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Consultants sign deal to assess social welfare

| 08/02/2017 | 62 Comments

(CNS): The community affairs ministry has signed a deal with KPMG to develop an outline business case for a future social welfare programme, but it is unclear exactly what the bean counters will be creating. In a release Monday, ministry officials said Minister Osbourne Bodden had “discussed the government’s vision and guiding principles for developing an outline business case to ensure that social assistance programmes are strategically managed in order to improve efficiency, effectiveness and value for money”, but there were no details about where CIG currently stands on welfare policy.

While the release spoke about stakeholder consultations, deliverables and strategic implementation, it was not clear how the ministry will manage what has long been an ad hoc bundle of support services that falls well short of an established social safety net for those in need.

But last summer the ministry requested proposals from local consultants to prepare a business case, and while KPMG has been chosen, it’s not clear if the ministry has developed a strategic policy statement about how welfare should be allocated and delivered.

The increase in demands on the government’s social welfare programmes are well documented and the minister has said there is still a backlog at the Needs Assessment Unit, the arm of Children and Family Services which decides who gets what from government by means of social support. Despite the economic improvements, there has been an increase in inequality and need in the growing population, as thousands of families are being supported in some way by public money.

A report by the Office of the Auditor General in 2015, ‘Government programmes: Supporting those in Need’, reviewed the benefits, health insurance cover and tertiary care for seamen and veterans as well as the poor relief payment and medical care for indigents. It criticized the ad hoc and sometimes unfair nature of the current system, and found that government knows very little about who is really in need in Cayman or why as it has collected very little real data since 2009.

In response to the report, the ministry agreed to review the social welfare system.

Following the Project Future framework to investigate and respond to priorities using business case tools, the ministry said the outline business case must consider that report.

This week CNS reported that the ministry had reshuffled cash from a number social welfare line items or from veterans and seamen, which resulted in a reduced budget overall for community affairs, while government moved cash to other ministries. The minister criticised that story but the supplementary appropriations bill clearly shows the movement of cash.

The minister said the budget was reshuffled to increase funding to areas in welfare that were projected to be overspent by decreasing funding in welfare areas that were not being fully utilised or where demand had fallen. He claimed that charities were covering school lunches, and that with the introduction of Reception classes at government primary schools, the demand for pre-school assistance has decreased.

But just last month education officials were spelling out the many barriers to learning that some children from deprived backgrounds have, including the fact that some children come to school hungry.

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Category: Community, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If deadbeats paid their maintenance at an amount that was realistic to support a child, then the NAU would not be needed to the extent that it is now.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    What I see happening now could never happen during Dr Franks time in Government. Whilst he believed in helping to find jobs for the people those that were really in need and did not have a greed he made sure that he got assistance for them. Why he did so professionally was because he employed those who had good knowledge of the Community and common sense. Certificates are not everything in this field but good commonsense plays the bigger part. What about the Seamans grant for Seamen and their spouses that he so ably managed? What about those applications that have been in for ever so long? Will these be approved now or a few days before Election? Especially when they are disabled they should not have to wait once everything is in place. I know of spouces who are living under terrible conditions. If this is a Government grant then this should not take no time. The good thing about the Seamans grant is that each year the amount is reduced. I am pretty sure that Mr Ozzie dosent know about that list as he is always willing to assist the endigent.




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  3. Lorna Bush says:

    So many studies. So many reports. So many $$ wasted. So little done. So very sad.




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  4. Anon says:

    Shaking my head at some of these comments… If the Minister makes a decision without professional advise he is deemed corrupt whereas if he seeks professional advise then he is wasting money… can never win! I am sure this report will benefit any elected member going forward.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Do not worry as you will never see the report anyway.




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    • Anonymous says:

      But will it benefit those in need?




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    • Ha says:

      No it won’t because no incoming Minister will be able to use it! The civil servants will find an excuse to do a new report. Why do you think it’s taken this long to do one? Don’t the civil servant bosses already know what is wrong ? Is no one qualified to do this internally?




