Ed ministry in legal fight with rejected local applicant

| 26/02/2018 | 157 Comments
Cayman News Service, Cayman education ministry

Bernie Bush, West Bay MLA

(CNS): The education ministry is pursuing a judicial review of a Civil Service Appeals Commission (CSAC) decision after it found in favour of a Caymanian candidate who claimed she was wrongfully rejected for the post of HR director in that ministry as a result of discrimination. The issue has caused concern for back-bench MLA Bernie Bush, who said he was appalled that the ministry had given the job to a less qualified expat candidate and is not only taking legal action against the local but is spending public cash on a private QC to lead the case. 

Bush told CNS that the issue started when several well-qualified Caymanians were rejected following an open recruitment process for the vacancy. The job was given to the foreign worker who had been acting in the post, despite his much lower interview scores.

Having received a much higher score during the interview process, one of the rejected candidates took the case to the appeals commission and won. The CSAC found that she had a case regarding the qualifications and experience and noted that it had not received a substantive response from the ministry during the hearing.

Documentation seen by CNS showed that several local applicants, all female, appeared to have scored higher on the interview process and had more experience as well as relevant and more advanced education qualifications than the successful male expat candidate.

Noting that government is trying to push business towards hiring locals when suitable candidates are available, Bush said this was hypocrisy on the part of the administrative branch of government and he urged Deputy Governor Franz Manderson to step-in. Despite being a member of the current administration, Bush said that as a representative of the people he had to expose what he believes is wrong.

“We have a duty to the constituents we represent to protect them from injustices,” he said. “Here we have the public sector discriminating against its own people, even when they have done all the things we tell our people to do so they can compete. But the ministry is now pursuing one of the candidates to the courts, using public money to hire a private lawyer as well. I am begging the deputy governor to step in and stop this injustice.”

The coalition government back-bencher said the discrimination in this case seemed to cover all the bases of inequity because it looked as though the ministry was not just discriminating against Caymanians and people of colour, but women as well. Bush said that the minister, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, had told him she was unaware of the issue and that it appeared to be a civil service management issue.

Responding to the allegations of discrimination, Christen Suckoo, the chief officer in the education ministry, issued a statement defending the decision to select the successful candidate and to pursue the case in the courts.

He said that the recruitment process takes into consideration several factors, as per section 41(7) of the Public Service Management Law (2017 Revision), which provides that all candidates on the shortlist are to be interviewed by a panel using a comparable interviewing approach for each applicant to find the candidate that has the best mix of qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience for the position.

This is based on the information provided by the applicants, the results of the interviews, the personal knowledge of the persons on the interview panel and any other information considered relevant, he said. Where two or more candidates rank broadly at the same level, Caymanians shall be given preference, he noted.

In this case, he explained, the scores referred to are not overall assessments of the candidates but rather scoring of responses made during the interviews only.

“Upon consideration of all relevant factors, including the fact that the applicant awarded the post is a three-year employee of the ministry and had acted in the post for several months, and further that applicant possessed the necessary budget management and team leadership experience critical to the role, the ministry is satisfied that the best recruitment decision was made,” Suckoo said.

The chief officer refuted allegations that the ministry was not doing its best to hire locals and calling into question its approach to local recruitment. “The ministry seeks to hire Caymanians for all posts for which suitable Caymanians can be found, and this has well been put into practice, with the ministry enjoying a strong track-record of recruitment of Caymanians to middle and senior positions.”

He added that on occasions when Caymanians are not successful, it is not an indication of a change to this approach. Suckoo said there were three Caymanians currently being developed to compete for this post in future.

Defending the decision to acquire a QC from a private firm, who will be assisted by the Attorney General’s Chambers, to apply for leave to file judicial review proceedings against the decision of CSAC, he said this was because of the far-reaching consequences of that finding by the commission.

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Category: Government Administration, Jobs, Politics

Comments (157)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Folks get it right, the panel report is NOT the interview!!! The panel report considers
    1. application score ( looks at the CIG application, resume etc which documents experience and qualifications)
    2. Presentation Score ( an assessment is carried out on a particular area)
    3. Interview Score (who well did the applicant respond to the questions asked.

    In normal circumstances and is the standard policy in the CIG, the panel report scores is used as the main guiding criteria to higher anyone. In this case the score where ignored.




