NBF was blank cheque for recipients

| 14/08/2015 | 97 Comments
Cayman News Service

The Wesleyan Holiness Church in West Bay, where McKeeva Bush once attended regularly. received over $1.2 million from the NBF for development projects but ended up returning more than half as a result of the controversies over the cash

(CNS): The lack of an open, fair and transparent application process and no internal controls allowed for a significant risk of abuse of public funds and corruption, the auditor general has said in his latest damning audit regarding the possible misuse of public cash by the former UDP administration. Described as a blank cheque for those who received grants and for the premier’s office by the LA, the fund doled out more that $13 million without any accountability.

In what has become one of the most controversial reports from his office, regarding what was always a controversial fund, Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick pointed to a catalogue of issues with the programme, where cash was given to churches, students and other applicants based on the approval of then premier McKeeva Bush and his chief of staff at the time.

The fund was created by Bush when he was leader of the UDP government during a late night Finance Committee sitting, designed to help churches, cultural projects, youth programmes and, among other things, offer students who fell outside the formal scholarship programme funding for school. But the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) said it was unclear what the programme was designed to achieve and that many of the payments were not used for their intended purpose.

“The Nation Building Programme is an example of how not to manage or operate a government programme,” Swarbrick said when the report was finally released. Its public circulation had been delayed for almost a week as a result of demands made by Bush, the current opposition leader, to the deputy governor.

“Government officials needed to step up and fulfil their obligations to ensure that public money was spent prudently and properly accounted for. This did not happen and in this instance with every dollar spent, there was significant risk for misuse and abuse,” Swarbrick stated.

The auditors said they found several examples of misuse and abuse of the funds by recipients.

“We found instances where funds were used for purposes other than the apparent intended purposes. There were possibly many more such instances that the lack of documentation prevented us from identifying. This is a direct result of the lack of both a clear management control framework and a requirement for accountability for the use of funds by recipients,” the OAG said.

When they reviewed a sample of grants given to churches, the auditors found that at one church $5,000 was given to the church council as commissions and another $3,000 was used for a car and loans to the pastor that were not repaid. Although grants were given to churches to repair, expand or enhance their buildings, the auditors said that in not one of the cases reviewed were they able to determine that construction was completed. In one instance the empty shell of a building funded by the NBF was used as a polling station at the last election.

The fund was also used without legislative authority to top up some unrelated government entities’ budgets. For example, the Information Commissioner’s Office received $49,000 that was not in its authorized budget to cover the cost of legal fees, and the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs received money to top up funding for the national CCTV project.

The auditors said that $130,000 went to the Hope for Today Foundation, a charity that helps recovering addicts, but there was no application on file or any evidence of how the amount was determined, how it was to be used or if it was even needed.

“This demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the use of public funds,” the authors wrote. “Support for this type of initiative is normally processed through the budget of another Ministry and by officials who have an understanding of the need … it is our conclusion that the funding for this initiative was inappropriate and outside the intent of the programme, and without the proper accountability.”

The report highlights a mysterious $5,200 grant paid to a private gym in West Bay for planning fees with no explanation. Money was given to projects without any supporting documentation and there were no paper trails to support, for example, $80,000 given to a Catboat Club member and what it was spent on.

Student loans both here and overseas were paid off. Students who were receiving scholarship loans from official sources also got top-ups from the fund and the students continued to receive cash, despite failing grades or poor performance. Grants were given to family members of staff in the premier’s office and in some cases, as was previously revealed through FOI requests, students were receiving three times the amount that other young people were getting through official Education Council channels.

The report underscores the responsibility of senior civil servants to ensure controls are in place to prevent abuse but the auditors said there was “a complete absence of a control framework and responsibility for ensuring that public funds were safeguarded”. The report said officials did not fulfil their roles, leaving all responsibility for the programme’s delivery to the premier and the chief of staff. The lack of control, the audit said, allowed recipients to choose how they spent the cash.

