Excerpts from the winning submission
Some excerpts from Magnus Henagulph's winning submission to the SAGE Commission. The full submission can be read on our website (www.royalgazette.com). Just follow the link in the main story to read the complete document.
General savings measures that can be implemented across Government:
Printers and supplies: Set up all printers to only print double sided — and only print when necessary. Review the use of paper sizes, qualities in all Departments.
Power lights and equipment only when necessary
Sick Days are abused. Demand more accountability for sick days (see DPT cost of sick days in appendix).
International Day of: We seem to celebrate everything now — Day of Families, Intellectual Property Day, Teachers day, Administrative Professionals Day etc. Stick to a few key, important days and scrap the rest. Each time a proclamation and event is held money is spent on items such as PA system (can run into thousands), flyers, banners, posters, food and beverages, and the time (cost) of civil servants putting these events together.
End of budget year spending: At the end of the budget year many Departments (including DCI) will spend the remaining funds they have — often on frivolous items/events. EG i-pads for DCI Public Affairs Officers — though useful, we don't need them.
Audit of equipment in every Department. DCI example: there are eight TVs in the Department (mostly expensive flat screens) and a smart board. Most never used.
Credit Cards — Ministers (and other senior civil servants) have credit cards and often use them for 'personal' expenditures such as lunches, dinners etc that may have little to no relevance to Government business. They may be reported as 'business lunches/dinners' but this business can be done in the office without spending taxpayer money on food and drinks.
Air Miles/hotel reward points etc: Make sure they do not get used for personal travel when paid for by Government. Not sure if this happens already. Could use a central office for all travel arrangements to get best deals. All travel needs to be scrutinised, including hotels, use of cars etc and a business case presented. (Know of several senior civil servants who attend conferences, events around the world with little benefit to Bermuda.)
Suggestions on Government structure:
Electoral changes: On an island of approximately 60,000 residents do we need 36 Members of Parliament and 12 Senators? The basic salaries alone are several million dollars. Pensions add to this cost.
Section 2: By Department:
Fire Services: Emergency Medical Services: We could also use smaller less expensive bikes/smart cars to get to an emergency quickly, stabilise patient(s) and if needed an ambulance can arrive later.
Corrections: Prisons — make prisoners and their families more responsible for their upkeep (US example) Also have them work to pay off crime victims and cost of legal aid (if used).
Works and Engineering: Sort out hours — Public Works hours could be organised more efficiently. I understand workers turn up an hour before supervisors, so do nothing in that time — then get supplies ready — go to job — can't work on roads during rush hour — then have morning break, lunch, afternoon break and finish up early and have to drive back to where they clocked in to clock out.
Premier and Cabinet Office:
Stop the Cabinet intern programme (See add in appendix). While Government needs talent in the civil service the ad calls for 'no experience necessary' yet they will be paid $61,278.10p/a. For five interns that is $306,390.50.
Staff: No need for press secretary or chief of staff. PR work should be handled by director of DCI and chief of staff duties should fall under Cabinet Secretary. Elimination of these two positions will save more than $200,000 and no reduction in 'service' to the public.
CITV: Started as partly as a way for Government to bypass media and partly as a vanity project. It is now a luxury we cannot afford.
Tax Commissioner: There clearly is an unreported job market in Bermuda where people are working more than the taxable 4 hours per week yet not reporting income for payroll tax. This will be a sensitive topic as it will be seen as a precursor for the introduction of income tax, but perhaps Government should explore making wage/salary reporting mandatory.
This Department needs to be closed. Salaries and rent cost more than half a million dollars a year and nothing to show for it.