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    • Anonymous says:

      People. This is not a one off case but reflects what is happening across government. Look at MRCU, Fire Services, HSA, Labour and Employment etc. There is an organised effort to remove long standing locals in top and mid management. By pressure or enticement. Eg HMCI. Why do you think a QC was brought to fight this case? Government is now a Status Mill for expats who couldn’t cut it in the private sector or who need fast tracked PR.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Wrong is wrong here I listened this morning to Mr. Manderson and I was shocked what he said. They made the right choice. I also though quite ridiculous to expect the top candidate to participate in a succession plan with the man they chose when she was the top candidate more qualified than him. slap in the face




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    • Anonymous says:

      The most qualified does not mean the best candidate. Did the rejected candidate have experience and if so how much.




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      • Anonymous says:

        How can they gain experience, if they’re not given the chance? But as is custom in many HR departments of the civil service, it’s about who knows who, who goes to the same church as you, who you’re sleeping with or who yo’ mama is.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Using your own words, please tell us how you believe the “best candidate” became the “best candidate” without having exoerience??




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. As much or more than the selected candidate before he got to act for an extended period of time. Then the claim was ‘experience in the post’. The argument basically being that if you’re not cherry-picked don’t bother applying from outside the organisation because only experience in-post will be accepted.




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  3. Tut alors!. says:

    Does Mr Bush really think being “a person of colour” is a factor in all of this?. If he goes to court it will be a landmark case, not only because he will certainly lose his argument, but because it will highlight the problem of Caymanian entitlement.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    From the Compass:

    “The commission sought a response before making its ruling in the case, but according to documents reviewed by the Cayman Compass, Education Ministry officials did not respond to emails or phone calls concerning the appeal. The commission stated its “disappointment” in the ministry’s failure to acknowledge its various communications about the appeal.”




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Interesting how in private sector HR is were we put Caymanians (hopefully with Immig Dept inside connections) to get Cayman headcount. Many can barely speak proper English regardless of their “professional” 8 week course certificate.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Hi brainiac. The word is WHERE. And yes, I’m a local.




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    • A. Caymanian says:

      @2:56 You are an economic parasite that should be refused PR and Caymanian Status for being a racist, disrespectful, ungrateful piece of DRIFTWOOD!

      You’ll get yours soon enough if you keep up that disgusting attitude. God don’t like ugly and never sleeps.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Lets face it, Bernie is a mediocre politician supporting a mediocre applicant, neither one wants to earn their keep but instead they want to use the press and anonymous comments on CNS to make their case which is typical of someone who has something to hide!




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  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ve only seen one comment on here which mentioned that the Deputy Governor approved this hire. I’ve always known him to be a man of integrity, fairness and holding the hiring of Caymanians in high regard. If he has approved this hire, there must be a legitimate reason behind it.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    So are we just going to overlook the fact that the candidate with the highest INTERVIEW score lacks experience with budget management and large departments? I mean, it’s not like that would be crucial for a ministry with 1,000+ employees and one of the biggest budgets right? But then again should she decline the CSAC’s request that she be placed in the role then there’s always the Caymanian that scored the second highest to swoop in and save the day. Not having current HR experience for an HR Director position should be ok I assume. For anyone that wants to question these facts please know that they were in the compass article online.

    Now I’m all for a good old fashioned “woe is me, the Caymanian is an endangered and discriminated against species” but maybe once in a while can we let common sense outweigh entitlement? Interviewing well does not mean that one is the right candidate for a job. If you have obtained numerous qualifications in your specific field but do not have the relevant experience required for a senior role then being Caymanian and having a good interview automatically grants you the right to hold that job? Mr. Bailey may not have gotten the highest interview score but I can guarantee for a position this high there will be more than one selection activity. Did any of you superior nitpickers stop to think that maybe he scored better on a practical assessment or the fact that the man has literally been in this job and knows what he’s doing could’ve been the reason why he was appointed?

    I’m all for the development and promotion of Caymanians but this entitlement attitude needs to stop. The actual best candidate for the job was chosen and Bernie should be ashamed of himself. I’m sure there’s plenty of other locals desperate for some kind of help that he can be out here championing for.




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    • Anonymous says:

      What on earth is wrong with these people. The sense of entitlement is breathtaking. You can have has many qualifications as you like, you can have scored higher than anyone else at interview but ultimately, but when all that is taken into consideration, the focus will be on experience. Did these others have the proper relevant management and HR experience? NO!




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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow. You Comment on your own comments then speak of local entitlement?! I guess you weren’t entitled in your country either. That’s why you washed up here.




