Community affairs boss pushed out after PAC hearing

| 26/09/2017 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dorine McGee (nee Whittaker)

(CNS): Following a shambolic performance at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this month, when it became apparent that the chief officer in the Community Affairs Ministry was mishandling the mounting social welfare problems in Cayman, Dorine McGee (nee Whittaker) has been pushed out of her top ministerial job and agreed to take early retirement. While the deputy governor and officials have not stated the reasons for her sudden departure, other sources close to the ministry told CNS that the chief officer’s performance at PAC sealed her fate. 

A specially convened meeting of the PAC on 6 September saw Whittaker struggle to explain a catalog of problems at social services and how she intended to deal with them, as she gave confusing and sometimes incomprehensible answers.

The session also revealed that funds appropriated by the Finance Committee during the most recent budget session specifically to increase staff at the Needs Assessment Unit had been redirected by Whittaker to other areas of social services.

Whittaker has worked for government for 32 years in the ministry, which has been plagued with management problems and faced endless criticism about mismanagement for years. She has been at the helm of the ministry since 2009.

In the official release announcing her early retirement, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson was brief in his remarks, stating that the Community Affairs Ministry “deals with many challenges that have a considerable impact on our society and well-being”, and that everyone appreciated “the loyal and faithful service Chief Officer McGee has provided”.

Although Whittaker is departing on Friday, no one has been appointed to the top job in the ministry, which is facing a critical time as it is in desperate need of reform and improved management. Officials said arrangements to find an interim and eventually a permanent replacement would be finalised over the next few days by the Deputy Governor’s Office.

See Whittaker at the PAC meeting on 6 Sept on the CIGTV video below:

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Category: Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about Dwayne Seymour when he was pressed about the Health Services and couldn’t answer? How unfair for this lady ? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander! That ‘s why things will never be better.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is to be expected, perhaps even required, of an elected representative. Those who actually do the work must be held to a higher standard.

    • annonymous says:

      The CO who caused us millions with the HSA Canova fiasco…should have been there to provide answers as Dwayne Seymour is the minister she works with.That is her job she is the CIG employer.

      What is good for the goose is good for gander? Why was Mrs. McGee let go and not that CO?

      It should be consistent for all…caymanians and paper caymanians.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More evidence of the failure that is Franz as DG.

  3. anonymous says:

    At last – lets get people that can do the job effectively…. too long in service – makes them not care…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    What this clearly demonstrates is the fact that because of her stupidity and inability to Manange such a highly budgeted department the people have suffered for the last 8 years. If you look it coincides with about the time things got from bad to worst. I met with this woman in my capacity on numerous occasions. She had no clue what she was doing and was asking more questions than giving answers. Yes she is a nice Caymanian lady who earned her position being a yes woman but that never qualified her to be a Chief Officer. Out of all the Chief Officers only one is even degreed in Social Work and that is Samuel Rose. Why has he not been asked to head this area?

    The removal of this woman and early retirement is a welcomed situation. Enjoy your fat retirement on the backs of the many Caymanians you failed to help push forward. Now I hope we get a person who can help these people get a hand up instead of just hand outs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said , too many Caymanians enjoy jobs for life in the civil service because no one ever questions their efficiency or effectiveness.
      “Caymanian” is not a qualification .

  5. CI di real CI CU says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    Another chicken coming home to roost Deputy Guvna, pretty soon they will all be clucking at PAC, way to reimagine the Civil Service

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally some action on what I have been repeatedly writing about – inept leadership at the Ministry of Community Affairs. Thank you Deputy Governor for allowing this Chief Officer to “retire” early.

      Now I expect we will see something like how she planned on “retiring” to spend more time with her family – LOL – from my days of employment with the Ministry it seems like she never put forth any extra effort to implement necessary changes. Well thank God, you are retiring and change is coming – wish you all the best Miss Teresa in your new post.

      The PAC video of the Chief Officer should be shared at leadership seminars – would strongly encourage NAU leadership to watch and study what not to say and do.

      Sign Me,

      Even a broken watch is right twice a day !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Deputy Governor – please change leadership at NAU – bring in persons who actually have significant leadership experience and not just lackey’s for your latest 5K run or DG initiative which has absolutely nothing to do with providing service to clients.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you kept abreast of this story, you would have known that the NAU boss was impeded from doing her role!! All because of Mrs. McGee.

  7. Uncivil Servant says:

    Not before time either.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Love how Cayman’s civil service is lambasted on this forum.

    Pretty sure the loudest critics hail from countries with an equally or worse track record.

    Don’t believe me? Check their news reports and online forums.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you see no problem? Just deflecting attention elsewhere to avoid a caymanian actually losing their job because they are incompetent? Think she should still be there? You are part of the problem, not the solution…accountability..look it up. You will not like what you read.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course I see a problem – and her performance was inadequate.
        She deserved to be replaced by a more suitable individual.

        Unless you missed it, my original post was in reference to the unwarranted rhetoric regarding CIG as a collective.

