In just a few days we will ring in the New Year bringing 2019 to an end as we head into 2020. Here’s a look back at some of the news making headlines on Bermuda Real during the first month of the year – January 2019.
New Bus Schedule Due To Go Into Effect On January 7 Pushed Back To January 21
News | January 3, 2019
The Department of Public Transportation (DPT) announced this afternoon that the new public bus schedule due to go into effect on Monday, January 7, has been pushed back by two weeks to start later this month on January 21.
A spokesperson said the new date “will ensure that all relevant stakeholders and the general public are well informed of the scheduling change”.
DPT Director Roger Todd said: “,The production and dissemination of information for the public is key to this process and involves multiple entities and vendors.
“With due consideration for the public and the time required to properly communicate the new schedule, we are taking time to ensure this is done effectively.”
The schedule will be posted on the Government’s website on Monday, hard copies will be available at the Central Terminal and “other key locations” as of January 14.
Meanwhile, Bermuda Real understands bus operators have a number of issues and questions regarding the new rosters. A committee meeting was due to be held this evening to discuss their concerns.
Colonel Burch: Only Ministers, Permanent Secretaries & Directors Will Have A Private Office
News | January 30, 2019
Public Works Minister Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch held a news conference today to say the outlay of Government office space will change on his watch and that “only Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Directors” will have a private office moving forward.
Highlighting the Government’s efforts to reduce costs by making the organization’s office space more efficient, Minister Burch showcased the Ministry’s Estate Department’s offices as an example of what offices throughout the Government could look like.
“The Cabinet approved the introduction of revised space standards for Government offices in order to make more efficient use of space and reduce costs,” said Colonel Burch.
“Cabinet also considered a number of issues in respect of asset management, one of which was the need to ensure that a consistent approach is adopted in the layout, design, finishes and furnishing of Government office accommodations.
“The goal is to provide effective Government Services in a sustainable, safe and healthy work environment that makes efficient use of space and affords greater value for money. With private sector rents of approximately $8.9 million annually – savings can be had by more efficient use of space both within Government owned buildings and those rented from the private sector. Savings are not limited to rents alone as other operating costs including electricity, maintenance and service charges will also decrease as the space occupied is reduced.”
The Minister was joined by Sudell Joseph, Acting Chief Surveyor and Sheridan Ming, Acting Buildings Manager – key personnel in this effort.
“With private sector rents of approximately $8.9 million annually – savings can be had by more efficient use of space both within Government owned buildings and those rented from the private sector.
“Savings are not limited to rents alone as other operating costs including electricity, maintenance and service charges will also decrease as the space occupied is reduced.
“The existing office space standards provide for 250 – 300 square feet for a Minister, 200 – 250 square feet for a Permanent Secretary, 150 square feet for a Director and 100 square feet for staff. In addition to this, a further 15% is provided for circulation space.
“Conversely, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 2009 require a minimum of 43 sq ft per employee.
“The revised space standards provide for 200 square feet for a Minister, 150 square feet for a Permanent Secretary, 100 square feet for a Director and 65 square feet for an Officer with no additional allowance for circulation space.
“The reductions range from 35 percent for general staff to 66% for Department Heads.”
Health Minister Issues Statement On Termination Of BHeC CEO
News | January 30, 2019
News Release, Wednesday, January 31, 2019 – The Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, wishes to restate her remarks regarding the former Health Council CEO, that as an employment matter, it is not open for discussion through the media. This is a matter for the Health Council to deal with directly with the affected party. The Minister asks that the privacy of individuals be respected.
As stated previously, the Minister of Health received notice of the proposed separation on December 6, 2018, and approved the recommendation in accordance with section 9(1) of the Bermuda Health Council Act 2004 on 7th December 2018.
The Minister considered the recommendation and came to a decision independently and without pressure or consideration of unrelated issues.
As stated by the Health Council’s attorneys, the former CEO’s employment was terminated lawfully by the Council in full compliance with section 18(1)(b) of the Employment Act 2000, the Bermuda Health Council Act 2004, and her contract of employment.
No further investigation is required as the Minister was apprised of the matter in accordance with the governing legislation and due process was followed.
As stated previously, the Ministry of Health is grateful to Mrs Wedderburn for the time she served at the Bermuda Health Council and wishes her all the best.