Ministry mum on dump director’s status

| 20/02/2018 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service, Cayman Islands dump

George Town Dump, Grand Cayman

(CNS): The health ministry is still refusing to comment on the situation that has emerged at the Department of Environmental Health since the director went on some form of extended leave against the backdrop of allegations that the ministry had asked for his resignation. A catalog of issues, including garbage collection, the management of overtime at the George Town dump, questions over private sector sub-contracts, disgruntled staff and staff shortages, have surrounded the department over the last few months but government is very reluctant to tell the public what is going on.

Officials told CNS Monday that DEH Director Roydell Carter remains on leave and that there were “no updates at this time”. Although government officials have denied that Carter is on required leave or has been suspended, the dump boss has not been at work since at least November and there have been no official comments about his status.

CNS has learned from multiple sources that Carter is in the firing line over a catalog of issues that also led to the resignation of his deputy, Mark Rowland, who had previously been credited with implementing a number of improvements at the landfill, including the recycling efforts.

Despite the lack of senior management now at the dump and another all too familiar government situation where top jobs are being filled by staff acting in post, the ministry is currently in negotiations over its proposed integrated waste-management project.

A consortium led by Dart’s construction company, DECCO, emerged as the preferred bidder on the contract, which will see the government turn towards waste-to-energy as the main solution for managing the islands’ rubbish. As government continues to negotiate the contract with DECCO, officials stated that there was no update on that either.

It is still not clear what elements of the national waste-management system the private sector partner will take and what the public will still be covering with the public purse, but one thing that has emerged is that there are no plans to expand the recycling by having curbside collections.

Given that government is backing the waste-to-energy facility in order for DECCO and its partners to make a profit on that, it will need to have as much garbage as possible to feed the burner, undermining the incentive for a more comprehensive reduce, reuse, recycle or recover project.

The government has also refused to answer inquiries from CNS about alleged recent heated meetings with staff at the DEH and ministry bosses. The current talks with DECCO and plans to implement the waste-to-energy project will impact current staff, but it appears the lines of communication are not as open as they should be, with morale said to be very low among garbage workers as they face current turmoil and significant future change.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Two great confidence inspiring stories from our Ministry of Health in one day.We find out MRCU and Oxitec has not been as great as the Ministry has been telling us for the last year. Then we read that the Ministry is still denying Mr. Carter is on required leave. I am sure that they will be able to justify there actions by clever word play but to me if you are not telling the truth you are purposely misleading the residents of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem here is misuse of resources. Oxitec should be used to create genetically modified garbage collectors able to work 24/7 without overtime. Mr. Carter could be employed to sit in peoples gardens and swat mosquitoes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I see the DEH Director almost daily. He is doing well and in good spirits.

    • Ka Ching says:

      Gardening leave for a Civil Servant is like all your Christmases coming at once. Why wouldn’t he be in good spirits, he knows what’s coming his way.

  3. Anonymous says:

    CIS sent students home today because of another mismanaged toxic fire raging at the adjacent dump.

    • Day dreamer says:

      What do you expect building a school next to the dump Did the great planners of Camana Bay not see this before now?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like “Business as usual”!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Many people believe that Mr. Carter should have been dealt with and disciplined a long time ago but nothing was ever done about it. The current DG has been in post for about 5 – 6 years now and nothing was done. Before Mr. Manderson the DG was Mr. Ebanks and nothing was done with holding Mr. Carter responsible or accountable for the DEH failings.

    On the other end of the Govt spectrum, since Mr. Manderson has been DG, his DG5K event has been executed with navy seal like precision amid glorious and lavish fanfare in the streets of Kings Landing as well as the media.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Marl Road has already answered what the government refuses to admit.

  7. West bay Premier says:

    Another bad back room deal that is going the Taxpayers big money . That’s why no one can get any answers. This year the garbage disposal costed the Government $1.4 million, next year the cost would be $5.2 million.
    I don’t know how everyone can sit down and let these Politicians keep and do everything so secretly , tell them we want transparency.

    • #CAYMANKIND says:

      Carter is a ready made scapegoat to allow for a political promise prior to 2017 elections to be fulfilled. Just look at who is doing the garbage collection now and the players involve. This tactic is the easiest way to sell the public on the privatization of garbage collection. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No one wants to admit it but we just do not have enough Caymanians to fill these important posts so they get filled by Caymanians whose only qualification is that they are Caymanian which is all that the likes of Ezzard, Arden and Kenneth want.

