HSA admits latest scandal over finances

| 22/02/2018 | 59 Comments
Cayman News Service, Health Services Authority

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour is greeted at the hospital by Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood

(CNS) UPDATED: The Health Services Authority has now confirmed that during a “routine monitoring of department metrics” a number of “irregularities” were discovered and an internal audit is now underway. The authority has given no details of those irregularities or commented on what is believed to be around a dozen security staff who have been suspended on full pay while a private sector firm has been temporarily contracted by the hospital to do their work. 

The health ministry has remained silent on the issue, even after the HSA released its short statement around lunchtime Thursday, after initially refusing to comment when asked yesterday.

After noting the discovery of the unspecified irregularities, officials said, “In discussion with the board and in accordance with the organisation’s Fraud and Corruption Prevention policy, they requested an audit of the security department from the HSA’s internal auditor, who is currently on secondment to the Government Internal Audit unit. This review is currently underway and we await a formal report. Until this review is completed, the board and management will make no further comment.”

News emerged yesterday that the team of security officers at the hospital had been placed on some form of required leave while officials complete an internal probe into overtime. CNS, like other news organisations, had contacted the Health Services Authority and the ministry about a letter given to security staff, who are employed directly by the HSA, suspending them from the job on Monday, but they had refused to comment.

CNS understands that the letter sent to staff gives scant indication of why they were suspended for 30 days, other than it was related to “irregularities”, as echoed in today’s press statement.

The latest controversy relating to overtime and the management of public finances comes days after the same ministry refused to comment on what is believed to be a similar scandal relating to the director of the Department of Environmental Health, who remains on some form of leave regarding investigations into overtime and other management issues at the dump. Despite widespread speculation that government is attempting to force the director’s resignation, the ministry is refusing to comment.

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Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This what happens when you lie/deceive and put good smart honest people spitefully out of their job and bring in people in from “your” church to fill positions…, when you do interviews over the phone.. I know now someone got some questions to answer….. karma we love you..

  2. Cashtek says:

    Yes tut alors exactly who should we employ non Caymanians in Cayman???you seem to have so much advice and hate for Cayman why don’t you go back a yard and fix all the corruption your highly educated countrymen practice everyday. I doubt though because you won’t get away with the kind of chat you got around ya . But of course many of you hypocrites who are living the life here would like to turn this place into a society dominated by you and are hard at work trying to make that a reality. Be thankful because had been your crime ridden and hostile countries it would be so peaceful now would it.

    • Jotnar says:

      And you know where Tut alors is from how exactly? Is the rule that anyone critical of the Civil Service is automatically not only an expat, but must be from a corrupt, crime filled and hostile country?

  3. Anonymous says:

    11:29 pm, if he was fighting for caymanians employment, he would’ve done house cleaning at the HSA.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There are a few individuals who use every opportunity to criticise the Brac and people from the Brac. CNS, can you please request the posters to identify the individuals who hold senior positions just because they are from the Brac? Also, you can request they provide information that they are not qualified to hold these positions? Some people sure have nuisance value!

  5. Tut alors!. says:

    To all those who get frustrated with the Civil Service please bear in mind it is almost entirely populated by born Caymanians many of whom cannot meet the standards of the private sector, yet want a job for life, with a regular salary increases, without accountablity for poor performance. Remember also that this represents a large percentage of the local workforce and voters list, to which should be added all their spouses and relatives and you will then understand how this sad situation of incompetence, mismanagement and nepotism will always exist

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the most accurate comment I’ve ever read on CNS. This is simply the truth, like it or not. I worked in the private sector for ten years and then CIG for four years before returning to the private sector and the difference is amazing. While there are many hard working competent CIG employees, most would not make it in the private sector performing at their current levels. Sad, but true.

      • Anonymous says:

        7.26pm . Genius!!! I hope you are ‘Caymanian – if not – why you here???? Could get a job inna ya yard???

  6. Tut alors!. says:

    When did we go “metric”?.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have said it before, and i will say it again…this Cayman Brac Affirmative Action that the CIG uses when appointing HOD’S has to stop. Look at EVERY department, unit, or authority that is headed up by these incompetent individuals. Not because they are from the Brac, just the wrong individuals!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not just Cayman Brac affirmative action, it’s Cayman Islands affirmative action. There are loads of appointments made simply because it’s a Caymanian without any regard to their ability. The only qualification and experience is being a born Caymanian and growing up here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Work smarter, not harder. That’s the Brac’s moto.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight – a routine check (operational and financial control) was undertaken that raised a flag. Upon reviewing the data that led to the flag, management realized that fraudulent activity may have taken place. They requested an audit to determine if something inappropriate (misuse or misstatement of OT hours) did in fact take place, and the extent to which it may have occurred. The investigation is now ongoing and relevant personnel have been placed on leave pending the outcome. Seems to me like the system operated appropriately and the control caught the activity as it should. So why exactly are so many commentators decrying HSA management and accountability?

    • Anonymous says:

      How long did it take before this was discovered?

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t know, likely and neither do you. As such, maybe neither of us should imply that it’s (best-case) short or (worst-case) long and let the investigation take its course. Presumably the results will be made public once finalized.

