Human resource departments restructuring
Several human resource departments across government entities will be phased out as part of a Government reform initiative, Walton Brown said.
Mr Brown, the Minister of Cabinet Office, said the new Department of Employee and Organisational Development is the first step in restructuring government-wide delivery of human resource services.
He said HR services are now delivered in a disperse and fragmented manner which results in “a duplication of efforts, inconsistent service delivery and a long amount of time to execute basic functions such as the recruitment of staff”.
The first phase of the restructuring is the amalgamation of human resource services to one department to be led by a chief employee and organisation development officer.
Mr Brown told the House of Assembly on Wednesday that the department will have 21 staff members initially, comprising staff from other areas such as the Cabinet Office and the Accountant-General Department.
He said in the next two phases existing HR staff and associated funding will be transferred to the new department.
HR functions from the Bermuda Police Department, the Fire and Rescue Services, the Ministry of Public Works, the Post Office, the Department of Education, Department of Public Transport will all go to this new department.
Mr Brown explained: “Once all posts and post holders have been successfully transferred to the new department, existing positions will no longer exist.”
He said with this new department there will be improvement in the provision of human resource services and accountability.
“The new structure will cause a proactive approach to industrial and employee relations, reduce time to recruit and modernise workforce planning and recruitment processes,” Mr Brown added.
Susan Jackson, the Opposition Whip and Shadow Minister of Government Reform, said that she supported the idea of the restructure of the HR department.
She asked: “I guess my big question is, what is actually going to be different and how are you going to restructure?
“The Budget book looks very traditional to me.”
Ms Jackson said that the HR department needed to have “very close scrutiny — so that we’re able to provide the best support so that this does not just become a reshuffling of the deck”.
She added: “This is an amazing opportunity for Bermuda and Bermudians.
“I wouldn’t want us to squander our funds at a time when we really have an opportunity to invest and escalate the skill set of Bermudians in this situation.”
Mr Brown said that the move “was a complete restructure of the entire enterprise”.
He added: “We will be able to get economies of scale into the delivery of HR services and we’ll be able to fine-tune policy across the spectrum and bring about greater unanimity of functions in the delivery of HR services.”
Mr Brown said that the “gradual process” would take place over a series of months.