MLA urges HSA board to deal with HR issues

| 24/10/2017 | 64 Comments

(CNS): Chris Saunders, the independent MLA for Bodden Town West, urged the Health Services Authority Board to deal with nepotism and incompetence among senior staff at the hospital, as he quizzed the board chairman and the CEO of the hospital about HR issues. During Tuesday’s Public Accounts Committee hearing, the second this month on the issue of the hospital’s accounting problems, Saunders pulled no punches when he pointed out that the chief financial officer, the human resources director and even the chief executive officer were not qualified for their jobs when they were appointed.   

Although he was particularly concerned about the CFO, who he said has been at the helm of the failed financial function for the last 12 years, Saunders said that with three senior bosses all ill-qualified for their jobs in the first instance, it was hardly surprising that the institution had seen so many problems.

Saunders wondered how it was that the CFO managed to get the job when she did not have an accounting degree and had just two years accounting experience before she was appointed following a short consultancy. Answering his own question, he said that she was the dependent wife of a doctor at the hospital who had been sitting around at home for at least two years before she was given the hospital job, although at the time of her appointment and throughout the years since there were qualified locals who could have taken the job.

The MLA pressed on with his concerns that incompetent, poorly qualified people were being employed because of who they knew rather than what they knew, and the public purse and the hospital were paying the price.

He said the “crux of the matter” was that there was a mismatch of skill sets, and yet “we are surprised at the results we are having”. He added, “We need the right people with big firm accounting experience for this role,” as he pointed out that the current job description for the CFO at the hospital requires skills that current post holder does not have.

“There is no way this person should have been hired to work in any finance function in the HSA,” he said, as he submitted the resume of the existing CFO, Heather Boothe, as he said the Caymanian people needed to see for themselves what was going on.

“At what point is the board going to step in …and ensure good governance,” he said, adding that was the only way the politicians and public could have confidence that the HSA really is on the right path.

“We are talking about a $100 million operation,” Saunders said. “It’s not a patty shop.” He added that it was a “good chunk” of the government’s annual expenditure, but key posts were being filled with people who had been training on the job and the board was abdicating its responsibility.

Bernie Bush, the CDP member for West Bay North, also complained about the nepotism and said that further down the pecking order local staff were poorly treated and being passed over because they were “not friends with the right people …didn’t go to the right church …or were not from the right country”, as he reflected on constituents’ concerns.

He also asked Tibbetts if he ran Cayman Brac Power and Light, where he is general manager, the way the HSA was being run, and said it was “high time you put your finger on the finance section”.

Tibbetts defended the current CFO and said she was an intrinsic part of the turnaround. Yearwood said she believed the PAC had been supplied with insufficient information because the CFO did now at least hold a degree in accounting and economics, and she would ensure they had a copy of her full CV.

But PAC Chair Ezzard Miller still had concerns and quizzed Tibbetts on how he could be satisfied with the performance of the CFO, as she had been in place for twelve years and in 2016 half of the accounts were still wrong. He pointed out that nearly $50 million of adjustments had to be made by the auditors in order for them to be able to audit the financials, essentially doing half the CFO’s job.

Tibbetts noted concerns over the process and said that he had implemented change, but it took time to be reflected in the figures. However, he said that by 2018 there would be a clean opinion, and if not, that’s when they would consider the future of senior staff.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Health, Politics

Comments (64)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hurt & Concerned Caymanian says:

    They need to check the complaints commissioner’s office then they’ll know the extent of injustice to our locals especially, experienced but not being paid their worth, like the saying goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, I know of two staff members that have important jobs and play a vital role overall @ HSA, that is underpaid and taken for granted, even @ Faith Hospital, continue on this path Mr. Saunders and our Government and Community (especially born Caymanians) will be glad you did 👍💯

    CNS: Are you referring to complaints made to the OCC or the findings of the OCC? There’s a big difference between the two.




    0



    0
  2. Anonymous says:

    HR.mgt needs to go too. As the BowWow song says Its a girl eat world at HSA these days.




    1



    0
  3. Anonymous says:

    give them hell chris….😉😇




    7



    3
    • Anon says:

      With all due respect to the Compass’ editorial today (as usual they are closing ranks), we see this all the time. We have these expat couples come in here and the wives, especially, are soon ensconced in plumb jobs, most times in the same organizations as their partners. Clear cases of favoritism in selection. And they are usually in high paying jobs.

      And many times the second job is theirs, regardless of performance, as long as the primary employee remains.

      Twelve years of failing accounting systems is not long enough for anyone to have questioned suitability?

      Come on. Only the expats get such consideration.