“We concluded that the Government simply wrote cheques to organizations and individuals without any way of ensuring that they would use the funds for the purposes they had stated when applying,” the report states. The OAG also stated that the Legislative Assembly’s appropriation approval for each budget year the fund was active was also a blank cheque as there was no information about the programme’s objectives and how it was being operated

Despite their recommendations to the deputy governor, the auditors said they were concerned that this could happen again.

“The level of improper behaviour we found by politicians and senior government officials can be prevented in the future only if a lack of due regard to the laws relating to the expenditure of public funds for the payments from the Nation Building Programme is clearly acknowledged, with a willingness to implement additional controls in order to prevent a repeat occurrence,” the independent auditors warned.

The OAG pointed to the culture in government that led to the political arm overstepping the mark because senior officials felt unable to challenge the behavior of ministers. Assured by the deputy governor that there would be “no tolerance in future for this kind of situation”, the auditors nevertheless pressed him to take further risk management measures to stop it from happening in the future.

CNS: This article has been amended from an earlier version which stated that $80,000 given to the Catboat Club, whereas the OAG report states that the money was given to a Catboat Club member and not to the club itself.

This section of the report says in full: “An amount of $80,000 was given to an individual in West Bay over the three years of the Nation Building Programme to teach the history of catboats and the art of building them. The amount was determined and granted based on letters sent to the former Premier. The letters were provided to us by the recipient when we interviewed him. The individual was an officer of the Catboat Club during the period when he received the grants from the Government; however, the payments were made to him personally. The recipient had kept no records showing how the $80,000 was spent or whether all the proposed services were delivered. As a consequence of the lack of proper practices and the ultimate lack of accountability by recipients, the Government cannot demonstrate that it received value for money and that the funds from the National Building Programme were used for the intended purposes. We noted that the recipient also received grants of approximately $100,000 from a major donor during this period for the building of a catboat and that, unlike the Government, the private donor required supporting invoices from the recipient before making payments.”

See full OAG report: Management of the Nation Building Programme

Related article: Mac threatens to sue over NBF report

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (97)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dey jes tryin tek my seat agin.

  2. Cayman Catboat Club says:

    Dear CNS,
    On behalf of the Cayman Catboat Club please allow me space to respond and correct the record with regards to your article, on the AG’s report on the NBF, which states:

    “Money was given to projects without any supporting documentation and there were no paper trails to support, for example, $80,000 given to the Catboat Club and what it was spent on”.

    This statement reported by CNS is wrong and in NO way reports what the Auditor General said in his report, Section 66. The Auditor General’s report makes NO mention of Nation Building funds, in any amount, being given to the Cayman Catboat Club.

    For the record, the Cayman Catboat Club nor the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation have NEVER received one red cent from the Nation Building Fund, indeed we have received ZERO funding from any department of Government, in any form, from the Government during the years in question, let alone the NBF.

    The last funds received by the Cayman Catboat Club, or the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation, from any past Government, was in July 2006. These funds came from the Education and Culture Ministry when the Honourable Premier, Mr. Alden McLaughlin was the Minister of Education and Culture. These funds, totalling $50,000.00 were for specific deliverables, including acquiring the largest Catboat in the Island, purchase of trailers for the existing catboat fleet, acquiring sails for the catboat fleet, cost of procuring advertising for the Education Department for the sails, repairs and maintenance of the fleet to get them seaworthy.

    Not only were these funds expended exactly for the specified deliverables, but receipts for every red cent were produced and reports, and accounts submitted to the Education Department, well within the time period required. No Auditor General has ever questioned any receipt of funds or accuracy of accounting as delivered by the Catboat Club.

