Top bureaucrat downsizes himself - to privatize auto insurance

Paul Taylor, the reigning lord and master of the provincial Treasury Board, has bequeathed his lands and title to Tamara Vrooman, the former deputy minister of strategic initiatives and corporate services at health services and planning. The board is a cabinet committee chaired by Finance Minister Gary Collins and responsible for overseeing and approving ministerial spending plans.

According to an information bulletin released earlier today, Mr. Taylor will remain as deputy minister at finance but will be available "to take on special corporate assignments." Some bureaucrats say that means he'll be doing pre-election work.

But another senior government insider says Mr. Taylor has actually become bored with his job (others say frustrated) and may soon be leaving the civil service entirely. The insider adds there have been discussions about Mr. Taylor taking a senior position (translation: president and chief executive officer) with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (perhaps as part of the government's long-term and long-rumoured privatization plans for the auto-insurance industry).

Mr. Taylor, whose political ideology involves a heavy diet of raw meat and very few vegetables, was previously a senior aide to Alberta Treasury Minister Jim Dinning. He was also one of the principle architects behind King Ralph Klein's 1992 fiscal plan. And he was considered the Liberal's highest-profile civil service hire when they took office.

Mr. Taylor's resume also includes stints as the chief executive officer of the B.C. Automobile Dealers' Association, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers' Association and senior vice-president for corporate development at Alberta power company TransAlta Utilities Ltd.

No word yet on whether Ms. Vrooman, a ten-year civil service veteran whose talent is said to have caught Premier Gordon Campbell's eye, will replace Mr. Taylor as the deputy minister at finance. But it would be fair to say her resume isn't nearly as well-padded as Mr. Taylor's. Chris Trumpy, the deputy minister at sustainable resource management, is rumoured to be a more likely successor. Then again, Mr. Trumpy is also been said to be in-line to replace Ken Dobell, the premier's deputy minister.

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