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January 17, 2001
(Executive Council) 


Premier gives regionalization update

Premier Beaton Tulk released today a further update on the implementation of government's regionalization policy.

"On July 27, 2000, government announced its intention to relocate various divisions of government," stated Premier Tulk. "Government remains committed to this regionalization policy and we have made much progress towards being operational in the new locations by July 1, 2001.

"As premier, I have made this policy my top priority and I have spent a great deal of time ensuring that government is sensitive to its employees and balancing their concerns with the operational requirements of the departments."

Premier Tulk stated that the regionalization of government services is a sound policy which will see some divisions of government being relocated to put the service closer to the people they serve. He noted there are also organizations which can, through the use of modern technology, effectively operate in the province and by doing this, the economic benefits of government can be distributed.

"Since the announcement, employees have been exercising the options that government put in place through the enhanced benefits and supports package. At the beginning of the process there were 278 positions to be relocated. As of today, there are only 82 employees who are left to be accommodated. This means we have had considerable success in redeploying our employees to other positions within the public service and I am confident that at the end of the process a great number of the 82 remaining employees will have found other opportunities in government."

The premier further stated that government also has to balance employee needs with operational considerations. Therefore, the recruitment process will begin immediately to have new staff hired and trained prior to July 1, 2001.

"For those employees who were uncertain about their decision on January 15, they do have some breathing space during the job posting process. We are providing them with the flexibility to continue to find other employment within the public service in St. John's. At the same time, they will be given the opportunity to give government a final decision as to whether they will accept transfer up to the closing date of the job competition for their position."

Premier Tulk further advised that tenders are being awarded today for space in Deer Lake for the Parks Division of the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation; Grand Falls-Windsor for MCP and the Aquaculture Branch of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture; and, in Marystown for the Portfolio Management Division of the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

"It is anticipated tenders for the space requirements for the other divisions to be relocated will be awarded shortly," stated the premier.

Media contact: Paula Dyke, Office of the Premier, 729-3960
2001 01 17                                             2:10 p.m.

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