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  9. Fair says:

    Perhaps the Min of Education needs to look at the CO. And start cleaning house from the TOP as it appears the ministry has many serious problems and nothing but negative press.
    One being the audit backlogs – who’s to blame for that- the CFO! The only govt dept to not receive an up to date audit opinion as it was well publicized. What does that say about the CFO and CO – obviously they are not doing the job.
    Not to mention the numerous required leave of teachers that go unexplained and leave these teachers with emotional distress.
    As for the number of Caymanians working within the ministry – I beg to differ- the amount of foreign workers is surprisingly alarming- perhaps the CO needs puppets he can control.
    Now the problem with post for the HR director. Whatever the truth of the matter is was it really necessary to hire a QC at the expense of the taxpayers- couldn’t this money be better used in getting toilet paper into the stalls at school bathrooms. I know one kid who carries there own TP to school.
    This CO needs to be held accountable for his unacceptable actions and stop using the public purse as his own wallet. Stand up Minister and DG and take control.




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    • Anonymous says:

      ok Bernie calm down, you are spewing fake news again. Ps. The Director of education Services runs the schools, even a block of wood like you should know that




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      • private says:

        not true, the Ministry has a very heavy hand in the matter and the Director is part of the HR mess who signed off to hire the non-caymanian




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    • Anonymous says:

      You had me up until you said Minister and DG take control.

      The DG had been in control of this matter since DAY ONE!! Mr. Suckoo could not have done what he is doing without the blessing from the DG and the Chief Officer of PoCS Mrs. Gloria McField-Nixon.

      As for the Minister, where is she? If any of the top 5 candidates were from Spot Bay THEN she would be all over this. If you are from a different part of the Cayman Islands then it does not matter to her what happens.




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      • Anonymous says:

        And therefore it would be good to expose who the three are that are part of the succession planning BRACKERS. That’s why she is not saying anything




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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually if you read the article properly you would see that the Ministry is finalizing their 13/14 audit with the Office of the Auditor General and that office has not yet presented the Ministry its 14/15 or 15/16 audits for sign-off. So how could the Ministry be behind if the Audit Office hasn’t completed their work yet?! But again, let’s not let the facts get in the way.




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    • Anonymous says:

      But the Minister of Education is missing!




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  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m struggling to see how, Mickey Mouse HR degrees aside, anyone can be more qualified for a job than the person already doing it, supposedly well. Train up a Caymanian beneath him and have a succession plan, not difficult.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If they are Mickey Mouse degrees why is the Chamber of Commerce and UCCI still supporting them many years after they were first introduced here by Jenny Manderson in 2000 or 2001?




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    • Anonymous says:

      The problem many are told that they will be trained and it either never happens, or if it does, they’re overlooked anyway.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know any of the people involved, but I would gamble a few dollars on the following guesses:

    1. She is that “crazy” Caymanian woman that nobody wants to hire for obvious reasons.
    2. The Education Department displayed the highest level of ignorance in inviting her to interview for the post. Because, how exactly can you invite someone to a job interview and expect to say afterwards that they lacked the qualifications or experience for the job? Even if she scored the worst of all in the interview they should be forced to hire her for the job. In fact, they should be made to report to her.
    3. They have now hired a QC, that all of us will pay for, to try and concoct a cover story to explain why she wasn’t hired, when in fact there was never any intention to hire her in the first place.

    Everyone involved in getting her name on the short list and interviewing her should have to lick her shoes every day until they reach retirement age, or until they are placed on “required leave”.




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    • Anonymous says:

      IME when a better qualified person doesn’t get a job it’s because their reputation. The unsuccessful lady is presumably already running a civil service HR department.




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      • Anonymous says:

        She is not even doing that




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        • Anonymous says:

          Soooo other than being Caymanian, how is she more qualified than the person already doing the job? Only in Cayman.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Remember, under the Law a Caymanian doesn’t have to be more qualified, just qualified enough (as qualified). Or are you suggesting that Caymanians should NOT be given first crack at a job in Cayman, if they meet the qualifications?

            (Remember, the OP wasn’t that the Caymanian wasn’t good enough just ‘not more qualified’ than the other person (who was only acting in the post so they could get the ‘experience’ to qualify for the post – only in Cayman / SMH / tut alors).)




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            • 2:50 says:

              ammmm, you all are missing it, I think someone wrote above that the person appealed because they scored the highest. if you read the panel report the person did well in all areas and was considered very pleasant. the only thing the person who got the job had over the top candidate was “so called experience”, experience in the post that no Caymanian was given the opportunity to act in. What does the resume of the current post holder look like? what is so great about his track record? XXXXX

              Marl road has it the top candidate was in fact once president of the Cayman Islands HR Society. Somehow I don’t think the person is anything like you all are trying to portray.