  9. Observer says:

    Not even to that the government can tell the truth about. All they do is waste tax payers money by paying required leave. If the person is guilty then fire them. It seems more evident that more than Mr. Carter is at fault.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, Mr. Carter may have made a lot of errors but the fact is he was allowed to make them. Who should have been managing him and reviewing his performance? I would guess that if you took a look at his performance reports they would state he was doing an excellent job. Making Mr. Carter the scapegoat is the easy option but the Ministry Permanent Secretary would have also failed to do his job and should also be held accountable.

  10. Tut alors!. says:

    Maybe he is being considered for a transfer as Head of the Fire Dept., as he satisfies Mr Bryan’s primary requirement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Before this came around I bet Mr carter was the perfect man, I wonder if all you fault finders here don’t have any faults, or is it that they are not found out yet? Cayman really lost .

  11. Tut alors!. says:

    The Civil Service never ceases to amaze.

    • UnCivil Servant says:

      Nothing changes with the civil service. Franz Manderson said things are changing yet how is this different from the Chief Immigration Officer situation and early retirement settlement?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ah, same old transparency surrounding tax payers money…they have to tell us what is going on, end of story. Its not their money to hide issues from us, its our money that they have been elected to look after on our behalf. And that, dear people, is clearly not happening.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I fail to see how maximizing the garbage to feed the burner is undermining the reduce/reuse/recycle/recover initiative. In an island situation the cost to recycle items may be out weighed by the recovered benefit from energy. Reducing the waste we produce is up to each of us. Reusing the waste is up to each of us.

    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 4:15 pm , when the term was used “To feed the burner” that is feeding with money , not garbage.

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be plenty of waste to burn. To say we will need to maximize the garbage going towards the burner is EXACTLY the wrong thing. What an ignorant comment.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why is the Government refusing to answer questions from CNS?

    This government are so fickle to deliberately avoid CNS but now have the Compost as their preferred media house after implementing a boycott and calling their actions treasonous. So much for open and transparent relationship with the public and media under the Unity crew.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      When this story first broke the Compass’ editorial suggested that website based media suggesting that Mr Carter had been suspended were libellous or defamatory in light of governments “press statement declaring definitively that Mr. Carter has not been suspended”,

      whilst at the same time noting

      “All children (and too many maids) hide things when they break them. And too often, when they get caught, they lie. A variation on that theme, of course, is to withhold crucial or critical information. Responsible and principled adults do not do this, and those in the public service – be they duly elected, duly appointed, or duly employed – MUST not do this.”

      Well I am not sure what you would call someone going on leave in November, still not returning by mid February, and government refusing to confirm whether they are on required leave rather than suspension, or even what kind of leave they are on that they can take 3 months off the job.

      Surely even the Compass must think that the government is at best dealing in semantics, and the “withholding critical or crucial information line” has been passed? Our firm had an employee once who was “encouraged to explore alternative career opportunities”, and to assist them in that endeavour, they were not not required to come to work. After the passage of a period of time entirely coincidental to their notice period, the firm stopped paying them. But they certainly weren’t “suspended” “put on required leave” or God forbid fired. Oh no.

      The difference between our firm and DEH would appear to be that the firm had more creative language, and of course could say what they like, not spending the tax payers money on people apparently on indefinite leave (but for the avoidance of doubt, certainly not suspended).

  15. Anonymous says:

    its like living in a communist country with the stonewalling the media gets from the government….
    never forget that the ppm were the ones who stopped cig press briefings….all because they didn’t want people ‘taking pot-shots at the government’…..zzzzzzzzzz
    just another day in wonderland…..

    • Lol says:

      In a communist country, the government is the media. There is no stonewalling. So your analogy is false. This is more like living in a first, second, and third world democracy…

    • Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

      Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  16. Insider says:

    Insiders have confirmed that ministry are apparently locked in negotiations with the DEH Director Roydell Carter for a settlement. Only in the Civil Service can you get paid a healthy amount for failing on the job.

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      Another glorious day in the Civil Service. Never mind, it’s time to throw all our resources at a 5k race for the next two months anyway.

      • Anonymous says:

        The perfect solution; lets get rid of the problem by having a race. That will make the staff happy and the problems will magically go away.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Here’s another one for the Ombudsman’s desk.

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