Consultants guiding ministry in cruise dock tender

| 10/05/2018 | 62 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship in George Town Harbour

(CNS): The chief officer in the ministry of tourism told the Public Accounts Committee Thursday that KPMG is guiding government through the procurement process of the cruise ship dock after Cabinet recently gave the green light to press ahead with the controversial development. Stran Bodden told PAC that the overall project was being coordinated and led by the steering committee made up of a cross-section of government agencies. But CNS has learned from two reliable sources that the committee has not met since 1 August last year, despite the significant developments since then. 

Bodden also revealed that the various entities that will be invited to tender in the final part of the procurement process, which must now follow legislation that came into effect on 1 May, will be following a set design. The revised plans are said to push the piers further into the ocean, which was an effort to try to minimise dredging. But Bodden said the plans fix the length and breadth of the piers as well as the pilings in accordance with the cruise ships’ requirements, though the winning bidder will have the discretion on how best to lay them out.

Bodden was unable to answer questions about the new dangers that pushing the piers further out will pose to Seven Mile Beach and said that whoever wins the bid will be responsible for just updating the original environmental impact assessment but will not necessarily be required to look at the impact on the world famous beach once the final plan is settled and the tender awarded.

The entire project remains opaque, with major decisions apparently being made behind closed doors with limited input from a handful of key public sector managers and politicians. Claims by Bodden that it is being managed by the steering committee seem at odds with reality, given that it is now more than nine months since the members of that committee met.

This means that the pre-qualification process, which was followed by an invitation to submit solutions and then a decision to narrow down the field to just three finalists, have all happened in the absence of direction from the steering committee.

Despite government claims to the contrary, the cost of the project is now estimated to be in excess of $250 million and exactly how it will be funded remains a well-guarded secret. KPMG, which is now said to be assisting government with the entire tender documentation, was originally contracted to help find a financing solution, but it is still not clear what that is and whether they were able to work out how the government can, as it has stated on numerous occasions, avoid the liability for the costly proposal.

How the construction of the pier plus the twin project of renovating and expanding the existing cargo section will be managed while still hosting cruise ships has not been revealed and government has been almost silent about its effort to relocate coral. Nor have officials revealed the plans to protect the marine environment during the construction period and what, if any, contingency plans exist if evidence emerges that Seven Mile Beach, as many local experts believe, will be impacted.

The project is becoming increasingly less popular as time goes by, as evidenced by the growth in opposition comment across all local social media platforms, particularly on the extensive public input from readers on CNS. The recent revelations about the significant management problems and what may also be a police investigation into the financial irregularities exposed by the auditor general at the port may further fuel the opposition to the project.

From the beginning, the public consultation survey in which around 500 people took part, came down three to one against. Since then, support seems to have fallen even further and appears to be confined to a small group of downtown merchants and some, but by no means all, tour operators.

Public concerns about the impact on Cayman’s infrastructure has become a particular issue in light of the number of people needed to justify and cover the costs of the project if it is to be paid for via passenger fees.

There has been a surge in cruise numbers over the last few months after Cayman was added to schedules because of the loss of some ports of call due to last year’s hurricanes, which has given the public a glimpse into the potential impact a long-term surge in cruise passengers could have on local beaches and attractions.

The opposition recently revealed plans for a campaign for a people-initiated referendum on the project before a contract is awarded. The opposition leader is also planning to press government into debating the issues in the Legislative Assembly when it meets next month.

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Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Someone please stop this. This is madness. We can’t afford it and don’t need it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t believe everything you read people from sources that are uninformed…………………..just saying……….

  3. Anonymous says:

    How does someone start a petition in Cayman?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will be done about it, the pier will be built, people will complain and cry the entire way and something else will come along to distract us and we will forget all about the pier. S.O.P. Works everywhere, Flint Michigan still hasn’t got clean water, oil pipelines are still running through sacred and guaranteed Native American lands but when the next new “issue” comes up, we somehow forget what we were up in arms about till it’s too late. Our elected “leaders” know this and know if they stay quiet long enough they will slide the pier through. Wake up Cayman, unless people actually take to the streets instead of the keyboard, expect a $200M+ coral killing monstrosity in Hog Sty Bay.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only people really against this are the save tenders group pretending to be environmentalists

    • Anonymous says:

      Screw the tenders, destroy what people come here to see and we won’t need tenders.

  6. Anonymous says:

    From what i can see this is the best run government and only one in decades to get things done for us Caymanians

    • Anonymous says:

      So right and best have Mr Dart and China Harbour do the whole job. They can finance and run it properly. Thank you Unity Team.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just because it’s the best run doesn’t mean it’s better, it just means they suck less.

    • Anonymous says:

      It certainly keeps people in jobs whose Performance Management is way below par.

