Performance Audit of the Office of the Deputy Governor and Related Departments (2016 to 2020)

2nd December, 2020

The Office of the Auditor General is pleased to announce that its report entitled Performance Audit of the Office of the Deputy Governor and Related Departments was presented to the Legislative Assembly on December 1st, 2020. 

Background: The ODG’s headquarters offers consular services, manages Government pensions, and assists the Deputy Governor, who oversees all employees across the public service; it also manages the Government’s offices and other buildings.  The other 4 Departments within the ODG’s remit are: the Human Resources Management Unit, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency, Her Majesty’s Prison, and the Royal Montserrat Defence Force.

Key Findings:

  • The ODG has good oversight of its available budget and keeps annual spending within budget.
  • The ODG’s performance has improved slowly, but has much scope to improve further both performance and reporting.   For financial years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, the ODG met 14% and 29% of its performance targets respectively. In other areas, performance was not clearly defined and/or was not reported.
  • The ODG has recognised that it has capacity-gaps, but has struggled to fill them.  The ODG has consistently operated below its capacity: 65 posts filled of 75 available posts in fiscal year 2016/2017; 62 posts filled of 69 available posts in fiscal year 2017/2018; 59 posts filled of 70 available posts in fiscal year 2018/2019.     
  • The ODG uses the Technical Co-operation (TC) Programme to fill critical and hard-to-fill posts, but needs to improve the process for appointment and management of TC-employee posts.   This programme is used to acquire the skills needed to address local skills-gaps and to recruit internationally for posts that are difficult to fill.  The ODG manages the TC programme on behalf of the entire GOM.  The audit found that only 2 of 12 TC employee posts sampled had a business case.  Additionally, there was a lack of clear skills transfer and some TC posts had no understudy assigned to them.  The ODG advised that such posts lead to important development of capabilities in other ways, including new policies, processes, knowledge and the sharing of experiences.
  • The ODG has identified that improved workplaces are urgently needed to support the GOM’s employees in delivering better service to the public, but, without funding support, little progress has been made.  At least 80% of public buildings require significant upgrades to meet standards and users’ needs.  Funding has been repeatedly requested from the DFID for this purpose, but has not been approved.  Since early March, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for these repairs and upgrades much more urgent, both for employees’ safety and for the new mandates of public health in serving the public.

Key Recommendations:

  • Strengthen Departments’ strategic planning, measurement, and reporting of performance.
  • Strengthen Departments’ record-keeping and reporting for decision-making.
  • Reduce the number of vacancies. Shorten recruitment time, improve the terms and conditions of offers/contracts, and reduce turnover of employees.   Also reassess personnel needs and close posts that are no longer needed.
  • Strengthen the oversight of the TC programme to maximise the intended benefits.
  • Prioritise the funding of the GOM’s required building maintenance and upgrades.

The full audit report highlights several other findings and recommendations.   Their implementation will bring significant improvements in the management of the public service (including faster recruitment; more accountability; enhanced productivity; better planning; improved administration of the Technical Co-operation Programme; and the sustained building of local capacity), timely maintenance of public buildings and workplaces, and better service to the public.

The report in its entirety can be found at the Montserrat Public Libraryvisiting Publications or by requesting an electronic copy from the Office of the Auditor General, located upstairs Angelo’s Complex, Brades. E-mail:; Telephone: (664) 491 – 3460 or 491 – 4569.