Mac and JOCC escape PAC grilling

| 25/02/2016 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Julianna O’Connor-Connolly Speaker of the Cayman Islands (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): Neither the of the country’s two former premiers will be called to answer allegations that public cash was mishandled in their respective ministries during the previous UDP administration. Public Accounts Committee Chair Ezzard Miller said he and the members had decided that playing the “blame game” would not help them ensure that the fiscal abuse revealed in the audit reports they are examining never happens again.

Miller told CNS that calling Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush or House Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, now a member of the PPM, would help with the committee’s work at this point.

“The corrective action that I think needs to come out of these reports is not in their gambit,” he said. “The blame game has gone on for years about these reports. It would not be a productive use of the PAC time to engage in that blame game any longer and we deliberately chose to call witnesses who could take the matter forward to the corrective action.”

the Independent MLA for North Side resigned as PAC chair in 2011 during the UDP administration, saying he did not have the support of the members and could not get them to turn up and do the work needed. Now back to heading the committee, he said his first meeting had gone very well and he was glad to be involved again.

Miller said that his goal was to make sure that the recommendations of PAC were followed through with government. “My objective in taking back the chairmanship is to progress this thing forward to the point where the government commits in a government minute to resolve these problems so that we get beyond the point where we report the same thing every year,” he said.

 

He commended the members as well as the witnesses, whom he described as “honest, forthright and complete in their answers to the PAC”.

The new chair discouraged long statements from either witnesses or from members, noting that on previous committees some MLAs had spent much more time making political statements than asking witnesses questions to try and resolve the problems. He said the members of the current committee (Roy McTaggart, Winston Connolly, Joey Hew and Capt Eugene Ebanks, who was absent from this meeting) were well prepared with pointed questions developed from the content of the report.

“People are not using the PAC to promote their political side but simply asking the questions,” he added.

On Wednesday the members examined two very damning reports from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) that were published last year: the National Land Development and Government Real Property and the ever controversial Management of the Nation Building Programme.

Bush, who was ousted from the PAC last year as a result of his battles with the auditor general’s office, was criticised in both reports.

As the creator of the Nation Building Fund, through which millions of dollars were given away at Bush’s discretion for a plethora of reasons, and the architect of the Dart agreement, one of the cases studies in the land management report, the opposition leader was at the centre of many of the issues and concerns raised by the auditors.

 

O’Connor-Connolly, who was accused by the auditor general’s office in a previous report (Road Paving Expenditure in the Brac) of unlawfully paving private driveways on Cayman Brac with public cash, was also cited in the land report. She is said to have directed the purchase of property in an undeveloped subdivision valued at $125,000 with unspent ministry funds at the year-end in 2012. A Cabinet paper said it was for affordable housing but the land was never vested with the Sister Islands Affordable Housing initiative and the agency was not consulted. Swarbrick said at the time it was a possible breach of trust as there was no “government requirement whatsoever” to buy the land.

Today the PAC is examining the financial reporting updates, the consolidated government accounts and a report on the collection of revenues.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (53)

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  1. MM says:

    Let’s not forget… the $1 billion is STILL unaccounted for! How can any one or any entity misplace $1 billion and not care to know where it has gone????

  2. Anonymous says:

    There you have it. In Cayman you can misuse public money to pave driveways to gain votes, you can gamble with public money etc and you will never be prosecuted. Better still even the opposition will not hunt you down. Why I ask? Well presumably because I am just as likely to be corrupt as those that have been found out. Very sad!

  3. Cyclops says:

    The desire of some to put Horns and a Tail on Ezzard Miller is beyond reason. The PAC is there to expose bad practice and correct it going forward. To make news and waste time they could bring the known Gambler in, question him and then what? The result of grilling Mac and Julie would serve no practical purpose, it would be a waste of time and Mac would cry victim and it could aid his plan to win in 2017. Ezzard can’t do what the court failed at.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am no fan of the Mother Country but enough is enough, like the TCI, the only way this pack of crooks, and I mean all of them, UDP, PPM, so called independents, will be bought to justice is by direct intervention. Ezzard has prove,d without a doubt, 100%, that there is no appetite to deal with corruption in-house and so let’s request help from the UK before we go down the same route as Jamaica etc… God help us all, except the corrupt amongst us!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “This is not America. A little piece of you, little piece in me, will die”.
    ~ David Bowie RIP

    • Jah Dread says:

      You know there are really some people on this Island both foreign and local who write on these blogs who fell from their cradles and hit their heads. Their dazed or crazed or whatever mentality is skewered just to bring about contention and destructive criticism. Now we all know that there is an Anti Corruption Unit of law enforcement in place, and we know that there is an Auditor General process, the latter being the one who has already decried the past actions of particular Ministers/ ministries etc. The Auditor General has the power to submit information through the GOvernor and on to the Anti corruption unit, what makes the bunch of you ill conceived, malcreants put the onus on the PAC and its Chairman to do what, create more scandal so you all can sit in your pubs and dens and bar stools and gossip about Caymanians in general and pontificate on the ills of this society.

