CSX board violated law over CEO job, finds IAS

| 13/09/2018 | 67 Comments
CSX, Cayman News Service

CSX Chair Anthony Travers and CEO Marco Archer

(CNS): A review undertaken by the government’s Internal Audit Service (IAS) earlier this year into the process surrounding the recruitment of the chief executive officer for the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange in 2017 has found that it was not in compliance with the Public Authorities Law. Nevertheless, the auditors found that the flawed process which resulted in the appointment of former finance minister Marco Archer as the CEO would not have affected that outcome and that the violation of the law stemmed from misunderstandings of the meaning, intent and application of the law.

The audit, which was completed in March, found that the board, which is chaired by local attorney Anthony Travers, had breached five sections of the legislation, which included a failure by the board to consult with the relevant minister before starting the recruitment process and then appointing Archer.

No job description was given to the Portfolio of the Civil Service for review, and when the job was advertised there was no indication of the salary range, nor was the salary ever evaluated by the portfolio, as required by the PAL.

A summary that was drawn up for the board on the candidates misrepresented Archer’s qualifications. No interviews were ever conducted or any other vetting processes, and no short list was ever prepared. The CSX board did not meet but appears to have selected Archer after exchanges of emails, based on CVs and the summary document.

The audit found prejudicial statements in the emails about some of the other four candidates who applied. The board also failed to secure references or conduct any background checks on the former minister, and there was no medical certificate for him even after he had been employed.

“The job advertisement was inadequate, documentation prepared to aid the evaluation of the candidate contained erroneous information and lacked completeness,” the audit found, as the author, Andy Bonner, concluded that the CSX board was not in compliance with sections 24-28 of the law.

“There is a lack of documentation to justify the absence of a short list of candidates, interviews or the creation of a panel report supporting the decision of the members in the selection of the successful candidate,” he found.

The audit unit had recommended that the CSX board commit to comply with the legislation during future recruitment and that the deputy governor implement a system to ensure that existing and new board members receive training to avoid the risk in future of an unsuitable candidate being hired.

The audit was made public after Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller requested a copy some months ago and recently received the document. Miller had raised concerns about the recruitment process for some time, but he told CNS this week that he did not blame the successful candidate.

Miller said he was concerned that the board, like many others, is not following the law, that there is a lack of transparency and no one is being held accountable when things do go wrong. He said that, despite all of the efforts to address the numerous problems regarding oversight of the statutory authorities and government companies, things seemed to be getting worse.

“I am troubled by the boards which are operating ultra vires of the laws,” the opposition leader said. “Often times government checks and balances are just not there. Board members need to follow the law and when they don’t, they need to be sacked.”

See summary of the IAS report in the CNS Library

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (67)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just incompetence, thoughtlessness, ignorance, and ego. It does not even occur to check to see if there are legal requirements or best practices. Sometimes it is intentional corruption, but a lot of this results from everyone being either a dumbass or not really caring.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Now you see why the run a way SAGC’s fought again the Public Authorities Law. Thank you PPM for enacting this Law. Why did Bernie not suport this Law? It protects Caymanians!!

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    • Observer says:

      While I don’t support the notion of appointments without due process, I can understand that at times people feel that when they have a candidate like Marco, with his background, education, training, plus that he is Caymanian, that the outcome of any interview process would result in the same end. (As an aside, by the way, I totally agree that being Caymanian is a plus. We have to do all we can to put our people in place, and support and allow them to grow in jobs.)

      The problem with what happened in Marco’s case, though, is that If this informal selection becomes accepted, we normalize the OfReg situation where we have someone finagling behind the scene, using his power contacts, to get the job that he is not qualified for and for which he would likely not be the best choice.

      So it is not so much about Marco — great guy and I love the fat that he has a job that is equal to his abilities — but it is about being systematic in the way we do business, especially in HR, where jobs are becoming more competitive by the day.

      It is good, too, that these come to light so that we can get across the message that procedures are there and they must be followed. And that the days of entitlement are over. We have gone through too much of that — where opportunities and privileges are passed down in families and to “special” people.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ask his former employers at Mourant how fantastic Marco was. Ask people he neglected while a mla before annointing sainthood on him. The law is the law and all processes should be followed in all hirings as written in the laws of the Cayman Islands.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How can you be so sure that another better-qualified Caymanian didn’t apply for this position? It seems that the board failed to conduct interviews for any of the candidates. This would be unheard of in most organisations.

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    • Truth says:

      He would have been the next Premier if he ad not been set up against Mr. Bryan

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is so much moving and switching jobs in governemnt that nothing gets done. Or maybe that is what they want so we dont discover how little actually is getting done.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Kennet’ – look wha’ ya’ dun cause!!
    Lol!

    – Who

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  4. Anonymous says:

    A “misunderstanding of the meaning, intent and application of the law” by a board chaired by a lawyer usually so keen to explain such things to the rest of us. Priceless.

