Auditor urges CIG to implement ethics law

| 11/01/2019 | 62 Comments
Cayman News Service

Auditor General Sue Winspear attends a PAC meeting chaired by Ezzard Miller (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): The auditor general has urged the government to implement the Standards in Public Life Law in order to plug the gap in the public sector’s anti-corruption regime. In the latest audit from her office to be made public, “Fighting Corruption in the Cayman Islands”, Sue Winspear assessed the national framework for fraud and corruption and used planning as a case study to see how well the government is doing at battling the scourge of corruption. Despite finding that progress has been made, the report said that Cayman is still at risk. Winspear identified a number key issues, such as the failure to implement the ethics law and a need to reshape the Central Planning Authority to cut the risks of foul play.

“The Cayman Islands now have a wide range of laws that contribute to the fight against corruption, including the Anti-Corruption Law,” Winspear said. But she urged government to bring the Standards in Public Life Law into force and to focus on doing this quickly, as the law was passed more than four years ago.

The audit also found that the arrangements in place for preventing fraud and corruption in the planning sector still need work. She urged the government to diversify the membership of the CPA because, despite recommendations by the Office of the Auditor General some three years ago, the make-up of the board is still weighted heavily towards developers and those in the construction sector, leaving the board vulnerable to corruption and perceived conflicts of interest.

She also raised concerns that decisions are still not fully transparent, even though planning meetings have been opened up to the public.

Public Accounts Committee Chair Ezzard Miller said the members would meet on 30 January to review this audit and ask questions of government employees about the issues it raised.

“Despite anti-corruption legislation being introduced and an Anti-Corruption Commission being established, the Cayman Islands continues to experience significant levels of corruption and the perception is that this is more widespread than reported,” he said, adding that he welcomed Winspear’s work in this area.

“As a committee, we are concerned that five years after the Legislative Assembly passing the Standards in Public Life Law, it has still not been brought in to force,” he said. He described this as “unacceptable” because safeguards are needed to ensure that “people involved in public life and are sitting on the boards of public bodies are operating with integrity and honesty”.

Miller repeated his position that if board members of public entities don’t want to abide by the requirements of the legislation, then they should not be appointed.

“We will be asking government officials about this when they appear in front of the committee at the end of January.”

See the OAG’s latest report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (62)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet, not even one voter in the Cayman Islands is brave enough to Petition for Enactment of this Law? What am I missing?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Another reason why they got rid of Governor Choudhury – he did as he was employed to do, started to clean out the dead wood civil servants, was working towards good governance that including implementing the Standards in Public Life Law (DPLL).

    Too many civil servants are afraid that their feeding st the trough of government corruption will finally come to an end.

    Tell Alden when he goes back to his second home in the UK to take Martin the Timid Mouse and Matthew Forbes back with him and leave them with the FCO.

    BRING BACK GOVERNOR CHOUDHURY the Governor who was doing hid job excellently.

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  3. Nekita says:

    And this is why they got rid of the governor…sigh
    I really liked how he came and shook things up in a matter of days / weeks

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Assuming the AG will be ignored, which she will be, then she would be perfectly entitled to approach the Governor and invite the UK government to impose the legislation directly on Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please – don’t hold your breath for Martin the Mouse to do anything! He’s a male version of Helen the Helpless.

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  5. All Our Fault says:

    The PPM’s and Alden’s objective in passing the Standards in Public Life law in 2014 was NOT to improve the standards in public life. Too bad if you didn’t realise that. The objective was simple TO BE ABLE TO SAY – here, there and yonder – they had passed it.
    They know that many of the key people that they had been appointing to Boards couldn’t comply with what the law expects. But the reason those people are there, like on the Central Planning Authority, is because the PPM wants them to be there, just as much as they want to be there. So they put a ‘switch’ in the law which the Cabinet has to turn on for it to come into effect and told their cohorts “No worries!”.
    It’s worked so good that they just played the same trick again. They passed a ‘patch’ for the loophole whereby the developers are robbing the public coffers of stamp duty. And then they announced that while they have the patch for the loophole, they aren’t going to put it on for a year Lol.
    In the meantime, the duties on building materials are kept down even though the construction sector is overheating and the people who they REALLY serve are cleaning up. No Standards in Public Life gonna stop their party.
    And the sad part is that a professional public servant from another country is trying to protect us, the Caymanian public, from the local scoundrels we insist on electing.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    what the lodge says?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Lodge’s days in Cayman are numbered. It is just a matter of time before the full scope of their influence in Cayman politics comes to light. Their demise will begin when the Clintons and Bushes are tried for capital treason. Those of us who follow American politics closely will not be surprised in the least. The people are getting restless and want transparency across the board.
      The only people that fear transparency are criminals, liars and pedophiles.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Do you mean when the Orange Russian is tried for treason? He’s the only one I’ve heard of selling out the USA. Here of courses you have many that have done so, but it’s not against the law.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Hahahaha 11:05pm you don’t know much about US politics. It didn’t just all start with this presidency. Dingdong

