FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is considering improvements to the province’s agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs) as part of efforts to reshape the civil service. This would include changes to remuneration for board members and up to a 15 percent reduction in the overall number of agencies, boards and commissions.

The proposal came forward as part of the Strategic Program Review, under which the government is working with New Brunswickers to help identify $500 million to $600 million in savings in order to eliminate the deficit.

“There are a number of opportunities to reshape the civil service and find savings,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also minister responsible for the Strategic Program Review. “One area we are focusing on is bringing greater efficiency and consistency to the agencies, boards and commissions in New Brunswick.”

The government makes appointments to almost 170 boards, and is directly responsible for about 120 boards from large Crown corporations to smaller advisory councils. A reduction in the overall number of agencies, boards and commissions could be achieved through the elimination and combination of boards.

Another proposal being considered is the development of a new remuneration policy which would formalize guidelines to bring consistency in how members are remunerated based on their classification and scope of responsibilities.

“Although the proposed changes may mean fewer agencies, boards and commissions, it could also lead to a more efficient structure by strengthening certain boards to ensure they can better fulfill their public policy need or mandate and are better aligned with the strategic priorities of the government,” said Boudreau.