New finance bill proposes more reporting

| 22/12/2016 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Government has gazetted a list of amendments to the Public Management and Finance Bill that covers important changes when it comes to the reporting of how government is spending public cash. The Public Management and Finance (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2016 is expected to be debated in the Legislative Assembly when it meets again in January and the new law will see government departments reporting their financial circumstance to parliament on a quarterly basis.

The amendment bill, which is now open for public discussions, has been drafted to provide a clear and simple process for pre-election financial updates and government unaudited quarterly reports that can be presented to the LA and to streamline the provision of annual reports.

It covers changes to transactions where no appropriation is required to improve transparency, and the proposed bill aims to more clearly define the functions of the minister of finance, the financial secretary, the chief officer of finance and the director of internal audit, chief financial officers, and other senior public officials involved in the financial aspects of government.

It also covers the introduction of a compliance manual to standardise accounting practices across government and to allow the finance ministry to voluntarily pay down debt, when there is surplus cash, without being penalized for a greater payment ratio.

Finance Minister Marco Archer spoke recently about his desire to pay off more of government’s debt in addition to the regular payments being made. But given the current arrangements in the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility, paying more off a debt would see Cayman lose control of its finances again, which Archer has said is a significant barrier to improving the governments financial situation, going against the spirit of the FFR.

Members of the public who wish to offer comment on the draft bill ahead of its debate in the LA can contact the ministry of finance on 244-2224 or email the minister [email protected]

See the amendment bill in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this transparent government could disclose the fine levied on local owner/operator of MV Saga, or offer comment on why they earned a free pass for destroying one of the top dive locations in the hemisphere? Discuss.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Why does the Constitution say there must be a Financial Secretary when we no longer need one under the new constitutional arrangements which give us a Minister of Finance? All we need is a Chief Officer (Kenneth Jefferson at present) but in addition we have a Financial Secretary ( also Kenneth Jefferson). Crazy.




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    • Anonymous says:

      For clarity Mr. Jefferson is indeed the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Finance. We no longer have a Financial Secretary, the post has been dissolved.

      Season greetings




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      • Anonymous says:

        So, 9:05, we are in breach of the Constitution by having “dissolved” the post? It says” There shall be a Financial Secretary who shall be the principal adviser to the Minister responsible for finance, and whose office shall be a public office”. Season’s greetings to you too!!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, you are wrong. The Constitution still requires a Financial Secretary, look in the part of the Constitution headed Finance and you’ll see a section of Constitution saying that Financial Secretary is the chief adviser to the Minister for Finance. The posts of Financial Secretary and Chief Officer of Finance have been combined into a single post, following the retirement of the previous Chief Officer of Finance, Sonia McLaughlin. The combination of the posts happened in Sept 2014. Government has saved about $150K a year since two separate posts are now only one post and, no increase in salary was offered for the single post.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Where was this info published?




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      • Anonymous says:

        @9:05, despite your attempts at clarity, you are wrong! Read the Constitution, bobo. The post cannot be dissolved unless there is a constitutional amendment.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    When will they figure it out- more rules won’t solve anything. We already have rules and reporting standards and damning Auditor General reports. But absolutely nothing ever happens when the rules are ignored, abused and worked around. There is zero accountability. As long as that’s the case compliance will always be optional.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Agree about accountability, but at least Marco recognizes the problem and is taking steps to do something about it….unlike the previous government who enjoyed lack of controls to their own personal benefits.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    LOL, CIG can’t even meet the current reporting standards so what’s the chance of this working out?




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Another nail…..




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  7. Anonymous says:

    yawn…more ppm waffle….
    just read miller shaw or e&y reports their recommendations which ahve been ignored…




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    • Unison says:

      Isn’t that report so outdated? I can’t tell last when I heard Miller Shaw? 🙂




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      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, since those in power insist on making few changes, and continue to make costly policy errors the recommendations from many of the reports of the last 20 years are just as valid as the day they were written.




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  8. Local CPA says:

    Dear Mr. Archer

    Maybe it’s not the system or laws that are failing but the persons responsible namely Chief Officers and CFO’s in the ministries, statutory authorities and government owned companies that are failing and need to be held accountable. That’s how it works in the private sector.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like that is what the Finance Minister is looking to do. Quarterly reporting should mean more regular reviews by MLA’s & public. Thus more accountability.




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    • Anonymous says:

      11:15. Come out of the dark ages please. What you are talking about happened many many years ago.

      The Auditor General has stated publicly that government financial statements are to the highest standards.

      Do you know what an unqualified audit report is? You better because that is what all Ministries received last year.

      Soon the Government companies will catch up with the Civil Service too.




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      • anonymous says:

        Is the Ministry of Education a Government Ministry? can you provide us or tell us where we can find a copy of their unqualified opinion?




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      • SSM345 says:

        Praising the first sets of “audited financials” from any Govt. in how many years, since their inception? Its not worth the paper its written on. Can those amazing financials you glean with pride about tell us where the missing USD$1,000,000, 000+ is? Didn’t think so.




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        • Anonymous says:

          It went to pay for houses/real estate and weekend trips and education for caymanians in the US. Only our most patriotic caymanians are blessed with such oppurtunity while everyting here on the island crumbles and become dilapidated.




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      • Anonymous says:

        What exactly are the ‘highest standards’? They could be just words.




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