PAC pats CFOs on back for ‘job well done’

| 26/01/2018 | 37 Comments

(CNS): Chief financial officers from government departments were congratulated by the chair of the Public Accounts Committee this week for a “job well done” after achieving clean audits for the first time since government changed its accounting system more than 12 years ago. Although appearing before PAC is not often a pleasant experience for senior civil servants, at a special meeting Wednesday, Ezzard Miller led MLAs in lauding the unqualified audits for the 2016 accounts and patting the government officials on the back.

Miller said Deputy Governor Franz Manderson had taken the heat over the problems, and from 2012 had set an example for the civil service to follow.

The DG thanked Miller for his uncompromising leadership, for PAC setting a high standard that did not tolerate second class civil service performance, and for reiterating that excellence is the key component of the Cayman Islands Government model. Manderson lauded the “exceptional job” by so many public entities to reduce criticism against civil service. He said it was a step towards the vision envisaged in government’s Five Year Strategic Plan for a world class civil service.

Acting Auditor General Garnet Harrison, who has seen several auditor generals come and go and has been working with government departments to get them on track for years, said that in the last five audit years the number of unqualified opinions has increased from 49% to 83%. Within core government in 2012, only six out of 15 ministries, portfolios and offices had unqualified audits, whereas in the year ending 30 June 2016, 11 out of 15 entities had unqualified audits to date.

“With the quality of the financial statements getting better, this enhances the financial accountability for those entities. In the past we noted this financial accountability was lacking for a large portion of the past 13 years since the implementation of the PMFL. There is still a ways to go, but good progress is being made,” Harrison said.

The auditors are now encouraging financial departments to improve the content of information, making it more useful for the decision-makers and the wider public. This financial year also saw an increase in the number of public departments that provided annual reports, with the numbers for the first time giving a clearer picture for the public.

“This was an important step for government to make in providing greater accountability of information to the Legislative Assembly and public,” said Harrison. “The annual reports help explain what activities these entities undertook and contextualise and explain the financial results by telling the reader what they achieved for the money they have spent. However, further work needs to be done on the annual reports to provide better performance information on what outcomes they have achieved.”

The chief bean counters were given plaques as tokens of appreciation and recognition “for the civil service’s hard work, commitment and success”, officials stated.

The accounts for 2016 represent the first time government achieved such a large number of unqualified financial audits and Miller said the agencies deserved praise for taking to heart many of the recommendations from the PAC and the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). Although six entities are still working to meet the standard, the success rate squarely placed the Cayman Islands in an enviable situation in the Caribbean, outpacing a majority of countries, Miller noted.

In 2009 there was not a single public entity in the Cayman Islands that had produced accounts receiving unqualified audits. Since then, the relationship between government entities, the OAG and the PAC had completely changed from adversarial to a better understanding of the demands on public entities to comply with the law, Miller stated. He even suggested that government should introduce performance based bonuses for superior financial audit compliance.

However, he added that the six entities that failed to get an unqualified audits would soon appear before the PAC in an effort to get them to strive towards that goal.

Cayman News Service

Chief financial officers outside the LA with PAC Chair Ezzard Miller (front left) and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Local News

Comments (37)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I recoginize one of the recipients proudly holding the certificate as someone who isn’t even a CFO!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wait tho. Balanced books do NOT mean that the public agree with many of the ways that CIG is hemorrhaging the taxpayers cash on a daily basis!

  3. No surprise says:

    Our DG newer went running to the LA when he heard that Mr Miller and the Auditor General were calling for accountability on the huge payouts to civil servants but when he hear that Mr Miller was going to be giving out bouquets he was right there Lol.
    Someone please tell him that he shouldn’t stand in the front of his people that are the ones getting the awards.

    6
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      Come on, don’t be so hard on Franz – 12 years of producing no sensible accounts is a long time. Let him glow in the pride of others, he needs a little recognition too.

      4
      2
      • Anonymous says:

        12:50. Franz has been DG for about 5 years. Can you imagine what our accounts would be like if he had been in office for 12 years. This is an amazing achievement in a really short time. CFO’s CO’s and DG thank you.