        By that logic every British doctor is crap because the NHS is a failing, bankrupt, infection-plagued government organisation.

        By the way, your quick bias and suspicion of everything Cayman shines through.
        I trust you see the domino-effect of hatred as clearly demonstrated via your post and strive to be a better person.


        • Veritas says:

          3.15am you need to see all the problems in the Civil Service not just this one. I’m sure a lot of the posters here are Caymanian. The NHS which is underfunded and understaffed is totally different to our Civil Service which is overfunded and overstaffed yet still performs very poorly.

          • Anonymous says:

            …and maybe you need to see all the problems in the woeful Civil Service where you come from. (It is rather standard for the western world – but as usual, your type forget these little facts at times like these.)

            This is not a civil service story, but a report regarding ONE position in the civil service.

            Trust a scumbag to jump on the opportunity to throw a blanket though.


      • Anonymous says:

        9:49 PM – you are correct. Does anybody remember when Mr. McKeeva sent the chief officer on paid vacation for four years???? She apparently never recovered from the extended paid vacation.

        In hindsight Mr. McKeeva, I know you took a lot of flack from your action, but you obviously knew something about her lack of leadership skills – too bad the system allowed her to stay in that capacity for a number of more years.

        Sign Me,

        May you have a Most Awesome Early Retirement

        • Anonymous says:

          McKeeva is the reason she became a Chief Officer, because he claimed to be unable to work with her predecessor. Get your facts straight – he not only sent a CO on gardening leave, he then had installed the very person you note as lacking in leadership abilities.

  9. Just wondering says:

    Got to ask where was HR in all this. Did she take action on her own? Where was CHief HR, Policy Advisor, Deputy Chief Officer, Assistant Chief Officer and the list goes on, in all of this??? Dig deeper and see what was recommended to her. That should be news worthy. If she gets pushed out why not push out the CO for Health who caused us millions with the HSA Canova fiasco and what about the CO for Education who knows nothing about education but “was the best one for the job”.

    • Anonymous says:

      We must have Caymanians for these jobs, especially born ones. That is the policy that is behind people…nice hard working people like Ms Dorine…getting positions they do not have the intellectual capacity to deliver on. She was my business studies teacher at high school back in the day and even then it was not always easy to work out what she was saying. As for these other people you mention, 2:46, her chief HR officer is clueless which everyone knows because she was fired by several private sector companies but taken up by government for the usual reason she’s a Caymanian and Ms Dorine’s sisters I am given to understand work in her ministry reporting to her.

    • Caymanite says:

      What about the non-Caymanian CO in Joey’s portfolio (formerly Kurt’s) & the former Caymanian Education CO (under Rolston) both of whom should also be retired. He failed miserably in PAC and depends on his Deputies to actually do the job. She did quite a few things she shouldn’t have but Franz just let her retain her big salary and move to a cushier position.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That video pretty much sums up the whole civil service management doesn’t it?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it does not. Alas, this lady has been known for years to be out of her depth. But she’s a Caymanian.

  11. Anonymous says:

    She often offered her advice on what you needed to do if you wanted to become Chief Officer – glad I didnt take it!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    ” Ii is not the fault of the Promotee – it is the fault of the Promoter “.
    Purportedly, in Japanese business circles, this expression is used in situations where someone appointed to a senior management position, proves to be an abysmal failure. How often has this thought applied to appointments in the Cayman CS/Government with nobody being held accountable for a bad decision.

    • Anonymous says:

      A.k.a “The Peter Principle”, in which in every hierarchy an employee is promoted to a post above his/her competence and cannot handle said post.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, there are far too many CIG departments that need to press their comfortable bosses into early retirements. Performance review interval should be annual, not per regime or decade.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:54 pm, agreed, like in the Brac.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is annual, 11:54. But what do we do if we keep firing/retiring Caymanians because they are not performing? Bring in highly qualified and experienced foreigners?? Can you imagine Steve McField and Orrett and Theresa and the posters on CNS exploding about neo colonialism, Caymanians being sidelined, racism, etc etc? Can’t happen. So we have to put up with what we’ve got.

    • Anonymous says:

      They do conduct annual appraisals. Also six month interim appraisals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell me about it 11:54. I work in a Government department, that has a mule as HOD. Clueless, and incompetent. I cringe every time I have to go to a meeting with them. Embarrassing to listen to.

      BUT this is Government. We just ignore the lack of performance.

    • Anon says:

      Police customs Immigration etc etc also need a purging

  14. annonymous says:

    did it really take 30 odd years to find out that someone was underperforming?! goodness how many more are probably there taking up space and earning a big salary!

    • Anonymous says:

      check out Cayamn Brac, there they would find a lot of just seat warmers.

    • Anonymous says:

      She was fine when she was a teacher at the High School. But ambition took over and she was out of her depth.

      • Anonymous says:

        She was “okay” (at best) as a teacher when I was there in 1988-1991. I’ve often wondered how she managed to make it up the ranks of government.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Clearing the Fluff? 2009 until now…
    Here’s hoping that the situation may be able to improve now.

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