Budget pressures fuel outburst by CS boss

| 06/02/2015 | 49 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alan Jones, Chief Officer, Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing & Infrastructure

(CNS): The chief officer in the ministry of planning has cited budget pressures as the reason why he reportedly launched a verbal attack on one of his deputies during a meeting last month. The details of what took place have not been widely circulated compared to the now infamous ‘Ozziegate’, in which the health minister launched a public and vitriolic attack on his chief officer.

However, CNS now has copies of emails showing Alan Jones apologising for swearing and making inappropriate comments to his deputy chief officer following what was understood to be a verbal onslaught launched by the chief officer on Tristan Hydes.

The incident is understood to have happened in a budget meeting with Jones, Hydes and staff from the Public Works Department. In a very short email after the meeting on Monday 19 January, Jones emailed all those involved, including Hydes, apologising for swearing and any offence it may have caused.

He wrote: “No excuse, but just as a result of budget frustration and the pressures surrounding us to come in within a very constrained allocation.”

It is not clear how much the department’s budget is being cut but in a second email Jones again mentions allowing “the frustrations to boil over” in connection with the budget, indicating that the department boss is struggling to meet the targets set down by the government.

On 22 January, three days after the incident, Jones sent another email to Hydes and others present that clearly follows a meeting where Jones had apologised face to face and discussed his verbal assault with Hydes. The email indicates an amicable conclusion to the incident.

“I feel that it was a very productive meeting and I completely accept the points raised in terms of you feeling disrespected by my tone and the language used,” Jones writes in his apology. “I want to clearly and sincerely offer my unreserved apologies to you in that regard. What was said was totally inappropriate in any circumstances, but even more so in that particular forum.”

Jones states that his comments were not meant as personal attack on Hydes, as he spoke again of his frustrations over how “the budget discussion was going”. He said the ministry was lucky to have Hydes and that he valued his contribution. The email indicated that the two men had resolved the issue and had agreed to shake hands and move on.

While the incident has not been openly discussed, it is clear from Jones’ own comments that his behaviour fell short of that expected of a senior civil servant. But it also raises the question of how much the government is trying to cut internally to meet what are very ambitious budget targets to ensure that the it meets the requirements of the Public Management and Finance Law and the demands in the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility, freeing the public purse from the UK’s direct supervision.

See Jones’ Apology here.


Category: Economy, Politics

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I feel bad for the guy I know how it is to have to direct lazy, bad minded people all day
    This will cause stress beyond belief

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you would find if you ask him that Alan Jones does NOT consider Tristan Hydes “lazy’ or “bad minded”-he knows he is not. Mr Jones lost his cool and acted very poorly towards Mr Hydes and he immediately realised it. He then apologized profusely and publicly to him. Leave them to get on with it. Tristan is a bigger hearted person than many of the Jones-basher posters here just out to stir things up.

  2. guest says:

    The biggest difference I see between Ozziegate and this is, Jones was getting upset over the success, or not, of his department, Ozzie was getting upset that part of his personal phone bill wasn’t being paid by Government. I have no problem with anyone in any Government department getting excited about doing what’s right for the Country, I wish there were more of that.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s no excuse! Amazed how some posters are trying to spin this to make it some how different that the previous incident with the Minister. Wonder why?! Blatant bias.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Proverbs 15:1,2 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

    2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
    25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And they can do it because they won’t get fired for it. The precedent has already been set.

  5. E. Stenna says:

    Anonymous 07/02 – 1:16PM. Thank you! It goes both ways. Really wish those sentiments didn’t exist at all. Can’t we all get along?

  6. Anonymous says:

    That Ministry has always been a bullying Ministry from the time his predecessor was there.

    Nothing has changed, it was only a matter of time, so take a look around in there and you will find others with the same approach. Did Franz reprimand him?