              Why the assumption that because the person is Caymanian he/ she must not be qualified, must not be nice to work with, is not a good work etcc…




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      • Anonymous says:

        She now works at the NRA, and guess who is the chairman of that board ? The same person who is the chairman of the CSAC! Conflict of interest ?




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        • Anonymous says:

          Where she works now has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the PSML and Personnel Regulations was not observed in this matter and for once a worthy Caymanian stood up for the principle of the matter. The appeal was not just about herself but about any suitable Caymanian being given the opportunity to get the job if the panel report revealed they were the best. It so happens she discovered she was the top candidate.

          Stop trying to cloud the matter with bull.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Explain the nature of the conflict of interest, please 12:13. Who benefits and how?




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        • Tut alors!. says:

          12.13pm you have spilt the beans on how Cayman society works.None other than the Head of the Civil Service and Deputy Governor, who has all the facts at his fingertips, approved this appointment even though he will have been aware it would be controversial. This man has rightly been lauded as a Caymanian role model, and rest assured once the facts come out in Court he will be completely vindicated, and all those members of the Marl Road Authority will be shown up for their nationalistic bigotry, in which event I trust the Chairman of the CSAC will be replaced, allowing him to return to his potholes.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh please we are not going to start using the american “people of colour” card here are we?




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  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m afraid that the same bleak message is coming from the chalk face itself. Caymanians are being overlooked in the internal structures of schools. With more than enough qualifications and experience to take on new roles, they are unable to elevate themselves and the unfairness in the process is self[evident.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Quite the reverse I’m afraid, which is precisely why the whole public education system is as screwed as it is.




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    • Anonymous says:

      At the small school where I work we have 7 class teachers, 4 are Caymanians. Two of the 4 Caymanians are atrocious, 1 is acceptable, 1 good. The 3 ex-pats are superb. Only one could possibly elevate herself and she is very young. The principal is too so no movement available.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Have you actually sat in on their Performance Management to be able to make such a statement?




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Cayman power cayman peace




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  15. Anonymous says:

    I support Bernie with his concern in in this matter as it is very real and should not have been allowed to happen. However for those of us that know certain things maybe Bernie would like to answer why the double standards. Did he not get a certain foreign “FRIEND” of his who did not get their contract renewed with one government department a job with the Department of Agriculture???? This is a fact so JUST ASKIN if he willing to answer that question???? As usual what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander in these noble Islands, it all depends on “whose corn is getting mashed”.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Our honorable Premier and the rest of the wonderful Unity team will get to the bottom of this. They are for us people all the way, make Cayman Great Again!




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Bernie better pray they don’t audit the Pirates Week office




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    • Anonymous says:

      Or the CIOC




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    • Observer says:

      Assessing and scoring candidates is a delicate and technical business. We need to ensure, for instance, that we use the same yardsticks for all candidates which would require also the same questions for all candidates.

      It may well be that a critical outcome of all of this is the need for training and the raising of professional HR standards in processes like these.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The Pirates Week office is audited annually and its 5 years since he left. Make up something else please.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Using politicians to get you a job can only lead to one thing – jobless.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Is the role of the education ministry to provide the best possible education to young Caymanians? Or as many jobs as possible to adult Caymanians? Because it can’t be both.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of what is being reported here, the significant thing for me is that the ministry have hired a private QC who is no doubt not cheap. Obviously someone is very afraid of losing the case so they are not taking a knife to a gunfight. I question how a ministry can completely bypass the government lawyers in favour of a private one. Will the same luxury be afforded to the complainant? Doubt it very much. All to often I have witnessed government spending not for justice, but to win only.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Winning is the game. They clearly would be fools to want to lose.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Winning for justice is one thing, winning for the sake of winning is another. In case you haven’t noticed if you have pots of money, a good lawyer can win your case, by discrediting evidence.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Side Note, the two parties to the Judicial Review are the Ministry (Govt.) & CSAC (Govt.). None of the candidates are actually involved. So there should be parity of ability to draw down on govt. coffers to hire legal counsel. (Whether there is or not I guess we will see.)




