DG silent on ethics law but welcomes report

| 14/01/2019 | 25 Comments
same-sex civil unions, Cayman News Service

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has developed a comprehensive national framework to prevent fraud and corruption, according to Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who welcomed the Office of the Auditor General’s report on the subject made public last week. But in a press release issued on Friday, he said nothing at all about the OAG’s main criticism, the failure of the administration to implement the Standards in Public Life Law, which was first passed more than three years ago.

While Manderson welcomed the more positive findings in the audit results about progress made, he accepted more still needed to be done, while avoiding any explanation about the missing ethics law.

CNS contacted the offices of the governor, the deputy governor and the premier about the missing legislation and the continued delay, but no one has responded to our questions so far.

Auditor General Sue Winspear stressed in her report that government needs to implement the Standards in Public Life Law because it would fill the gap in the increasingly comprehensive anti-fraud and corruption regime. However, the deputy governor focused on the positive findings of the report and dodged that significant issue.

“As the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) itself has recognised, the civil service has instituted a zero tolerance approach to corruption and has a proven track record of referring cases of corruption to the Anti-Corruption Commission,” Manderson said.

“Over the years we have implemented a range of legislation and established government bodies to help us protect the integrity of the service. These findings provide an opportunity for us to continue to evolve our response to this challenge which every jurisdiction faces to ensure that we are as effective as possible.”

Manderson accepted that the measures the government has put in place do not mean the Cayman Islands is completely free from fraud and corruption but he pointed to government’s additional efforts to combat the problem.

He said the accountant general was now responsible for coordinating a review of the Anti-Fraud Policy by chief financial officers annually or within 30 days of any significant organisational change. Following each review, the leading government accountant will report back on the outcomes and any proposed changes to ensure the policy is regularly updated, the deputy governor explained.

Also underway is the formation of an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, a proposal to seek Cabinet’s support to extend the Anti-Fraud Policy to statutory authorities and government-owned companies, and more anti-fraud training. Manderson said that government was also exploring the possibility of increasing the list of designated authorities to which whistle-blowers can turn, as recommended by the auditor in her report.

Planning Director Haroon Pandohie commented on Winspear’s findings in the report where she highlighted the vulnerabilities of planning decisions to corruption and conflict, especially regarding the Central Planning Authority and the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Development Control Board.

“We are always seeking ways to improve the work we do and the service we provide to the people of the Cayman Islands,” he said. “The recommendations made by the OAG to strengthen processes have been considered and taken on board. We’ve started the work of developing the necessary policies and procedure, and will continue to encourage and support the Central Planning Authority and the Development Control Board in their efforts to improve transparency.”

Winspear’s comments about planning and the concerns that the CPA membership is heavily weighted towards the construction sector as well as its failure to be transparent about how it makes decisions have been made by most of her predecessors. While planning meetings are now open to the public and decisions published in a relatively timely manner, how those decisions are made remains under wraps.

Although the make-up of this all important board has been criticised several times, the previous planning minister nevertheless reappointed the owner of the largest hardware store on the island as chair and the owner of a leading metal construction company as deputy chair, even after direct recommendations from the previous auditor general in 2016 that they should be replaced.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mostly rubbish comments. First the Governor DG or the AG have no responsibility or power to pass legislation or bring legislation into the force. Those are matters for the elected Government.

    The Civil Service has improved leaps and bounds under the DG leadership.

    We asked for a zero tolerance towards corruption and for the past few years we have witnessed numerous arrests and terminations.

    Thank you DG. Some of us are not jealous.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Zero tolerance against corruption in all its forms? BULLSHIT!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you DG. I have seen major improvement in our civil service since your appointment.

      Yes I am proud civil servant.

      Uncivil – stop being jealous of the DG and the Civil Sevice many successes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which agencies of government are about to build 10 separate government buildings in Cayman Brac?

      • Anonymous says:

        Any luck with investigations as to certain cabinet status grants, fronting, carepay, gasboy, magic condo ownerships, private use of public open space… ???

        At best, the civil service not seem to recognize corruption when it slaps it in the face and then sits stinking under its nose for years.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @ Shibli – “Thousands” of scientists? Thousands really? Serious bro lay off the sauce.

    • Anonymous says:

      That Jesus juice is some strong stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking of sauce…4 comments in under 6 minutes, not even under the comment concerned…if you’re going to comment obsessively, at least do it in the right spot.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Yes but George Bush and his evil friends had just perpetrated the most wicked false flag of all time” – Umm I’m an American and the stars and stripes were the stars and stripes long before Bush was around you moron. Go peddle your racists agenda somewhere else and leave truly peaceful people alone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey Shibli, why are you accosting CNS about the twin towers and who brought it down when :

    1. Was never brought up by CNS.
    2. Was mentioned by Anony @ 12:06.
    3. You are proving yourself just a bitter little troll over something that bears no relation to the story other then Bush’s quote.

    Like you said.. Truth always wins.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh another conspiracy theorists. Al-Queda brought those towers down jackass.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Vote Franz 2021!

  8. UnCivil Servant says:

    The nice guy routine is over DG.
    Please do your job with the same vigour as the DG’s 5K event. The implementation of the standards in public life law speaks to the heart of systemic corruption. Honest people should embrace it and the DG, Premier, Cabinet and Governor’s Office must have done without further delay.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We all know why he’s silent. Shuffling his cards.

    • OLD Caymanian Captain says:

      I believe that what is needed is for the general population needs to march in protect for release of the intimidation of all Civil servants rights . Then AG will do what is necessary to be compliant.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get how anyone could reasonably absolve Manderson from fault when looking at the flaws within the CS, He has been in charge for years, they have had plenty of time to make adjustments

    Sure improvements have been made but that does not mean that we ignore the shortcomings of our CS

    Changes need to be made, or someone else needs to be put into the position its as simple as that
    Some people believe their names are carved into the chairs and desks they sit in

  11. Anonymous says:

    I guess the response will be ” cockroach has no business in rooster fight.

  12. Anonymous says:

    DG doesn’t want to be under personal inspection, or on the hook for what are the conflicts as usual. The mute Attorney General and Judiciary probably don’t want this Law enacted either. The Crown-appointed Governor, needs to bootstrap sufficient confidence in his power and station to see that this is an oppressive conspiracy against public interests and good governance within a British Overseas Territory under his supervision. How can anyone pretend to be presiding confidently over this ongoing sham?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Haroon I realise that changing of the guards on the planning board is beyond your remit but in regards of good government policies perhaps you could pass on Ms. Winspear’s concerns to the Minister. Perhaps it is time to change the board.! Aren’t you unhappy that the department that you manage could be running amuck Just asking.

    • Anonymous says:

      As for Cayman Brac…..what is that crap going up at the bottom of the Bluff Road, South Side. Cannot possibly be approved by planning….

      • Anonymous says:

        You are asking the man who allowed two homes in South Sound to build dangerously to the edge of the road.
        No setback, no sidewalk, no good planning.

  14. Anonymous says:

    George Bush once said: “If you are not with us, you are against us.”

    His position was clear.

    It is time the Caymanian public (and the Governor) demand the same clarity.

    Is the CIG for or against corruption in all its forms? A clear answer and position is expected from you Franz.

    • David Shibli says:

      Yes but George Bush and his evil friends had just perpetrated the most wicked false flag of all time when he and his monstrous cohorts brought down the Twin Towers.
      Thousands of scientists, yes CNS, scientists have since processed the evidence and concluded that the government narrative is untenable.
      CNS, can I ask you a simple public question? Do you champion the truth or do you champion an agenda?
      Let’s have this one out. Truth always wins.

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