PAC chair berates witnesses over excuses

| 05/09/2016 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Philip Rankin, Chairman of the Cayman Airways Board of Directors

(CNS): The chair of the Public Accounts Committee has issued a warning to senior public servants in core government as well as its statutory authorities and government companies that when they are asked to attend PAC as witnesses, this is not a frivolous invitation that they can ignore. When the committee met last week, Ezzard Miller noted that despite efforts to change times and dates for some witnesses to accommodate their schedules, some were still failing to attend or sending last minute excuses.

Miller said the committee would issue summons to witnesses “if they keep trying to make excuses”, adding that a summons issued by PAC was equal to a court summons.

Following the failure of Phillip Rankin, the chair of Cayman Airways, to attend Thursday’s meeting, even after the times had been rearranged to accommodate him, Miller issued a summons for his attendance next week.

“The PAC in its role as oversight for government expenditure cannot tolerate disrespect for invitations,” he said. “People consider it trivial … but it is not helpful to start out with an adversarial position.”

Miller suggested PAC was getting too nice and accommodating, leading civil servants to not take the request to attend seriously. But the oversight role of PAC was “a serious one”, he stressed, as he encouraged witnesses to make every effort to accept an invitation and to attend after first the request. He said the PAC and civil servants needed to work together to improve the management and functioning of government.

He asked Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson to “inform the powers that be in government” to communicate the message across the public sector to accommodate PAC invitations and impress upon them the importance of coming and answering questions. Jefferson said he would make it clear, via the deputy governor’s office, to all civil servants that they should attend on time, the first time, and that the chair’s comments would be taken seriously.

Rankin, having been asked to attend twice, had still not confirmed his attendance, so a summons was issued to ask him to come Wednesday next week.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As usual it was just the north wind blowing. All sound and no substance

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t understand how the Civil Service got dragged into this.

      This seems to be an isolated incident.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is so unfortunate that every time someone tries to raise the standards of performance in public life the media is so quick to destroy the effort. I did not hear Mr. Miller berate anyone during his opening remarks about the attendance of witnesses at the PAC. Neither did I hear him single out Mr. Rankin what I heard was at the end of the morning session with the CEO/CFO when he was informed that Mr. Rankin had not confirmed his attendance for the afternoon session. The committee agreed to issue a summons for him to attend the PAC and cancelled the afternoon session.
    The media really needs to pay attention to the truth and facts.

    • Peru says:

      The “media” rarely pays attention to the truth and facts!

      As long as they can make a good ol’ story out of anything it works for them. Journalism is not what it used to be; what, with all the “politically” correct BS and “human rights”……the world has gone mad!

  3. Judge Deeadlock says:

    A PAC summons really is not equivalent to a court summons, because there is no ‘contempt of PAC’ system, whereby there would be criminal sanctions to force compliance. Maybe there should be.

    • Anonymous says:

      Judge Deeadlock are you familiar with the term ” called to the bar in Parliament” suggest you do some additional research before you make such broad statements.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done Ezzard Miller.
    The only time PAC takes their mandate seriously, appears to be when you are in charge of it.

    People whose toes you step on may not like you but you have the balls to do what is right, no matter which political side objects.

    Thank you for sticking with the rules within good governance.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that Ezzard may do / say some pretty out there things that I can’t agree with but in terms of enforcing good governance as a principle he seems to be way ahead of most of the pack so cudos to him for that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Rankin is an educated and reputable Caymanian who has his own accounting business to manage on a daily basis; and is not earning a red cent from being on any Board of Directors at Cayman Airways. He likely pays for his own airfare and doesn’t take advantage of the free flights that is offered to him and his family, like many others do.

    Mr. Big Mouth, why don’t you tell us the names of persons who authorized and signed off prior to 2009, free flights………. for Cayman Airways board members and their families for the rest of their lives ?

    Recently, it’s the first time in the history of Cayman Airways, where an operational profit was recorded. I say, Mr. Rankin and the other members on the board, must be doing something correct for this to happen.

    Stop using crab in the barrel tactics in the PAC or better yet, go huddle with your lodge brothers in Prospect to fulfill the masonic pledges and agendas.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:35 pm You should not display your hate in such a manner. When you accept a position, you ought to live up to the expectation of the requirements. If it is too onerous, then, there is a solution.
      I agree with Mr. Miller. The functions of the PAC are important and should not be side stepped by people who are required to appear, thus acting with disregard and causing delay.

