The SAGE Commission today announced the winners of awards in a programme designed to involve the public as well as members of the Civil and Public Service in the Commission’s review of the Bermuda Government.

Commission Chair Brian Duperreault presented a check for $2,500 to each of the following for his or her submission in one of four categories:

• A member of the public: Jennifer Ebbin

• An employee of Government: Andrea Franklin

• A young person between the ages of 18 and 25: Connor Burns

• A youth under the age of 18: Ryan Robinson Perinchief

The winner for the best overall submission was Magnus Henagulph, who was presented with a check for $12,500.

The winning submissions can be viewed on the SAGE Commission’s web site at www.sagecommission.bm.

Mr. Duperreault noted that the SAGE Commission received well over 400 entries which were submitted through the Commission’s web site, in person during private meetings, and by hand to the Commission’s offices.

“We were very pleased with the level of responses the Awards Programme generated,” said Mr. Duperreault. “There was a broad representation from the public and private sector so we feel we met our objective of engaging the community in the process of looking for ways to create a more modern, efficient and accountable government.

Mr. Duperreault noted that submissions were evaluated for the degree to which expenses might be reduced.

“A large number of the submissions we received, including those from the winners, had suggestions for generating revenue,” said Mr. Duperreault.  “We didn’t consider those, made no judgment on them, and will pass them on to Government. We judged all submissions solely on ideas related to spending and efficiency.

“Where there were multiple ideas in one submission, we considered the ideas collectively and made our final decision on the value that the submission, in its totality, represented.

“This has been a great exercise for the Commission, one which I believe all members really enjoyed.  The input from the Awards Programme, as well as the feedback we’ve received from the meetings and interviews we’ve held during the last five months, are helping us to form recommendations that reflect what the community feels needs to be done to create the government we need and can afford.  When we submit our final report in October, we feel it will be a fair and honest representation of what we’ve learned during this process.”