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Heads Won't Roll?

BC's premier pledged to cut 'senior executive ranks' by 20 per cent, but can offer no proof it happened. Tyee calculations raise doubts.

By Andrew MacLeod 18 Nov 2009 | TheTyee.ca

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

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Pink slip puzzle: How many top officials really got axed?

When Premier Gordon Campbell announced during a televised speech in February that British Columbia would run two years of deficits, he stressed that the government was already finding places to save money.

One of those places was from among the top ranks of the civil service. He promised to cut the positions for one in five of the province's senior bureaucrats. As he put it in that Feb. 2 speech, "The senior executive ranks will be reduced by 20 per cent to contribute to this overall belt-tightening."

The gesture, made at a time when British Columbians were being asked to accept deficit spending and reduced services, suggested the pain would be widespread. Within the civil service, workers in lower ranked jobs were assured the bosses' jobs would be affected as their jobs were.

But nine months later it is not at all clear that the government followed through and met its target, despite having claimed that it did. In fact, it may only be halfway there.

Government has number, no details

In an Aug. 24 email, the then head of the civil service, Jessica McDonald, wrote, "The senior executive ranks of government were reduced by 20 per cent, with a resulting savings of about $5 million."

In earlier messages she had clarified that "senior executives" included just deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers, not managers or front line supervisors. And another message to staff said the reduction would be achieved by leaving vacancies unfilled and that it included "recent executive changes" announced in January.

The Citizens' Services ministry is responsible for managing the public service. A spokesperson for the ministry said that 165 deputy minister and assistant deputy minister positions had been cut by 33, which works out to exactly 20 percent.

But when asked for a list of which 33 positions had been cut, the spokesperson said it would not neccessarily be easy to draw together such a list.

He said he would have to set up a "technical briefing" on the subject with a ministry official, either the new deputy to the premier, Allan Seckel, or citizens' services deputy minister Kim Henderson. That was last week and neither was available by publishing time.

Using public records

A citizen or journalist who wanted to test the government's claim could, however, draw together his or her own list by combing through the most recent public accounts, the government directory and the cabinet's orders in council to compile the relevant lists.

Below are three such lists. The first is of the 21 senior executives who left the government in the time period in question, between the start of the year and September. The second list, necessary to determine the total number of senior executives, includes the 131 people who were in senior positions at the start of the year and remained in them through September. The third list is of the six people added to senior positions over that same period.

Using the figures from those lists, at best the government is halfway to its goal.

At the start of the year there were people in 152 deputy minister, associate deputy minister and assistant deputy minister positions. So for the government to cut 20 percent of them, they would need to eliminate 30 positions.

But by the end of September, the government had eliminated just 21 positions, or about 70 percent of Campbell's stated goal.

And when you add in the six appointments listed below that were made in the period, the net reduction was only 15, or about half what the government has claimed.

'Pre-election fabrication'

Even those departure figures require some generous counting. The listed of the departed includes several people who are known to have left the government, but who never had their appointments rescinded through orders in council. They are still officially in their positions, though not working in them.

It also includes at least one person who did officially leave, but who is actually still working for the government. Mike Lambert was the associate deputy minister for the Integrated Land Management Bureau until Feb. 16. He has since taken a job as an executive director in the oil and gas division of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.*

The list also includes Marilyn Hedlund and Karen Dellert as having left their assistant deputy minister positions in the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Both departures were announced in a Sept. 15 email -- three weeks after McDonald said the 20 percent cut had been achieved -- though neither's order in council had been rescinded by publication time.

The only way to reach the government's figures, it would appear, would be to count people who left the government before January and well before the premier's Feb. 2, 2009 assertion. The names of another 15 people who departed can be found to reach the government's totals only by going back as far as 2007.

The onus is on the government to prove its numbers are accurate, said New Democratic Party finance critic Bruce Ralston.

"It's a pretty straightforward question," he said. If the government has really cut 33 senior executive positions, he said, it should be easy to provide a list.

"I suspect this may be another pre-election fabrication," he said. "It was all part of the pre-election package . . . They said a lot of things that were false before the election."