        1
        4
        • Anonymous says:

          7:50pm, that’s exactly my point. These CFOs have been working on producing sensible accounts for 12 years. FranzM has been in post for less than half of that time. I’m arguing that he should share some praise even though it was not solely his doing. Whew!

          2
          1
        • Anonymous says:

          7:50pm, Franz has a major liability in his long time “strategic” advisor Gough. This is the very person that helped to create this problem in the first place, along with his buddy McCarthy.

          Remember that Gough reports only to one person and for only one pocket. Franz is labouring under a rigged system.

          2
          4
          • Anonymous says:

            Oh get a life, loser. Whatever petty thing Gough did you….maybe ask you to actually perform…..is in the past. He is not Manderson’s Advisor anymore. One question though, bobo, why did a born and proud Caymanian Franz Manderson hire Gough to do certain work for him in Government when he had no doubt staggeringly talented Caymanians like you to do the work. Yes, we know why, you can bitch but you can’t actually perform, you can’t actually DO anything.

            2
            1
    • Anonymous says:

      No surprise. Take your meds and smell the roses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on ” no surprise” you must know that civil servants and the DG are invited to the PAC. But we should be surprised by the comments of the DG haters. If everyone loved our DG he won’t be doing a good job. Promoting good governance and accountability creates a few haters. Those who know it have felt it.

      Go DG. You got them squirming while they typing.

      3
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      Sad to see so many negative comments when Caymanians perform outstanding work. Typical crabs in the bucket. Shame on all of you.

      I commend everyone involved in this historic achievement.

      2
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        There is something strange about congratulating people for being barely adequate (and in some cases still not) at accounting for the public purse. If they keep it up and improve year on year, that’s something else…..

        1
        1
  4. No state citizen says:

    What I want to be revealed is if so many ministries are getting unqualified opinions, why is the entire public sector financial statements not getting unqualified opinions too.
    Isnt this just a consolidation of all the Ministries and Statutory bodies.
    Sounds like some more work needs to be done before celebration.

    2
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      The Government’s accounts are unqualified because they provide fully for the pensions of civil servants and for the provision of their health care! Is that so hard to accept?

      • Anonymous says:

        12:47pm, you almost had me believing your post! Nice to insert a little humour in such dire situations. Core government accounts and this sham presentation is like putting lipstick on a pig. Anyway, good try Ez and Franz. Thanks for the humour.

  5. West bay Premier says:

    In the photo, Mr Miller and Mr Manderson look like they are getting ready for a boxing match , and the others are all excited to watch .

    4
    2
  6. Anonymous says:

    I am a proud civil servant and this makes me even prouder. Thank you Mr Miller for having the guts to give these awards.

    The civil service is getting better every day under the leadership of the DG.

    Go and be negative. But without the civil service you would not enjoy the wonderful life you do.

    2
    13
    • Anonymous says:

      Please qualify this ‘wonderful life’. Anyone can spout crap like this, but I doubt you can qualify it. Just go and re-license your vehicle to see inefficiency and before you say it, the online system doesn’t work either. It might take something to give an award, but guts isn’t one of them.

      3
      2
      • Anonymous says:

        10:04. The wonderful life referred to is all of the things that causes people like you to never want to leave. Admit it. Cayman and the civil service rocks!!

        3
        4
        • Anonymous says:

          I live here because I am Caymanian and loyal to my country, and that loyalty includes calling out of inefficiency of the civil service. As much as you would like to see us applaud these ridiculous awards and keep quiet, it isn’t going to happen.

          5
          2
  7. Anonymous says:

    When do I get my award for showing up to work and doing what I’m paid to do? Oh wait, I just answered my own question, I got paid.

    15
    3
  8. Anonymous says:

    This is truly an amazing achievement from our civil service and public service. For years we have been demanding to know how our money is spent. Well now we know.

    Mr Miller you just gained a “star” in my book.

    Deputy Governor thank you for your continued inspirational leadership.

