22 Jun 2005

Cooks budget cut won't lead to outer island ministry job losses

7:40 pm on 22 June 2005

The chief executive of the Office of the Outer Islands in the Cook Islands is ruling out staff lay-offs as a result of a 266 thousand US dollar budget cut to the department.

The Finance Minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, foreshadowed the need for cuts in some areas when he tabled the latest Budget, which is being debated in Parliament this week.

Within overall operating revenue of almost 56.7 million US dollars, the outer islands office is in line to receive almost 288,000 US dollars less funding, down from 700,000 US dollars.

The chief executive, Nandi Glassie, says restructuring's likely but the 15 jobs won't go.

"There's always been the possibility of us being restructured; we've been existing for the last five years and the primary aim is after five years then the outer islands which we are servicing should be in a position to be able to service themselves, to be able to have the capacities to manage and to administer their administration in the outer islands. So at this stage as a result of the cut there's a strong possibility that this office will be going through some restructuring."

Nandi Glassie says the Government wants the office to be more specific in its project management.