CIG spends $1M to learn it can’t afford court

| 21/11/2017 | 97 Comments

(CNS): The government has spent more than a $1 million over the last decade exploring the possibility of building a new courthouse, only to discover it can’t afford it. Court Administrator Suzanne Bothwell told Finance Committee last week that the much needed facility is still several years away, despite a long history of attempts to get the project on track. She said that the need for a new court has been on the agenda for some 27 years and money has been spent exploring the possibilities without settling on a solution, and as more money was about to be spent simply exploring ideas, the need for the facility was now posing a constitutional challenge.

As members were asked to vote another $400,000 for exploring the project in 2018/19, they asked where this cash and the money voted last year were going. Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said that the $200,000 spent in 2016/17 went on an outline business case that revealed that a new court could cost as much as $177 million, which Bulgin said was not affordable “in the current climate”. He said that the new appropriations were to try and come up with another model that government could afford.

Speaking on behalf of the chief justice, Bothwell said the need for a new facility is becoming a constitutional problem for government because it is obligated to properly fund the administration of justice and the lack of appropriate facilities is having a direct impact on that. She warned that efforts to fund the project via the financial and commercial divisions of court did not address the immediate problems.

“The most urgent need for the judicial administration …is to effectively administer justice to our local people,” she said. “We have significant backlogs in cases, we have insufficient courtrooms, we have insufficient facilities to even allow for our judges to sit on a consistent basis, therefore significantly delaying the administration of justice.”

She said there may be avenues that government can look at to offset the cost via a commercial solution but the project cannot be derailed because one hasn’t been found. “The court is cognizant and highly sensitive to concerns government has about funding the new court facilities; this initiative has been on going for almost 30 years.”

She said that according to her research, it had been in discussion for at least 27 years and she was able to track spending back to 2008, which totalled more than $1 million, as she explained that she hasn’t yet calculated how much was spent before that. But the court administrator pointed out that the immediate needs were to ensure the judicial services are properly funded, as required in the Constitution, so it can meet its obligation to administer local criminal, family and civil justice.

See the discussion over the courthouse project on CIGTV below

Tags: , ,

Category: Crime, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (97)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. West bay Premier says:

    There’s a lot of great ideas in all the comments , but i think we should do it like I seen in Honduras some years ago . My dad which was the Captain of the boat he was taken up to the bar room and charged $120. 00 leimperas right there in the bar room or the boat couldn’t have sailed out of port .




    1



    0
  2. Anonymous says:

    The UK should take over while its till worth saving.




    3



    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    Throwing away money for NOTHING




    2



    0
  4. Anonymous says:

    Can’t afford it, but will gladly waste money port pandering to the biggest gift store people downtown.




    4



    2
  5. I Wanna Be A Developer says:

    To the persons suggesting the Tower or Glass House sites, Elgin Avenue wins.

    Tower site is just over 1 acre, but awkwardly shaped so call it an acre of usable space.

    Glass House (w/ Radio Cayman) is just over 2 acres. So a better space to work with. There is CIG land behind the new GAB, over an acre but VERY awkwardly shaped. However possibly enough space to handle a new Radio Cayman building with parking garage (to replace the lost parking behind the Glass House).

    Better option: build multi-storey parking lot (and Radio Cayman) behind GAB. Build second multi-storey parking lot at Glass House/RC. (Some roadworks behind the first new CIG parking complex to facilitate rush hour enter & exit.) Then build the new Court House (with integrated secure prisoner parking, etc.) on the almost 3 acre CIG parking across the road from the GAB.

    Then the Police can move to the outskirts of Town (sorry, they need too much space for what CIG owns in the centre) but fortunately there is 6 acres out by Jose’s Texaco where the traffic unit building is with decent road access in all directions. Then their site can then be redeveloped in to a new multi-storey Immigration Dept. (Assuming they want to stay in the middle of GT.) Then the Immigration buildings are razed to make way for a Police sub-station servicing the central GT (foot/bicycle patrols, etc.) and Court House. (First floor parking, 2nd floor lobby and meeting (incident reporting) rooms, 3rd+ floors offices and work rooms.)