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          • Anonymous says:

            @8:53 don’t get them started. The pro and anti-trumpers just don’t know when to stop so please don’t get them started here.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    One of the most positive reports I have read. So much has changed for the better in the civil servants. Even the AG has noted the heroic efforts to root out corruption.

    Well done CIG. Some of us actually see the progress that is being made.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rooting out corruption. By not implementing the Standards in Public Life law that would require disclosure of conflicts of interest. Yeah, sounds about right. Far better than to put the occasional small fish on trial and keep pretending.

  8. "Anonymousir" says:

    “Fighting Corruption in the Cayman Islands” .. how can you fight the corrupt with the corrupt …. the whole government is corrupt … cant fight fire with fire right?

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      What about corruption in the local community? It is huge and mostly unreported because people cannot afford lawyers and the RCIP are frequently not interested.
      And what became of the CIFA investigation? It is almost four years since Webb was arrested. What about the corruption at the Newlands pitch that was identified and reported three years ago? Just how did the auditors not notice the clubhouse cost CI$500 a square foot? And where are the accounts of CIFA for the past five years?

      Finally how could CIFA be granted Charitable status? The whole thing is a farce. The AG would have sorted this lot out years ago. Please will someone do something about if. Football is a major sport here and needs to go back to its roots.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Turkeys do not vote for Christmas.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Why in Sweet Jesus Gods name would we ever do anything like that!?! – Govt. probably

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  11. Anonymous says:

    It appears that about 70% of our leaders are less than honest, and most of the other 30% are afraid of them. How effective has the anti-corruption law been since it was put into effect in 2010? Has any action ever been taken against anyone since then? If so, what was the outcome?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The other 30 percent is the opposition but of course the mighty Alden and his yes men/ women don’t want to hear from them.however most of the opposition are brilliant honest guys. Go get them Ms. Windpeare- shine the light on their darkness.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that Winston Connolly tried to encourage the taking of action. The outcome seems to be the only choice he could make was not to associate himself with the lot of them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Another reason I respect Winston. A man, and friend of great character. We need more politicians like him.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Winston set about to protect those who are capable of helping themselves. That was his downfall.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good-bye-ee! good-bye-ee!
    Wipe the tear, AG dear, from your eye-ee.
    Tho’ it’s hard to part I know,
    You will be tickled to death to go.
    Don’t cry-ee! don’t sigh-ee!
    There’s a silver lining in the sky-ee.
    Bonsoir old thing, cheerio! chin chin!
    Nah-poo! Toodle-oo!
    Good-bye-

    To continue the WW1 theme let’s paraphrase Von Moltke – no AG has ever survived contact with the local government when the AG actually does their job. The FCO should be ashamed.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    1:01 pm u r correct

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Well it was nice knowing you Sue, you were doing a good job up until this point. Wanting to force government to be honest and on the up and up? You madam have overstepped your bounds.

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Our AG is doing a great job and as an auditor takes no prisoners. I take my hat off to her and hope she stays here many years. Cayman has been blessed with some very good AGs over the years. They have tolerated no crap even from our West Bay friends. Believe you me Sue has a tough job but is very resilient and has all the qualities of an outstanding AG.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And she does her excellent job quietly and without the grandstanding media theatrics of at least two of her predecessors.

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        • Anonymous says:

          And with even less result. At least with the grandstanding it might actually embarrass the FCO into doing something.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I am in 1000% agreement Chris, I was just noting the point that because of this, her days of great work maybe over. If she is “punished” because of this, we the people really must stand up, march and protest against this CIG.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we need more foxes to keep an eye on the chicken coop. Corruption, ignorance, lethargy and greed seem to be the order of the day in the good old Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am certain that it was her findings that led to the Port Authority making sweeping changes to stop business as usual .

