Government staff unsettled over future, admits Bell

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Tynwald buildings

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Many government staff are uncertain about what the future holds, the Chief Minister has acknowledged.

But Allan Bell said this was ‘understandable and sadly inevitable’ given the comprehensive review of services taking place as part of the Scope of Government initiative.

He said: ‘We do have to re-examine our services to see what can be delivered differently and better, but I recognise that the uncertainty is unsettling for staff and that clarification is needed as soon as possible. Clear communication within departments is essential as the process of change moves forward so that everyone understands what is happening and why.’

The Chief Minister is making time during the summer political recess to visit all nine government departments, talking to staff as well as senior management and Ministers.

He has already visited six departments – Social Care, Treasury, Community, Culture and Leisure, Economic Development, Health and Environment, Food and Agriculture. He will go to Infrastructure, Education and Children, and Home Affairs during the next few weeks.

Mr Bell said: ‘Getting out into the Departments is proving to be really useful and interesting, particularly as it provides the opportunity to speak to staff and listen to their views.

‘What has impressed me most is the dedication and professionalism of our workforce, the pride they take in the job that they do and their commitment to serving the Isle of Man and its people. It is heartening to know that the spirit of public service remains so strong across the Departments, despite our many challenges.

‘This is a time of change for the services which government provides, and many staff are uncertain about what the future holds. That is understandable and sadly inevitable.’

He added: ‘The programme of visits has also enabled me to have discussions with senior management teams about the scale and nature of the issues facing the government as a whole. Long-term challenges such as the ageing population will extend far beyond the current budgetary re-balancing exercise and Scope review, so the pressures for change will not be going away in the years ahead.’

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