    3



    2
  6. Anonymous says:

    What in the world are they planning on building that will cost so much , if the town hall can be used it probably does need to be so fancy,




    13



    1
    • Anonymous says:

      not that simple..talk to the judiciary………




      4



      1
    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 7:46pm , I agree and better why not use the LA , They don’t use that building all the time. I would think that the Government should be thinking about finding another way to handle all the backlog cases . Do we see how Government is spending and destroying Taxpayers money on these kind of projects as the “New Court House” ?
      I wish that they could understand that what is good for Country with 2 million population is not good for an Island with 50 thousand Population , and need to be very careful how they are creating those junk bonds projects. Remember the situation Puerto Rico is in today because of the Junk Bonds and corruption .




      3



      0
    • Not the OP says:

      Town hall ‘works’ for traffic court. Not so good for potentially violent offenders who wouldn’t mind trying to escape.




      1



      0
  7. Anonymous says:

    Another example of the private sector ripping off the Government and then complaining that government cost too much.

    But still it’s better to spend 1m than to spend 15mil on building that is not fit for purpose.




    9



    0
  8. Diogenes says:

    For $177m CI they better be building an actual Ivory Tower, they can finally give Mac that office with a 360 degree view of his empire.

    Diogenes




    18



    4
  9. Rodney A. Barnett IV says:

    Not being associated with any of the research previously undertaken for development of this project, I wonder if there has been any Public Private Partnerships (P3) explored. After reading the above article I found numerous examples of P3 projects referenced on the internet. Of note is a project to design, build and manage a courthouse in Longbeach, California. Here is a link to a rather long narrative describing the project from pre-construction RFP development to occupancy. Perhaps a long read, but interesting. Especially in the section captioned “Narrative of the Case”.

    I am a firm believer of “Best Case Scenarios” where one searches for similar public sector programs or projects, then takes the best parts and learns the dangers of previously undertaken programs/projects to develop and implement a project of one’s own.

    Something for Cayman to think about??




    6



    2
  10. Anonymous says:

    Why does it take so much money to come up with really bad ideas that sit on shelves?




    19



    0
  11. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea. Relocate the GT Police Station and Radio Cayman temporarily, raze everything to the ground (including the old Glass House) and build two more GAB’s to house the Court, Police Station, Radio Cayman Studios and other government departments. If the GAB only cost 80 Million then adding two similar buildings should only cost 160 Million which is less than the 177 Million proposed for just a single courthouse.




    23



    1
  12. Anonymous says:

    This is funnier than and episode of the Keystone Cops. Only it is sad.




    14



    2
  13. anonymous says:

    Revamp the Glasshouse and be done. Stop wasting time and public money. Far too many chiefs and not enough indians as they say, in this country. Get up off your well kempt asses and fix up an already useless building as the site is perfect there. Not too far for the errant Govt. ministers to go to be sentenced!!




    17



    3
  14. West bay Premier says:

    Was the Glass House, and the LA , and the Court House all built in the 70’s ? IF so why are two still in use and one is condemned ?




    12



    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Mould maybe- I heard like the old tower building it was also a “sick building” poor air circulating, roof leaks etc. then came Ivan and the rest is history.




      1



      0
  15. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy!!!




    6



    1
  16. Anonymous says:

    Govt: “We promise, we will find some money for education scholarships just as soon as we build the 200million criise port AND the 200million court house. You can trust us. Just give us 4 more years.”




    15



    2
  17. Anonymous says:

    Build the criminal court house near Northward and move the Women’s prison from Fairbanks to next door Northward too.

    Then keep the Central GT Court for financial and family.

    Also Mr. Bulgin, please tell us the square footage of the building that u say is estimated (thats right, just estimated) to cost 177million




    17



    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t do that as that is top secret information, plus he would have to know and chances are as busy as he is that he just has not had a chance to check into it. Lets hire a consultant to help with it!




      10



      1
    • Anonymous says:

      AKA make sure the tourists don’t see anything related to crime while they are in GT just push all the undesirable elements into BT and the other eastern districts like people were saying about the fuel depot and the original Idea for the dump, and the new planned mental health facilities.

      I’ll remind you people Bodden Town is the second most populated district and it is also the fastest growing because unlike GT and WB it isn’t yet a concrete jungle developed completely and totally and under Darts thumb. Bodden Town is not a dumping ground for your trash or the things you don’t want the tourists to know about.