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  19. Anonymous says:

    If this expat is training/upskilling internal CAYMANIANS for this very important and difficult job, what is the problem? What organizations are these other Caymanians coming from any way? Because it sounds like there is a succession plan in place for the internal Caymanians already hired there in the Ministry of Education. Stop allowing these crows and frogs to fill up your heads with junk. You want Caymanians in high positions? You have to train them, upskill them and provide them with the experience needed to take up these positions and in this case….you got it! The Caymanians who are currently employed and have worked in there are being trained/developed to take this post over from what the article states. Cayman has a serious problem with not seeing the bigger picture. I would have a problem if there were no Caymanians available to take up this post after the expat’s fixed term contract is over.




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    • Anonymous says:

      12:54, nowadays what happens is that the Caymanians who are being trained ( and by the way these only pop up mysteriously when an issue like this comes to light) are in training for a period of time long enough for the expat to get PR then Status and, BINGO, problem solved……for the expat and people like Mr Suckoo supporting them.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    So if I am correct, expatriate hires can only be on 1-3 yr contracts and not indefinitely. Government still has to advertise again whenever their current contract expires. CO Suckoo made the statement that there are 3 internal Caymanians being prepared for the job. I see no issue here. You are upset because you want out of your current job to overstep the 3 internal Caymanians being prepared for this post? Why? Have your current Ministry promote you. Crabs in a bucked mentality!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the current ministry don’t really mind if the person leaves. Sometimes they will just let you go




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    • Observer says:

      You must be stupid. Once they get in government it is for a lifetime.




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    • Anonymous says:

      1) So you don’t want the best person hired for the post?
      2) Its one Civil Service, people with general skills, e.g., HR, should be able to move around between agencies. Not have to wait for the people directly above them in their little silo to retire/whatever.
      3) If you’re not going to give people a fair shot at a job, why advertise it?
      4) what happens in 3 years time when those three supposedly on-training Caymanians are all trained up. One gets this job and the other two then apply for the next senior HR post to open up in another Ministry? Do they get told no, go wait in their little silo and don’t leave their desk?




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  21. Anonymous says:

    CNS: did you see the panel report or the application forms? The panel report is a summary but the application forms would list all of the qualifications and experience of the applicants.




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Yeah right. Christen Suckoo is discriminating against Caymanians. And women too. Perhaps you all should look around his Ministry at the number of women in senior positions!! And anyone who talks to this man for 5 minutes will come away with a strong sense of his passion for Caymanians. But this is how we operate. Don’t hire a Caymanian in one instance and we forget everything else that came before. Typical.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    Our present Civil Service is clear evidence that too many unqualified Caymanians ended up with senior posts for which they were/are not qualified. The number of those who have been on “required leave” for other than illegal activity and the poor service standards of most public services speak volumes.

    However, as a born Caymanian, I stand up firmly for the qualified and suitable Caymanian over the partly qualified and unsuitable expat any and every day. Hopefully Bernie’s actions are based on valid, documented issues and concerns and not just trying to put another unqualified and unfit Caymanian in another public job!




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    • Anonymous says:

      I think Bernie is seeking truth and justice here. If that Caymanian was the best candidate for the job, is it not discrimination she was not selected?




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      • Anonymous says:

        And if she wasn’t ?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Bernie is seeking political points. His representations were completely misleading and false! The Deputy Governor approved this hire and Bernie knows it. He is just sour because he wasn’t given the Education Ministry (thank God)




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  24. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny those complaining are only talking about the interview section of the assessment but not the other areas where the Caymanians fell short. This is a huge ministry of 800, they need the best possible person for the job. Check out the relationship between the Chair of the CSAC and one of the applicants and you will see what went down




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    • Anonymous says:

      Please take a look at the Public Service Management law (2017) section 41 (7) When two candidates rank broadly at the same level preference must be given to the Caymanian candidate. In this case the Caymanian scored higher so any way you look at it they should have been appointed. How broad is broadly; that’s subjective and open to abuse as appears to be the case here.




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    • Anonymous says:

      What if it had been the other way around; expat got a better interview score but less qualified than a Caymanian applicant in terms of knowledge skills and experience. I assume then you would be making the converse argument to justify hiring the expat?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cheap shot, 9:32. Is CSAC a one man body?




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      • Anonymous says:

        No but I know the story. There is much more to this and the Chairman needs to let the public know what’s really going on




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        • Anonymous says:

          This sounds 2:49, sounds very like “I had hear that you had say that he had hear that she had say” type bs that always goes around in Cayman. Along with bs expressions like “ I am given to understand…..” and “ I personally know of an example where….”. Give us a break and let Mr Suckoo fight his own battles. Perhaps you could encourage him and certain other Chief Officers to answer their emails and other correspondence, preferably on time.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Here here re your comment about the relationship between the Chair of CSAC and the applicant. Nuff said.




