FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is considering options to rightsize its senior management level as part of its efforts to reshape the civil service.

“We are committed to looking internally at the government from the political to the senior management level first for savings in order to help repair our province’s finances,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also minister responsible for the Strategic Program Review. “We must review our own structure to ensure that we are efficient and effective.”

An initial analysis of the spans and layers in the government, focusing on senior levels of government including positions of assistant deputy minister, vice-president and executive director, is being undertaken to ensure the government has the most up-to-date and relevant information during the Strategic Program Review’s decision-making process.

The exercise could see the elimination of 100 or more senior positions in the civil service.

“Over time, in every organization, layers begin to develop that eventually prevent ideas from flowing, the easy dissemination of information and making decisions,” said Boudreau. “To ensure that we have the right cost structure, that decisions can be made effectively and that action can be taken immediately, we need to review our organizational structure periodically and make changes accordingly.”

As part of this analysis, each position will be assessed to determine whether the current span of control is appropriate. Information reviewed will include job descriptions, organizational charts and job evaluation results. This includes the number of direct reports, the decision-making authority, the budget authority, and the nature of the work done with clients.

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 and revenue initiatives in order to eliminate the deficit. Proposals to reshape the civil service could result in savings of up to $45 million.

“The document Choices to Move New Brunswick Forward includes a number of expenditure and revenue initiatives but choosing several of six key major initiatives will be necessary in order to get New Brunswick back on a secure fiscal foundation,” said Boudreau.

The six key initiatives are:

  • rightsizing senior management in the civil service;
  • reducing spending on health care;
  • reducing spending on education;
  • increasing the Harmonized Sales Tax;
  • increasing the Corporate Income Tax; and
  • introducing highway tolls.

“Decisions on this and other proposals have not yet been made,” said Boudreau. “However, we need to be very diligent about ensuring we are delivering services at the right time, with the right roles in place and at the right cost.”

The public is encouraged to find out more about the Strategic Program Review online and the choices outlined in the report entitled Choices to move New Brunswick forward.