    • Kenny says:

      I have read the posts here and really feel terrible. I would imagine that what happened with Mr Jones happens every day in the world. Is it right no but it happens. Alan did the right thing..He fesses up said he was sorry and didn’t try and justify his conduct. Now what does the people of cayman want . What else should happened. Should he be fired please don’t go there that would never happened in any company. And please stop blaming the premier for his he has no control of the civil service. Our deputy governor has responsibility and from what I have seen Alan did what the DG would have expected. Alan is one of the good guys and she is Mr hydes . Leave them alone.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here is one to report. In Cayman there is a culture of bullying like no other I have witnessed in the many countries I have worked. It matters not a jot who is doing the bullying. The simple truth is that it is tolerated and fueled by a system that is crumbling under its own ineptitude.

  8. FairandBalanced says:

    Why hasn’t CNS posted the emails? More importantly, what is the Deputy Governor going to say or do? Remember too that there are serious doubts/concerns about Alan Jones becoming a Chief Officer versus other applicants. Franz, are you going to say what Commissioner Baines says, Alan’s flare-up was because of bad parenting? Franz are you going to show your neutrality and do something?

    • Anonymous says:

      Alan Jones became Chief Officer after a rigorous assessment centre approach to recruitment determined that he was the best candidate. The only “doubts/serious concerns” were expressed by disappointed other candidates (especially one) and those who feel driftwood candidates should not be appointed, only BORN Caymanians.

      • FairandBalanced says:

        Hogwash! It has nothing to do with born Caymanians versus driftwood Caymanians because, the person who challenged the choice was a driftwood Caymanian too, although that person has been in Cayman much longer than Alan Jones. The challenge was because one applicant was supposed to have received higher scores than Mr Jones yet that applicant was not shortlisted for further interviewing and testing.

        Absolutely nothing to do with Caymanian issue. Jones is a very controversial Civil Servant.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Supposed to have received higher scores”. “Supposed to have”. Just like “I am given to understand that….”. “I have heard that…” Classic Cayman gossip stuff. And totally false. It did not happen. He got the best scores along with others who became Chief Officers despite the complaints of the “person who has been in Cayman much longer than Jones”. And you need to read again the last sentence of 11:46’s comment above. It is obvious that there were TWO categories of complainers-disappointed unsuccessful candidates, whether driftwood Caymanians or born, and other people, whether candidates or not, who believe that these senior (especially) posts should be the preserve of only “real” born Caymanians. If you do not accept this to be true, you do not live here or listen to talk shows or read local blog sites comments.

          • Anonymous says:

            No my anonymous friend, you are wrong. The highest scoring person didn’t make it through to the second round.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hahaha!!!! Thanks for the laugh.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alan Jones’ true colours?? Seems like these senior officers can’t handle the normal demands and pressures of office! Can someone say “over their head”.

    Anyway, it’s only fair that Alan Jones gets the same media exposure that Osbourne Bodden did, otherwise a clear bias in reporting could be seen to exist.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please, this is Cayman. Jones could have used a racial slur at Mr. Hydes, and the end result would have been the same…..nothing!

    This Cayman we talking about! One sided, by the will of its own people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Alan Jones was clearly in the wrong-very, very clearly so. And all these no doubt Caymanian posters on here are, understandably (since this is how Cayman is nowadays) happily bashing him as he is a dreaded expat/driftwood who told a born Caymanian to shut the eff up (marl road version). But once you get through bashing him, could you direct me to where Osbourne Bodden issued as categorically clear an apologetic “Sorry,the blame was mine” statement as Jones has done? I must have missed it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Comments not like those about “Ozziegate”? You really expected that? PHEW…..no way Jose……That was a LOCAL in that case. He comes fr BT and that is where I suspect his navel string is buried. This incident is vice versa. Alan Jones navel string buried somewhere else and definitely NOT burried yah…..So NO please don’t hold your breath for anything near the ruckus that Ossie’s tantrum caused! Nah happening!! Watch and see and learn how we play against our OWN……Sadly though Tristan is OURS. And I dare to say his navel string buried yah too!! Media chase Politicians down for a comment in that case too…….Caymanians AGAIN?? SILENCE on media chasing this one though!! But we rant, rave, scream and holler andof the incident against Jennifer? BUT I must admit that I wanna see which Cabinet get shuffled this time and which CO’s get switched….LOL but I not holding my breath…..Wanna bet Premier not going to address or make statement on this? Hmmmmm……two-faced Caymanians!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Colonial mentality of the locals has its privileges for those who come to these shores.
      Caymanians couldn’t stick together if you used crazy glue! So the reason this story won’t go any further than this, is simply because Caymanians are too laid back and will take anything.