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    • Observer says:

      If the person lodging the complaint did not have the type of work record that would have recommended him or her, that should have been taken into account into the scoring.

      Maybe they need to go back and look at their scoring template.

      And what about telling him or her what it was about her record that raised concerns? Should not these have been raised during the interview process?




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    • Anonymous says:

      She scored high on the quantitative aspects of the assessment and low on the qualitative (highly subjective) review. What position would you take BoBo. The CSAC also reviewed and came to that conclusion. We are not all idiots.




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    • Anonymous says:

      They actually only “need” to follow the law. Period. That didn’t happen in this case. We can’t as a society pick and choose which laws we follow so unless the law is changed, it needs to be followed by all…




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  25. Anonymous says:

    Yeah right, lets compare “interview score” to “experience score” and “resume score” and see if there are any biases. I am all for putting caymans in positions that they have earned and will not cause rampant incompetency. You are asking for trouble and problems down the road if you ask for anything less.




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  26. Catcha Fire ? says:

    Yes tut alors and hater Cayman for Caymanians.This story has destroy your little rubbish propaganda you keep spouting on here. It once again infact only highlights exactly what is going on in Cayman under your grand leader and champion Alden the great pretender Who like you keeps preaching this big old lie that you are here for us when infact you here for your third world mentality and family and friends and social status right ya so. Only difference is you show your true intent under some bogus and fictional name. Fighting for our rights Cayman is only how our children are going to get anything that is left here now!




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  27. Anonymous says:

    Who audits hiring decisions to make sure that they are fair and PSML and personnel regulations are being followed? When was the last time any audit of any Ministry was carried out?




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  28. Anonymous says:

    Why would a ministry run by Caymanians for the benefit of Caymanian students hire the expat instead ? Because they were better qualified as determined by a group of Caymanians. Sour grapes by the applicant and political grandstanding by the politician.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Possibly because of personal biases!




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    • Anonymous says:

      or maybe a personal bias in favor of one candidate over the other. Thats why we need laws and regulations.




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    • Observer says:

      One of the problems with being a Caymanian is that no one allows you to grow and every little failing is remembered and built upon and follows you around.

      We have expats who arrive her with glowing recommendations. But they must also have made mistakes and learned from them.




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  29. Anonymous says:

    Its a damn shame. Well what would be the point of the Interview Chief Officer! I understand he was 4th on the final list with his points not even 2nd! how the hell does that happen. Only in the Civil Service! I thank Bernie for fighting on this issue. Mr. Suckoo needs to understand the basics of HR.




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  30. Sanders says:

    As an expat, I am all for equity and empowerment of qualified Caymanians. Based on the infor in the public domain from this article, it is clear that hiring a Caymanian would have been the most sesnible decision to make. The rationale provided does not quite explain the absurdity of the hiring decision. Seems that personal relationships with the employee who had worked in an acting role and was probably known to the hiring manager, took centre stage. And therein lies the problem -IMHO – with the civil service. Having worked there for several years, personal relationships with those in authority sometimes take precedence over ability, performance and qualification. Sadly, as is evident from this story, relationships also trump Nationality and promotion of locals.




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  31. Anonymous says:

    Why didnt you let a Caymanian act Christen? Wasnt like Caymanians were not in the dept qualified. Then you going to fight this? I lost all respect for this Chief Officer. Dont waste your time waiting on DG to reverse it, i understand he was in full support of the decision to appoint this man. Lost respect for him too. Same man involved in a similar mess at CIAA a few years ago when they overlooked Caymanians for that post. It just rrally upsets me to know such a decision is going to court. #dotherightthing




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  32. Anonymous says:

    who makes the decision who gets hired and who is involved in the interviewing process. Perhaps time to get rid of some people?




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  33. Anonymous says:

    This is typical Bernie Bush, always willing to run his mouth and show his ignorance before he knows the facts! So sad we have people like this in politics. He is a disgrace




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    • Anonymous says:

      According to the article CSAC confirmed the decision was biased and unfair. Bernie is doing his job by questioning these unjust hiring decisions. To ensure a level playing field we need laws and they need to be followed and there needs to be mechanisms in place to ensure they are followed. Anyone found not following the law should be removed from their position.