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  5. 1976 Status Holder says:

    No Trade men or Trade women go hungry. Build a Trade School and produce Seamstress, Tailors, Barbers, Waitresses, Cooks, Tractor Operators, Telephone Operators, Yard Cutters, and the list goes on and on. This way individuals can operate their businesses from their homes until they get employed. Proverty can never catch a Trade Man or woman. Get your people ready and there will be no need for assistance from the government.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you think no trade school has ever been built?
      Existing trades businesses do not want the competition, that’s why.




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  6. MM says:

    PPM – do your country a favor and sit down!

    Ridiculous – for the past few weeks they have been campaigning by using the power AND money they hold right now by being in house; is that even ethical?

    Blasting the headlines with “we’re hiring consultants to….” there have been at least 3 such headlines since January! CNS should start a tag called “government consultants” so we can really count.

    So; with all the consultants the PPM require; who EXACTLY should be getting praise for the “progress” they insist this country has seen the past four years? You bunch do not seem capable of making a stationary selection without hiring a consultant to analyze the copy paper!

    I am appalled, speechless – this should be illegal. This Government is lying to their people and all residents of this country left, right and centre and moving shadier than an Oak tree!




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  7. Richard Braithwaite says:

    And in the latest press release…. The Government have announced that they will be hiring consultants to look into the value for money of the consultants that were hired to investigate the possibility of using less consultants in the future in a purely consultative role.




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    • Lorna Bush says:

      This sum it up beautifully!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, but we will need a consultant to ensure that the hired consultants are performing properly. And possibly an auditor too, although we don’t want them looking too deeply into things, most unnecessary dear chap. G and T’s all round!




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  8. Anonymous says:

    reread the third paragraph




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Why are we supporting foreign nationals?




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    • Anonymous says:

      maybe due to lack of local ability




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    • Anonymous says:

      6.33, the question is why are the foreigners supporting us with the revenue they generate for government and in import taxes, never mind the fundraisers when we are so unappreciative of it?




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  10. jake says:

    this is nonsense




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ask the people who are hungry and can’t obtain food when they need it if it’s funny.

      We asked the government to address this critical issue and they have.

      And you have the nerve to complain about the government taken action. How disappointing.




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      • MM says:

        This must be the first time you’ve read the news in years because just last week the headlines were about your same government TAKING MONEY FROM the people who are hungry to finance OTHER MATTERS.

        You tick whichever box you want on May 2017 but if you are voting we are all doomed.




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  11. SSM345 says:

    I see that our Govt. MO is to hire as many consultants as possible in all areas prior to the election for one last spending spree.

    What I need to know is if these clowns are being paid 10-15k a month whilst getting absolute F’all accomplished, and on top of that hiring consultants to tell them how to do there job, then why the F are we paying them anything to begin with?

    If you are paid 10-15k a month you shouldn’t need a consultant to handle your workload. And if you do need someone to hold your hand, then your salary needs to be brought back down to earth.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Hey KPMG, why don’t you have in depth conversations with former NAU employees?

      I am one of them, know others. The common theme amongst us -we all worked for incompetent management and there was constant interference from the Minister. Would love it if somebody did an FOI on my case files and emails – and proved me wrong.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Its the Caymanian way. The whole of government is littered with incompetence. Government is a vast employment programme for Caymanians. We then bring in consultants to look at the problems and then ignore their advice. Why not just implement a performanc management that actually works instead of one that ensures incompetent t Caymanians keep their jobs. Our way is to see a problem and think that adding another lair of management is somehow going to make the system work. The social welfare system is broken and KPMG cannot fix that.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman elects Cayman kind.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    LOL. CIG policy must be, “If in doubt, farm it out!”




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  13. MM says:

    So, on the heels of the article about how Gov cut spending on the programs assisting the poor we are now reading about the money to be thrown to KPMG to tell our Government about how to address the same issues they are already raving that they know so much about?