      • DriftwoodRus says:

        Talk about a ridiculous statement! Buried beneath the Caymanian laid back and will take anything attitude, is a people deeply resentful of us expats even when we show commitment to these islands. I especially feel this since Mclaughlin got into power and it was the very same when he was last in power. I detest what Bush stands for but at least the driftwood of these islands felt less hated. Just recently my advice to three people with potential job offers in cayman was to go elsewhere. I am taking my own advice and leaving.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wish you all the luck in the world!

          I don’t think all Caymanians have a “deep resentful hate of us expats”, but I’m sure that some do. Just like how I know of some expats that have hatred of all Caymanians. I know we like to claim that the Caymanians hate us, but very little is said about those that hate the Caymanians. Why? Double standard, isn’t it????

        • Anonymous says:

          Many are leaving.. There needs a total change of guard in Cayman. Please stop electing the same people or you will just get more of the same. Please also start blowing the whistle on those in Immigration and Immigration Enforcement that use their title to do favors for their family and friends. It is of no help to the Country.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am leaving also , If expats were not afraid of hurting real estate values more would speak up about their experiences.
            When I get back I will have a lot to say to my fellow Americans about the wonderful adventure I had and warn them about what happens to those whom spend years of there lives and invest their $ & love in Cayman
            that said, any Caymanian can leave and go to the UK and get all the benefits as soon as they get off the plane.

  13. Anonymous says:

    yawn…..nothing like ozziegate……

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are you surprised that the story is dultirated? Isn’t he one of them? It is no big thing for him to berate Tristan, he is just one of those old caymanians. Let the world read exactly what he told him, stop the bias.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Dultirated”? Seriously, 12:39? I wish I could say you are a credit to our school system. But I can’t. God help these blessed Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jones sounds like an abusive husband would to his battered wife, ” oh I’m sorry darling, you know it was the booze that made me do it”.

      Took a while for t his one to surface. Wonder why?!! I guess they had to huddle and come up with this weak – ass of an excuse.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What will be the next sequal
    Episode 1) Driftwood Attack
    Episode 2) Revenge of the Driftwood
    Episode 3) ????

    Any guesses??

  16. Anonymous says:

    Belford buzz

  17. Anonymous says:

    Could some of the frustration have come from him not receiving all those per diem travel allowances and perks he used to get when JuJu Banton was his boss? And NOT having to account for them?
    Kurt is afraid of flying and would prefer to go to Barcus instead of Barcelona.

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Oh dear me…….I’m frustrated with budget cuts and so excuse me while I throw a tantrum” REALLY Mr Jones? Sorry sir but your verbal onslaught laced with profanity is NOT very becoming of a man and definitely NOT in your capacity!! There’s NO excuse for ABUSE……of any kind sir be it physical, mental, emotional or verbal……NO EXCUSE!! Another blackeye and a NATIONAL disgrace…. XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      In a country where bullying is tolerated at the highest level, what would you expect. But this incident is different from ozziegate. This man did give a full apology unlike osborne.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop trying to “water the seriousness” of this situation down!!! Deplorable behavior!!!

        But, I suspect that many comments on here will try to do the same.

      • Michel says:

        ‘2 wrongs can’t make a ringht. Attitudes man, attitudes. Get out of the kitchen if you don’t like Heat. Too many like so lately. Hurry up and slow down and keep kool. One Love !

  19. Anonymous says:

    Love how the actual comments are ommitted unlike Ozziegate.

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