    I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to belatedly publicly thank Hon. Alden McLaughlin for his consideration and Government’s generosity in 2006. The funds came at a time when we had no funds to improve our fleet as all of our fundraising efforts were concentrated in funding the rebuilding our beautiful clubhouse on the waterfront destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, which incidentally also damaged our entire fleet of catboats.
    In view of the fact that the Catboat Club has not depended on Government for funding in the past 10 plus years, but rather have depended on the benevolence of the Cayman Corporate citizens to sponsor, such as, Dart Foundation, Camana Bay, A,L Thompson, Watler’s Metal Roofing, Cox Lumber, Kirk Home Center, Arch & Godfrey, Small Engineering, Massive equipment, DDL Studio, Thompson Shipping, Fosters Food Fair, Cayman Develoupment Associates, Mark Wood Aggrigate, Vigoro Nursery, Puritan cleaners, MEPCO, Scotts Industries, Cayman Contractors association, Robert Bodden, Gus Shrader, David Foster Family,Linton Tibbetts, John McKenzie, Jerris Miller and Russel Stine. It would be most helpful if CNS could correct their reporting error.

    An apology would be nice as well but I appreciate that newspapers almost never apologise for something they wrote that is just plain wrong. We would settle for an article about the extensive preservation activities and work with school kids carried out by the Catboat Club and the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation but that might be too much to ask

    Sincerely

    Ned Jerris Miller II
    President – Cayman Catboat Club
    Chairman – Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation

    • Cayman Catboat Club says:

      Actually CNS……. you got it wrong again…………What the Auditor General said in his report is “An amount of $80,000 was given to an individual in West Bay” ………..you are not trying very hard Nicki.

      CNS: Verbatim from the OAG report: The individual was an officer of the Catboat Club during the period when he received the grants from the Government; however, the payments were made to him personally.

      After several days of no response and no “correction” I took the step of sending my letter to you, to the other media houses, with a request that they print it on Monday.

      CNS:
      As explained to you via email, unfortunately your comment was erroneously identified as spam by Akismet, which is an anti-spam plug-in, and I only saw it today when I checked the spam box. However, it is not hard to find my email or phone number if anyone wants to request a correction.

      Let us see if they can be more honest with trying to clear up this deliberate attempt to besmirch the good name of the Cayman Catboat Club.

      CNS: “deliberate attempt to besmirch the good name of the Cayman Catboat Club” – nonsense.

      Neither the Auditor General nor CNS had any business or concern for honest reporting when the mentioned the Cayman Catboat Club in connection with section 66.

      I am sure that “the individual from west Bay” has many more connections than his relationship with the Catboat Club ……….. but who really cares about an organization that pulls it’s own weight and does not depend on Government ………..as long as they get McKeeva.

      For the record, the Auditor General is flat out lying when he says: “An amount of $80,000 was given to an individual in West Bay over the three years of the Nation Building Programme to teach the history of catboats and the art of building them” and, he is flat out lying when he says: “We noted that the recipient also received grants of approximately $100,000 from a major donor during this period for the building of a catboat” Both statements mentioning “catboat” are fabrications by the AG, as are the amounts quoted. Feel free to call him and ask him to show CNS the proof since he appears to be ignoring the written request sent to him.

      The AG has been asked, in writing, to show proof of either statement, and, unlike CNS he has not responded to date.

      Thank you for the feeble attempt to set the record straight, even if it is buried in a story that no one visits, or reads, any longer.

      Sincerely

      Ned Jerris Miller II
      President – Cayman Catboat Club

  3. Anonymous says:

    Want to know the most amazing part of this story?
    He will still get elected and be the first elected member for WB. I don’t like it but it will happen…and the NBF is one of the key factors. So unless we put him away or enforce term limits he is here forever.
    This is another reason why OMOV is a bad idea. Make a national electorate. Don’t allow this one guy to pigeon hole himself into eternal elected status by giving him his own burrow!!!!! Your think it’s hard to get him out now, wait until he has his own “district”

