2014 in Review: Jobs and promotions

| 02/01/2015 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The year ended with a flurry of scandals connected to government positions and, in the case of the prisons and the police services, the recruitment practices. Two senior officers from the immigration department have been put on required leave and a former acting chief fire officer is seeking a judicial review regarding the loss of his job.

January:  Well over 500 foreign workers out of almost 1,500 who originally held Term Limit Exemption Permits (TLEPs) have left the Cayman Islands, but the rest are still here. Despite concerns that the immigration department would be dealing with a surge of applications, only 54 have so far applied for permanent residency.

February: After a career of almost 40 years, the acting CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), Kerith McCoy, retired in the face of a major shake-up of operations at the airport. Caren Thompson-Palacio, CIAA Business Development & Marketing Manager and Information Manager, has also resigned. Albert Anderson, who spent more than three decades working with local telecommunications service provider Cable & Wireless, was appointed as the new CEO.

March: The Cayman government terminated its contract with British Conservative peer, Lord Blencathra. Premier Alden McLaughlin said the contract “could be construed to be in conflict” with the new code for members of the House of Lords and the post would now be advertised.

April: Thirteen RCIPS recruits were sworn in as police constables to start their 16 weeks training course ahead of their life on the beat. Two former senior fire officers were brought back to the Cayman Islands Fire Service in order to help government stabilize the critical emergency department in the face of more problems. Roy Grant returned to act as chief fire officer and Kirkland Nixon as strategic advisor for three months. Former senior officer in the RCIPS Marlon Bodden was appointed deputy collector of customs in charge of enforcement.

May: Hundreds of public sector employees have been given permission to hold second jobs or run outside businesses by their department heads but documents reveal that most of them are low paid workers topping up inadequate salaries. After more than five years on paid leave, the former chief officer in the health ministry, Diane Montoya, and the deputy financial secretary in financial services, Deborah Drummond, were offered a deal by the government. Neither women were ever accused of any wrongdoing but were maneuvered out of their top public sector jobs when the UDP administration, led by McKeeva Bush, reorganized the ministries following the 2009 election victory.

June: Alee Fa’amoe was appointed director at the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA). He said his goals were a renewed focus on customer service and efficiencies, along with additional scrutiny of the quality of services offered and not just the traditional focus on prices and availability. He said this would go hand-in-hand with greater efficiencies. The opposition leader argued for a parliamentary enquiry into the reinstatement of the airport’s IT manager over allegations that he was using his government-issued computer to view porn and download sexually explicit images.

July: Numerous qualified job-hunting told CNS that barriers erected by employers are blocking their ability to find work. Of the many tactics used to renew permits rather than trying to recruit locals, one that is beginning to look increasingly obvious in the age of technological communication is the insistence that applications are made via post to post office boxes. Chief weather man John Tibbetts was appointed as the National Weather Service (CINWS) Director General.

August: The Board of Directors of the National Roads Authority (NRA) appointed Paul Parchment as managing director, a position left vacant after Brian Tomlinson was sacked in 2012 because, the board at the time claimed, the authority was “downsizing”. Rosworth McLaughlin, a former acting chief fire officer who was removed from the post following a UK review of the local fire service, sought a judicial review of the decision by Home Affairs Chief Officer Eric Bush and the Civil Service Appeals Commission’s refusal to hear his case. Mary Rodrigues, the former chief officer of the education and employment ministry, was appointed as head of a new civil service unit charged with overseeing the implementation of the Ernst and Young report on the rationalisation of the public service.

September: The financial secretary’s post merged with the chief officer’s job in the finance ministry, so Kenneth Jefferson, in addition to being FS, now covers the duties of the CO following the retirement earlier this year of Sonia McLaughlin. The National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) has a new director from the United States to help get what many still consider a dysfunctional unit working more smoothly. Following a competitive recruitment process, the post was given to Brian Holland, an expert from New York who has more than 20 years of workforce development experience.

October: The Public Works Department recruited a new senior project manager from overseas. Jim Schubert, a Canadian with some 25 years’ experience in the solid waste management industry, is responsible for all aspects of project delivery for the proposed waste management system. Justice Ingrid Mangatal was appointed as a full-time Grand Court Judge here in Cayman. She joins a team of four alongside the chief justice that are handing family, civil and the ever growing criminal lists. The recruitment process was carried out in July and August by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

November: Reports of local job losses and allegations that the owners are circumventing labour laws at Morritts Tortuga Club in East End stirred up concerns. Government has been investigating allegations that the management at is breaking immigration and labour rules and sacking Caymanians without cause. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson dismissed many of the allegations, which are all also denied by the new management team.

December: Kimberley Davis, a senior member of the immigration department with responsibility for the administration of the department’s various boards, was suspended following allegations that she did not comply with labour and immigration laws in connection with her own private businesses. Linda Evans, the chief immigration officer, was placed on required leave to allow for unspecified allegations “to be investigated quickly and thoroughly”. Nicola Williams, the complaints commissioner, handed in her resignation and will be taking up a new post next year in the UK.

The public learned that a man facing a murder charge in Jamaica had been recruited to the RCIPS. Tyrone Findlay and another man were convicted in Jamaica and jailed for 25 years for a shooting murder in 2010 when they were serving in the Jamaican police force and supposedly investigating a robbery. Findlay was recruited into the RCIPS in 2011 and served in the armed unit, despite the murder allegations. He was formally suspended from the RCIPS just a few months later on full pay.

A prison officer was placed on required leave and later quit as a result of an investigation that he has a previously undeclared criminal conviction. Ricardo Fischer, a Jamaican national, was convicted of a sex offence in the US in 2009 and deported from New York State, where he was living at the time. Prison Director Neil Lavis said that HMP Northward would be reviewing all of its employees to ensure that there are no more surprises.

Kenneth Bryan, the premier’s political assistant, was charged by the RCIPS on Friday as a result of an argument he had with a police officer in a nightclub parking lot after he tried to prevent the officer from arresting the wrong man. Premier Alden McLaughlin announced in the Legislative Assembly that he was placing Bryan on required paid leave.

The police have recently confirmed that an officer who left the scene of an accident last year was convicted and left the service. The 54-year-old officer was never named but an RCIPS spokesperson said that the driver in a crash which happened in Ithmar Circle, George Town, in September 2012, who was at the time a serving police officer, resigned ahead of his prosecution for a list of driving offences.








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