  7. West Bay Premier says:

    CNS , can you please say publicly who these Consultant Companies are and their affiliation to the Minister /Politicians that hires them . I think that the public should know it .

  8. Anonymous says:

    A protest march through town might help reinforce the peoples disgust at this expensive, pillage of the marine environment.

    • SSM345 says:

      Lets go with a referendum and legal action methinks because march is recognized by Govt as a calendar month and nothing more.

  9. DUMP 1ST says:


    I do not understand why we keep pushing for the Port for a select few to the detriment of the Country over the dire need of the dump which affects us ALL!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      To 6:05 you mean you don’t know who is already involved with privatising of the dump ?oops , well ask john john .

    • Anonymous says:

      hasn’t figured out yet, that when ever you see dart expanding. There is something going on. Here. I will spell it out for you. Dart has already agreed to take on the dump. Why do you think he’s building that double lane highway. cause it’s pretty?
      And guess where he’s putting it. Yup…where it was going to be placed last time. And now, there is nothing you can do about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Dump 1st, There are a few Georgetown businesses who are in the shadows and continue to pressure the government for the pier. Even though the guiding premise of loss of cruise ship business has been proven false they continue for selfish reasons. Conflict of Interest does not exist within the DoT.
      As long as they get their lousy pier, to hell with the dump is their view.

  10. carol huddleston says:

    what are the names of the members of the steeeirng committee?

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Carol , they are the Kirkbothbusters and Aldenmackclowns .

    • Caveat Emptor says:

      Do you mean the same steering committee that hasn’t met for over twelve months that are supposedly directing the project according to CO Stran Bodden?

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Get that DAMN REFERENDUM launched , that is the only thing that would shut them stooges up .

    • Kim Philby says:

      CNS please confirm with the steering committee members their involvement and FOI the minutes over the past 24 months.

      The project has from the beginning been supervised and tightly controlled by Tourism Minister Moses Kirkonnell, Stran Bodden, former PA Board deputy Chairman Gerry Kirkonnell. This group have attended and led all key secret negotiations and discussions off island with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, Carnival Cruise lines and DART on design, construction and financing components of the proposed project.

      The project cannot move forward without the involvement of the DART who must act as a financial guarantor for the project. And the Barkers beach must be developed to accommodate passengers during the first part of the day before they are all returned to the Kirkonnell owned Bay Shore plaza where all transportation is staged. KPMG and PWC authors of the OBC continue to struggle to justify the formula that is being contemplated.

      The RFP process has been a sham from day 1. The winning bidder has been predetermined. The group with Royal Caribbean and Carnival attached to it are the only group that can win the bid. The cruise lines will need to guarantee 2.5 million cruise passengers per annum for the financing model to make sense given the 30 year life of the draft agreement.

      Cruise berthing project Steering committee members:

      Stran Bodden – Chairman
      Max Jones – Project Manager
      Clement Reid – Port Director
      Matthew Tibbetts – Accountant General representative
      Nigel Hernanden
      Gina Ebanks-Petrie – DOE representative
      Attorney General’s representative

      Appendix 2 page 23

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Mr. Philby for this insider information. Government have many questions to answer

      • Anonymous says:

        Glad Mr Jones is project manager as he knows how to get things done and at a lower cost

      • SSM345 says:

        Not only is Barkers going to be developed; its pretty obvious what’s going on with the land grab on SMB by DART; hes now bought all the beachside watering holes to feed and quench them all when they bus them too RP Hemingways Calicoes Timi and Barkers. Wait for the announcement.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If government was smart, is realize that they aren’t and should let Dart build this thing and be done with it. It will be wonderful and great and it won’t cost the gov nothing. Let the gov do it, and they will surely find a way to bankrupt it with endless costs.

    Who’s going to run a project like this? The MLA’s? LOL!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Dart and the Chinese will do a wonderful job and save us a lot of money. Plus we can keep the Chinese company here to do all kinds of work at a way cheaper price than these local companies. I am all for it and can not wait to see them get it done.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is a sick remark. What do we need all those Chinese here for to take all the rest of our jobs?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right – “it won’t cost the gov nothing.” It WILL cost us all PLENTY!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lol, Stran should have taken a sick day.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just please get it built. Ignore the tenderbots and the commentators on the tender payroll.

    • Anonymous says:

      “The tender payroll”, this is hilarious

      The tender lobby is known for being the most powerful economic group in the islands
      What a joke

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are we a lovely, friendly country with a beautiful natural environment or are we becoming a theme park with parking for big boats?

  15. Anonymous says:

    perfect example of why cayman cannot go independent…..cig cannot get this done…
    they can’t even run a parking machine at the airport!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    10 years later…. still at square one………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps in order to achieve perfection, future capital projects should be handled by the many experts in the media.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Governor Choudhury must fully investigate this project. The Auditor General must now open up a full investigation into these matters starting with Minister Moses Kirkonnell, Stran Bodden and claims that the steering committee which has not met for a year are directing the cruise dock project.

