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An update on changes to the Civil Service Establishment for 2005 has been presented to the House of Representatives. Finance and Planning State Minister, Fitz Jackson who moved the resolution for the changes to the Civil Service Establishment Order, 2005 to be affirmed by the House, yesterday (November 1), said the Order reflected changes in at least three areas – salaries and allowances, established posts and abolished posts.
Mr. Jackson said the changes made between the 2004 and the 2005 Order represented a less than one per cent increase.
The State Minister also informed that the major increases were related to the creation of 86 posts for immigration officers to fill urgent needs in the immigration and passport division of the National Security Ministry.
Mr. Jackson said other major changes occurred in the restructuring of the Industry and Tourism Ministry, staff strengthening in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the restructuring of the Public Gardens and Zoo Division of the Agriculture Ministry and the reallocation of staff between the Finance and Planning Ministry and the Cabinet Office.
This, he said, was in addition to the modernisation of the Mining Division of the Land and Environment Ministry, the opening of a new Embassy in the Chinese Republic and the implementation of an Accrual Accounting Structure in the Transport and Works Ministry. Over the period the Justice Training Institute and the Court Reporting Schools in the Justice Ministry were also merged.
Minister Jackson said in all, some 185 new posts were created, 92 posts upgraded, 159 reclassified, 135 retitled and 144 abolished from the Establishment over the period.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw said while there was no difficulty with the resolution, queried whether the recently announced amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Government and the Trade Unions for some $2 billion to be paid over to public sector workers had been effected. Mr. Shaw said although the MOU had not yet come to an end, the payment reflected some four per cent of the wages of public sector workers and the Opposition was concerned as to whether the amounts were being paid out expeditiously.
Responding, Mr. Jackson pointed out that the increased MOU payments did not represent a one time payment but would be made over the financial year which would end in March of 2006. He emphasized that all public sector workers would realize the increase in their regular remuneration over the period. “The payments are being made but not all at once,” he stressed.
The Civil Service Establishment Act requires the Minister responsible for the Civil Service to provide an annual update on changes to the Civil Service Establishment to the House of Representatives.