Several state-owned entities will be restructured or shut down as part of phase 2 and 3 of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, starting the next fiscal year.
Some of the first casualties, identified in a document called Proposed Public Sector Expenditure Reduction Programme, are the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE), the Department of Constituency Empowerment and the Productivity Council.
NISE and the Productivity Council will be replaced with a “small unit formed in the Divisions of Economic Affairs and Investment to deal with competitiveness.”
The Department of Constituency Empowerment will be disbanded with no indication of an alternative unit.
The document also revealed that major cuts are coming to several other Government departments.
For instance, the Cultural Industries Development Authority and Pan African Commission will be reabsorbed into the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) before the end of the fiscal year, while the Barbados Conference Services Limited, which operates the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, is currently undergoing a rationalization programme through the lease of the office building to Ross University.
The Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) Sports Programme is continuing as it, but with no funds from Government.
The document also proposed to send home workers from the Government’s Public Affairs Department which comprises the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Government Printing Department and the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) by the end of Ocotober.
CBC’s Multi-Choice Television (MCTV) will remain, but is being restructured.
The Mia Mottley-led administration also intends to divest the Caves of Barbados as a business and lease the caves, a major tourist attraction, to the private sector.
Kensington Oval Management Inc (KOMI), the company which operates the mecca of cricket, will be managed through a joint venture between the Government and the Barbados Cricket Association, while Gymnasium Limited, the entity that runs the Wildey Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, is being incorporated into the National Sports Council (NSC).
The Government is also targeting its Registries to be operated under a public-private partnership arrangement. The document noted though that Government officials must first meet with staff of the Supreme Court Registry, the Land Registry and the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office before the proposed plan could be implemented.
In the third phase of the public sector spending cuts plan, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and the Transport Board will be fully restructured in four phases.
Regarding he BWA, the first phase is expected to result in layoffs and will be completed by November 15, the second phase by March 31, the third by December 2019 and the final by June 2020.
Workers at the Transport Board will be sent home during the same time period as the BWA.
The National Housing Corporation (NHC), the Rural Development Commission, Urban Development Commission, the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) and Government’s agricultural agencies will also be impacted by the spending cuts.
A rationalization study is to be conducted by the Office of Public Sector Reform and MCS and its recommendations will be implemented with regards to the NHC, UDC and RDC. Phase 1 is to be done by March 31, 2019 and phase 2 by June, 2020.
The airport is to have a new structure by September 30, 2019, through a private-public partnership in conjunction with the International Finance Centre.
The document also itemizes a $2 million efficiency rationalisation programme of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC), a $10 million – $12 million rationalization of the Barbados Agricultural Corporation (BAMC) and the closure of the Barbados Cane Industry Corporation (BCIC).