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      • GT Voter says:

        Bernie Bush is standing up for a Caymanian and supported by CSAC appeals process which highlighted unfairness in the process. Isn’t this the type of leadership and representation we should be expecting from all MLA’s?

        Thank you Bernie Bush for showing courage, common sense and leadership.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Wait till the CSAC story comes out, I hope Bernie has a written apology ready




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    • Anonymous says:

      what facts is needed to know? its all out there they chose a less qualified and inferior candidate who was an expat over qualified Caymanians.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I am happy to know and read what Bernie Bush has made public about hiring in government. Too often the local is down trodden and sidelined for their friends and compatriates. Speak up, speak out and shame Christen Suckoo. We will not tolerate bias now or ever, and as for the more than holy minister, she should hold her head down, if she is encouraging this type of behaviour. Shame on the Ministry of Education.




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  34. Leroy Parker says:

    There is a difference between qualified and suitably qualified. Nuff said.




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  35. Anonymous says:

    Bernie bush is still angry because he wasn’t given the position of minister or councilor in the education ministry. From the people in high positions the education ministry seems to have a very good track record of hiring and promotion of Caymanians but let us face the truth sometimes it is hard to find enough qualified Caymanians to fill every posts. If the education minister really said she did not know anything about the issue then I suppose the talk about Town that she is rarely at work must be also true. How can she be the Minister and not know what is going on in her ministry. The same has been said about the Minister of health and if true it makes one wonder how cohesive is this coalition/ unity government and who is really leading the herd?




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    • Anonymous says:

      He still angry from not being appointed Director of Sports.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I think the Premier is doing the best he can with the hand we dealt him.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No reason for a Minister (who is in charge of policy direction/decision) to know the details of staffing (a Civil Service issue)




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    • Anonymous says:

      The current Minister is known for dodging answering the hard questions. For the past 20+ years her answer to anything controversial in her own ministry is to say “I did not know”. How can you be a minister in any portfolio and not know. She knows full well what is going on and supports it. The easy way is to say “I did not know”. She is an attorney at law, she is not stupid – bet she did not say I will look into it and get it sorted out.




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  36. Anonymous says:

    This is so wrong on many fronts. I do not believe that Mr Suckoo would choose a non Caymanian over a qualified Caymanian. This is the Ministry of Education folks. We need the best of the best to lead it’s 800 strong staff. Sorry but this kind of political interference is wrong.

    For years we have seen poor performers and unqualified Caymanians get promoted and the users of this forum has begged for this to stop. Well obviously it has.

    No Bernie you have an obligation to improve the performance of the our teachers and protect our children. I think Mr Suckoo is better placed to decide who can do that than you.

    Kudos to Mr. Suckoo for standing up for our children education.

    We have asked for accountability in the civil service and we got it. We have asked for the practise of promoting civil servants based on tenure alone to stop and we have got it. Thank you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      What’s an HR manager have to do with educating our children? LMFAO




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      • Anonymous says:

        Because the HR Manager will have to be quite involved in the management of the ministry to enable them to do the do their jobs professionally and efficiently which will benefit the entire educational system.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I am made to understand that at Christmas this so called HR manager with such so called expertise stopped the wages/salaries of ALL teachers because he said they were not paid for Christmas holidays. He does not even know that rules and laws that he is supposed to be supporting. I hear the Ministry was in a mess the last day of school as they had to be rushing about getting cheques cut for the teachers who were ready to leave the Island for vacation but had not been paid. Yes he is very qualified.




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  37. Anonymous says:

    While I’m one to quickly object to giving Caymanians a job, just because that are Caymanian, I must say that the Ministry screwed this up. Reading the CO’s response, I can only hear him treading a centimeter above water attempting not to drown in his own flood.

    This is a shameful example of what some people say is systematic in the Civil Service.




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  38. Anonymous says:

    Good job bernie.




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  39. Anonymous says:

    Will Alva Suckoo support his MLA colleague Bernie Bush or stay silent on the side lines? Is the fight to protect Caymanians employment issues limited to other ministries and the private sector?




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    • Anonymous says:

      He is well aware and remained silent. Blood thicker than water my friend!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh here we go, I figured some idiot would soon start this, they are two individuals and both have proven track records for supporting and fighting for Caymanians, why now must MLA Suckoo be brought into this just because they are related ? Why not ask the Minister for a comment ? Or the Premier ?




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      • 3rd flr says:

        They are all the same it’s all about what is convenient. The Premier, Minister of Education and every MLA who remains silent are part of the problem.
        One cannot be pro-Caymanian some of the time. Especially, when the less qualified expat is hired and public funds are used to hire a QC to fight against local persons they promised to work for and protect during the campaign season and after elections.