      Thanks




      6



      11
      • Anonymous says:

        I live in BT. I think you missed the point of the post. I agree with the post to build a court in BT. It will prob cost a lot less than building in GT. It will also bring stimulus to the local BT economy like restaurants, hardware, less traffic commute for some emplyees.

        A courthouse is not a dump. Plus we already have the prison so why not bring Fairbanks up there too, whats the big deal?




        6



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        You got that right. We can still breathe fresh air up here and we aim to keep it like that.




        0



        0
  18. observer says:

    I can’t understand this. With as much money as this government is predicting in surplus and we can’t build a court house???




    19



    5
    • Anonymous says:

      The reason people can’t understand this, is that despite what media or gambling politicians might portray, the “surplus” is earmarked (and still woefully insufficient) to service/write-down and retire the existing outstanding CIG bond debt of USD$312,000,000.00 @5.95% due 24Nov2019. We can’t talk about a Port or any other CIG infrastructure dream until this is safely retired or refinanced. If we default, the capital markets will close to us, and the UK is unlikely to leap to our aid without a massive change in autonomy. There’s also a couple Billion dollars in unfunded pension and healthcare liability that nobody wants to talk about. We’re decades from any kind of retained surplus, with increasing costs and reductions in CIG revenue. We can’t pave roads or maintain required CIG payroll reserve without cutting sweetheart backroom deals with DART and other developers. Expect those to continue.




      21



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      we can build it affordably… but not to the judicary’s gold plated standards…




      13



      7
  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe what we need to do is give rich developers more concessions. That way we can be sure we never have enough money to do what we need to do for the benefit of the people of Cayman.




    31



    6
  20. Anonymous says:

    How about building a new court house on the pier. At least then the pier would have some use in the future.




    31



    3
  21. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps there would less of a need for a new complex if there was not so much rampant local criminality.




    20



    3
    • Diogenes says:

      Maybe we can somehow get people to stop bringing civil dispute to court too while we are at it

      Smart

      Diogenes




      3



      1
  22. Anonymous says:

    Legalize weed, take traffic offences out of the court and bring it to the police department.
    Have the courthouse open 24/7.




    16



    0
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, night court. Love it. The CIG can even sell the broadcast rights to then fund the new court buildings.




      10



      1
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, because judges, lawyers, witnesses, staff, etc. don’t need sleep. Or maybe you were about to propose that we triple the staff so that 24/7 operation can be maintained without exceeding the 8-9 hour work day every other office employee has.




      5



      8
      • Anonymous says:

        Would be a change for them to have to properly work for their rip off fees. Only the rich can afford Justice here




        5



        2
  23. An Unimpressed Youth says:

    Title says it all.

    And they want to spend how much on that dock? even after independently run OBC’s said it would bring negligible benefits at the cost of precious marine resources. (not to mention world renowuned dive sites… Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poF-_lqwG3E 3/4 of a million people watched this video of the silversides at Eden Rock.)

    Brilliant.

    I agree with others in the comments. Use the property where the glass house is situated. the courts don’t NEED to be in the center of town…




    36



    0
  24. West bay Premier says:

    Do these Politicians have any pride and common sense and integrity ?




    21



    2
  25. West bay Premier says:

    I think that it’s real funny how our forefathers /Politicians could use their common sense and vision for all of the Government needs of development of the Islands and was always right and didn’t cost a penny more than the project cost . Today the project has to cost 2× cost before the project is even started . I wonder where all this MONEY is going and whose pockets .




    24



    1
  26. Anonymous says:

    And it continues…. the wasting of money makes the CIG look incompetent! Why do we continue to do this? Why must the courthouse be in central George Town? If they looking at building a new central police station, shouldn’t the court house be in the same vicinity?! Why not the area around the detention center or someone outside of center GT?! Where ever it is built need to have sufficient space, the space to expand (if needed in the future) and adequate parking. This is a project that is long over due but needs to get done! Why would a new court house have to cost 177 million?! We can get one much less than that!




    22



    0
    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 12:09 am. That 177 million dollars is pocket change for the Premier and HIS government . But good question .




      8



      2
    • Anonymous says:

      build it in eastern districts. decentralize. better for traffic congestion and will provide a real boost to the east.




      5



      5
    • James Farley says:

      Quote: “The wasting of money makes the CiIG look incompetent.”

      My friend, the ARE incompetent.