  4. Just Watchin says:

    I just read this story and your earlier one about Mc’s statement that Julie allowed him to make and him threatening to sue.
    What I found ironic was the part:
    “Despite an attempt by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, Roy McTaggart, to prevent Bush, under Standing Orders, to make the address, Speaker of the House Julianna O’Connor-Connolly disagreed and permitted the opposition leader to make the ‘personal explanation’ statement.”
    You know how he got to be on the PAC right. From the Hansard of 29 May 2013:
    The Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Jr.: Madam Speaker, I beg to nominate the following as members of the Public Accounts Committee:
    • Fourth Elected Member for Bodden Town
    • Sixth Elected Member for George Town
    • First Elected Member for West Bay and Leader of the Opposition
    • First Elected Member for Bodden Town

    Yes, Alden put him there. I say no more.

    • Seat Warmers says:

      And he made Julie the Speaker too. The friend of my enemy is my friend, no wait, my enemy, no that’s not right, I’m so confused………

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize that it is usually the case to have at least one member of the opposition on the PAC so I am not sure what point you are making.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m at a lost for words ?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Funds disbursed and inproperly accounted for:
    1.Commissions for council?
    2.Car and loan for a Pastor?
    3.Private gyms?
    4.Church construction?
    5.Various Govt Dept. expenses?
    6.Students vacationing rather than studying?
    7.Rehabilitation Centers, and so on?

    This sh!t makes my head spin.

    UNBELIEVABLE??

  7. Anonymous says:

    And what’s going to change….that’s right….nuttin honey! We Caymanians are so used to corrupt people (especially the powerful) getting away with it that we, as a people, have taken on/are taking on, a 50 cent attitude “get rich or die tryin”. Of course we will never admit that. Admission would first require we take an objective view.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What’s the sense for the UK to step in now that Bush is no longer the Premier?

    Cayman Political Impunity. The speaker of the House was sitting right next to the Premier when the new Cayman Airways plane showed up in the Brac. Now after everything the AG had to say and everything we already know about her, you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Oh, almost forgot, any news on the abandoned millions of dollars high-school?

  9. Anonymous says:

    On a serious note, has anyone checked the pension fund before that gets given away too?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the British way to me.

    Clearly there are many issues here, but we will start hanging our politicians and programs out to dry when the UK leads by example. A good start would be the arrest of PM Tony Blair for his war crimes and ongoing substantial personal financial gain (Iraq oil) via crimes against humanity. (I wonder how many British students acquired a university scholarship as a direct result of his illegal antics?)

    The people calling for the UK to intervene or take over in Cayman have been drinking too much moonshine and sherry. That country doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this regard.

    I say let’s call it squares – what say you guys?
    (Yes, many would actually take that deal as they regard non-white, non-Christian lives as dispensable – hence the absence of any action in this matter.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is Who not signing off on his crap anymore?

    • Anonymous says:

      We were talking about your criminals, not ours. If you want to write about ours do it on a relevant article or in the British press. In fact I encourage you to go and live there. I think you would last a week, maybe less, before your arrest.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m presuming your post was meant to be some sort of sarcastic joke. The alternative is that you are a total idiot. The governance of this country makes the UK look like the most well organized territory on the planet. Also, we only have to deal with a population (and the administration and budgeting that goes with it) of 60,000 as opposed to 64 million. I’m afraid Cayman governance is the entity that does not have a leg to stand on. The NBF report caps the tale of woe nicely.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sad Racist. What a miserable life you must lead.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How about the 6 million that Mr. Ryan never paid back. And now the current government is giving him duty concessions on a new project on south Church St. What is that all about?

    • Anonymous says:

      No mention of that in any audit. Our politicians haven’t even attempted to asset recovery. Everyday I wonder about these little islands & the spineless politicians.

      • Anonymous says:

        The issue was not within the remit of the investigation. And which bit of limited liability company do you people not understand?

