DG disagrees he should be finance leader

| 19/01/2015 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson

(CNS): The deputy governor disagrees with the auditor general that as head of the civil service he should be the one to lead the much needed improvements in the management of public finances. Franz Manderson told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week that he questioned whether it was really his office’s role to lead improvements in the financial function, given that there is now a finance minister.

Speaking during the PAC hearing last week, the deputy governor said he disagreed that, as head of the civil service, he should take that leadership role, as recommended in the report by the Office of the Auditor General on the management of travel and hospitality.

“I take the view that we have a minister of finance now; we have a financial secretary who is a chief officer, who reports to me … and while I understand I have overall responsibility for the performance of the civil service, I don’t want to be doing things that compromise the work or responsibility of the minister of finance.”

However, Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick said the issue was about the broad professional financial function and the performance of financial officers across government, as well as consistency in how finance is managed and how the public sector deals with government accounts. He said there is not a clear relationship between the broader management and the finance ministry.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson answered questions from PAC members about the consistency, competency and standardising accounting across the civil service and the need for some kind of accounting manual to create a common method of doing things. He said that the committee, which has been reviewing the Public Management and Finance Law, has recommended an accounting manual and this is now imminent.

However, asked about the professional levels in the management of the financial function, Swarbrick said they were still seeing varying degrees of ability.  “We see inconsistency,” he told PAC. “We do see quite a variance.”

In any group, he said, you would see different skill levels and competency and that was the case with the local civil service, with chief financial officers varying broadly in the experience and ability. Some are strategic and understand they are guardians of the public purse, while others are simply processing transactions.

However, the deputy governor said he had swapped staff around and put people in more suitable roles, and with the chief financial officers being held to account things were improving. He said that as more ministries get clean audits, other CFOs are recognizing that they must step up because they don’t want to be the only one to get a qualified audit.

“We have driven CFOs to want to do better,” Manderson stated, adding that he still believed that this financial year would result in clean audits across the board.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Kenny says:

    I have to wonder If the people that comment are really sane. You mean to tell me that they have not seen the mast improvements in the civil service since Manderson took over? Millions saved in HR costs. More clean audit reports performance management alive and well. Chief officers working together for the first time, 100 million surplus , travel policy, only civil servant to stand up to Mac and the list goes on. And you say he has done nothing and don’t hold people accountablity …..what world are you living in.

    • Tsenoh says:

      Kenny, maybe you should check your sanity first my friend. If you read my post never stated anything about him not holding current employees accountable. I was referring to any reluctance he might have to hold finance staff accountable. And so glad you see all these improvements you must be wearing same glasses of the PPM. Any spares? I sure could do with some delusional moments too.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:51 pm, u joking, prove it. Who stood up to Mac

  2. The Sandman says:

    Why the hell would Manderson be responsible for these financial matters when we have a Minister of Finance and a Financial Secretary (who has no constitutional role-so no job- now other than existing and costing us $150k a year)? XXXX

  3. Dimbo says:

    He has been very ineffective and shown himself unwilling to make necessary but unpopular decisions. His only contribution seems to have been the pointless civil servant of the month award.

  4. justaxing says:

    Yes Franz public service is not supposed to be about a popularity contest. If the Auditor General has made a recommendation who are you to differ. Is it so difficult to hold people accountable and take responsibility?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.