      All a you should put the onus on addressing criminal activity when there is evidence thereof squarely on the shoulders of those where the powers really lies rather than beat up on others who have chosen to act within the ambit of their role and work towards the solution and not on the crime per say. A warning to those who seek to be spiteful and revengeful to and on caymanians , yes even our own I speak to, mind ya ps and qs for Moga dog one day will turn round and bite you.

      • SSM345 says:

        Jah Dread, I dare say you might have smoked too much to remember a couple of things;

        1. Nothing happens on the Auditor Generals recommendations or findings, look at the last 6yrs for more recent examples; 1 got fired, the other left after exposing all the ills and nothing has been done.

        2. The Anti-Corruption Commission is asleep at the wheel, look who is the head, Lord Baines.

        So what do you propose we do to stamp out rampant and blatant corruption?

        The consistent approach of burying heads in the sand or sweeping things under the rug by consecutive governments for the last 30yrs is the very reason why this place is so messed up and by continuing to do so, guess what? It will get worse. People need to be exposed and hung out to dry.

        If someone who has the opportunity to do so, then they should grow a pair, man up and get sh*t done. Starting with Mac and JuJu.

        • Jah Dread says:

          Look h at Madame or Sir, or Demon, don’t ya mess with talking about me smoking anything you hear. I said and I repeat the powers for action and disruption of corruption does not le with th PAC , you must be deaf. If the persons in the Anti corruption area do not do the job why is it you don’t call for their removal, eh, why is it when drugs are solen and put back on the street, why you don’t have an outcry on the person in charge. Yes, you like many others ca t see where the real corruption is, and why it can’t be stopped. If there isn’t law enforcement then what do you expect. Go back to ya cave.

  6. Here we go again Lets sweep all that is past under the carpet get it cleaned and lets start over again.Herein lies the problem in these beautiful islands No one gets their butts kicked when they do something wrong and it carries over to the next election and the next and so and so on.When is enough going to be enough?Where are the MLA’s with balls to clean up the mess that we find ourselves in daily it seems.Oh we will hear the next election will be different and we will get representatives who will do better.What a bunch of BS.I have been here for over 50 years and NOTHING has changed during that time and NOTHING will until the people of these fair islands wake up and put people in the HOUSE that will make a difference.Only time will tell but sad to say NOTHING will change as NO one wants to upset the Status Quo.

  7. Anonymous says:

    First of all, just let me say that I find Ezzard to be a bit crazy sometimes. Maybe a thousand milligrams of Lithium per day less than Donald Trump, but crazy just the same. But in my opinion he is absolutely correct. The facts are there and it is the job of the Anti-corruption Commission and the others to bring charges and take them to court. It is the duty of the PAC to put procedures and processes in place to make sure that it never happens again.

    • NCIS: West Bay says:

      Hhmmmm… Sounds pretty vague to me on whether this will be handed over to the Anti-Corruption Comm, hence the Question IS if there will be ANYTHING done with bringing these 2 XXXXX to justice or just striking the slate clean and moving forward is what it wants to sound like to me.

  8. MM says:

    Ezzard is trying to please both parties so that someone will give him an actual ministerial seat next election… I guess he is sick of “benching it”…

    The people vote for the MLAs, the MLAs vote for the Ministers and then the Ministers and Governor choose the premier…

    It is not about the people once the votes are in!

    • Anonymous says:

      MM can I recommend you read the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 to learn how Ministers are appointed, you Ezzard Heaters are so backword.

      • MM says:

        What the constitution says and what the politicians do are two different things. Obviously if the cabinet ministers are primarily party members of the premier (aka the successful part y) we have some form of backdoor agreements happening probably way before poll day.

        Yes, the governor appoints the ministers WITH THE PREMIER’S advice… End of story to me… Buddy system in place

  9. MM says:

    Yep, this is the mentality “don’t cast blame”… “stop wasting time looking back at past mistakes”…

    Wow! How in the world are we suppose to correct, or better yet, avoid, such things from continuously happening if there is no accountability or deep-digging of every root of the problem whether it was 300 years ago or yesterday morning!?

    This is WHY this country is in such a mess; no authorized person wants to take the time to look in to anything except their personal bank account balances!

    There is no such thing as the government and opposition government, they are all friends at the end of the day. Anyone that knows Big Mac and Kurt Tibbetts should know that. They spent years quarreling in public and smiling in private.

    Alden and Mac probably having drinks over this one now… this country is run by Cheshire cats!