        Bernie Bush is correct about how the system is biased full of nepotism, double standards and hurts its own local people.




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    • Anonymous says:

      They are not colleagues, Bernie is Government and Alva is Opposition




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      • Anonymous says:

        @ 10:19 you obviously do not know what you are speaking about or understand the use of the word colleagues. Please stop posting rubbish




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  40. Anonymous says:

    Can someone tell me what happens if a CSAC appeal against a hiring decision is successful? Will the person placed in the position be removed and replaced with the appellant? What if the person was recruited from overseas; they could have given up a job and sold everything to come here. What protection do they have if they are the innocent party in a corrupt civil service decision?




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    • Anonymous says:

      4:12am, so what? Put yourself in his position, if you sold all, gave up your job and moved elsewhere. What you’re insinuating is, that he should be given the job over the local, really. LMAO in the corner screaming for common sense.




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    • Anonymous says:

      To your hypothetical question: both the person who was hired, and the person it was determined should have been hired, will be give contracts (be paid). The hire-who-should-not-have-happened may end up getting (1) shuffled to another (similar) post, (2) given a more basic post but with their pay unreduced, (3) have their contract terminated according to its terms. (This is clearly the worse possible outcome.) – A slightly worse situation (from the case of the CS Budget if not the individuals) is if they are both Caymanian, i.e., on Permanent not Contract employment, so only options (1) & (2) are available.

      Your hypothetical issue is possibly one of the arguments against the Ministry just reversing the decision.




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  41. Observer says:

    This sound very dicey —- if the person in the job (including how he or she performs in the job) is known to the panel but remains unknown for the contending candidate, then that knowledge and awareness should not be used to eliminate the contending candidate.

    In fact, that could amount to a barrier to a fair selection process.

    I think that the ministry should have consciously sought to avoid the appearance of favoritism by maintaining and restricting scoring to areas in which all candidates could be reasonably compared.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually your observation is most incorrect. Firstly the law says that in making hiring decisions the panel must take into consideration what is known to them about the applicants. Secondly to follow your line of thought would mean the the CO would literally have to ignore the fact that the person hired for the job had experience acting in the position and then further ignore how well that person did while acting. Who hires for a job and ignores the performance of the person who has experience doing the exact job you are hiring for?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Would only be an idiot who would disregard the person acting in the job. We need the best person for these positions because the education department and ministry’s main job should be to educate our children to the highest level possible.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Bulls….t. If that was the case this man would not have been moved from the CIAA and replaced by Caymanian when his contract there came to an end. He was also very very quietly moved to the Ministry of Education to act in a position that was not advertised for a Caymanian to get.




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        • Anonymous says:

          You hit the nail on the head, the role he was originally filling temporarily was not advertised and then filled by him while acting and then the role he now has was given to him. hmm




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      • Anonymous says:

        Then by your logic, what is the point of going through the interview process if the result will always be to hire the person acting in the position? Four candidates were shortlisted that outstripped the qualification of the person acting in the position.




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  42. Anonymous says:

    Exactly the same thing is happening in the infamous Ministry of Health. A new expat Director has been hired despite the current deputy Director having more than enough qualifications and experience to fill the role. Apparently his concerns regarding the Oxitec mosquito upset the powers that be, who are dead set on pushing forward with this project.




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    • Mokes-for-all says:

      Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story. Speak to anyone who works at the MRCU and they will tell you that the deputy director and the former director never actually spoke to each other for about two years, and the department was like a dysfunctional family. Is that the kind of person you think is suitable for the post of director? Suitably qualified in terms of training and experience does not automatically mean you are the right fit for the job. Just another case of a disgruntled employee bitching and moaning because he never got what he wanted. The newly-appointed director was probably deemed to be a better fit for the job – for one thin, he’ll probably actually discuss any problems and try to resolve them, rather than refrain from speaking to the problem.




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  43. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to wake up and see how this is connected to PM Anthony Eden Margaret PM Thatcher, PM Tony Blair and the Queen herself, British Imperialism and WHITE POWER
    Bonus points if you can stick this on Robert Walpole too (his hands have been in everything since the dawn of time)
    Up for the challenge Who?

    *




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  44. Anonymous says:

    I saw Bernie’s rant on TV this evening, it was disgustingly racist. The Education Ministry is packed with Caymanians why is Bernie using this to get political points he knows very well that this is just politricks




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