NAU will need to be ‘creative’ with cash, says new chief

| 11/10/2017 | 9 Comments

(CNS): The new acting chief officer in the community affairs ministry has been turning her attention to the Needs Assessment Unit and recently met with staff recently to brainstorm solutions to the challenges the department faces. Almost since its inception, the NAU has been beset with problems, ranging from under-funding, an incredibly heavy workload and, as emerged during a recent Public Accounts Committee hearing, challenges created by the ministry’s previous recruitment policies. However, since taking over, Teresa Echenique has said she is committed to filling the necessary vacancies at the unit. 

“In reviewing the NAU’s remaining budget allocation, programmes and personnel numbers, it is imperative, going forward, that we are creative with our resources and work strategically to ensure the necessary and desired outcomes,” Echenique said in a release this week from the ministry.

“As an initial step, we are now in the process of recruiting to fill pre-existing staff vacancies before the end of 2017 and formulating our approach for further enhancing and advancing services in 2018,” she added.

At the recent meeting senior staff “reviewed ways of stabilising and enhancing the unit’s existing services to meet clients’ immediate needs, and agreed on the way forward”, officials said. They also looked at ways in which the ministry, the DCFS and the NAU could strengthen their collaborative efforts to enhance service performance and provide a holistic approach to best meet the needs of those using the unit.

Despite the tight budget, the unit’s services are in increasing demand, and according to the most recent figures, around 2,000 families are currently being assisted in some way by the NAU. Cayman still has no formal unemployment benefit system and those who lose their job, become homeless, are struggling on very low pay, become ill, are suffering from mental health problems or find themselves indigent for whatever reason are assessed on a case by case basis, and depending on their circumstances can receive a maximum of $500 per month.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Please says:

    I wonder how the acting chief going assist them with bring ‘creative’ with the cash when she couldnt help them at the probation dept with theirs.

    Every few days a new article about having new ideas but dont see any new ideas shared to date.

  2. Keen Observer says:

    Probably not the best word to use when talking about cash and accounting.

    The NAU needs to be staffed properly.
    They are desperately understaffed in all areas.

    They also need properly trained accountants.
    In fact all of Government need properly trained accountants.

    I have seen some people working for the Government as accountants that have no college degree or no accounting designation.

    I know this because some have admitted that they started out as a clerk and “worked” their way up. They got promotions, even though no further education was obtained, because their boss liked them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sick and tired to hear these people say they paying their taxes.
    And don’t have a valid Licence for driving or the car. Never paid a hospital bill. Never paid a garbage fee. Never paid a school fee. Never ever paid a Government bill.
    Living off of Government food stamps, and monthly handouts.

    Explain to me again what the country owes you for having 6 children for 6 different men?

    The system is now so abused that it’s all resentful feelings that make others sign up and do the “creative cash” concepts to get on the monthly hand out list or the food vouchers.

    They see others that they know for a fact are taking advantage of the system, so they figure if those person can get away with it, then there is no harm to be creative with getting the cash to do the monthly or weekly salon visits.

    In this case being creative with cash simply means finding ways to exploit the system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give a man a hand up and he will go on his way. Give a man a hand out and he will sit there with his hand out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Since they are recruiting more staff how about bringing back a real intelligent caring gentleman from England that used to be here sometimes ago or yrs ago. He was one that handled Caymanians like humans. If you have a serious problem he did not make you wait until the problem was gone. He could also know those that was lazy and had greed rather than need, and was not supportive of babies having babies etc. This job does not require a university graduate but rather an intelligent caring and understanding person. A lot of Caymanians who have real problems do not go for assistance because of the way they are made to look inferior. This is very humiliating. Gone is the day of our good ole Gay Jackson who knew the community and would physically work along with them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So long as we keep importing economic dependants who breed like rabbits, the NAU will need more money.

  6. Uncivil Servant says:

    Last thing we need is more Civil Servants being creative with cash.

    • Anonymous says:

      New Chief in town with new ideas so we shall see what this Acting Chief Officer can accomplish… Hopefully this is not the same fluff as usual and the department and poor people continue to get left behind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi everyone, what the cayman islands govt needs to do is to stop making everyone in the cayman islands even those that have businesses stop getting hand out and stop them from becoming indigent. this is what will make cayman become a 3rd world country. even those that do not need to be indigent are now indigent. There are also a lot of paper caymanians indigent. Paper Caymanians and Caymanians on a whole just love handouts.

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