Moves are underway to merge and transform several government agencies including the Labour Department, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Ronald Smith-Berkeley has said.
Smith-Berkeley said by year-end, the Labour Department will be renamed the ‘Labour Department and Workforce Development.
“We have already gone through the Cabinet in [mid-2018] and we will be changing the name of the department to put more collaboration between the Labour Department and the business community,” he said during an interview with BVI News on Tuesday.
“We are trying to ensure that our turnaround time is a lot better so people can get on with their businesses. We don’t want people to think of the Labour Department as just a work permit processing entity.”
“We want it to come on people’s mind as a regulatory body in terms of health and safety, ensuring that when you send your complaints in, it is heard promptly and dealt with immediately.”
Under the transformation, the department is seeking to work hand-in-hand with other government departments to facilitate relevant training programmes.
Last July, Minister for Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering had announced that plans were underway to overhaul the department. At the time, he said the department would see sections of the Labour process computerized, among other changes.
Smith-Berkeley said the Survey Department and the Department of Land Registry are expected to merge. Similarly, the fisheries portfolio of the Department of Conservation & Fishers is being merged with the agricultural department to form the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
He said it ‘makes sense’ to merge the aforementioned departments to provide a seamless service by saving time and increasing each department’s efficiency.
“I am personally excited about where we are going. This transformation is probably long overdue. In every sphere, you have to continue looking at things and improve it. I think it will serve us well into the future,” Smith-Berkeley said.
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