      Well, Mr Tibbetts, it is about time for the CFO to have learned that what they were doing was failing and for the organization to wake up and do something.

      The only thing wrong with what happened in the Legislature is that it is millions of dollars down the tube too late.




      1



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        The politicians of past governments were to blame. How can you possible connect when you are constantly told not to?

        Mr. Tibbetts is running the organization as a business and not a charity like it used to be. The CFO can’t possibly do her job if the people in power above her were saying that the service should be provided without payment.

        Mr. Saunders truly failed to identify the political interference from years ago that has now ceased. Mr. Tibbetts is leading the change.




        2



        1
  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s high time HSA needs overhaul in order to stop bleeding the system. The high posts like CEO, HR, CNO , CFO either have to be abolished or need competent personalities. These posts are like white elephants, just not doing justice to the health system.




    6



    3
    • Anonymous says:

      It’s time politicians stay out of healthcare. They constantly want to pick and choose who to give free services to. Thankfully we see the Board has put policies in place to cement the framework for a sustainable and profitable organization without political interference.

      The only white elephant is the politicians attacking hard working qualified public servants.




      3



      2
  5. Anonymous says:

    Why is money not coming? Because medical insurance (SHIC) pays only for a major problem . So you waste your hard earn money on public hospital who over charge patients who pay for med. ins. that covers something IN CASE. How sad .




    1



    0
  6. Anonymous says:

    As a former HSA employee with the PFS department, I strongly urge Mr. Saunders to consider the fact that the HSA has “no bite to its bark”. If you go to Fosters and cannot afford to buy cheese, you leave without cheese. That simply, cannot happen at the HSA. Hiring a Caymanian as the CFO will not change that fact. Nor will shamelessly and ungraciously attacking the CFO. Perhaps the well qualified MLA could help the public to understand the basic accounting concept – Money out and no money in = Loss. That concept holds true for all businesses, whether a $100 million organisation or “a patty shop”.




    19



    7
  7. Anonymous says:

    HSA need to make Health Exam for the bar and restaurant workers even the temporary. for many girl have men here upset now from catch SIDA or some disease here in Caymans.




    9



    7
    • Anonymous says:

      Huh?




      10



      2
      • Jotnar says:

        The complaint appears to be that Cayman men are catching sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS ( SIDA is the French acronym I believe) from restaurant and bar servers, and it’s all the fault of the HSA for not having a special health check for such staff. Poster perhaps doesn’t realize that WP holders need an AIDS and herpes test already, and that not having sex with bar girls or at last using a condom might be more effective. Quite what it has to do with the original article is anyone’s guess.




        8



        0
        • Anonymous says:

          Yes Jotnar, the girls come in clean and then catch something and pass it on…its the clients need testing more than the girls. However, as you say, totally irrelevant here.




          1



          0
        • Anonymous says:

          Is no health exam give for temporrary permits. so fresh girls every 6 month. but not.so.fresh




          0



          0
  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder where did they find $54 mil. in 30 days. That is practically impossible. Something is fishy.




    17



    3
  9. Caymanians hurting Caymanians says:

    The HR officers are terrible to deal with. Never getting any answers and not doing there jobs.
    All this talk and realization of HSAs major incompetence is great, but these people actually need to be removed from their positions. Many, many department heads are where they are today because 10-20 years ago there was no one else “qualified” to do the job. Now there are! Get rid of them and let new fresh people come in and start changing things for the better….. it’s time to terminate the HR staff and many departments heads!




    41



    4
  10. Anonymous says:

    Please apply the same amount of scrutiny to other departments which are bleeding funds….for example, why is it that every department head who is spending the majority of their time sitting in an air conditioned office has to drive the biggest Government Truck?

    If providing a car is part of their compensation packet, surely a basic 4 door car will do. Why does it always have to be those big Trucks? Funds wasted which are desperately needed elsewhere. No department should be able to order their own vehicles – this (if not already done so) needs to be arranged and monitored by a centralized dept so that there is some sort of oversight as to who is driving around in what.




    50



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Here,here..couldn’t agree more. All the various departments all driving around in crew cab Hilux trucks. Yeah, they’re so cheap to purchase. NOT! They could do better but won’t. Donkeys all




      32



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      8.44, it is a completely necessary expense. How else are they going to get around the mountain roads of Cayman?




      1



      0
  11. Veritas says:

    This is really rich coming from Saunders and Bush. Caymanian nepotism is the rule of llaw in the Civil Service and always has been, I suggest they turn their attenttion to our local civil servants and start publicly examining their c.v.s and performance, but I suppose that would be much too big a job for just the two of them.