    If our OWN Caymanian elected officials do not know how to clean up and address the issues facing the NAU and its clients the who else in the world can really give them anything worthy to run with?

    Disgusting.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    check out who is actually getting support. and not residing in island? can guarantee…there are a lot making laughing stock of us….




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Another consultant report? it never stops. Thought we had the most educated government?




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    • Anonymous says:

      1:42 …are you sun burn ? First we ask for reports to be implemented..now the EY report is being implemented. But we complain.

      2nd we complain of the fox guarding the hen house when our Civil servants does it owns reports. Now the Civil Service obtains one of the big 4 firms to provide this much needed business case . But we complain.

      Get out of the sun guys.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Last I heard the EY report wasn’t being implemented. Where did you get that update from?




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        • Anonymous says:

          4:42 ouch!! Do you live in Cayman. Every single recommendation in the EY report has been actioned.

          This engagement is a direct result of the EY report.

          Don’t you understand that the days of reports gathering dust is over!!

          Are you running for office by any chance. A frightening post if you are.




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          • Lorna Bush says:

            NOT!!




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          • Diogenes says:

            I thought you were being sarcastic until the final paragraph, but that makes me think you are serious – and either need help or are major subscriber to the big lie philosophy. Go on then, list all the recommendations in the EY report.




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    • Caymankind says:

      Now That’s Progressive! #FML




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    • Anonymous says:

      “Educated government” 1:42? On Sterling Dwayne’s show today, a lady caller told the political guests in the studio (after thanking them for their service) that every night she gave thanks that we have such high quality people representing us. The guests were: Ezzard Miller, Alva Suckoo and Gilbert McLean. There is no hope for us.




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      • Anonymous says:

        There is little hope because so many of the electorate, as in most countries, are semi illiterate bozos and when so many ofthe candidates are failed former public and private sector employees it makes for a desperate situation.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny how all these elected officials drone on about their experience and how qualified they are for the job when it’s election time then as soon as they are elected they outsource everything to consultants. I bet they never even read the reports. We might as well elect the best looking since the job apparently requires no knowledge or decision making.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Nor on the job training…we’re in the closing stages of year 4 for these guys…should we be re-electing any of them?




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  17. Anonymous says:

    This is a much needed developed and was high on the agenda in the EY report. How refreshing to see reports being actioned. This project alone could save CIG millions.




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    • huh? says:

      Umm 4 months prior to election ? Do you really think this report will see the light of day ? KPMG laughing all the way to the bank on this one !




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Another consultancy firm who will make stacks for $$$$ (cause they are dealing with Gov) to create a plan that will never be implemented




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    • Anonymous says:

      How is that KPMG’s fault (or any other consultants that are contracted to assist the government) if the government chooses not to implement their suggestions? They were hired to identify the issues, not to transform the entire social system in the Cayman Islands.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Allow me to quote the erudite Steve Hughes.
    “Experts? What experts? Ah you know, they’re out there.”




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Can we please get to the bottom of how many non Caymanians are receiving support despite the fact that the immigration law clearly denies any right to remain here if you require such aid?




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    • Anonymous says:

      You should be more worried by those taking government salaries for jobs they barely turn up to do.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Does our government OWE KPMG or something? All theses unnecessary consultants why not just the MLA who worked there?




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  22. D.O.G. Pound says:

    First order of business is to put a stop to the Nepotism in the NAU next stop is to stop those at the very Top of the civil service from giving their little pets “Treats” and hold them responsible for inept incompetent and corrupt behavior. Welll KPMG thats your job finished. The Task of getting rid of those enablers at the very top will be priority of the next government because these jokers are Finito .




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    • Anonymous says:

      D.O.G. Pound – you must have worked at NAU. The Director, Deputy Director and Manager are in way over their heads – under their “lack of leadership” some clients are having longer waits, vendors are waiting longer to get paid and they are puppets carry out the Minister’s directive.

      There are a lot of inconsistent policies within NAU and it makes one wonder. I once worked as a Fraud/Waste/Abuse Investigator and can tell you that the Minister is allowing NAU to become a prime example of corruptive influence.