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  16. The Constitutional Critic says:

    Ezzard admitted today on For the Record that the government wanted to take the opportunity for “constitutional talks” to essentially just increase their powers here. Just as I said as soon as we were told that they wanted to amend the constitution the Government according to Mr Miller was interested in removing or adjusting the Premier’s term limit which according to him the CIG did not end up proposing. But like I said the government also sought to weaken the powers of the governor by getting Sections 80. and 81 of the constitution removed or rewritten these sections are the Governor’s veto power and ability to unilaterally write laws respectively.

    https://youtu.be/NpbHk4jcQ8M

    The CIG has no made any progress on amending Section 125 of the constitution, as the UK will not allow for complete autonomy while we remain under them
    So the CIG used section 125 as the justification for going into the talks and then proceeded to back down from it immediately in search of other amendments.

    The whole idea that they would get any serious concessions as the junior partner in this union was preposterous
    All they did was bolster their own power as miniature tyrants ( in the greek sense of the word)

    So the LA and Cabinet have become even more powerful and nothing else has changed

    Have fun swallowing that pill

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Never going to happen when this Unity Government led by Alden McLaughlin, McKeeva Bush and Moses Kirkconnell. By their actions non have demonstrated a belief in or govern in a manner that proves they want true principles of Transparency and Good Governance to thrive. They are master of nepotism, cronyism whilst demonstrating a level of unparalleled arrogance for anything that questions their authority. They are serving their personal agendas and their masters who control them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing that unites the Unity government is greed. Outside of that, they pretty much hate each other. Sort of like lizards feeding on one another.

  18. Johnny Rotten says:

    CIG need to think about where to house all the criminals prior to passing this bill. I expect a new prison facility will be fully utilised shortly after the passing of this legislation. Hell, we might not have many MLAs and senior civil servants left after the dust settles. This needs to happen, like 25 years ago!

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Sue don’t want a contract extension apparently.

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  20. anonymous says:

    Over the last 40 years how many senior civil servants, politicians and other govenment officials have been convicted of corruption?. Either none of them are corrupt which would make this country unique in the world, or we have a major unresolved problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Those who are in a position to bring the corrupt to face justice, do not have clean hands and step back from doing their duty for fear of being exposed themselves.
      An impartial team of investigators from the U.K. Should be set up by the Governor to hear and follow up on complaints. Only then will those who have been getting away with it for years be brought to justice, fancy lawyers or not.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, there are plenty of fancy lawyers already involved. Some of the corruption could not happen without them.

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      • Say it like i is says:

        5.09pm You have identified the nub of the problem and this applies to the Civil Service and all government related institutions.The bosses will never act on their underlings as they are just as guilty.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, 5:09, like Tempura….but the powerful and the Lodge managed to derail that one and ensure nothing ever came out.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    If the voters were to petition for Enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law, the worst of existing or aspiring past LA would need to retire out of panicked necessity, or face jail, and/or life-changing fines. That’s a stone-cold fact.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is time for a serious spring cleaning in the house. Too many cobwebs and dusty patches. We need to pull back the curtains, open the windows and let the light in where there hasn’t been any in a long time.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget to pull up the carpets and rugs; open all cans to let out the worms and look for cats in all bags too.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Better yet, leave it all in place, add a few gallons of gasoline and a match, collect the insurance money and start a new.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and get questions answered like how Mac can be a neutral speaker but still remain head of his party and continuously pushes his own force in policies, how a Kirkconnell whose family owns a lot of the stores in town can be Minister of Tourism, pushing the island into the most expensive project EVER which will directly benefit those stores and that’s not a conflict of interest? Or why Mac closed down his non-profit just in time to beat the new non-profit laws before they were enforced. A lot needs to be looked into.. A LOT.. and i hope the cockroach in the house has the balls and the fortitude to do his job and uphold his end of the Standards for Public life.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes but they would probably start an advertising campaign at the public’s expense and the usual nitwits will, as always believe the smoke and mirrors.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1:10, the church going part of the electorate, a large group, are too busy trying to prevent gay people, even gay Caymanians, from getting their rights and living contentedly.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    But.. but .. but .. Alden say dey no corruption here!!
    These people do NOT understand what corruption is. Not saying that to be controversial but Cayman has always kept a tight knit circle of those that get and those that do not. It is ALL about who you know, who you are related to and who you’re sleeping with. Not to mention the ‘Lodge’ that we ALL know exists and is mentioned ALL the time….
    I don’t care if you agree or disagree you ALL KNOW this to be true. And I’ve only seen it over the past 28 years that I have been here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Didn’t Legge say something similar and get hounded for it?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Legge was right…..but we all saw how quick Alden went back to advertising with that paper again. Guess Dart gave him his orders and like the little puppy that he is, he went right back to doing as ordered.

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