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  5. Banana Republican says:

    Would Marco Archer hire a Caymanian and not follow the process and intent of the law? His morals and self righteousness would prevent him from doing so. However, here he is as CEO of CSX the beneficiary of political favors and a complete failure to comply with the process and laws that he was adamant had to be passed when Minister of Finance. Only in a banana republic like Cayman are abuses this blatant and accepted as normal.

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  6. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Aldart has shown again and again he does not feel the need comply with the laws and regulations developed over many years by men much smarter than him. He got to go before he gives away everyting

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    • Anonymous says:

      Really want us to believe such learned lawyers did not just ignore the rules for their own will? No wonder they say its a Banana Republic and Absurdistan.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Why create and pass these laws and procedures if they will not be followed. Perhaps Mr. Archer is right for the position, I don’t know but now due to circumventing the law there will always be a shadow of doubt hanging over his head. For goodness let processed flow unhindered and things will work out. Mr. Travers is too smart for us to believe that he did not realise he was not following the law. Why did he think he needed to help it along. why corrupt the system, Marco would have gotten the job or another one. He could have even gone back to the private sector. Now this has done nothing but sully his name. Mr. Travers should now resign, no one can trust him again. Stop mucking up Cayman more than it already is. So sick of all of you who refuse to follow laws and rules. If these people spent as much time doing their jobs as they do plotting and undoing the laws we would really be ahead of the herd!

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    • Anonymous says:

      When you know who the person is that will be hired or that you wish to hire, you have two choices.

      Either you take the simpler and less disengenuious route like in this case, or you waste a lot of people’s time following the provisions of the various laws.

      The most interesting finding in the audit is the board did not consult the responsible Minister on the appointment!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    If the law was broken then this is obviously an issue, but how come nobody seems to apply the same scrutiny when work permit holders are hired by law firms and banks when they circumvent the laws by posting ads with different salary and job description in the paper from what is actually paid for the often already identified permit holder? How come there is not more scrutiny when work permits are given in cases where perfectly capable Caymanians have applied for the job?

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    • Say it like it is says:

      7.46 am we hear this comment ad nauseam. If a qualified and competent Caymanian has applied why would he not be accepted and save the employer thousands of dollars in work permit fees and piles of paperwork and risk losing permits for existing staff for not adhering to their business plan as filed.These whingers should apply to the Civil Service as they all have the prime qualification for a Govt job.

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      • Anonymous says:

        When the laws of this country actually start being applied, and the conduct of law firms and many others is subjected to the scrutiny of a criminal investigation, you will get your answers, one way or the other.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Missa 9:38 where are you from, are you part of the buzzwah or what? It is a known fact that a number of companies prefer to have people of the same caste, the same color, the same country to work with. That is a fact on this Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some politicians and regular people have been calling them out on the work permit malpractice for years , as you should know by now that has never been a priority of this government and past governments. I have heard MLA Suckoo, Miller, Saunders, McLean among others argue this issue and those with the power do not listen but mock them instead. They will go ahead and tweak the law this way and that way and it just gathers dusk and every four years the masses goes out and vote for them over and over. What is wrong with you people, you get the power every four years and you throw it away. Give it to those who are fighting for you and not fighting to store up their treasures by whatever mean necessary.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    PPM = GOVERNMENT WE DISTRUST!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Check out who is running the Credit Union now! Another PPM Loyalist – Pat Estwick.

      Wayne Panton is now head of CIMAs board – another party loyalist

      This is disgraceful and shows that the PPm is no different than their new bedfellows the CdP/UDP

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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe they simply attracted competent persons who have now gone on to other posts based on their obvious qualifications!

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        • HR mgr says:

          Or chose to hire one their own without a open recruitment process. That is a form of corruption that is prevalent in Cayman

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      • Anonymous says:

        This just shows that there are many educated smart people in the PPM. Would you disqualify them just because the are a member of the PPM

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      • Anonymous says:

        Both of the above named persons are very capable Caymanians. I could go on about their qualifications and will leave that to CNS or another post. Are you suggesting that they should be disqualified because of their association with the PPM? How would you like it if you are discriminated against because of your political affiliations (or lack thereof)?

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      • Anonymous says:

        What is disgraceful is your failed attempt to malign these folks who have contributed more to the public service in this country than you would in two lifetimes. Estwick was hired based on her professional qualifications and substantial banking experience in the usual way by a board which has nothing to do with Cabinet. Cabinet would not have been aware of that process. Similarly in relation to Archer, Cabinet would not have been aware of his application and appointment! Indeed, is it not one of the complaints that the “Minister” was not advised or consulted? Yes there may have been internal rules not complied with but you cant criticise Archer for that! He was merely the applicant not the person running the process and you cant deny that he is likely most qualified for the role. Panton on the other hand was appointed by Cabinet yes but not because of their selection but rather I understand based on a recommendation from CIMA itself who were looking for the best person based on their experience of the candidates out there. It is also noteworthy that I believe the only one of these positions that Cabinet had any involvement with – the CIMA Board – is a “voluntary” non management true public service position with only the usual minimal stipends attached and this is only a small fraction of the salaries of MLAs.

