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The St Helena report and the gap in media

One in ten jobs affected as Castle sheds services, says report

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The number of government workers on St Helena is set to be cut by nearly a tenth over the next year, according to the report on the island’s annual aid negotiations.

It says the headcount is to be reduced from 820 to 749 as the island public service is slimmed down.

But it appears many of those jobs will move over to the private sector as The Castle continues “divesting” services such as electricity and water.

The report says the aid mission noted progress in creating a leaner public service. “Most notably, this has included reducing the number of directorates from 9 to 5, as well as reducing headcount from 924 in 2011 to 820 in 2013, towards the target of 749 next year.”

In November 2012, 58 finance staff were told their jobs were “under review” and some might be made redundant.

A new limited company, St Helena Connect, is due to take over electricity and water supplies on 1 April 2013.

The health directorate is set to hand its cleaning services to a private company at the same time.

The aid report says: “We look forward to hearing about divestment plans for other areas such as crown estates maintenance, ICT support, vehicle maintenance and pest control.”

In the health directorate, it says: “We note the successful divestment of laundry (since 2010) and look forward to discussing further efficiency gains, in particular catering, cleaning and home help, pest control and garbage disposal.”

It says advisers want clarity on the full implication for staffing, costs and standards. “Such information should be provided to the public through clear and transparent progress documentation,” it says.

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