The Public Works Department told Cayman 27 it wants to be the provider of choice for government agencies in need of construction, design, and maintenance services. To meet this goal, PWD is working to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and better satisfy its customers.
It’s just one of the 53 projects under the project future umbrella.
“Certainly it’s a challenge for us, but it’s a challenge that we relish,” said Organizational Manager Levi Allen.
He told Cayman 27 the Public Works Department is evaluating a number of options to improve its performance.
“Our vision is to become the provider of choice for design, maintenance, and construction to our clients, and this means that we would have operated at a level so efficiently, so effectively, that our clients will want to come to us for these services as opposed to having to come to us for these services,” said Mr. Allen.
He said part of that process is identifying what activities currently being done by other departments could be taken on by Public Works, and what can be farmed out to the private sector.
“We do a significant amount of work in-house, but we also seek and utilise the opportunity to involve the private sector the provision of services,” said Mr. Allen.
“Many years ago we did virtually all the work in-house, but that has changed pretty dramatically over recent years,” said Public Works Director Max Jones.
He said over the years, the department’s direct labour force has been cut by a third as more work was subbed out to the private sector. However, he says outsourcing has its limits.
“When looking at outsourcing, we believe it’s very important, and government believes it’s very important that we are not swapping Caymanian jobs for overseas jobs,” said Mr. Jones.
“In order to do that we have to ensure that we have appropriate skill sets, appropriate tooling and equipment,” said Mr. Allen.
Both men say it’s about finding the right balance between public and private.
“The market constantly changes, the economy constantly changes, so as an organization, staying on course, staying the same, is never going to be a good option,” said Mr. Allen.
Public Works told Cayman 27 it’s also adding emphasis to training and development of young Caymanians interested in construction through internship and apprenticeship programmes.
The outline business case for this Project Future initiative is nearly complete…