    • Anonymous says:

      Strange how you worry about this figure yet give not one care about the 1.5 billion missing from government expenses in 2008 or the 1 billion lost between a few government departments in 2014.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The CFO for Mr. Bush ministry obviously was not interested in ensuring that Proper record keeping was happening, nor proper procedures. This is what happens when you mix incompetence with cronyism.

    • Anonymous says:

      As added info, there was a CFO and Senior CFO in the Premier’s Office. The latter position was a position created. I believe it was the only Senior CFO position existing in the Government’s Accounting Hierarchy. Each CFO worked closely with the Premier’s Chief of Staff in the decision-making process; particularly, for the Education Scholarships.

      The Ministry of a Tourism & Premier’s Office comprised of privileged employees. As the PPM Administration rolled in to power, many quickly left their jobs for employment with companies of crony UDP Executives while others sought retirement.

      The Fmr. Premier had an interesting body of disciples employed in his Portfolio.

  13. Name changed by CNS says:

    They don’t worry about not voting udp anymore I hear they done hanged tied name.

  14. Name changed by CNS says:

    I haven’t posted in here yet so I wanted to make an appearance. Still waiting for government officials to give me a meeting! I have a lot of smoke to blow dammit! Thumbs down please!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The church in the picture made out like a bandit. Taking the people’s money and wasting it without any shame.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Since we all know that the legal system won’t be doing anything about this, it will be up to the people of the Cayman Islands to shame those who have been involved, whether they have been on the giving or taking side. If you want this country to get any better, stop waiting on some politician to come along and sort it out cause it ain’t gonna happen. The people need to enforce some
    morals and ethics again, so stop hiding and defending your criminals, whether it’s your cousin breaking into someone else’s house or your friend giving away the people’s money just to buy votes. And I dare you not one who sits in a church that was a recipient of some bullshit grand! There is nothing wrong with religion but everything is wrong with the institution of a church who has done nothing but manipulate and steal from people for hundreds of years, all in the name of God.

  17. Anonymous says:

    “…and his Chief of Staff”. So many names are being bandied around, can we confirm that this was Leonard Dilbert, plucked out of the civil service where he was doing nothing, after years of futilely looking for a job in the private sector, because Bush “could wuk wid him”? Could we also ask, where was the Cabinet Secretary, Orret Connor, in all this? The Cabinet Secretary should have been the most powerful and influential civil servant of the time but it is only since becoming a Radio Cayman broadcaster that Mr Connor has spoken out strongly, saying, among other things that Duncan Taylor got rid of civil servants like him, Leonard Dilbert and Kearney Gomez because they were such good civil servants and Taylor wanted to advance the UK interests by getting rid of them. Truly, Jesus wept.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. It was Richard Parchment. Shettys new golden boy.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, Richard Parchment was his long time “political advisor”. Maybe Swarbrick got the titles wrong and mixed up the two guys?

    • Anonymous says:

      Leonard Dilbert was the chief of staff …..he is a poet. Who is the former CFO who oversaw this fiasco …..thank goodness she is former …..where is she now? Why are all these persons out of the civil service?

      • Anonymous says:

        Which one? There were two CFOs- a CFO and [a created position for] a Senior CFO. She was the only Sr. CFO in the entire Government. She must have been really special ?

        The CFO was displaced somewhere within Minister Archer’s Portfolio, while the Sr. CFO resigned (once the PPM majority won the elections) to, I believe, one of our local Big 4 accounting firms.

        Both have “died a natural death.” Unpopular then, and it’s even worse now that the AG has release these damning NBP findings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Orret’s supposedly going to run in the next election so he is using his radio show to make silly controversial statements to show he is someone worth voting for. It is very doubtful if it will work. But he’s a good talker even when it’s BS.

      • Anonymous says:

        If he gets elected, that would be just what we need. Another MLA on a fat civil service pension doing little in the LA and double dipping with an equally fat MLA’s salary. Help us, Jesus.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it should be – for every new politician that comes in, two should have to go!