    40



    18
    • Diogenes says:

      I would assume they are aware of the rampant nepotism and cronyism in the islands and in the CIG and the various boards and departments. They are probably just going after the HSA because it was a large easy target with very clear trends that can easily be presented to the public (like it has been displayed in the media for the last couple weeks). Hopefully the PAC will not stop at the HSA, and thankfully for the moment the Opposition seems like it is going to remain very vocal on issues (hopefully for the whole 4 years assuming this government of “National Unity” lasts 4 years)

      Diogenes




      36



      0
    • Unison says:

      V,

      You may keep corruption at bay if you change the political system. But if people’s hearts are not changed, all like nepotism will always raise its ugly head ☺ You see, the Law of the land can do only so much. It takes education and a timely message to convert people’s hearts.




      6



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Veritas. The HSA is not part of the civil service. The HSA Port Authority CIMA and the other wasteful entities are part of the public service. They fought the passing of the public authorities law so that they could get away with this type of ridiculous behaviour. Did you see that CIMA is advertising for a deputy legal counsel at a salary of $200k PA. This is madness. Who is brave enough to deal with the run away SAGC’s?

      The Civil Service has been cutting pay and reducing HR costs while these authorities are paying their girlfriends friends and family big bucks. Shame on you.




      15



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        3:48 pm and don’t leave out hiring from around the globe. If the head of the stream is incompetent, what else can be exoected? You need your prop up your reliance.




        2



        1
    • Anon says:

      Well, as Ghandi said when the departing British asked if he thought the governing Indians would not make mistakes, yes, but they would be our mistakes.

      The good old boys club exists everywhere and we have enough of our own, but at least it is fi we.

      We don’t need expats coming in and adding to it. Those days are thankfully waning — and they need to be gone fast.

      Government agencies must begin to evaluate performance and take hard nosed decisions and allow qualified Caymanians to take their places in their own country, regardless of who the husband is (usually).

      Let the Caymanians get the chance to learn — 12 years’ apprenticeship for an expat CFO is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of.

      Let a suitably qualified Caymanian come in and allow him or her to grow. He or she will likely have far better qualifications and come with the type of new ideas that the organization needs to pull it out of the inertia with which it is enshrouded.




      0



      1
  12. Anonymous says:

    As a employee of the HSA we need strong leadership in the HR Department, someone who knows HR and local legislation. Too many peeps from our neighbors to the southeast who know diddly-squat about employment and the way to deal with employees. I once asked the person in charge of HR about vacation and the answer was no where close to what the Law specified. While I agree in regards to the CFO…..there must FIRST be changes in the human resource office by employing someone who has first hand knowledge of employment matters.




    72



    5
    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it that you don’t take your concern to the leadership that is there? If you don’t get the results you want, then keep going further up the ladder. At some point, you will get the desired change.
      Going on a public forum to state your personal grievances is never intelligent.




      11



      29
      • Anonymous says:

        Simple. Because of the cronyism and the nepotism. Very difficult to make a complaint or even be more competent than a crony or relative at. HSA. Generally it bites you in the ass. And it is also apparent in the clinical managers as well, directly impacting on quality of care




        13



        2
  13. Anonymous says:

    So Mr Saunders seems to be saying that we need to bring in a qualified expat to do the job.




    13



    54
    • Anonymous says:

      The article very clearly states that qualified locals exist.




      53



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        Who qualify who gets the job? Usually an unqualified .




        7



        1
      • Anon says:

        A qualified Caymanian was appointed as designate to the current CFO a number of years ago but moved to a position in government before taking up the post.He was and is a very capable man but if you move the young ones straight to the top who is left.




        5



        4
    • Anonymous says:

      NO NO ÑO!!! MLA Saunders is saying employ qualified staff, CAYMANIAN staff.




      36



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        He said “we need the right people with big firm accounting experience” According to him and Ezzard these firms dont hire Caymanians so therefore it will be an expat. You cant have it both ways.




        10



        4
      • Anon says:

        A qualified Caymanian was designated to take over from the current CFO a number of years ago but was ‘pinched’ by government before taking up the post permanently




        5



        2
  14. Anonymous says:

    CFO without an accounting degree and we still wonder why HSA is in such a mess. Begin by firing all those who were responsible for hiring her and then let the poor woman go gracefully.




    76



    3
    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Mr. Saunders, I’m so glad that I voted for you!! And that my vote was not wasted.
      Well is very clear now….I work in the accounting field and I kept wondering …..how could the HSA finances end up in such a mess. Like I heard growing up ” a donkey has no business in a horse race”.




      57



      11
      • Anonymous says:

        I’m so glad Mr. Saunders did his research. He will come out looking like a fool for not getting all of his information straight before spewing foolishness in a public forum.