      NAU’s manual for new personnel is extremely poor, their FAS (database for their client files) is in the dinosaur ages, and no SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for hardly anything that they do.

      NAU people just seem to rush to put out the biggest fire, rush to accommodate the Minister’s personal directives and rush to process CINICO applications on a daily basis.

      NAU is based on inept, reactive management, not proactive.

      NAU is by far, the worse run government department, lackey’s of the current Minister and totally reflective of his total lack of public management experience.

      To the naysayers, look at the 2015 report, do some FOI’s about it and I guarantee you will find that what I say is true.

      To clean up NAU you would need to get a total change in leadership.




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      • Anon says:

        How can you blame the current minister when he was only put in charge of NAU in 2016 after he and Alden switch ministries?




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      • Anonymous says:

        To the early morning poster – well said. Bobo you just wait about 3 months and a couple weeks, the current Minister won’t be in that position.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Simple STOP supporting lazy people.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone explain what Ossie intends to achieve 3 months before the election?Actually the only one that will benefit from this is KPMG because their fees will have to be paid at tax payers expenses. For God sake PPM don’t impose no more expense on the people of the cayman island by employing these big accountants firm to do your dirty work and you know it’s going no where. You got people on poor relief who are making more than a civil servant pension. You don’t need no accounting firm for you to see that. You just looking where you can shift the blame when voting time comes around. Get out of the air conditioning office and do your job and take your licks come election time. Disgusting bunch of policy makers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      We have too many lazy a$$ people that are being supported by social services! I am not afraid to say it is DISGRACEFUL! We have persons that are able to work just put up and fed and given money to go an smoke and drink out! Too much corruption and misuse of the countries money… Most of the rent money going to politicians friends and family with apartments.. Even foreigners being supported!




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    • Anonymous says:

      We elect MLA’s to do the job of managing / running the Government and they in turn contract out their functions to ‘Consultants’. Why don’t we simplify the process, cut out the middlemen, the MLAs’ and hire Consultants to run / manage the Government.




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    • Anonymous says:

      and STOP supporting non-Caymanians!




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  24. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, Cayman fritters-away millions on bad decision-making from amateur unqualified, ego-driven double-dipping Ministers. Just last week the NAU budget was scaled-back to finance the “we’re so profitable” CAL shortfall, in a recurring CIG bean game. What new information is KPMG going to reveal that hasn’t already been recounted dozens and dozens of times previously on countless unread consultant papers? How many different ways are there to say, “you suck”?




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    • Anonymous says:

      At least drug test the recipients to weed out the undeserving , and make evidence of reporting to the job centers and looking for work a requirement before offering hand outs.
      It would also help to know it is Caymanians that are getting assustance.




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      • Anonymous says:

        All NAU requires for able-bodied persons of working age is to register with NWDA – once the client does that then they can apply for services.

        There is not any mandate from NAU that requires such people to attend training/seminars. There is not any requirement from NAU to maintain a log of jobs that clients apply for.

        When able-bodied people have their benefits “expire” they simply contact the Minister’s office. Next thing you know the client is coming back to the office telling you they contacted the Minister and expect they will get a continuation of their benefits sooner rather than later.

        For those who claim to be self-employed or run their own business, NAU has to rely upon each clients honesty – show invoices or maintain a logbook. Common sense will tell any fool only to show the very minimum, so not to take a chance of interfering with receiving benefits that are based upon self-reported income.

        KPMG (hi Councilor McTaggart) Report will not produce any significance. It will just rehash was has already been stated by the Auditor General. With the perceived conflict of interest of interest (Council McTaggart) I truly believe any parts that reflect poorly on PPM/C4C would not make it to the public domain.

        Solution – get rid of current Minister (less than 4 months), transfer out current NAU management and transfer in some hard-charging, non-lackey political butt kissers.




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    • E-x-a-c-t-l-y says:

      Thank you; but not only that, four years in?

      It took four years to do this?




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