CPA reappointments fly in face of good governance

| 07/10/2015 | 41 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The decision by Cabinet to reappoint the entire membership of the Central Planning Authority just weeks after the auditor general recommended changing the membership to make it more balanced flies in the face of good governance, both the new Public Accounts Committee chair and Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick have said. During his last press conference before leaving the islands, Swarbrick said that he was exceptionally “disappointed” that government ignored his recommendations to rethink the board membership, which is dominated by members of the construction sector.

Speaking to CNS Tuesday ahead of his anticipated appointment to the position of PAC chair, Ezzard Miller said he had often “looked on in wonderment” at the makeup of government boards and the CPA in particular.

“How can the owner of the largest hardware store in the country be chair of the one board which is guaranteed to give him business?” he asked. Miller said the decision flies in the face of the good governance recommendations.

Swarbrick had described the re-appointment of Al Thompson as chair and the other members as one of many frustrations he had faced during his time as auditor general in the Cayman Islands, as he tried to get the authorities to follow procedures and understand that the recommendations he has made in his reports are for good reason.

In the report, National Land Development and Government Real Property published in June, the Office of the Auditor General warned that current makeup of the CPA, dominated by people from development and construction, created a “high risk of conflicts” and adversely affected the “appearance of freedom from conflict”.

Recommendations that the membership be balanced and include people from outside the building industry was completely ignored, however, and less than two months after the report was published, government gazetted the annual appointments of the CPA and reappointed not only the chair but all of the other members, making no changes at all.

CNS has contacted the planning minister to ask why Cabinet had made that decision and ignored Swarbrick’s recommendations and we are awaiting a response.

Meanwhile, if the change to the Public Accounts Committee goes as planned, next week Miller will be at the helm when PAC considers the report on land management. Miller said he will be addressing the issues in the report head-on and will be expecting government to address the problems surrounding national development and the piecemeal re-zoning that has been taking place on an ad hoc basis.

As he returns to chair the committee, the independent member for North Side has already stated that he will be pressing government to respond to the PAC reports with proper government minutes outlining what they intend to do to address the shortcomings and problems constantly highlighted in the OAG’s reports.

Cayman News Service

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Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the new picket signs have planning permission? Nice signs Franz proud aren’t you? How about doing something besides running your department on facebook and posting pictures all day of your wonderful CS. They should try and do something also besides collect a check.

    • Reimagine This says:

      I really can’t believe those signs. Talk about a blight on that $85,000,000 monument to mismanagement.

      Here’s a sign suggestion: “DO YOUR DAMN JOBS!!”

  2. Anonymous says:

    The irony of the CPA is that it grants permission for buildings at locations which should never occupy same, such as that building on West Bay Road at the Lawrence Blvd. Junction and one which is now being built on a sliver of beach near Alfresco in West Bay, amongst others. How can these justify approval? Yet If I want to hang a simple sign or build a fence I have to jump through hoops!!

    Such inconsistent and unbalanced approvals will certainly give rise to the views of the cynics regarding the appearance of nepotism and corruption.

    I counted at least 3 developers/contractors, 2 architects, 2 material suppliers (including the Chairman) on the list of CPA Board Members. Just because that model has been perpetuated by successive Governments, doesn’t mean that the present Government, with its promise of transparency and alleged commitment to good governance, needs to continue!! But these are the kind of things which caused David Legge to surmise that corruption is inherent in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was planning permission granted for the building at Lawrence Boulevard? I have my doubts that it was if you get my meaning.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does no one in your country understand or take the stance of “I cannot be on this committee or involved in this vote because i have a personal interest in the outcome”?

