Sep 3, 2009

Teeny Budget factoid


It appears when it comes to the heavy lifting of cutting spending in BC, not all public agencies are equal.

The February Budget documents stated that:

To ensure that health services are protected in the current economic environment, the Ministry of Health Services and health authorities will be required to achieve efficiencies and administrative savings beginning in 2009/10.

For the health authorities these administrative savings came to $25 million annually.  Post-secondary institutions were expected to find $11 million in administrative savings.  School boards were told to cut the administrative fat by $12 million.

Contrast that to the government’s privatization agency, Partnerships BC, which published their administrative expenses in their Service Plan in the September update to the Budget.  It turns out that after an 9% jump in administrative costs in 2008/09, they are still planning for an increase of another 2.8% in 2009/10.  Next year they plan to bump admin costs another 6.5% and the year after that in 2011/12 they plan administrative costs to rise by 2.3% 

That is an increase of administrative costs of 22.3% in four years.

It appears the administration of privatizing government services is much more difficult than the administration of healing the sick and educating our children. 

Or perhaps Partnerships BC is just baffled at how to deal with these ballooning admin costs so let me offer a humble suggestion.  Perhaps they could randomly pick any elementary school principal in the province to advise them.  After all, people who actually deliver services to the public are used to being told to find fat to cut year after year even when they are down to the bone.

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