    • CAL Maverick says:

      The operational profit is pure political fantasy remember CAL gets over 20 million annually in subsidy from the government. Stop talking rubbish!

      CAL is a political football where spin and mismanagement is the order of the day. The Auditor General’s Office needs to thoroughly investigate the management and board of this club pretending to be run as a business by politicians and political bobble heads.

      • Anonymous says:

        CAL Maverick

        Only one problem – CAL’s accounts are apparently ‘commercially sensitive’ (in other words they don’t want their competition (sic) seeing them) so even if the OAG does give them a good going over we’ll never see the full results.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same guy that audited CIFA accounts and found nothing wrong over the years until the FBI and headlines pointed out the obvious

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Buzzard I was busy flying on one of those lifetime free airline tickets that I get from Cayman Airways… want one?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Excellent job Mr. Miller, hopefully PAC can straighten out the poor management at NAU and DCFS.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only one problem there is no such thing as a senior public servant in core government. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      And none of you picked that up…typical.

      There are Civil servants in core Government who always attend PAC. Then there are the public servants in the SAGC’s.

      • Anonymous says:

        Quite correct, 6:43, but we mustn’t allow anything to get in the way of bashing the civil service. For years, those working in the statutory authorities have been able to get away with everything -no one paid any attention to the waste and corruption, poor management and inflated salaries that were going on. Happily that is slowly changing.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:39pm There is much to be done. They all need to be reigned in, including the poor running of the Pension Board. When are they going go attend PAC?

      • Anonymous says:

        They are Public Officials and subject to various laws including Anti-Corruption Law

  9. Anonymous says:

    Strang but that doesn’t look the least bit like the Ezzard Miller I know!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    One of the “Moses” protected.

  11. yay for Ezzard says:

    Watch Alden jump to the rescue and have Izzard removed now. This is the type of leader we need, someone with Cajoneys, not some wimp with private contributors pulling the strings.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Look, I don’t have time to attend a PAC meeting. I’m still trying to figure out whether the debit goes by the door or the window.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can Government demand that people on various boards who do not comply with PAC are removed and replaced with someone who is willing to communicate and cooperate? Maybe that gets their attention!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good one about DARN time some body get serious with these individuals that believe they are above all . I would go as far as to start to remove them from their post if the keep funding excuses. But I bet they don’t find any to receive accept all those life time benefits

  15. Anonymous says:

    Now only if they could get proper audited accounts on time…then maybe we could show some respect…why would anyone respect it when they all know its about lining your own pockets…

    • Anonymous says:

      11:56. Where have you been living? what you are referring to is a thing of the past. Try 2011. Come on wake up.

  16. Anonymous says:

    what do you expect?…its the cayman way…..

    • Anonymous says:

      It totally is the Cayman way. That’s how I get through my day, by saying it’s the Cayman way. Spending 2 hours at the driving license place whilst the lady behind the counter goes as slow as she wants even though the waiting room is full, it’s the Cayman way… Waiting 30 minutes for people to attend meetings, it’s the Cayman way… Arranging meetings and nobody even turns up, it’s the Cayman way…Picking up a hire car takes 30 minutes at certain car place even when it’s been pre booked weeks ago, it’s the Cayman way.. It doesn’t bother me anymore because I’m in Cayman and it’s the Cayman way. I like this country so I just put up with it like we all have to do. I blame the heat it makes everyone have a “couldn’t care less” attitude.

  17. Anonymous says:

    civil service…..a rats nest of incomptence, ignorance and arrogance…..

    • MM says:

      and Caymanians? Funny.

      Dear God please help my people.

    • Veritas says:

      11.39am surely that’s an understatement, they are in fact, far worse, but this is all water of a duck’s back to civil servants, they know whatever they do they will get a raise and NEVER be sacked.

  18. MM says:

    I am not one that extends praise very often to our elected leaders, and as humans we all have our share of mistakes – but Mr. Miller is perhaps the only MLA that I have observed for years who steps out regardless of what his LA peers think or say.

    We must take a moment to consider the odds against this man – he is a runner for one of the smallest districts, he is an independent and he shells out anything that is on his mind or any concern his constituents bring to him; he obviously must not be a favorite of the other MLAs (that alone makes me warm up to him).

    But, this is only from my observance through news releases so I am not sure what those “in the know” would have to say. He appears to take his position as a leader seriously and is ready to fight.

    Thank you Mr Miller and please continue to fight for the people of the Cayman Islands and I pray that no matter what you retain your proactivity and honesty during your time in the lion’s den.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. Miller and PAC

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