Deputy ministers, associate deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers who left the government after Jan. 1, 2009:

  1. Antoniak, Annette; CEO Olympic Secretariat
  2. Freeman, Mary; associate deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  3. Hesketh, Joan; deputy minister, Environment
  4. Lambert, Mike; associate deputy minister, Integrated Land Management Bureau (now with Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources)
  5. Macatee, Gordon; deputy minister, Health Services
  6. Mentzelopoulos, Athana; executive director, B.C. Progress Board
  7. Trumpy, Chris; deputy minister, Finance
  8. Bond, Paula; assistant deputy minister
  9. Bones, John G.; assistant deputy minister
  10. Callbeck, Douglas G.; assistant deputy minister, Management Services
  11. Matherson, Neil C.; assistant deputy minister, EFO
  12. Miller, Kathleen N.; assistant deputy minister, Transportation
  13. Milner, Jane Andrea; assistant deputy minister
  14. Phelan, William E.; assistant deputy minister
  15. Powell, John S.; assistant deputy minister, Corporate Services
  16. Reed, Janine; assistant deputy minister, Public Sector Employers' Council
  17. Reuther, Barbara; assistant deputy minister, Corporate Services
  18. Stancil, Daphne E.; assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands
  19. Wilton, Barry T.; assistant deputy minister, Client Services
  20. Hedlund, Marilyn; assistant deputy minister, Ministry of Children and Family Development (announced Sept. 15)
  21. Dellert, Karen; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development (announced Sept. 15)

Total = 21

Deputy ministers, associate deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers remaining as of September 2009:

  1. Brown, Martyn; deputy minister/Chief of Staff
  2. Brownsey, Lorne; deputy minister, Corporate Initiatives
  3. Byng, Dave; chief operation officer, Transportation
  4. Carr, Steven; chief operating officer, Integrated Land Management Bureau
  5. Ciceri, Robin; deputy minister, Advanced Education (who resigned in Nov.)
  6. De Faye, Robert; deputy minister, Aboriginal Relations
  7. Du Toit, Leslie; deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  8. Dyble, John; deputy minister, Health Services
  9. Fast, Don; deputy minister, Small Business
  10. Gorman, James; deputy minister, Education
  11. Hayden, Dana; deputy minister, Solicitor General
  12. Henderson, Kimberly; deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  13. James, Beth; associate deputy minister
  14. Junger, Robin; associate deputy minister, Environment
  15. Konkin, Doug; deputy minister, Environment
  16. Lapper, Robert; deputy minister, Labour
  17. MacDonald, Cairine; deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  18. MacDougall, Michael; chief operating officer, Health Services
  19. Main, Grant; deputy minister, Healthy Living
  20. McDonald, Jessica; deputy minister, to the Premier (resigned in October)
  21. Milburn, Peter; deputy minister, Transportation
  22. Morhart, David; deputy solicitor general
  23. Norman, Ron; associate deputy minister, Public Affairs Bureau
  24. Pedersen, Larry; deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands
  25. Reimer, Gregory; deputy minister, Energy
  26. Seckel, Allan; deputy attorney General (now deputy minister to the premier)
  27. Shoemaker, Wes; deputy minister, Solicitor General
  28. Steenkamp, Philip; president/CEO B.C. Olympic Secretariat
  29. Paul Straszak; president/CEO Public Sector
  30. Tarras, Lynda; deputy minister, Head of Public Service Agency, Advanced Education
  31. Wall, Dale; deputy minister, Community and Rural Development
  32. Wanamaker, Lori; deputy minister, Tourism
  33. Whitmarsh, Graham; deputy minister, Finance
  34. Ahmed, Sarf; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  35. Archibald,W. Ralph; assistant deputy minister, Environmental Stewardship
  36. Armstrong, Glen Edward; assistant deputy minister, Finance
  37. Ayers, Karen Jean; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  38. Bailey, Lynn D.; assistant deputy minister, Environment
  39. Baltes, Janet; assistant deputy minister, Finance
  40. Baskerville, Shannon; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  41. Begg, Kevin L.; assistant deputy minister, Solicitor General
  42. Bethel, John; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  43. Blasetti, Frank; assistant deputy minister, Transportation
  44. Bond, Allison Hayward; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  45. Bragg, Denise G.L.; assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands/Environment, Corporate Services
  46. Brouwer, Shauna Janice; assistant deputy minister, Tourism, Culture and the Arts/Community and Rural Development, Management Services
  47. Brown, Stephen; assistant deputy minister, Health
  48. Butterfield, Renate; assistant deputy minister, Education
  49. Carroll, Sandra; assistant deputy minister, Transportation
  50. Carter, Michael T.; assistant deputy minister, Small Business, Technology and Economic Development
  51. Caul, Douglas; assistant deputy minister, Public Service Agency
  52. Cavanagh, John; assistant deputy minister, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
  53. Chopik, Kathy S.; assistant deputy minister, Premier's office
  54. Currie, Tami D.; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  55. Davidson, Heather; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  56. Dawes, Jacqueline; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  57. Dickson, Heather J.; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  58. Doyle, Patrick; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  59. Elangovan, Joan Q.; assistant deputy minister, Small Business, Technology and Economic Development
  60. Faganello, Tara; assistant deputy minister, Attorney General
  61. Fayad, Deborah A.; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  62. Foxcroft, Debra; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  63. Fraser, Lois; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  64. Friesen, Robert S.; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  65. Furey, Mike; assistant deputy minister, Community and Rural Development
  66. Fyfe, Richard; assistant deputy attorney general
  67. Galbraith, David; assistant deputy minister, Healthy Living and Sport
  68. Gillen, Bob W.G.; assistant deputy attorney general
  69. Goodman, Gordon D.; assistant deputy minister, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
  70. Griffin, Sandra; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  71. Hackett, Stuart; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  72. Hansen, Brian; assistant deputy minister, Small Business, Technology and Economic Development
  73. Harrington, Molly; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  74. Hazlewood, Andrew G.; assistant deputy minister, Healthy Living and Sport
  75. Hill, Wendy; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  76. Hopkins, James; assistant deputy minister, Finance
  77. Hughes, Bette-Jo; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  78. Jardine, Kevin D.; assistant deputy minister, Cabinet Operations
  79. Jensen, Tom R.; assistant deputy minister, Community and Rural Development
  80. Jensen Wayne; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  81. Kendall, Jacquie; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  82. Kislock, Lindsay; assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands
  83. Knight, Craig R.; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  84. Kot, Jill; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  85. MacFarlane, Paige; assistant deputy minister, Education
  86. MacLaren, Les M.; assistant deputy minister, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
  87. MacMillan, Elizabeth; assistant deputy minister, Healthy Living and Sport
  88. Maranda, Pierrette; assistant deputy minister, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat
  89. Markwart, Alan E.; assistant deputy minister, Children and Family Development
  90. Mattison, James C.; assistant deputy minister, Environment
  91. McHale, Jerry; assistant deputy minister, Attorney General
  92. McKnight, Elaine; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  93. Miller, Keith; assistant deputy minister, Education
  94. Moysey, Sharon; assistant deputy minister, Housing and Social Development
  95. Munro, Steve; assistant deputy minister, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
  96. Nakagawa, Bob; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  97. Nikolejsin, David J.; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services CIO
  98. Owen, Peter H.; assistant deputy minister, Education
  99. Paine, Julian C.; assistant deputy minister, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
  100. Parnell, Grant G.; assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands
  101. Paton, Arlene D.; assistant deputy minister, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
  102. Peterson, J.D. (Dave); assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  103. Phipps, Albert O.; assistant deputy minister, Solicitor General
  104. Porter, Charles; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  105. Poutney, Richard G.; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  106. Proudfoot, Mike A.; assistant deputy minister, Transportation
  107. Rasmussen, Bruce; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  108. Ritchie, Carol J.; assistant deputy minister, Citizens' Services
  109. Sasaki, Harvey W.; assistant deputy minister, Agriculture and Lands
  110. Schultz, Ray L.; assistant deputy minister, Community and Rural Development
  111. Shimkus, Jody M.; assistant deputy minister, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
  112. Sidhu, Manjit; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  113. Sieben, Mark K.; chief operating officer Children and Family Development
  114. Smith, Terry P.; assistant deputy minister, Chief Coroner
  115. Snetsinger, James G.; assistant deputy minister, Chief Forester
  116. Soles, I James; assistant deputy minister, Small Business, Technology and Economic Development
  117. St. John, Valerie; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  118. Sturko, Derek; assistant deputy minister, Solicitor General
  119. Sutherland, Craig; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  120. Symes, Elan C.; assistant deputy minister, Finance
  121. Taylor, Sheila A.; assistant deputy minister, Health Services
  122. Townsend, Gary; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  123. Vincent, Tom; assistant deputy minister, VP Public Sector Employers' Council
  124. Walman, Barbara J.; assistant deputy minister, Labour
  125. Walters, Peter D.;assistant deputy minister, Tourism, Culture and the Arts
  126. Wenezenki-Yolland Cheryl; assistant deputy minister, Finance, Comptroller General
  127. Wittenberg, K. Ruth; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  128. Wood, Robert; assistant deputy minister, Attorney General
  129. Yardley, Jim R.; assistant deputy minister, Tourism, Culture and the Arts
  130. Zacharatos, Phil; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range
  131. Zacharias, Mark; assistant deputy minister, Forests and Range

Total = 131

Assistant deputy ministers hired since Feb. 2, 2009:

  1. Bain, Nancy A.; assistant deputy minister, Transportation
  2. Boyd, Wes; assistant deputy minister, Healthy Living and Sport
  3. Denlinger, Rebecca; assistant deputy minister, Solicitor General
  4. Halls, Lori; assistant deputy minister, PSA Talent Management
  5. Morel, David; assistant deputy minister, Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
  6. Rogers, Carolyn; assistant deputy minister, Public Service Agency

Total = 6

*An earlier version of this story said the former deputy minister of finance Chris Trumpy is working for the Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Ministry. The Chris Trumpy working for EMPR is in fact his son.  [Tyee]

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