Government will realign departments to provide better service to Nova Scotians.
“We need to get government’s house in order so we can focus on better serving Nova Scotians,” said Premier Stephen McNeil.
“Over the past four months, we took a broad look at the workings of government overall. These are changes that will result in efficiencies for government, and in turn — and more importantly — better service for Nova Scotians.”
Municipal Affairs will become its own department, including the Emergency Management Office, and the Office of the Fire Marshal. Mark Furey will remain Minister of Municipal Affairs, as well as Service Nova Scotia. An advisory board will be established for Service Nova Scotia so clients can have ongoing input into the way services are delivered.
Dan McDougall will become deputy minister of Municipal Affairs and recruitment will soon begin for a new CEO of Service Nova Scotia.
“This new structure will provide more focus on the unique challenges facing municipalities, and will allow government to provide better tools and guidance to create strong communities across the province,” said Mr. Furey. “It will also help us focus on providing better quality service to Nova Scotians, be it in access centres directly to citizens, or cutting red tape for businesses.”
A new Department of Internal Services will combine various support functions to government in one department, with a focus on identifying efficiencies across departments.
The following functions will move to the Department of Internal Services:
— the Chief Information Office
— procurement services
— payment transaction services
— operational accounting
— payroll client relations
— internal audit
— Queens Printer
— FOIPOP advisory services
— real property services (with exception of land acquisition and disposal)
— public safety and field communications
— building services
— environmental services (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal branch)
— risk management and claims
— Nova Scotia Lands Inc.
Labi Kousoulis will be the minister, in addition to Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, and Jeff Conrad has been appointed deputy minister.
“As Nova Scotians have had to do more with less, it is important for us to lead by example by taking a new look at internal services and seeing where we too can be more efficient,” said Mr. Kousoulis.
The premier also appointed Joanne Bernard as Minister responsible for the Status of Women Act, in addition to her responsibilities as Community Services Minister and Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons’ Commission Act. This is effective today, March 7.
The other moves are effective April 1.