  18. Anonymous says:

    So no sign of the missing one billion dollars amongst all of this?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am not only ashamed, disgusted and disappointed that the UDP government conducted this type of behaviour with the people’s money, but by behaviour of all the civil servants involved and the recipients!! What standards and values are being set for junior staff and current or future politicians if the PPM government does not do something?

    Added to this is the fact that many of the civil servants are new Caymanains who will not want to rock the boat, after all they all have other ‘homes’ and just getting their futures set. Unfortunately too many foreigners/new Caymanians are in accounts/auditing and will not give up their jobs to report any wrongdoing, financial security is clearly more important, shortsighted as that might be and they can always say the Chief Officers are Caymanian.

    The only way forward is for voters to ensure NO one in the UDP party, no one who started it, participated in it, forming new party from it are put back in office and begin with a clean slate.

    Stop being held hostage for one good deed or ‘favour’ by Mr. Bush and consider all the damage by the UDP party & administration and be courageous, stop being a yes man/woman for that group and protect the future of your family and Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      All the bad guys in this are born Caymanians, civil servants and others. I would give the names of the born Caymanian civil servants but CNS would not print them but we in the civil service know exactly who they are. Most are retired now but I will give you these initials, which CNS might censor. XXXXXXX Stop this damned nonsense of trying to blame everything on non or “new” Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is Cayman, so I would suspect that most of the people to be involved will be Caymanian!

        Secondly dumb dumb, many of the church pastors and churches that swooped up some of this money are “new Caymanians”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Speaking of acts of corruption, what is it that made pastors automatically deserving of status grants without regard to how long they had been here?

        • Anonymous says:

          Cool. I cannot vote for them, I cannot be one of them and I don’t listen to what they have to say so therefore, as an expat, I cannot be blamed for any of this.

      • Anonymous says:

        It wasn’t meant to be blaming the new Caymanians who might happen to be in positions in the civil service where they have a duty to report.

        At end of day they too are being managed by Caymanians so they might not be compelled to open their mouths and have ‘status/driftwood’ thrown in their faces when Caymanians are doing this to their own people.

        It would be refreshing though if they took the opportunity to help expose the wrong doing and help protect their own futures as ‘Caymanians’ but no protective whistleblowing legislation in place to help anyone, so down to professionalism and sense of duty.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yes 2.54, I do love a person with fixed ideas. As interesting as talking to a wall. In fact the wall makes more sense. At least it serves a purpose.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It would be refreshing if HM Governor would take this moment to step in and dictate the logical next policy steps to the LA – nobody in CIG seems willing to do it because far too many have one or both hands in various cookie jars. A demonstration of UK oversight would be welcomed by those robbed for decades by domestic government pirates. Fire a shot over the bow so the simplest of scallywags will understand. Thanks in advance.

  22. Yet another example of multi-million dollar corruption and, as usual, no-one will be held accountable. Even if there was a prosecution of the chief suspect, it would be all but impossible to find one Caymanian juror to vote guilty, let alone enough to secure a conviction. That’s the Cayman way. Personally, I blame it all on David Legge!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Merchant, not everyone who received YNBP Funding were dishonest when using these funds or giving account for its purpose. Unfortunately, the bad acts outweighed the good and consequently those abiding recipients suffered once the allegations and investigations commenced.

      However, the Auditor General’s report sums up a murky barrage of events, again, that is nothing short of public (funds) mismanagement and corruption. Based on what I have read this [program] was a sure recipe for disaster.

      I am truly saddened by this report.