      • Anonymous says:

        Guess we won’t know until the investigation is done, D’uh.

  9. Anonymous says:

    More corruption in Cayman? SHOCKING! Most people in senior levels are getting a little extra on the side – that is the way that business gets done! Sad, but #truestory

    Will there ever be any closure to this issue? Or, will those security guards remain suspended on full pay for the rest of their days like other civil servants? Must be nice! Does anything ever get fully resolved in Cayman? It seems like most scandals that are aired, hang around for a bit and then get swept under the rug hoping most people will forget about them. Cayman has some major lumpy rugs!!!!

    What happened to the 2004 Hurricane Ivan Fund? I remember donating to it at one of the banks after the hurricane. Where did the money go? Seems like there are still people, almost 14 years after the fact living rough without a roof. Was it ever disclosed to the public where the money went? Hmmm……

    • Anonymous says:

      There are plenty people got free money after Ivan to rebuild their houses into big apartment blocks without planning permission and they are now renting these out to low paid Jamaicans. Check Bodden Town.

    • Anonymous says:

      Depends where the security guards are from I suppose

  10. Anonymous says:

    John “big boy” Seymour

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is not “success” or the type of “growth” that should be accepted as the new norm simply because it exists everywhere else.

    The degredation of Cayman society is in direct correlation with the growth of its “security industry”.

    – Who

    • Eklund says:

      It doesn’t exist everywhere else on anything like the scale as it does here.

    • Anonymous says:

      6.03am – you got it right – these security business were created and is now a big part of crime in cayman. We never had all these problems until the creation of security guards. What a joke… next to CCTV cameras. Corruption.

      • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

        10.13 Which one is the chicken, and which one the egg”. Security companies usually do well in two situations : (1) Economic growth, and/or (2) High crime environment.

    • Anonymous says:


      I see some real PhD’s replying to me this morning, smh.

      – Who

    • Please master the only language you speak. says:

      If you will write so profusely, at least use words that you are familiar with.
      It is “degradation”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow…that was quite some effort you put into that attack.

        I am actually hurting on your behalf. Please seek professional help.

        Lastly, I speak a number of languages.

        – Who

  12. Anonymous says:

    Drain the swamps.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Didnt the Premier have responsibility for Health and Environmental Health last term ? Wonder why he never asked for an audit ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The HSA will always be the same unless there is a move towards accountability. The leadership failures continue to be rewarded so nothing will change for the better.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So let me see if I understand the comments here. You ask for a zero tolerance on corruption and accountability in the public service. But when these exact things happen you complain. Go figure!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    While I was working with CIG all overtime had to be approved by a member of management BEFORE it was worked. Was this approved by a member of management? Did they have a budget for overtime? Was it exceeded? There should have been red flags to know that this was happening. We’ll wait and see what become with the persons responsible for approving the overtime and the finance team that processed it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    uh-oh spaghettieos…..

    • Anonymous says:

      This too shall get swept under the rug like so many other glaring irregularities. Need to set an example or this will continue

  18. Anonymous says:

    Shame. Shame shame. This island growing way too fast.

  19. Anonymous says:

    On going corruption. Fleecing the poor Government. What a mess … funny how John public knows what going on and have been going on for years and years and the department don’t know.. hummm…., just wondering!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      No not funny, you should be ashamed of yourself, if you’ve known and done nothing then you are complicit and just as bad or worse

  20. Anonymous says:

    what else needs to happen for it to be understood that serious change needs to be made in the management (or lack thereof) of HSA and action taken?

  21. Anonymous says:

    That’s ok, the current security staff are useless anyway.

  22. Anonymous says:

    More needs investigated than security

  23. Anonymous says:

    it’s the private sector firms That are in control. If civil servants owed the firms we would be getting value for money.

  24. Anonymous says:

    National Security is at hospital at the time!!

  25. SKEPTICAL says:

    Time to update Cayman’s Coat of Arms, replacing the pineapple with a pair of crossed bananas “rampant”……

    • Anonymous says:

      That pineapple really, really needs to go…for real — along with a total cleansing of these Islands.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ambulance Office next… do it immediately auditor.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ha! just wait for the waste management scandal to hit next….

  28. Anonymous says:

    Where does it say that this has anything to do with finances?

  29. Anonymous says:

    You know it is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I hope we are not all going insane by expecting the health minister to do anything or to have any kind of response. He cannot, he is way out of his league.

  30. Call 911 says:

    How many more scandals and financial mismanagement does the country have to go thru? Somebody had to approve the overtime and authorize payments. HSA Management must be held accountable.

  31. Kate says:

    Is it the Minister’s security firm that has been hired? Perhaps CNS can inform us of the security firm now in place at HSA.

    • Tut alors!. says:

      I thought all security firms were owned by civil servants who work for Government in their spare time.

    • Anonymous says:

      National security

    • West bay Premier says:

      Kate , If the security firm is belong to the Minister , then I would think that his Political career should be over . And is this the same Minister I heard fighting for Caymanian employment .

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