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Minister 'quite confident' cut to BC executive positions achieved

Citizens' Services minister Ben Stewart said he's “quite confident” the government met its goal to cut 20 percent of its senior executives, though he confirmed he has not seen a list of positions that were cut.

“I've looked at the numbers that were reported in the media today and the numbers the premier stated, the 20 percent reduction, and I believe it has been achieved,” said Stewart.

Last February premier Gordon Campbell said 20 percent of deputy minister and assistant deputy minister positions would be cut as part of the government's response to falling revenues. The Tyee reported today that examining public records shows the government may have only come halfway to achieving the goal.

While a government spokesperson said 165 senior executive positions were cut by 33 since the start of the year, the Tyee's count found 152 positions were reduced by 15.

“As far as the evidence, I think probably the government doesn't necessarily publish results as far as people that have departed or changes in OICs in terms of that, but the numbers are that we're down 33 positions,” said Stewart.

“We have over 30,000 employees and you can imagine if we had to publish or try to keep up with the changes we've had in the public service as well as deputies, so that's the reason it's not regularly available.”

The government arrived at its numbers based on people who had left the civil service and positions that had not been filled, he said.

He had not seen a list of the positions that had been cut, he said. “I only get the information from the staff that report it to me and to go further into it and try to get you the names and how they arrive at that, I'd have to do some more work.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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