15 December 2023
In July 2023, Legislative Council approved the St Helena Government (SHG) budget for 2023-4. To provide a better understanding of how that money is spent, every two weeks we are focusing on a different Portfolio and their plans for the year. Two weeks ago we looked at the allocation for the Safety, Security and Home Affairs (SSHA) Portfolio and this week we’ll be covering Central Support Service (CSS).
For the whole of SHG, £47,072,000 was allocated for recurrent and capital expenditure. Of this figure, CSS was allocated £10,025,000. This means that of the six Portfolios included in the 2023/24 Budget Book, CSS receives 21.3% of the SHG recurrent budget.
Central Support Service
The CSS Portfolio provides a range of support services to all portfolios. This ranges from managing information and data, to IT, transport and communications. Providing these services in a cross-governmental fashion means that resources can be better targeted and services delivered in the most efficient way possible.
What are CSS’s Strategic Aims?
As a cross-governmental support service, its policy priorities indirectly support all the National Goals, namely, ‘Altogether Safer’, ‘Altogether Healthier’, ‘Altogether better for Children and Young People’, ‘Altogether Greener’ and ‘Altogether Wealthier’.
It also indirectly supports all strategic objectives, and directly support seven of the 33 strategic objectives in the SHG Vision and Strategy Plan 2022-2025.
To support these national goals and strategic objectives, the CSS Portfolio will pursue six key policy priority areas within the SHG Vision and Strategy Plan 2022-2025, which are informing and directing its work programmes. These are:
- Driving St Helena Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda
- Ensuring effective corporate governance arrangements are in place to achieve St Helena’s overarching goals and objectives
- Encouraging and facilitating openness and transparency across the Public Service and Government
- Enabling and supporting policy makers, portfolios and the public to make better decisions
- Supporting the development of the Public Service through the delivery of an effective People Strategy
- Ensuring the provision of an effective and efficient vehicle hire service
Where will CSS’s allocation be spent?
Expenditure for 2023-24 totals £10,025,000. This is an increase from the budget for 2022-23 due to various reasons. Since last year the Programme Management Office budget has been included in CSS and several distinct projects will take place this year. This includes building additional toilet facilities at the Castle building (including a toilet for wheelchair users), redeveloping the SHG website, undertaking the 2023 Household Expenditure Survey, and funding the cost for two Ministers to attend the annual Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London, amongst others.
The bulk of the CSS expenditure though will be used to deliver key support services across SHG.
These services include administration support, operation of the SHG Archives, support to the Museum of St Helena, management of the ‘Report, It Sort It’ Service, management of the Code of Practice for Public Access to SHG Information and the contact point for complaints about SHG services. The cost of operating the Executive Council and SHG UK Representative’s Office in the UK is also within the CSS budget, as is funding for the day to day operations of Plantation House and secretarial support to the Governor.
The majority of CSS’s budget is spent on Technical Cooperation (TC) posts. These posts are crucial to the effective delivery of public services, and represent over 75% of the total budget allocation. Whilst the funding is within the CSS budget, these posts are represented across the entirety of SHG and its various portfolios.
The Central IT and Transport Division services are part of the Central Support Service functions. However, these service areas operate Trading Accounts and so the costs of their operations are separate from the core Central Support Service budget. The budgets for these services areas for the current financial year are:
IT Trading Account £1,099,000
Transport Trading Account £1,381,000
If you would like more information about any areas of CSS’s work, please get in touch with Crystal Maggott, Portfolio Assistant, by email through firstname.lastname@example.org.
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