The cost and the savings

Earlier, we reported the provincial government is projecting demographic forces will reduce the number of bureaucrats by 30 to 57 percent by 2016. That could threaten the delivery of public services. Which is why the Campbell administration has been working on finding ways to deliver those services with fewer staff. But, according to a presentation for provincial deputy ministers dated July 10, 2007, that reduction could also save the government hundreds of millions of dollars. If the number of civil servants was reduced by 37 percent, the presentation puts those savings at $554,908,220. The following is a complete copy of the compensation analysis for such a reduction.

Compensation analysis

2008 - $29,141,121
2010 - $149,115,922
2012 - $275,296,743
2014 - $414,549,616
2016 - $554,908,220

Compensation savings by ministry for 2016

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation - $2,594,526
Advanced Education - $3,498,779
Attorney General - $79,606,394
BC Public Service Agency - $10,985,317
Children and Family Development - $73,008,369
Citizens' Services - $41,684,605
Community Services - $6,898,688
Economic Development - $7,672,887
Education - $7,791,006
Employment and Income Assistance - $32,895,606
Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources - $9,559,732
Environment - $32,817,645
Finance - $12,928,131
Forests and Range - $53,627,612
Health - $27,170,899
Integrated Land Management Bureau - $9,931,420
Labour - $7,399,874
Agriculture and Land - $8,909,145
Office of Housing and Construction Standards - $3,188,405
Public Affairs Bureau - $8,269,044
Public Sector Employer Council - $300,255
Small Business and Revenue - $22,367,694
Tourism, Sport and the Arts - $4,546,632
Transportation - $35,558,184
Environmental Assessment Office - $825,332
Intergovernmental Relations - $687,671
Premier's Office - $2,452,876
Public Safety and Solicitor General - $47,731,493


"...provincial government is projecting demographic forces will reduce the number of bureaucrats by 30 to 57 percent by 2016. That could threaten the delivery of public services."

The problem with this mastermind plan is that they're getting rid of the wrong 37 to 50% - the ones who have brains, talent, ethics, expertise and competency. Talk about a brain drain, the best and brightest head for the exit doors quickly these days, because they can, whereas the rest, they've got nowhere to go.

Ask most civil servants these days and they will tell you the place is imploding and public services being destroyed because of the dumbasses who've moved up the ranks over the past few years. There is only so long you can have incompetent, amoral and often very stupid people running things before something really goes haywire, as it has been for a while now. Although the Premier's office doesn't seem to understand that. His new second-in-command isn't exactly known for lighting the world on fire with his low level "leadership" in a tiny Ministry. Now he's in charge of the entire BC public service, that should be fun to watch as the dismantling continues.

The E-health scandal is but one of many skeletons sure to be popping out in this last term of a BC Liberal majority.

If they really wanted to decrease government expenditures and boost the budget by millions, get rid of 75% of the Public Affairs Bureau, cut back on advertising dollars, roll back the Premier, MLA and senior bureaucrat raises. Cut expense accounts and bonuses for senior bureaucrats. Career public service people who care about BC would go for it, the rest - toss'em on the heap of expendables, with the dedicated public servants who've gotten the shaft because of this foolish and short-sighted government.

This is frightening. When you look at the MCFD numbers, what they're planning is probably pretty close to wiping their hands of all but the core statutory responsibility at the provincial level for supporting vulnerable children and families.

It also explains the suspicious omission in the September 2009 Budget Update of standard FTE figures for the MCFD Estimates. How can you cut $73 million from MCFD staffing without decimating the critical social worker/case management role?

- First Nations will take over responsibility for protecting their own kids and supporting their own families
- Families of kids with special needs will be given small subsidies and told to go figure it out for themselves (as per the autism program template designed by Doug Walls in 2002 that's now going to be the sole delivery model),
- Provincial standards, monitoring and oversight will be eliminated, as per the IDP, Aboriginal IDP and SCC program cuts (leaving it all up to whatever Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond can manage on a teeny budget) and/or whatever standards the regional authorities think are sufficient or affordable,
- And the rest will be left up to local community agencies, who will receive provincial grants as provincial finances permit and work out the rest as best they can.

What's really creepy is how similar this whole agenda is to the one that Campbell first proposed in 2001. He was forced to back down then from most of it, but I guess the plan was never really abandonned & the recession was the perfect opportunity to put it back into play.

I was going through old materials from MOMS from 2001 - 2002 last week and was astonished at how much of it was deva vu:

- Premier Campbell "Mr Broken Promise Man" who broke his promises to families of kids with autism
- BC Liberals announced plans to cancel the EIBI programs that were developed in the dying days of the outgoing NDP government in response to the Auton court case
- Plans that emerged from the Core Review to cut 2,000 MCFD staff
- Devolution of all services and most staff to regional authorities & Aboriginal authorities

In 2003, The Province's Michael Smyth revealed that an internal risk analysis showed these changes would expose children to huge risks. What risk analysis, if any, is being done today and what does it say?

BTW, Sean - that $73 million for MCFD represents about 24% of the current provincial staffing costs, so approx 1,000 of the 4,000 current MCFD employees, most of whom perform social worker/case management roles to assure child safety.

Where is the risk analysis???????

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