Four senior staff fired from port

| 27/08/2018 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands security

(CNS): The acting director at the Cayman Islands Port Authority has confirmed that four senior Caymanians have been let go because PACI had to “restructure its resources”. Joseph Woods released a short statement to the media Monday stating that four people had been terminated without cause but had been given a certain notice period. It is not clear if all of these management posts are being scrapped or whether the individuals will be replaced at a later date, but Woods said it was in order to meet challenges faced by the port and allow it to still deliver the services required. 

However, according to the minutes from last month’s board meeting, the directors approved the hiring of 20 new people by the authority and they are also seeking a new systems analyst.

In clarifying the terminations, Woods confirmed that the people holding the posts of deputy director and chief human resources officer, deputy director and chief commercial officer, deputy director and chief operating officer, and operations and events manager were the ones let go. He confirmed that all four are Caymanians but he did not name the individuals. With the authority admitting that there is no cause for the terminations, Woods has attributed the move to challenges in meeting services and restructuring the resources.

This latest indication of trouble at the port comes while the director, Clement Reid, remains suspended from his post and the subject of an internal inquiry relating to a major mismanagement of resources.

Reid was suspended from the top job in May after a report was made public that detailed the financial scandal about unauthorised and over-spending, questions about how people were hired and other irregularities.

The news of the loss of these four senior workers follows the news that another senior manager, who was not included in the four sacked on Friday, was cleared of sexual harassment allegations. Falling short of accusing the nine women who complained of making malicious allegations, a report by the Internal Audit Service (IAS) described the complaints as “suspect”. The internal inquiry did, however, conclude there was an unhealthy work environment at the authority as a result of the behaviour of the senior manager, who remains in post.

Despite collecting significant fees from both the cruise and cargo operations, PACI has had a long history of financial fluctuations. Just a few years ago the auditor general raised concerns about the viability of the authority, but by 2015 it had turned things around and delivered a modest surplus. It recently invested some $5.5 million in costly new equipment for its land-side cargo holding area, which it was supposed to fund from its own resources.

Questions about the management of the port all come at a time when opposition is growing to government’s proposal to construct two cruise ship piers off George Town, which would be the country’s largest ever capital development project.

If the project does go ahead, it will be overseen and later managed in coordination with the port authority.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why was this mess allowed to happen in the first place? The Board of Directors must have been aware of the entire situation from at least 2016. If not, then they are the most incompetent Board ever. Go figure, as you havent heard a statement from them but instead they now put Mr. Woods out on the firing line. Soon you will hear congratulations from the Ministry on what a great job the Board has done in cleaning up the mess (operational and financial) that they alone created since 2015. Unfortunately, it will take years to put the operations of the port back to how it was 5 years ago.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    classi civil service ‘restructuring’…4 out and 20 in…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Joe look like your doing something with the shit house you have. Good luck and blessings

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the acting Port Director is cleaning house. A real breath of fresh air.

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    • shagger says:

      Congratulations Joseph Woods! Job well done. But yah have a few more loyalists to the defunct CEO and his personal aide (who is already gone) that must be shown the front door. It’s unfortunate for the Port Authority to lose Leo Anglin, a man if integrity and high moral standards, who could have made a huge difference in Operations. Time to sturdy the good ship, Port Authority. For a while there, it appeared that the Ship had lost the captain and the crew were asleep!!!!! Keep up the good works old boy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes there seems to be more that needs to go as well. They believe that the Port Authority can not run with out them. As stated in the AG report there is still on Deputy there is is way way over paid and was also promoted during the reign of the Director before his suspension so what’s going to happen about him. I’m sure that the Board knows of this and why haven’t they dealt with them yet. I’m hoping it soon will happen. Clip their wings and bring them down to size. Mr. Woods as most of Cayman knows that you have a great heart and that all these decisions was not of your doing as you im sure are only following orders from the Board. Don’t take it personally your just doing your job.
        As for Mr. Anglin he has just been there for a short while and I’m sure that Law enforcement is thick in his blood and this opportunity has come for him to go back to what he loves and with that congrats Mr. Anglin on your new appointment and I hope you make a difference with protecting our borders.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How could all this happen? Sounds to me like they need a new board

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Tum Tum Tum Tum Tumssss!!!! Finally getting rid of the massive bloat in our public and civil service agencies!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    A cruise port fir the Brac??? Now I KNOW we definitely need a referendum for this!!