    • Anonymous says:

      6.32…Cayman culture is “no point in being on a committee, unless l am conflicted and I can rule in my and my friends/lodge members best interests.” So absolutely no understanding and not even a pretense that they want to understand. Money first, Caymans interests, last.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The CPA is the most transparent board in Cayman and the only board I know of where the minutes are published online the very next day. Go to the Planning website and see for yourself.
    How is it a board is made up of experts in that field and its considered corruption? Is it corrupt to have doctors on a medical board, accountants on a finance board, lawyers on a legal board. Has any member of the board been accused of anything corrupt, or just the “appearance” of POSSIBLE corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      @1:04 am – and in that one short and simple post, you have proven Mr. Legge’s article correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it likely to be a hopelessly biased board that is open to corruption when developers are in charge of deciding on whether and by whom certain areas are to be developed? Keep those blinkers strapped on REAL tight now…

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember how small the market is. That makes a big difference as to how easily real conflicts arise with the current system.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is no corruption in the Cayman Islands, it’s all in your imagination. Just pretend you didn’t read this article and it will be all ok

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is by no means the only place in the world where high level dirt is coming to the light by the truckload. This is happening in every single corner of the globe abd we should all be rejoicing for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:15 pm , these Islands are the most corrupt place on the planet per size and population, the Lodge is a big part of it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How many on the list are Lodge members?

    • Grand Poobah says:


      • Chris Johnson says:

        Any Rotarians, Lions, Kiwanis or Pink Ladies amongst them. Where is the anti corruption squad? Where indeed is the Auditor General? Oops I forgot, he retired.
        One more thing, as Columbo would say: Any Planning Board members involved in building the CIFA Underwater International Football Stadium at Newlands? You know the one, no seats, no stands, no real grass, just a $5m Epitaph for a lost misguided soul and his erstwhile colleagues and of course the auditors who lost their way in the muddied books of CIFA and its global parent FIFA.

      • Anonymous says:

        Aha! The old Grand Poobah trick!

      • Anonymous says:

        how you know Poobah, you one? they a secret society, so how you know who they are? they allowed to be legally secret. I wonder why?

      • Anonymous says:

        6:46 pm, B S, you are listing to too many lies, fact,
        some of them on that Board are Lodge members .

  7. Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      But the alternative is only more clowns. There is virtually no politician in Cayman of either party who is not self serving. The idea of public service just does not exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      We threw them out two years ago. By the way, there’s not a chance in hell they’re EVER going to get back in.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You cannot get any funnier! Hohohohoho!! Santa comes early for those that have friends in the right places, eh!

  9. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    PPM version of good governance on display for all to see. SMH

    Just another day in Aburdistan

  10. Anonymous says:

    Typical PPM hypocrisy at its best!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would put my last dollar on the line that this is a carryover from the udp ‘administration’, particularly considering the fiasco with the airport and Jeremy. The PPM are doing wonders sorting out the incredible mess our country was in but they are only human and can only do so much in a given amount of time, after all.

  11. Knot S Smart says:

    But I was thinking that being in a position on a board that allows you have immediate access to business opportunities – is not considered corruption… It just means you are on the right ‘board’ at the right time…

  12. Anonymous says:

    The next thing will be appointing a Caymanian as Auditor General, then all complaints will cease. The “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” syndrome has always operated in the Cayman Islands and always will. These appointments are a deliberate snub to proper governance and outside interference, that threatens to affect a Caymanian way of life.

  13. Anonymous says:

    PPM stooges. Really hoped better coming from Marco and Alden. This government has been a total disappointment.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM are no different than UDP running the same scams. PPM tyrants are same way except one from Crewe road and Cayman Brac not West Bay

  14. Anonymous says:

    Another day in the Land of Lodge…..

  15. Anonymous says:

    100% contempt for proper governance. The Government is keen to maintain patronage, nepotism and influence among its friends. The Compass was right.

    • Anonymous says:

      But those of us who posted on CNS saying the Compass was right got dumped on. What is happening now is what always happens in Cayman, the Government rewards people it wants favours from. Don’t forget Mr Benson Ebanks’ famous quotation from the Romans over 30 years ago after he won an election: “To the victor go the spoils”. Nasty but true.

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