      Wow–just shaking my head [Speechless]

    • The Sufi says:

      Sir, please speak for yourself. Here is one Caymanian who would gladly serve as juror on the case if brought to the Court and if he is proven guilty I would have no problem is saying “GUILTY”. For your edification David Legge was and still is wrong. not every Caymanian is corrupt, I know I am not and I have 4 children and 5 grandchildren who are definitely not corrupt. There are many among us, born and bred Caymanian who are honest, God fearing , ambitious, hardworking and intelligent and I am really tired of hearing about David Legge. In future please come up with something original for a change. Stop trying to make a hero out of David Legge

      • The Compass editorial never stated that all Caymanians are corrupt. That, I’m afraid, is a figment of the imagination of your current Premier. Rather, the editorial stated there was a culture of corruption, which, frankly, is indisputable, no matter how unpalatable it might be.

  23. Emergency Room Drama Theatre says:

    Unfortunately, we have seen that the consequences of poor personal habits and inherited health traits simply cannot be relied on where regime change is concerned.

    TERM LIMITS NOW!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Putting cash into the economy in a recession. Quantitive Easing Cayman style!

  25. Mac Daddy says:

    Forever Ornery.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Commissions for Church council???? God works on commission now? Car and loans for pastor, never repaid? Close down some of these churches which serve no purpose other than to gratify some people’s ego, vanity and avarice. Let the pastor walk, ride a bike (or donkey!) or have one of his wealthy flock give him a ride! Sickening arrogance, self indulgence and pomposity streams from these churches! God is one, not dozens of churches!

  27. Anonymous says:

    One thing that always bothered me, was the controls to be put in place afterwards. For example even if this fund had been managed properly and funds granted to a church to create a hurricane shelter, who was supposed to inspect that on an ongoing basis and maintain it to the standard required? Such a “private” shelter may not be needed as such for several years, would you be happy to use a shelter just because it was called a shelter, if you were not sure that it had been inspected and would actually stand up in a hurricane. It might be at standard when it was built, but what about in ten years time. Would government have been expected to implement and pay for an ongoing maintenance and inspection program for the private hurricane shelter? This should have been part of the thought process when application for this type of project was considered…. (Same thing with playgrounds etc on public beach granted by Dart…who is maintaining them?)

  28. Knot S Smart says:

    Poor Mac…
    Next thing they will be making up lies bout him gambling in Vegas with Govt funds…
    But we know that was not true…

  29. Anonymous says:

    but what happens now?…..nothing.
    welcome to wonderland zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lissen Cayman, my hans is clean and my hart is puer, an i is ferewa onerable. Unna unnastan dat?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Surely now the UK has to step in and take control. What does it actually take? The evidence is there, the double dipping and corruption still goes on, the Cifa and other scandals emerge daily. When is enough, finally enough?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, because the UK:-

      1. doesn’t have its own major stuff to deal with
      2. knows what’s best for other countries
      3. gives a monkeys.

      hey, why don’t we try this little thing called – fix it yourself! No entitlement, no hand outs no white knight coming to rescue. So, except for blathering on in the comments section what are YOU prepared to do to help your country?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not give my hard earned money to the churches!

      • Anonymous says:

        Quite clearly we cannot fix it ourselves. The corruption continues and is endemic through all walks of life. The pool to draw from is too small and politically naive and conflicted. 50 per cent of the population are unrepresented and denied the right to vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whats the sense for the UK to step in now that Bush is no longer the Premier and the National Building Fund is no longer in effect.

    • Booo says:

      Hey Buddy, be careful what you wish for. Do not think for a minute the UK has Cayman interests as a priority. The UK’s interests are all they are concerned about, the UK, period.

      If you think only Cayman has corruption and self entitlement then you better go back to school. The only difference between Cayman and the UK is that the misdealings in Cayman get brought to light and there is no serious attempt to cover it up and keep it out of the public domain. Remember Tempura, why do you think the UK is so dead set against the release of the report. It would show the UK for what they are really all about and what they do.

      On another note, maybe you should go live in the UK, since things are SOOO much better there. Leave us poor, uneducated and corrupt fools alone on our own little island that isn’t so important to the UK.

      Just my believe and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

    • Truthsayer says:

      When is enough, enough? Never! Because it will never end. It’s too profitable for the “ins”.

