Outsourcing off the table

Earlier, we exclusively told you the provincial government is predicting the bureaucracy could be reduced by up to 57 percent as a result of demographic forces. But, at a news conference today, Premier Gordon Campbell said his administration isn't looking at outsourcing or privatization options to address that challenge.

"No," he responded when specifically asked about the issue. "We're looking at strengthening the public service and looking at different and integrated processes that we can use. We've been doing that for the last three years. This is something, frankly, where our public service is far ahead of other public services. I want to be clear it's not because of the political leadership. It's because of the professional public service leadership that we have in British Columbia. We know there's going to be a challenge. The demographic challenge has not gone away because there's an economic challenge right now. That demographic challenge will require us all to examine how we deliver the processes we've got."

"For example, one of the things we've said that we think is important is to try to look at one comprehensive federal/provincial environmental assessment process, one comprehensive federal/provincial First Nations consultation and accommodation process," he continued. "That does require significant shifts. And I don't think anyone should underestimate the challenges of integrating those processes."

"They are always difficult. Ministries are protective - there's a lot of that issue that goes on. There's a lot of siloing that takes place. So it's a constant effort to try to make sure we integrate processes so you get the best services you can for the resources we have. And we need the professional public service. There's no question without the strong, professional public service we'll fall short of delivering the services people depend on."

5 Comments

What he says is true - the government will never outsource management, just everything else. Unionized employees are evil in the eyes of the campbell crowd. Then when they're done outsourcing government work they'll have even MORE managers to *choke* *cough* oversee the contracts *surpressed laughter*.

Government also has a number of director level employees who are tasked with drumming up business for vendors - no joke. It's even in their performance reviews and job descriptions. "Will add 3 more broader public sector entities to 'work outsourced to vendor'.

This is really too bad. If the manager level and above where held accountable in the way that their private enterprise counterparts are we'd have a happier, healthier and FAR more productive public service.

I wonder how hard he was gritting his teeth when these words were forced out of his mouth: "And we need the professional public service. There's no question without the strong, professional public service we'll fall short of delivering the services people depend on."

Nothing funnier in government than hearing gordon profess to value the workers.

Uh, oh! Core Review 2.0. My bets are on "integrated" mega-ministries this time, another health sector reorganization, the disappearance of CLBC and quite likely challenging the mandate of local school boards while merging education with other children's portfolios.

Listen to the weasel words: "...different and integrated processes." Then Campbell talks about "one comprehensive federal/provincial environmental assessment process." That tells me there will be more gutting of the environment ministry's enforcement division - likely handing it over to the feds, who have 'fast-tracked' environmental reviews using the economic downturn as an excuse.

Nowhere in Campbell's statements, or in their planning document, to they talk about a recruitment strategy, except in a few small areas. It's all about downsizing, except they plan to do it through 're-organization' and atrition.

They currently have 3000 vacant positions in public service that they refuse to fill, while public service workers are saddled with ever-growing workloads.

Tisk, tisk. Angry NDPers still crying after the people have spoken.

The Liberals have been more than fair with the public service and continue to respect it. Quit your fear mongering and trying to make something out of nothing. The elction is over. Attrition will occur as many retire. End of story folks. Sheesh.

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