        THE CFO IS AND HAS BEEN QUALIFIED PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT!!!




        10



        21
    • Anonymous says:

      YES YES YES




      8



      1
  15. Anonymous says:

    CFO without an accounting degree and we still wonder why HSA is in such a precarious situation. Start by firing all those who were responsible for hiring her and then let the poor woman go gracefully.




    45



    5
  16. Anonymous says:

    The CEO, CFO & COO need to be terminated over the next few months with the CEO being terminated immediately so that space is created for new leadership to step in and make the fundamental changes that need to be made. There is no need to give the management of the HSA any more chances.




    66



    6
    • Anonymous says:

      Oh so you’re all in favor of hiring expats for all the top leadership positions. It’s ppl like you why Caymanians are passed over for promotions.




      10



      19
      • Anonymous says:

        Its Caymanian’s like you who don’t acknowledge that our own people are failing all of us. Why should we as residents continue to fund incompetence? Our children’s children’s will be repaying the debts accumulated for years to come.

        Don’t be quick to assume that those in management will be replaced by expats either, we have competent Caymanians who are not afforded opportunities for various reasons. Let the most capable person get the job, it benefits us all.




        29



        5
  17. Anonymous says:

    Citizens of this country have a constitutional right to private and family life. Does Ezzard think his little rule book is higher than the Constitution? How can you take someone’s resume and table it as a public document? Is that not the height of being out of order?

    The cowardly ways of hiding behind parliamentary privilege while slandering and destroying lives need to stop in this country. I know one thing, both him and Chris Saunders might buck up in the wrong person one day. Let them keep up the crusade.

    I mean, for Pete’s sake, the man is a pharmacist and believes he is qualified to run a country, then has the audacity to question other people’s qualifications. But the biggest hypocrisy is the fact that both Chris Saunders and Ezzard are married to people who came here by plane, not by pain, yet they sit around lamenting the injustices being dealt to “indigenous Caymanians”. I never in my 51 years seen such sorry excuses for political representation in this country as I’ve seen over the past 8 years.




    53



    63
    • Anonymous says:

      Citizens of this country who hold a job like this CFO must do their job. Glad is out the open now. How can any one defend such incompetence.




      52



      4
    • Gray matter says:

      You are a troll 😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜😜




      11



      4
  18. Anonymous says:

    Incompetence and nepotism in Cayman? Say it ain’t so…




    45



    3
  19. Anonymous says:

    Oh please. The accounts at Power and Light are not controlled by Tibbetts. The nepotism etc at the HSA has been known for a long time. I am sure now that the CFO is apparently educated with degrees a little bit of investigation may show who paid for this. Blame not only lies with the HSA and its Board but with the Ministry controlling the HSA. Well done Mr. Saunders and Mr. Bush for being bold enough to voice these concerns and demand explanations and changes.




    59



    9
    • Anonymous says:

      Check your facts before you publish lies on CNS. Mrs Boothe was qualified long before ever coming to Cayman. Mr. Tibbetts doesn’t do financial statements but ensures his company gets clean profitable returns and audits every year. A little investigation on your part would go a long way.




      21



      33
      • Anonymous says:

        9:57 pm, Clean returns like raising the fuel sur-charge factor, when the price of diesel did not go up and the coast of the Power and Light bill is higher than Grand Cayman and in the Brac everything is duty free for [email protected] co.




        5



        1
        • Anonymous says:

          @4:01pm again you should have your facts. Diesel price has risen to the island and your fuel factor has been right at 7 cents per kWh for the last 6 months plus. Obvious minor fluctuations occur based on day to day variations in temperature but I wouldn’t expect you to have the ability to do your own research.

          Contact the ERA for the exact data so you can be more educated in your response. Perhaps you prefer to pay the higher fuel rates on Grand Cayman.




          1



          1
        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe the freight charges are free too? Maybe they get a better price than a company that buys 100 times more fuel? Common sense says a lot of things but obviously not to you.




          0



          0
  20. Call 911 says:

    Serious management issues at HSA but the question is will there be any changes?




    41



    2
  21. Anonymous says:

    Liz Yearwood CEO stated that thr CFO NOW hold a degree…. Really Ms. CEO… that should have been one of the mandatory requisites at the very least prior to HB’s appointment. A post such as that in addition requires a professional qualification. Come on people, what a disgrace!




    74



    3
  22. Anonymous says:

    If the various MLA’s want to help here is a suggestion. Get a list of your constituents who owe money to the HSA along with the amounts. Then visit each one to find out why they have not paid thier debt. Then report back to the PAC how many they have collected from and how much. We want to know.




    44



    21

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.