CS has no time to improve cash collection

| 03/08/2017 | 17 Comments

(CNS): A recent review by the auditor general’s office of its 2015 report on the risks government faced when it comes to collecting revenue has shown that very little progress has been made to improve the systems surrounding the collection of public cash. Collecting Government Revenues was made public in 2015 but almost two years later government has failed to address most of the recommendations highlighted by both the auditors and the Public Accounts Committee, as government claims civil servants don’t have the time.

Despite the obvious importance of collecting government fees the auditor general found that only limited progress had been made to improve the systems addressing the potential risks and ensure government was collecting the fees and revenue it is owed for the public purse. 

In the original report, the auditors made a number of recommendations to improve collection. One was that government implement a formal risk-management framework on the risks to revenue collection and a second recommended a review of control frameworks to ensure government is collecting the money it is due. But in June when the auditor general sought an update on progress regarding the original report and found nothing had happened to address the issue, officials from the deputy governor’s office stated that to complete either of these recommendations it will need “to employ a non-civil servant to produce this framework as civil servants do not have the (extensive) time required to devote to this important task”.

The DG’s office told the auditors that it was aiming to “reach a conclusion” about employing the consultant by the end of last month.

Auditors had also advised government to undertake an efficiency study of revenue collection to improve operational efficiencies, including better utilisation of its people and systems to provide value for money in collection, but the auditor general found the government had made no progress at all and, according to the review, offered no explanation.

Among several other recommendations made to improve and tighten revenue collection was to address the complexities of the work-permit fee structure. While government officials claimed this was in progress the auditor general said that PAC should push for for a timeline on the project. 

PAC is now expected to hold hearings later this month to press government officials on the lack of progress and seek a commitment to address the problems. Committee chair Ezzard Miller said that some of the recommendations made by the audit office in the September 2015 report were conveyed to the relevant officials even further back, in May that year, making the lack of progress even more “unacceptable”. During the hearing he said that the committee will be looking for answers regarding the report on collecting government revenues and “clear explanations for any lack of progress,” as well as timescale commitments to report back to the LA.

See the relevant reports in full in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They are just unhappy that the government is not following their advice to install a bunch of EU style accounting procedures. There is no showing that money is not being collected. Reality check–government does not have to do what AG says.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ask the persons who actually collect the fees for ideas on how to improve effeciency. Not the Dept Heads, etc.Listen to their suggestions.
    Accept Debit Cards everywhere. Not just in some departments.
    Get rid of “honour” fees and replace them with something more definitive.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps if they regarded that cash as if it were their own they’d be more vigilant but why should they care, they’re going to get their salaries anyway. When you think you’ve heard it all, boom. One more black mark on an inept government.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Islands Immigration Department aka “Cayman Bank” sure collects lot’s of cash per annum for Government coffers. ($85 Million CI in 2016 alone)

    Can you imagine if they were collecting 80% of the “annual fees” from those who were already granted Permanent Residency with a right to work – who intentionally do not pay their annual fees year after year ?

    Those who do not pay their annual fees or make any attempt to do so, they should have their permanent residency revoked and be placed back on annual work permits or told to depart the country.

    I can assure you, if Government did exactly that for just “ten persons” and the word got out to the media, we would have a line past the new Government Administration Building wanting to pay up at Immigration Headquarters. After all, they earn their salaries tax free.

    There is lot’s of talk about the1,000 applicants who have been waiting for years on decisions to their permanent residency applications – which by no means is correct. But I bet, if 90% of those applicants were approved tomorrow, 30% of those applicants would go into arrears in the next two years, as per their permanent residency terms and conditions.

    That’s the exact case right now with many who have permanent residency for years but have not paid annually.

    • Anonymous says:

      if you dont send a bill dont expect to get paid……

      • Anonymous says:

        Do they send out bills for work permits holders or do those concerned take the initative to get themselves compliant ?

        You see…… once they get permanent residency – the annual fees becomes a last resort.

      • Rightyaso says:

        Seriously, you want them to cook and clean your house too?!

  5. Sharkey says:

    Sounds like debts collectors are needed in Cayman islands and no monkey business debts collectors .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Put the debt collectors on it…10% of what they collect for their services…

  7. Carl simmons says:

    Same old same old!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps if so many civil servants did not run their own businesses they would have more time.

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. Anonymous says:

    Appoint Marco Archer!

  11. Anonymous says:

    snork…whewwww…zzzz..snort…??????is the glass half empty or half full?

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