



Under the auspices of the Central Bank, the globally recognized audit firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers completed a study on State Owned Entities and developed an approach to reform of 57 SOEs.  The committee broadly agreed with PwC’s approach and recommended that Government begin implementation immediately:


Action Plan

State Owned Entities

Abolish / wind up

  • Barbados Agricultural Credit Trust


Merge / consolidate

  • Fund Access and Enterprise Growth Fund
  • Agricultural Mgmt. Co and BADMC
  • Rural and Urban Development Commissions


  • BCC, BCC Hospitality, Erdiston & Polytechnic
  • TVET & Vocational Training Board
  • BTII, BIDC & Invest Barbados




  • Cane Industry Corp.
  • Conference Services Ltd.
  • Barbados National Oil Co. Ltd.
  • National Petroleum Corporation
  • Southern Meats Ltd.


  • Barbados National Terminal Co. Ltd.
  • Caribbean Airways International Ltd.
  • Hotels & Resorts Ltd.
  • Needham's Point Development Inc.
  • Needham's Point Holdings Ltd.



Partially Privatize

  • Barbados Port Inc.
  • CBC


  • Caribbean Aircraft Handling
  • Grantley Adams Airport


Optimize efficiency and recover costs via fees

  • Barbados Transport Authority
  • Barbados Water Authority
  • Caves of Barbados Ltd.
  • The Gymnasium Ltd.


  • Kensington Oval Management
  • National Housing Corporation
  • Transport Board



Optimize costs & service delivery

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • All others


  • Sanitation Service Authority




The total estimated savings are BDS252 million based on savings realized by other member states that implemented similar initiatives.  Emotions must be set aside to ensure that the economic and social wellbeing of the country is upheld to bring about holistic improvements in the lives of Barbadians. 

Instead of attacking this plan, I hope that we can work through it and determine the ideal areas for adoption and those which require improvements based on solid suggestions.  This is a difficult conversation to have, and there will never be complete agreement for such sensitive matters; however, the conversation must be and has been started.

Will we follow through with these initiatives or continue to kick the proverbial can down the road?


Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus


Did you expect more guns to be turned in during the amnesty?