    • The Sufi says:

      Why are you so stupid. We don’t need the UK to fix anything- we need to do this ourselves. all of you out there need to determine in your own hearts that you will not beg solicit, lay around and try to help yourselves. stop depending on the politicians to fix your personal lives, they were elected to take care of the countries business and not to pay your light bills, water bills, food bills, school fees ( if all of you cannot afford private school fees then put your children in government schools). Manage your households, do not .try to live above your means, Uk has enough of their own problems and they are in deeper mess than we are.

    • The UK is as corrupt as any corrupt, made all the funnier by its pretence that is is a bastion of morality, honour and ethics.

      • Anonymous says:

        And the U.S. isn’t?

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Marchant, please tell us about all thecorruption? There’s a lot happening the Cayman Islands, our neighboring countries, etc that hasn’t (yet) been published. Please keep us abreast on the happenings.

        I truly wish the Auditor General would stick around and continue exposing these local problems featuring goons, gobblings, pilferers, mafias, fugitives, and so on.

  32. Anonymous says:

    It is easy to be generous with other people’s money.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Surely there is enough evidence for the financial crimes unit to make some arrests here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman juries have let many walk free in the face of extremely strong evidence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no, usually lack of evidence, and/or withdrawn witness testimony.

        • Anonymous says:

          Corruption cases involving strong evidence have failed to secure convictions. It would be impossible to foresee a popular politician ever being convicted regardless of the strength of evidence,

    • Anonymous says:

      The evidence could be stack high in the Investigators Office and Court House and nothing is done. Zero Prosecutions. Too many people tampering with evidence to save someone from reputation damage or custody sentences.

      A bunch of crooks.

  34. Lost Causes says:

    Is anyone actually surprised by these findings?

    Vote for this type of politician and end up in the depths if depravity.

    TERM LIMITS NOW!!

    • Anonymous says:

      He could easily get around term limits by switching places with the President of CONCACAF.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those term limits should also be informed for Attorney Generals, Chief Justices, Board Members, etc. there is too much mischief at play in the high roles, especially when they become complacent and (too) familiar with process and loopholes!!!!

      Let them all find new jobs, instead of sitting in one job creating havoc.

      GET THE HELL OUT????????GO!!!!!

  35. Dollas and Sense says:

    How much did we pay Swarbrick to tell us what we already knew?

  36. Anonymous says:

    My God, I am sick of this place and these spendthrift, double-dipping, vote buying politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. I disgusted too…had no idea idea that what was to be a good cause, was handled so recklessly. Gosh.

      Caymanians can’t secure jobs, yet the public’s monies were misappropriated for gyms, pastoral commissions, new cars, etc. The list is exhaustive.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Who CARES how dey used the funds long as dey wote fi me.

    • The Sufi says:

      The way the past Premier wasted our money through this so called nation building fund is disgraceful. He gave scholarships to students who were failing and messing up while on regular scholarship that were cut off for non performance.Apparently his expectation of them is based on his own performance both academically as ethically. He took our money to dole out to buy votes island wide for his UDP. I am so tired of reading of his misconduct and really wish that he will get his comeuppance, but I guess that is wishful thinking in view of the ineptness of the people and process to get his backside in prison. How long will we have to put up with this reckless and incompetence of this person? Every Tom Dick and Harry who wanted something for free apparently only had to ask and he just gave them our money. On top of that he has let loose the plague of begging and scheming on us for many generations to come. He contributed big time to the lazy bums harassing us at the supermarket doors, walking the streets, breaking in to our homes, our businesses, our cars, calling us on the phones, to get our personal money and things that we had to honestly work for. He has made an entire generation of our people impotent and unable to comprehend that no one owes them anything. They think that all of us should take care of them the way Mac Daddy did/ does and they are prepared to kill us for it. is there anyway we could bring a Class Action case against him for destroying our peace and tranquility over all these years.? God please come to our aid quickly.

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