      12



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      People do not only go to court because they are criminals. Many people use the court to settle civil disputes, to seek orders relating to the protection of children, to administer estates of deceased family members. Why should they be forced into rubbing shoulders with those who commit crimes?
      Anonymous




      1



      0
  27. Diogenes says:

    I wonder if the People of GT and the sister islands will get some sense once this cruise berthing idea goes to shit, or if they will just keep electing the PPM in perpetuity no matter what they propose or no matter their track record of horrible mismanagement and failures

    Diogenes




    18



    3
  28. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of morons!




    14



    1
  29. Anonymous says:

    And talking about wasting money what about the new licence plates I can’t see anything in the budget for the new technology to make them work I think that 1 million will pall into insignificance along with all the cruise port consultations, could have built a school and courthouse out of that.
    But you can all sleep easy in the knowledge that our legislators have the best interests of Cayman at heart……NOT




    14



    0
  30. Anonymous says:

    A new courthouse could cost “177m”?!?!?? Box cova, den a wa kinda court house that?

    No man, I really need get a job with government, and start some milking too…




    21



    2
  31. Anonymous says:

    Why not on the old Tower Building site?




    11



    1
  32. Anonymous says:

    LMAOOOOO!!! We all know the cruise ship port is heading for the same fate!!!

    Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh because while CIG are busy burning money we have hungry kids, a piss poor education system and crime is higher than ever!!




    62



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      These wind bags do not care nor know anything but feathering their own nest. As with anything that our Government does it must be grand and extremely expensive. Did anyone ask the Dart Group as I am sure they would build a new courthouse right down in the town central and give it at a real reasonable rent. They might even take the land in town in a trade; hell let him take that old LA building also. Get real folks.




      10



      2
      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Dart offered to build one FREE back in 2008 – only condition was that it was at Camana Bay, to provide incentives for the law firms to move there. Got turned down flat.




        11



        0
        • Not the OP says:

          Thankfully got turned down flat.




          14



          5
        • Anonymous says:

          Evil DART. And I bet it would have been well designed as well, evil pure evil.




          7



          2
        • Anonymous says:

          Move the court out of central GT and it will die another death. Which town do you know that doesn’t have its court house on a main central street with an environs around it of coffee shops and offices? It’s not a gold-plated request. And anyway, how can you make town more vibrant if the institutions that people need to get to are all spread out on the edges? I support moving the court house, but not very far from where it is, and if that means it’s expensive, so be it. Anyone who works inside the legal system will tell you it’s an embarrassment and we will not be able to develop any further as a centre for dispute resolution (which we surely are – and this brings in millions every year in court fees, lawyer fees, law firm licence fees, work permits, temporary work permits for visiting lawyers, hotel rooms, restaurants, etc.) without a new court house of the same standard as the Legislative Assembly and Government Administration Building. Cayman’s public infrastructure has to keep pace with the rest of its development. Things need to be more or less to the same standard. The police and judicial administration are next for new buildings; the problems of both are well documented (and no, they can’t be combined for a host of reasons). $177m is too much, but the right number for a real court house for Cayman in 2017 is not much less. If you think a new court house won’t quickly fill with extremely lucrative legal work that feeds other key sectors of the economy, you just don’t know what you’re talking about.




          2



          5
      • Anonymous says:

        And it would be a first class building if the Dart organization built it as well.




        6



        5
  33. Anonymous says:

    Easy come, easy go




    12



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Not mine $$$, so who cares. Sa a a d, very disappointed, $177,000,000.00 million. How much did the new Govt. Admin. building cost.




      10



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        The new GAB cost about 80 Mil as far as I recall. There is no way a new courthouse should cost 177 Mil. Even if they started with a building the size of the GAB as Phase 1 it would be a start. They could add a parking garage, jail and Police Station.




        5



        0
  34. Gt Voter says:

    Firstly, I’m extremely disappointed (though unsurprised) that public monies have been so egregiously expended.

    Not for a second do I believe that this particular project would cost $177 million.

    Secondly, here’s a financially viable solution: demolish the dormant Glass House building in central GT and construct the courthouse on this government owned property.




    50



    1
    • Anonymous says:

      so how much does your magic solution cost?…
      hint:land value saving would be 10m max….




      3



      3
      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        If they build it on Crown land there is no land cost, and they could rise funds by selling the current site. At construction costs of say $500 sq ft, $177m is one hell of a large building. Its huge even at $1000 a sq ft. Love to see the breakdown of the $177m.




