BVI News

Gov’t transforming, renaming Labour, other departments to merge

Ronald Smith-Berkeley

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.

Departmental mergers

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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  1. breaking news says:


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    • Howdy says:

      Can we name the Pier Park after the manager of the project who overspent by 40% – I can’t remember his name but if we named the park after him it would serve as a lesson in how not to manage a project for generations to come.
      Maybe Beef Island airport (yes, I know we changed the name, but I can’t remember his name either) could be named after the loud mouth American who pops up every year to threaten litigation against the GOVT for millions of dollars.
      And can anybody remember what the Francis Drake Highway is now called?
      And let’s rename the piece of waste ground at West End the Myron Broken Promise Plot until the new ferry port is built.

    • Not2Sure says:

      Very BVI. No need to fix something if you can just give it a new name and create the appearance of change.

      If Labour is so concerned about processing complaints swiftly and efficiently, how come we still don’t have a Labour Tribunal even though one is required under the Labour Code 2010. NINE YEARS, and still they have not managed to do it.

  2. In ah nutshell says:

    What about merging Airport Authority and Port Authority? Oh………. I forgot we are going to soon not own the airport……..Never mind!

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    • @nutshell says:

      How many Governments around the world own their Airports? The Airport has the operations side and the security/immigration/customs side which the Government will always be responsible for. The operations are private and the security/regulations fall under Government. That’s how it’s done in the real world and if you want it to function properly.

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      • In ah nutshell says:

        Well some countries don’t own the airport and some countries like USVI do.

        Some Countries don’t own the Hospitals and some countries do.

        Some countries don’t own the cruise ports and some countries do.

        The problem is, what do you aspire to be? An owner or a worker?

        We got the hospital done with 110M
        We got the Pier Park done with 80M
        We can get the airport done with faith and the right leader.

        Just Believe Election 2019 – The people will choose the right person for the job

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        • Actually says:

          Our problem isn’t that we finished the hospital for $110m it’s that originally it was only going to cost $10m so our elected leaders misspent $100m on that project.

          Our problem isn’t that we spent $80m on the pier project it’s that originally it was going to cost $30m so our current leaders misspent $50m on that project.

          Our problem isn’t that we speant $7.2m on the airline it’s just we shouldn’t have spent it at all.

          The Economist states that our economy is in a tailspin due to “fiscal mismanagement and corruption.”

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  3. No nonsense says:

    And what about moving the dame said PS!! Things to talk!!

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  4. Denmark says:

    Well done! This is a significant step forward! We need to start planning for a smaller smarter government. And we need to start encouraging more businesses to come here to offer better higher paying jobs!

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  5. Reality says:

    Great move, but would a smart Government be talking about this on the heel of an election or would it have made sense in the first or second year after an election? Is this a message to the next new Government then Thanks for the valuable input. If they are wise enough to go with it.

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  6. A man says:

    Why Labour Department and Workforce Development. I would have thought Labour and Workforce Development Department would make more sense.

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  7. Positive says:

    How about moving the head at the dept too bias

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  8. Ausar says:

    Lets hope that a change in name and consolidation of services would equate to rendering top priority of employment to Belongers!

    As it now stands, we have no committment, by this current administration, towards the hiring of our own people!

    This is why it’s so critical to vote for a group of persons who can ensure the continuity of our people living in this country, which employment and job security provides.

    The VIP is our only option to ensure that and Andrew is the guy to lead the way!

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  9. Amused says:

    Makes no difference.

  10. I Love the BVI says:

    I really love the BVI. Someone in another country always tells it what to do. Because the Airport in another country is this and that, That becomes the BVI Standard. I think the sale of the Airport is bad. Selling the commercial space ok but the whole thing so those can can have lifetime security after they leave office is Treason.

  11. Love my country says:

    Where else in the world a dept such as Labour don’t have natives as front line staff. As lashing dog says only in the bvi

  12. RASTAMAN says:

    @ A MAN…how about The Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

  13. Shorty says:

    While you’re at it merge immigration and customs. The public service is already bloated it’s time we maximize our scared resources. Every department always crying their understaffed poole the human resources together.

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