    Everyone knows that Brackers wont/dont want to work either building this Brac port or working at it once it is complete. Which means that all of the labour will be imported. Is that what Cayman Brac wants? 2,000 more poor expats clogging up their relaxed island? Think of the increased wait to see a dentist or doctor.

    Right now Brackers work 3 hours and get paid for the full day. They love that lifestyle. Why would they want to change? Unless, like i mentioned earlier, u bring in somebody else to do the work.

    Also, when is the updated National Development Plan coming out? Its only 21 years overdue…

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for Run Down 2019 the show by all accounts would be longer…..just saying…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Lord Bless Dsn Dougsy, many years ago when he reported the gross failings of the Port Authority and the Board members he was attacked by Mac and his butchers.

    He was correct in every way

    And the problems still continue…with the Club in charge

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The public service is finally following the civil service lead.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow and these are the people we should trust to invest 200+ million in two cruise piers. The same Ministry where it is reported there are substantial overruns on the Owen Roberts project like some 30+%. Today the announce Cayman Airways flying to Denver in order to justify the four new jets that we cannot afford subsidy this year 23+ million.
    So much for world class civil service and by the way where is the Russian that was investing so much money in the Brac to save their economy.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    classic civil service…..
    and we got rid of a governor who wanted to tackle this incompetence……welcome to wonderland.
    time for more awards franz!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      8;25 your lack of basic knowledge is staggering. The Port is not part if the civil service. If it was the hiring spree and nepotism would never have occurred.

      Remember if you have nothing good to say you may wish to remain silent.

      Thank you Port Board for finally stepping up. Thank you Mr Woods for doing the right thing. I hope those that have been fired have learned a valuable lesson.

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      • Anonymous says:

        the port is part of the civil service…if you are not in the private sector…you are a civil servant.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Civil Servant and Public Servant are similar but different.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Section 2 of the Public Service Management Law:

          “civil servant” means a person employed by the government”

          “civil service” means the group comprising all civil servants”

          “public servant” means a person employed by a civil service entity or an employee of a statutory authority or government company”

          “public service” means the civil service and employees of statutory authorities and government companies”

          Civil service = Cayman Islands Government
          Public service = Cayman Islands Government + Statutory Authorities + Government Companies

          There is a still wider definition of public official which includes a public or governmental body, including any statutory body or company or association in which the Cayman Islands has an interest and which performs a public function or duty, and any organisation or person carrying out a public function or duty, including the Governor, except where the nature of their act is private, but excludes private schools, churches, the Legislative Assembly and the courts. That definition comes from section 28 of the Constitution.

          There are civil servants on secondment to public authorities. There are public servants on secondment to the civil service. There are hundreds of persons who work in the private sector who become public officials when they act in a capacity such as sitting on a board or tribunal. There are organisations you might think of as private that qualify as public officials when performing a public function or duty.

          Essentially, it is not as simple as you say; not at all. The tone of your comment suggests you think that it is not only correct but obviously so and only someone unintelligent or uninformed would think otherwise. I am glad to have been able to educate you today.

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          • Anonymous says:

            wow…. so there are two types incompetent, lazy, unqualified workers who are both paid by government.
            thanks for telling us what we already knew.

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            • Anonymous says:

              And yet you implicitly trust those incompetent, lazy, unqualified workers when you drink tap water, drive on the roads, fly into or out of the airports, fly Cayman Airways, prepare for bad weather, call 911, use an elevator, eat food at a restaurant, take someone to court, should I go on? The fundamental functions of a government to collect revenue and use it to do things for everyone that they could not do for themselves are carried out by Caymanians, and Cayman functions. It’s the special stuff that’s new to this territory which has 8 times the population it did 60 years ago that we struggle with, and why wouldn’t we? That’s what we have you guys for, and you get one of the highest standards of living in the world out of it. So get that chip off your shoulder; be thankful you’re not a taxi driver somewhere you visit using your tax-free income who’s never heard of the Cayman Islands. You’re lucky to be here and, if you’re a decent, kind person off this website, we’re lucky to have you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Complete BS 9:32 but I suspect you are one of these not worth arguing with…the kind that keep calling our talk shows and spouting total garbage and embarrassing the rest of us Caymanians. But here goes, public servants in the public service (statutory authorities etc) are hired, fired and managed by completely different laws and regulations than civil servants.

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      • Say it like it is says:

        6.52am you just have to be a Caymanian and a civil servant as you really live in a world of make believe. I have lived here for nearly 50 years and for the whole of that time the Civil Service has been vilified by the real world private sector for it’s overstaffing and nepotism. The real world is not about saying something good, it’s about admitting the truth.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Moses: merge the Port Authority with the Airports Authority and create one Ports Authority?