        8



        0
    • Anonymous says:

      Or simply use the existing old Walkers building and have a new court for closer to 20 million. It even has all the parking any court could possibly need!




      18



      2
      • Not the OP says:

        I notice that Walkers are always trying to sell that building to Government. Makes you wonder why, and why they think Govt will do what they want and pay them for a building that is unfit for purpose.




        2



        0
      • Anonymous says:

        so you have done a cost estimate on this???…please share…




        2



        0
        • Anonymous says:

          12 million to buy.
          8 million to refurbish.

          All based on recent comparable sales (HSM BUILDING and CALEDONIAN) which are smaller and sold for much less.




          1



          0
    • Anonymous says:

      Better yet, keep it and install solar panels over a new 3 story car park (minimal electric bill ) with a foundation to increase it to 7 floors. No need for lockup as suspect prisoners can be tried from a prison video link, then those prison officers can spend their full time on prison security, inmates rehabilitation and trade skills.




      9



      0
  35. Anonymous says:

    i am not surprised….the judiciary are so out of touch with reality it is not funny…..
    they want a new gold plated courthouse to be magically constructed in the middle of gt…..all because they think the ‘nations court must be in the heart of the capital’….
    they even went on to say that a new courthouse could be the center piece of gt revitalization!!!! …. who could a 9-4pm courthouse revitalize george town?????




    35



    7
    • Anonymous says:

      By being attractive to look at




      1



      2
      • Anonymous says:

        so gt will be transformed by a modern office type building which shuts at 4pm everyday???? ..smh
        transforming gt is all about a mix of residential/commercial/office usage….




        6



        2
  36. Anonymous says:

    everyone including gig….knew before last years obc, that cig could not afford it….
    worse still…they started the process without even setting a budget of what was affordable….
    if cig had of said we have $50m from the start…then the people involved would have come to a solution for $50m.




    21



    1
  37. Anonymous says:

    Best $1m that has ever been spent in Cayman. I wish they spent it before somebody decided to build the high schools to those designs.

    How about doing what the rest of us do. Make a budget. What you do is decide how much you are prepared to pay for a courthouse (or a high school, or a port, or an airport), tell the world you have that cash and ask what you can get for it.

    I am sure the McLaughlin Courthouse at $177m is primarily focused on winning design awards vs actually hearing cases.




    36



    0
    • Diogenes says:

      I can assure you at the rate that the PPM is going it will be a modern wonder of architectural design.

      It will only have one courtroom and one office but the PPM can assure you that it will be the best damn courtroom you’ll ever see, the criminals will turn themselves in just to witness it’s beauty firsthand, guaranteed.

      Should we model it after the Amber room or the Palace of Versailles?

      Clowns




      16



      1
  38. Anonymous says:

    The Government Administration Building (Glass House) should’ve been used for that purpose. Government is always a step ahead of themselves, always looking to spend what they do not have and can least afford. What in a court house can cost $177 million? Stupid is as stupid will always be.




    35



    1
  39. Diogenes says:

    This must be what fiscal responsibility and planning for the future smells like, don’t worry about the tiny courthouse, the full jail or the lack of schools.

    We get cruise berthing.

    Cayman when are you going to wake up

    Bullshit artists, the lot of them
    Diogenes




    32



    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t they get a plan for Cayman, starting with George Town first since they are bursting st the seams Down Town. Please stop this start and stop bull crap. As suggested think about erecting a three or four floor court building on the old glass house site.. Make enough space so that all court rooms can be housed onder one roof and will never need any add ons ever. Budget the money and work towards these plans. Of course the budget is now fixed for the next two years so this probably won’t come about until the next 4/5 years. If the present and past governments would add up the money they have wasted on plans, redesigning and the need to discard the plans of those who came before so they could say it was their idea, they would see there was no shortage of funds, just an over- bloated dose of egos and beating of chests. What is wrong with these egomaniacs anyway? At the end of the day we are not impressed! Just get this straight , it is not about all of you! Stop wasting our money. Is there any way we the public can bring a law suit against them for wasting our hard earn money?




      13



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        Great ideas Bobo! They need to change Elgin Avenue to Government Avenue and try to house most of their buildings in one place.




        6



        0

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.