        So these folks got where they are based on their own merit not some political favours just as they did in their previous positions and finally from observation it is clear that these folks are loyal to their country first and what is best for its people. I suspect that explains their party affiliation but also some of the publically known disagreements.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Jobs for the boys? The sad thing about this is that next time Travers launches into one of his attacks on the way the overseas media portray the Cayman Islands they can throw this right back in his face. It’s not just his reputation he’s damaged by being involved in this fiasco but the reputation of these islands in general.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic to whitewash this. For every breach a full fresh hire process is necessary otherwise the law will never be put into effect.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The audit was completed in March yet they publish it now? Not a month after the man lost his mother? And only to say that the outcome would have been the same? Leave this man alone, I beg unny.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Why is it so difficult to follow the law? It’s not rocket science. I’m just glad to see that nepotism and cronyism are finally catching up with people who have found themselves in high positions merely because the right person liked them.

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  15. Too much Red Tapes says:

    Too much bureaucracy.. The Red Tapes always slow down businesses, performance and now after Mr. Archer. Congratulations are in order for Archer. They could not have found a more descent and qualified individual for the position.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tony Travers is an incredible businessman and leader. His judgment in choosing Mr. Archer should be applauded not criticized by bureaucrats who don’t know the first thing about the financial services industry.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Likely true about the candidate. However, laws are laws. Sack the chair.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You go, Miller. Someone has to be the watchdog for propriety.

      It takes a lot of fortitude, but you seem to have what it takes.

      Keep trucking.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Too Much Ted Tape, I agree with the sentiments re Mr Archer, but using the excuse of “too much red tape” is dangerous.

      The so-called red tape is there for a reason. If you were at the short end of being deprived of an opportunity because procedures were not followed you might feel otherwise about “red tape.”

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  16. Anonymous says:

    FINALLY! He was not qualified for this job and has made a mess of CSX

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well it looks like fixing your buddy into a cushy job has now come to light. What’s with all the new houses?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You didn’t read it, did you? “Nevertheless, the auditors found….would not have affected the outcome.”

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      • Anonymous says:

        10:31 So you can do everything completely wrong and the auditors will simply whitewash it? Great way to run country?

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Nevertheless, the auditors found that the flawed process which resulted in the appointment of former finance minister Marco Archer as the CEO would not have affected that outcome and that the violation of the law stemmed from misunderstandings of the meaning, intent and application of the law.”

    Nothing is going to happen. This will all get blamed on underlings and lack of communication. Swept under the rug never to be seen again. Funny thing is this was just pure laziness. They simply just had to follow the procedure in the law and still hired Marco.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Cronyism and Nepotism by the PPM to aid a fallen soldier. One of the many who have benefited from the culture of favors for friends

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Marco’s karma coming home to roost.

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    • ppm Distress Signal says:

      Marco’s karma is he lost to a convicted drug dealer that spent time in lock up. That should humble him for an eternity. Disgraceful that Alden breaks the same Public Authorities Law they took pride in saying would fix a broken system.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Marco losing in GT Central was not a poor reflection of him but of the voting populous in that area!

        Make no mistake about it, the Country lost when Kenneth won over him.

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        • Production Manager says:

          Marco’s meltdown on rooster against Jevy showed the country who he really is. That caused him to lose. He is a pompous bully who lacks respect but demands it or else starts the condensending and threatening behavior.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    These private sector boards are a disaster for the public authorities. I say shut them all down and bring them into the Civil Service.

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  21. Crab Claw says:

    Who gives a rip, he is a CAYMANIAN and for now the best person for the job.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The law is the law

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    • Anonymous says:

      Crab Claw, being Caymanian is not a qualification.

      I really like Mr Archer and glad he has the job and hope he does well. But that does not mean that regulations and proper HR practices should be bypassed.

      That is the sort of thing that was happening with the recent debacle with OfReg.

      While it May have resulted in the same end for Marco, failure to observe procedures may become the norm if we keep making exceptions.

      And yes I am a Caymanian but I really don’t like the tone in which some people express their nationalism.

      Everybody who lives here need to toe the line, Caymanian or otherwise.

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      • Crab Claw says:

        HR practices that are written to keep Caymanians out, are not my concern, it is up to the powers that be to insure they are rewritten to open the gates to let our own in, once they are capable and are qualified for those positions.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Moral of the story The PPM takes care of its own elected or un-elected

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Mr Archer it is rumored that your salary is more than that of the Premier. If so, you and the Premire was head-hunters for selected persons who you all claimed were over paid. Can you explain? The Premire basic salary was used as the bench mark against all others.

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