    You could save on manpower and benefit from the synergies of executing joint development projects.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Civil Transportation Authority

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    • Anonymous says:

      One of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. There would be no synergies. You would have the same situation happening now with OfReg, the Ombudsman, and WORC: more chiefs than indians. All you’d be doing is taking the same structures already in existence, demoting the Port and Airport Directors to Deputy Director – Seaports and Deputy Director – Airports, putting a ‘Director of the Ports Authority’ over them and then managers and internal communications people all throughout the hierarchy of the new entity to make it work, and it wouldn’t work. Never mind the fact both authorities have international regulations they have to implement and comply with and they’re completely different. Would you like to be responsible for tender boats and taxi drivers as well as TSA-level screening, cargo operations, cruise arrivals, cruise berthing, airport renovation…god my brain hurts just thinking about this. No, no no no. No more ideas from you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        4:58pm:

        You are one of those pea-brained persons that will not learn because you keep reciting garbage based on status quo.

        OfReg, etc mergers were executed exactly as you have highlighted THUS the reason why those entities will face challenges. However, many mergers occur daily in private business for the better of all concerned.

        All of the points that you have argued are in fact the very things that should NOT happen with such a merger.

        People like you are a politician’s dream – shoot down everything, do nothing, make no difference.

        Travel this big wide world a bit more, open your mind, learn first and then engage your mouth.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, the goal of a merger should be synergy, which I learnt in business studies class in such simple terms as 2+2=5. I am sorry to disappoint you but I am well acquainted with the culture and operations of both organisations and I can tell you that their problems would multiply if combined, not go away, and their responsibilities would require the internal divisions I outlined, just like the other entities I mentioned.

          I do not believe in the status quo at all; my brain is much larger than the size of a pea; I have travelled the big wide world; and taking into account my beliefs, the size of my brain and my travelling, a merger between the CIAA and PACI would still, in my view, be an unmitigated disaster.

          • Anonymous says:

            5:18pm.

            All that you continue to recite further convinces that you are status quo.

            You may think that you “know” those 2 organisations but try again and change your glasses this time.

            If you really understood the potential benefits of such a merger you would not continue to recite such negativity.

            Try flying west on JAL or Cathay Pacific next time.

            It will do you good.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Time to stop hiring Caymanians who cannot be relied on and get foreigners with experience and hire them on two year renewable contracts. The whole of Government is collapsing under the weight of Caymanians unable to perform. They cannot all be moved to the Protocol Office or OfReg.

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    • Anonymous says:

      sad but true. only when we can have a honest discussion on the incompetence of the local workforce, can we start addressing the issues.

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  14. Annon says:

    So what about that other top paid Safety manager job that was about the same time as the Commercial officer? That was Reid’s best friend that got the position wasn’t it?

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  15. Annon says:

    Now to head back to the Airport because with this new Management its a circus there.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    God help us fire 4 and hire 20

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m guessing by reading that AG’s report what those 4 salaries were was enough to pay 20 young people to work and then some. Do the math…

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  17. John Smith says:

    Just more government incompetence and mismanagement…… and possible theft.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Will I still have to spend all day to pick up a few boxes?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Now on to investigate the NRA and their shenanigans! Are board members micromanaging employees into doing work? If so, for whose properties?

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  20. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Reading the board mins

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

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  21. Da Wha Yu Get says:

    The Port Authority is a mess and run like a circus at the ministry level by Moses Kirkonnell and his team.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please bring Mr. Hurlston back. What a mess the port has become since he was let go………..

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      • Anonymous says:

        This will not happen because Mr Hurlston didn’t subscribe to the micromanagement and was vocal that he was running the PA in accordance with the Port and the international laws. If the top persons want something different, put it in writing! Oh Lawd, they got pissed off and didn’t renew his contract! But rather gave the reigns to a lackey who has now imbarassment the staff and Caymanians on a whole.

        Mr Hurlston wasn’t a generous but he didn’t have any personal interest in the port business and could be objective although he had a scarce personality! Businesslike at all time!!

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  22. anonymous says:

    How many more deputy directors and chiefs have they still got feeding in the trough. No shortage of Caymanians to fill these “jobs” created for them, inflated salaries, business trips and expense allowances, not to forget the company car.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like they are eligible to apply for the 20 new positions.

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