IT is ‘absurd’ for the island’s financial watchdog to have more managers than staff to managers, Liberal Vannin leader Peter Karran told MHKs.
In the House of Keys Onchan MHK Mr Karran asked Treasury Minister Anne Craine why the there were so many managers and senior managers at the Financial Supervision Commission compared with the number of supervision officers.
He questioned whether Mrs Craine considered it an efficient management structure when there were ‘six supervision officers reporting to two assistant managers, 12 managers and four senior managers’.
In the case of the fiduciary services, Mr Karran suggested that two supervision officers reported to an assistant manager, who reported to five managers.
‘Are they really that hard to manage?’ he asked.
This resulted, he said, in having the ‘absurdity of have more managers than staff to manage’.
Mr Karran pointed out that Mrs Craine’s cabinet colleague, Education Minister Eddie Teare, had suggested that the most efficient management structure was one having six people reporting to each person in the management pyramid. He questioned why at the FSC, the management pyramid was the other way round.
He claimed government had ‘lost complete control’ of management structure, highlighted by the way the public transport division had ‘got rid of blacksmiths instead of management’.
Mrs Craine confirmed that at the end of the last financial year the FSC had eight senior managers, 22 managers – including assistant managers – and seven supervision officers.
Most were working in the commission’s supervisory area, although some were also involved in its enforcement, policy and finance functions, she said. Mrs Craine said that commission dealt with about 300 licence holders and managers were assigned a portfolio of licence- holders and conducted the bulk of the FSC’s on and off-site supervision. She said: ‘Licence holders will expect visits to be conducted by knowledgeable and experienced staff who understand the businesses which they are assigned to supervise.’
The Treasury Minister said the managers’ work was in turn directly supervised by relevant senior managers, whose greater experience was brought to bear in reviewing findings. Senior managers were also needed to have a direct input into more serious of complex cases.
Supervision officers were normally less experienced, she added. ‘Some will have been taken in as graduate trainees. Given the nature of much of the commission’s front-line work, their number will therefore be significantly less than the managerial grades.’