  18. Call 911 says:

    If it’s proven that Chief Officer Bodden lied at PAC what will the DG and Auditor General do about it?

    Why is the Chief Officer Bodden misrepresenting facts to a standing committee of the LA?

    Why is everything about this port project riddled in subterfuge and the government seemingly desperate to bankrupt the country with a project we do not need while comfortable with destroying the seven mile beach which is the main tourism attraction?

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Call 911 , it’s an emergency you understand that the bigger the project is the better chances of bigger bonus , and bigger campaign donation will be . I don’t care what happens after, that’s their mentality .

    • Anonymous says:

      You ask why is Chief Officer Bodden misrepresenting facts to a standing committee of the LA????? Select which answer you think is right from the list below:
      He thinks he can get away with it.
      He is following a tactical plan.
      He knows the true facts are worse than the misrepresented facts.
      He thinks the AG and Ezzard believe every word he says.
      He is doing a trial run as a kamikaze pilot for the port project.

    • Anonymous says:

      . . .so Dart can then take over the Country when it goes Bankrupt? His Mission almost accomplished?

  19. West Bay Premier says:

    I believe that these people who are talking about building a cruise ship pier , are the most ARROGANT and BRAZEN people on the Island . After knowing that the majority of the people are against it , and a referendum against it is in the works , and they still are talking about Consultants and moving the pier into deeper water .
    I think that the headline should have said “cruise ship pier plans has died” and the rest of the page blank .

  20. Anonymous says:

    Build the Port. Read the biller/paw report.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      9:33pm , your comment did better than mine , you got 41 thumbs down , and I only got 38 thumbs-up , I am pissed .

  21. Anonymous says:

    We can’t even keep our airport parking ticket machines running.

  22. West Bay Premier says:

    By the time this government finish wasting money on consultants, they would’ve wasted enough money to have built 2 cruise ship piers .

    • Anonymous says:

      If only you knew how much they waste! The money spent on the dump consultants is staggering and we have literally NOTHING to show for it!

      • Lo-Cal says:

        That’s just how politicians and their supporter steal from the people. Don’t you know anything! sheesh.

    • Anonymous says:

      But it has been the same for every government.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m ashamed of how the government is dealing with this. I thought a government of independents was going to be terrible because they wouldn’t accomplish anything but this unity government -going against the wishes of the majority of the population and destroying our environment in the process for the almighty dollar – is WORSE.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Always amaze how these people act it the LA. Lame comments, drama queens with smirks and remarks. I can’t believe there getting paid to play….

  25. Anonymous says:

    Slow motion train wreck #28.

  26. Speak Now says:

    Why does the Cayman Islands Government require so many consultations yet never seem to take the advice given? I wonder who our Government officials consult with each morning for their breakfast and wardrobe choices. They sure as hell don’t seem to be capable of many other decisions.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Stop wasting our money on this foolishness immediately!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Referendum you cowards! If you are so sure Cayman wants it, a referendum will prove your point. Brexit style, I feel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except with something so important, unlike Brexit, it has to gain at least a 69% of the population wanting it for it to go ahead.

  29. Anonymous says:

    No matter what project the Cayman Government undertakes there will be opposition. The larger the project the more difficult it is to understand, therefore it attracts opposition as people do not like anything they do not clearly comprehend. Cayman has talked about building a dock since 1984, yet all we do is look at this with the most pessimistic and negative view. I like the “Many local experts”. Kind of reminds me of those people who said we do not need the Master Ground Transportation plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least allow the information to the public so we can have a chance to see what this dock is going to be. Just from what I’ve heard with this $250M price tag and the environmental damage alone makes it too costly.

      Just put bigger engines on the tenders and zip those people ashore faster. There, saved the govt at least $245M haha.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah that makes sense….the Trump line, the man with an IQ of 90 or 95 telling everyone else they are too dumb to understand. Just for your simple mind I can summarize for you. 1. We don’t need the port, current system works well, don’t fix what ain’t broken. 2. We can’t afford it. 3. Ruining seven mile beach will ruin all Caymans tourism product.

    • SSM345 says:

      What you don’t get is that 3/4 of the people involved don’t have a scooby what they are doing; others do and they are in it fir financial gain. Those involved fail consistently at the projects they embark on and you are backing them on the largest in our Country’s history whilst they tell us nothing? Open up your eyes. This will affect everyones life; we have a right to know what the f**k is going on. There are living examples around you of the extract same plan and project; have a read about Falmouth Jamaica. People like you are going to be the same ones screaming and crying if this goes ahead because you too stupid to see past the end of your own nose.

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