    We have seen a significant change in the performance of the civil service since you became DG. I believe you when you said at the PAC hearing ” the best is yet to come:

    10
    22
    • Anonymous says:

      How do I go about nominating each CFO for an MBE/OBE? And yes I am really serious about this, as this is a very,very rare big-time event for our civil service.

      CNS, please do an article from your “Ask Auntie” section on this subject soon (the sooner the better).

      Signed,

      Former CFO, Ministry of _____________________.

      3
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      I expect to see many more award ceremonies as the culture change continues. I work in the civil service and see the change every day.

      Thank you Mr Miller for recognizing this historic achievement. How refreshing.

      3
      5
    • Debbie says:

      The people who see this as negative need prayer. Not many countries in the world achieve this. A world class achievement.

      4
      8
    • Uncivil Servant says:

      Poor delusional fool.

      9
      2
    • Debbie says:

      Just another day in our much improved civil service.

      3
      5
    • Anonymous says:

      In 2009 there was not a single public entity in the Cayman Islands that had produced accounts receiving unqualified audits. Since then, the relationship between government entities, the OAG and the PAC had completely changed from adversarial to a better understanding of the demands on public entities to comply with the law, Miller.

      I never dreamed that I would read a statement like this. Thank you Mr Miller Mr Manderson and Auditor General.

      To our CFO’s in the public service many of whom are Caymanians I congratulate you on a job well done.

      3
      4
  9. Tur Alors! says:

    Why are we getting so excited about civil servants finally doing the job they have long been paid for.

    30
    10
  10. Anonymous says:

    The Civil Service receives recognition – a nice touch.

    9
    10
  11. Well done the CFOs. This means that we can now start to rely on the accounts of almost of the entities thereby increasing the accuracy of the budgets. A byproduct of this is that work done by the Auditor General’s department may decrease. Not enough to lay off staff, I hope, as we do not want any further unemployment!

    13
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      They finally were allowed to get rid of the useless Caymanian CFOs they were saddled with at the start because of the “employ Caymanians even when they can’t do the job” policy. Also the lady deputy financial secretary or whatever she was, the Adventist recruiter, retired so things progressed because she was not even a CPA and did not understand accrual accounting.

      11
      1
      • No state citizen says:

        Name some of these “useless Caymanian” CFOs that you speak of that they have supposedly gotten rid of.
        It appears that you know them all personally and their status.
        “Caymanian” is defined as what/who in your mind?

        I take issue with this characterization because I can assure you there are many expatriates who come here and the higher ups believe they are the greatest thing ever and when you take a closer look it is the Caymanians doing the job and making them look good.

        If you are a Caymanian, shame on you for characterizing your fellow Caymanians this way.

        If you are a expat then we all know why the comment was made.

        6
        8
      • Anonymous says:

        But now the Lodge Recruiters have taken over from the Adventist

        5
        3
  12. Anonymous says:

    The phrase, ‘A day late and a dollar short,’ comes to mind here. Taking 12 years to finally get something right is nothing to be proud of.

    20
    7
    • Anonymous says:

      Late is the only way the CIG operates

      14
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      10:53AM – really agree with you on this. And the not so funny thing about it is that PAC (Mr. Miller), thinks it is so great that each entity was awarded a certificate like it was a really special achievement!!!!

      We are paying CFO’s and their staff to do a job and there is absolutely no reason why “unqualified” opinions should not be occurring for every entity, every year – this reflects very poorly on the Chief Officers and all those politicians who are responsible.

      So, Mr Manderson this so-called achievement is nothing to brag about. We in the Cayman Islands are constantly letting the world know that we are one of the top offshore financial centres – here we are in 2018 and still got plenty of government entities that are unable to get unqualified opinions.

      CNS, thank you for sharing a story that attempts to shed some positive light on the Civil Service.

      Signed

      Former Government Bean Counter
      that was micromanaged by Minister for portfolio of _________________.

      8
      1

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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SIGN UP FOR THE CNS NEWS LETTER, SENT EVERY WEEKDAY STRAIGHT TO  YOUR INBOX