(CNS): Some four years after the original legislation was passed and almost two years after a revised version was steered through the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly, the Standards in Public Life Law has still not been implemented. Acting Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon told the LA last week that the regulations were being worked on with a view to implementation in the near future, but she gave no indication of when that might be. The law was designed to create more transparency, eliminate potential conflicts of interest and keep politicians and public officials honest. However, enactment remains elusive.
Even before the ink was dry on the original legislation, which passed in the LA in 2013, complaints about the impact on government board members in particular stalled the implementation.
But even after the Standards in Public Life Law was watered down two years ago, because government grew concerned about the negative impact it would have on being able to find people from the private sector to serve on public boards, the law is still not in force.
As McField-Nixon presented the 13th report from the Commission for Standards in Public Life, she said the members were still working on the regulations for the legislation alongside those for the Procurement Law, which is seen as supporting legislation. The report, which is available in the CNS Library, reveals that the commission has been pressing government over the regulations since last February.
The report also documents the concerns of the commission over the findings of the Gender Equality Tribunal relating a case of discrimination at the prison and the failure of the civil service management to conduct an inquiry into what happened.
The complaint was filed by male prison managers, who said that the prison was favouring a woman who was believed to be a friend of the former director. The commission found in their favour, though the special treatment concerning the manager appeared to be down to her long-time friendship with the prison boss rather than her gender.
The report highlighted the concern of the Commonwealth observers during the May 2017 election about the lack of transparency regarding campaign financing. But it also notes that the commission had agreed not to issue any statements or releases about the election as the law was still not in force.