CS bosses to face PAC over slow progress

| 11/01/2019 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service

Public Accounts Committee in session

(CNS): Senior civil servants in the ministries of community affairs and health will be in the hot seat next week when they appear before the Public Accounts Committee for a hearing on a report published by the Office of the Auditor General in October. The report examined how far various government entities had come following recommendations in other reports by the independent audit team. The two areas where at best limited progress had been made were social welfare programmes and revenue collection. But there are also on going problems with the health services.

PAC will be meeting at the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, when officials from the Ministry of Community Affairs will be grilled on the long-awaited development of a strategy to handle social assistance programmes.

The auditors found in the October report that since the report about welfare programmes was published back in May 2015, very little progress had been made, leaving questions about value for money, as it is still not clear that everyone who needs help is getting the help they really need or that the financial support given to families in need is helping them as intended.

One of the major criticisms that has emerged in audits of the Needs Assessment Unit and other areas of social welfare is that government has still not implemented any measurable objectives for the social assistance programmes.

PAC is also expected to grill senior government bean counters from the health minister about the multitude of issues in that ministry’s budget.

See the report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Boy oh boy, a lot of, a certain ministry, staff are busy commenting on this article! Too late now to try and bury the mess!

  2. Anonymous says:

    A deep clean of civil servants.
    Mmmm I can hear them shaking.

  3. Anonymous says:


    • Tell it like it is says:

      Dear people, there have been so many failings in the Health Ministry that is nigh time that something concrete is done to turn this Ministry around. Let us start with looking at the Management, the strategists and the roles they have played , the controversies they have been named in. Doesn’t this all tell you that there is a serious level of incompetence that permeates through it all.

      There is no other way to put it than get rid of the Chiefs who are allowed to continue the mayhem and cover themselves with a cloak of indifference ; their lack of knowledge and substance being most evident by the circumstances that abound and evergreen issues.

      I say cut cut cut and recruit professionals from cayman and everywhere else that will fix this situation and will once and for all provide true value to the people of these Islands. Do it now don’t wait four more years.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    civil service incompetence is never ending….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Throwing more staff at a problem is not always the best fix. We need innovation. I have been impressed with the changes I have seen at CIG hopefully NAU will be added to that list soon.

    I will also be watching for signs of bullying. And yes I am a voter!

    • Anonymous says:

      Kind of strange that asking questions and expecting truthful answers are being mistaken for bullying. No figeting, just tell the truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      5;27. Normally that is true. But I have never seen a woman go into nervous shock and have to be taken to the hospital because she was asked a few questions.

      PAC needs to clean up its act. It was off to a great start but everything went down hill after that.

      We will be watching and voting.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:55, the reason we witnessed that pretent health issue was because the truth was being exposed!!!! Instead of be caught in a lie, the fake health scare was performed.

        If your mindset is the majority of the voters, no wonder we are in this mess!! Smfh.

      • Caymanite says:

        She only went into shock because she wasn’t qualified for her position. Just like the CFO at Airport Authority who I hope soon appears in front of the PAC.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please. PAC must dig and get to the truth as to why some of these departments are performing so badly.

      Nothing to do with “bullying”. You claim to be a voter! Well hell, you should want accountability!!!! Idiot.

  7. Anonymous says:

    PAC..we will be watching next week. We expect professionalism and constructive dialogue. Not another witch hunt.

    Mr Chairman we are expecting you to protect the witnesses especially any women from abuse.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize these people are being brought back into the PAC because they made commitments to the PAC and have been given a year to comply and still have not made the adjustments

      The PAC is not meant to be a talk shop or a comments box for the civil service
      For too long they have been mired in their own inadequacies and shortfalls

      Their recommendations are meant to be followed through with, and sworn testimony to the PAC is subject to perjury for a reason
      Their oversight is necessary for good governance, look at the improvements in accounts since the committee was revamped under Mr Miller in 2009

      The only people who have an issue with the PAC doing their jobs (as these committees do throughout the developed world) are civil servants who abhor oversight and accountability

      You want to do things your way with no oversight, go into the private sector, or comply with our checks and balances your choice

      • Anonymous says:

        4:04. You are conveniently missing the point. The Civil Servants I know have no problem appearing before a professional PAC. The operative word being professional.

        But when civil servants are set up to fail by the questions asked at the PAC and sent into nervous shock. We the voters have a problem with that and will not tolerate it.

        The PAC treatment of women has been a issue for the last 2 years.

        The PAC really hurt its reputation by asserting that a answer which started with the word “ I believe but I can’t say for certain” was an attempt to mislead the PAC. Shame on you.

        P. Politicians
        A. Against
        C. Caymanians

        I will be watching and voting in 2021. All we are asking for is professionalism and fairness.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes because as long as you preface a statement with ” I believe but I cant say for certain” you can get away with saying anything according to your logic correct?
          There are processes for allowing someone who is uncertain or entirely unaware of the answer to a question to avoid any accusations of misleading or perjuring themselves
          Quite simply if Ms Ahearn was unaware of the answer to a question she could have easily said as many before her have ” I am currently unaware of the answer but I will commit to promptly getting the committee the answer in writing”
          So I don’t want to hear any horseshit rationalizations regarding her convenient caveats which turned out to be her cover for a patently false statement to the PAC.

          As for your professionalism issue

          The civil service… calling for professionalism


          Don’t you people have some month old trash somewhere to go pretend to pick up?

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t believe that Chief Officers should be allowed to waffle their way through questions with a “I believe but don’t know for sure.” It is weak and meaningless, to say the least, and totally a waste of valuable time. Appearing before the PAC is not a game.

            First, chief officers are paid to know what is happening in their ministries; and
            Second, they should be experienced enough to know how to respond appropriately when they do not know answers: Admit their lack of knowledge, apologise, and offer to provide the answer in a timely way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chief Officers need the same level of public scrutiny as politicians, maybe even more. Chief Officers legally have the power, staff and the money, Ministers don’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only aim of some chief officers is who gets paid more and who acts for deputy governor. Some are totally useless, but they think they are high and might. They can’t make it in the real world of law firms, but they want the same kind of money.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The main issue is the management team at NAU. Conveniently no one at the PAC wants to acknowledge this. I wonder why?

    Staff are leaving the NAU because of poor leadership and favouritism.

    More staff is not needed. We just need better leadership and for staff to come to work and perform.

    Lets reform the department, change procedures and make the department work for the customer.

    I know its hard for an accountant to run a social department. Try harder, accept responsibility and stop the blame game.

    • WAn says:

      Waw! Sounds like the Accountant got the job over you and you’re still whining.. .

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually public assistance is now ran much better under the Needs Assessment Unit than under Social Sevices and the people complaining are those that are use to getting hand outs without checks and balances. Maybe there needs to be a closer look at the real problem that continues under the new Chief Officer. Seems the problem is actually at a higher level and the Deputy Governor and Auditor General need to take a closer look at the Ministry as they are in charge of policy and strategy.

  9. Say it like it is says:

    Can CNS obtain attendance records for all the MLA’s for 2018 and publish it?

    CNS: Keeping track of which MLAs attend what meetings is among the many things we would do if we had a bigger staff (which is a total of three, by the way). As it is we just have to prioritise.

    • Say it like i is says:

      CNS I realise you all have a lot on your plate, but could this not be answered by a written request to the Clerk of the Assembly?. If I made a request it would be ignored.

      CNS: It’s actually a good question for Auntie – I’ll pass it on. Did you mean the LA sessions or PAC meetings?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Needed a laugh for the weekend ????

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does it seem to anyone else that we have too many slackers in too many parts of our government?

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