  10. JTB says:

    Nothing to see here, move along

  11. Anonymous says:

    I smell a deal being made, promises of something if they get off without recourse.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller can you please explain to the people of this country why it is that people who break into other peoples’ homes and businesses and steal a hundred dollars to put food in their mouths, are sent to court and from there to jail while the rogue politicians, who are too busy buying wotes and lining their already overstuffed pockets to perform their highly paid duties of caring about those people get patted on their backs for their crimes???

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a question for the Anti-corruption unit to answer. Not Ezzard.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thats not an excuse for Ezzard to hide their dirt.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok so lets just sweep it under the rug for the time being and pray that the anti corruption unit does the same.

      • Anonymous says:

        The people of this country deserve to know exactly what these forever honorable scumbags were doing with their hard earned money, if for no other reason than to enlighten them regarding their future voting rights. No amount of pathetic powder puffing is ever going to hide that fact.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The AG bravely pointed out that the emperor (and empress) have no clothes. Ezzie Millard says “yes they have I can see them”. Good one Ezzie, very Cayman of you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME EZZARD. Are you all so dirty that you can’t hold anyone accountable for anything in case you get the same treatment? What this country and its people need more than anything is some accountability. That’s the only thing that will stop these selfish layabouts using government money like its their own. And this was a rare chance (since the AG is the only one willing to point out the abuses). And what did you do? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Just more hot air. I’ve had it with this place.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Fearless Ezzard! At least when it comes to bashing expats. But when it comes to doing the right thing and putting his own people on the spot it’s Ezzard the Wimpman.

  16. Anonymous says:

    That was the right thing to do, well done Ezzard Miller.

  17. Anonymous says:

    blame game? What about the very popular picture of JuJu on the NRA machine paving the drive ways?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to Capt Eugene on the tragic death of his son in law.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Cayman doesn’t have to worry about external threats. It is doing a excellent job of imploding from within. Ezzard you make me want to puke.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Seriously: what does Capt Eugene do? Does anybody know?

  21. Marathon says:

    The entire PAC is F@#king gutless!

  22. Marathon says:

    Pathetic kop out.

  23. Anonymous says:

    So many of us take immediate and great offense to the Cayman Islands being portrayed internationally as a land where people look the other way on egregious activity. Yet, this is precisely what happens time and time again by our so-called and so-positioned “leadership”. This is not a PR misunderstanding, this is a tangible problem that can be cataloged – and one that our 18,271 voters have the power to remedy – yet do NOTHING!

  24. Anonymous says:

    They will also have to hold accountable the PPM for the schools. what you all say about that? got ya millions of dollars

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually that is one of the things they are hiding from the public on the udp’s behalf.

  25. SSM345 says:

    Ezzard, you are a complete waste of f**king space. As Chair of the PAC, that is exactly what you must do. What the hell is to stop anyone doing this in the future if nothing comes of their actions, they are not held accountable and called out on it you effing muppet? All of you MLA’s are a bunch of donkeys, you display it for the world to see on a daily basis. It is you and your cohorts that are ruining Cayman by your complete inaction on everything that plagues this Country. Get that through your thick head.

  26. Naya Boy says:

    Here lies Two Rogues who will never be punished? More Hot air from those who are fully responsible for this. Who are worst than the Rogues!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard you have finally shown your hand. All bluster and if you really were for the people of these islands there would be no doubt that it was in the best interest of this country to hold people in public office accountable. What a wind bag you are!

  28. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another day in Absurdistan

  29. anonymous says:

    Is it even legal for them to come up with such a decision? Just like HSA doctors no one is responsible for anything. Sweet deal! Feel free to help yourself.

  30. C'Mon Maaaaan says:

    Mac and JOCC should be in jail for abuse of office. Failure to do so means there is zero accountability in this country which keeps UDP and PPM very happy.

    PPM proves again it’s all talk and do not want JOCC to answer for her abuses while she was Deputy Premier of udp l but I wonder if it would be the same if she wasn’t a ppm party member?

  31. Anonymous says:

    welcome to the land where nothing makes sense…..

  32. WTF says:

    Ezzard for all of your bluster you are now unwilling to hold these two accountable? The one and only way for anyone to ensure that this never happens again is to make a public example of them and hold them to account. Are you afraid of something? Are there skeletons in your closet which do not allow you to show these two for who and what they truly are? The damage done by them is and has been immense and the consequences of them being allowed to get away with it will continue to fester and be a cancerous tumour.

    • Theodore Trueblood says:

      Well, WTF…… what you say is all too true! Will things ever change? Of course not! It just isn’t the Cayman way. Greed is the thing that makes the world go ’round, and Cayman has somehow gotten more than its share. I would never attempt finding an honest legislator among our leaders…… it might be near impossible. Just look at all the payola, graft, nepotism, collusion, theft, etc, that has occurred in the last ten years! Hard to believe, isn’t it! Will it ever change? I don’t think so. It’s just too lucrative, and punitive action just isn’t the Cayman way, if you are judged by your fellow thieves. It makes me ashamed to be a Caymanian.

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