OfReg and CIMA directors top pay of SAGCs

| 05/02/2019 | 82 Comments
Cayman News Service

Sue Winspear, Cayman Islands Auditor General

(CNS): A new report from the Office of the Auditor General has revealed significant disparities in how much staff, bosses and board directors are paid across statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs). The report shows the board chairs of OfReg and CIMA are making $4,500 and $4,000 per month and their directors are also the highest paid, while many board members are not paid at all. The highest paid SAGC staff and bosses are at the Civil Aviation Authority, with key management averaging over $15,500 per month and staff earning just over $9,900 per month.

But the lowest paid staff are those at the NRA, with an average of $2,800 per month, while the lowest paid bosses are at the National Museum. 

In the public interest report, in which Auditor General Sue Winspear and her team make only a few observations about the information and no recommendations, the auditors said the purpose was to collate information on the remuneration of key management personnel over the 18-month period, from 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2017, for the public to see.

Nevertheless, the report points out the lack of standardisation across the SAGCs and a delay in the implementation of the Public Authorities Law, which is designed to pave the way for some parity.

“The remuneration paid to key management personnel varies significantly across the SAGCs, Winspear said in a release about the report. “There is currently no standardised job evaluation system or salary and allowances scale for SAGCs. The Public Authorities Law intends to deliver a standardised pay system but the implementation date for this particular clause in the law has been pushed back to June 2019.”

The 2,743 staff at the 24 SAGCs examined, which is 40% of the entire public sector workforce, earned a total of $249 million during the period reviewed and their 154 bosses were paid around $23.5 million. In addition to the top dollar paid to directors at OfReg and CIMA, the report reveals that 99 other board members were compensated to the tune of $788,000 between mid 2016 and the end of 2017.

“Compensation for board members varies across SAGCs with some providing their services for free while others are paid up to $4,500 a month,” Winspear stated. “Where board members are compensated, the basis differs across SAGCs, with some board members paid a monthly sum while others are paid for each meeting attended.”

Winspear said the report has put factual information in the public domain, which was welcomed by some board directors.

Wayne Panton, who is one of the highest paid board members in his role as chair of CIMA, said that the report was very useful but had to be understood in context, as the disparity relates to the variety of skills and experience required for different boards.

The former financial services minister, who told CNS that he welcomed the transparency, said he was not surprised by the disparities. He said the fees paid to CIMA board members had been the same for almost ten years.

“The reason why CIMA directors receive so much speaks for itself because of the level of sophistication and experience they need for the regulator to operate properly and effectively,” Panton said.

“I am in favour of as much transparency as possible, as that is the spirit of the Standards in Public Life Law,” he added, saying he wanted to see that legislation enacted. He said that there was a lot of “emotive misunderstanding” about what is actually required from directors and that the legislation does not require them to reveal everything about their net worth, just the potential conflicts they could have while serving.

Meanwhile, the highest paid director, Linford Pierson, who sits on the OfReg board, said the directors sat on the only multi-tiered board, which would explain the high fees.

“The remuneration  of the chair and non-executive members of the Board of Directors of the Utility Regulation and Competition Office is established under Section 25 of the Utility Regulation and Competition Law, 2016,” he said in a message to CNS responding to our questions.

“I have not read the OAG report regarding your query, but would assume that the OAG’s office is well aware that OfReg is the only multi-tiered statutory government authority in the Cayman Islands, with responsibility for regulating four sectors,” he said pointing to the areas of ICT, electricity, fuel and water that it regulates.

“It therefore stands to reason that the remuneration of OfReg’s board is commensurate with the responsibilities appertaining to this multi-sectored board,” Pierson added.

See full OAG report in the CNS library

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What is all this fuss? Your elected politicians place their cronies on all the Boards and issue them the directives.Each board sets the compensation for the Statutory Authorities employees. Now we are criticizing the management and staff of these authorities for their salaries. But it’s the Board and ultimately your politicians at fault not the management and staff.

  2. Anonymous says:

    sooo…is that why we paying these huge taxes? to pay these ….

  3. Anonymous says:

    What about the highly paid bosses of Statutory Authorities who spend a lot but have to be subsidised by government?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If these SAGCs are so bold as to procure favours in this manner, like unlimited free flights for board members and extended relations, than how on Earth can their Board members pretend to still be acting impartially and without inherent conflict? The conflict is right there in the disclosed public-domain compensation package!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you put in a position of conflict with your employer because it pays you? Your interests may conflict, but are you not still expected to favour your employer’s interests? So what is the conflict here?

  5. Ex Red shirt dummy says:

    Some of these functionally illiterate ppm members are making more money than our highly educated returning Caymanian college graduates . WOW!!! WTF????? We never voted for this bull$&!@ progressives mi ras just a bunch clowns and stooges propping nepotism and ppm.crony’s outhere pushing this fool fool nowardos agenda. I will tell unnah what u all can do with unnah big dum dum red shirt , bunch of fake@$$ mindless sheep. Ppm going down!!

    • Anonymous says:

      They already went down…but came back anyway! Who stopped them?

    • Tell it like it is says:

      People people jumping up and down on this blog with your verbal diatribe does not and will not change anything. You know that don’t you. The information that you are now privy to is nothing new, in fact it is indeed a factor indeed a sacred one in politics which is established in the principle of “ Winner takes all”.

      Consider this,you the people who do not belong to a Party ( I ventured to say partiesbut I quickly reminded myself that we have see the old refrain politics makes strange bedfellows come aliveve before our very eyes). I digressed apologies. Yes you non partisan voting public get all caught up at elections with the hype and innuendoes and promises of a better life for all, yes all which goes away when you cast your vote for the WINNERS, you have then given the and their intimate supporters the right TO TAKE ALL from you in the form that the article portrays and much more.

      Look at how long you the people have been crying about a minimum wage what did you get in the end a $6.00kick in the tear end, look how long they to.d you that travel by Ministers was a bad thing and now it’s a common thing isn’t it. Look at how long it took them to build new schools and how much they spent and spent and spent and the education system is still failing our children. Where oh where has all the money gone, well there is no Doucette suitcase to blame or are there many involved.

      Isn’t it time that ona woke up isn’t it time that instead of making outsiders elect ona government that you all look for, encourage and where neccesary find and work for funds to elect men and women of good standing, good education, and social awareness and with tools to really make these Islands truly a place where there is real opportunity for all of the people and not just some, isn’t it time that we awake from our deep slumber and see that the Kool Aid is bitter and that the Swanki is being drunk at tables we can’t afford to be at anymore.

      Is the Revolution on its way only you men and women of Brave Hearts spurned from the loins of the IRON MEN know the answer, don’t wait too long because while you believe it’s still time those who have won are planning your untenable future and possible demise.

      Patriots Arise and Free your land from Apathy and from Mental Slavery. The Time is NOW.

  6. ppm Distress Signal says:

    All those who voted for this PPM/ Unity utopia please feel to embraced your political pariahs and listen to their amazing propaganda which tell you all is well in Lalala land. Then ask yourself why are you struggling soooo hard to make ends meet.

    • Anonymous says:

      We didn’t vote for this. The two loosers horse-traded and formed a gov’t while independents dithered.

  7. Raffaelle says:

    PPM stands for Paid Pirates & Morons and that’s exactly what they are doing fleecing the economy and government and as the level of incompetence and inept and corruption rises they sit on their little self made thrones and kingdoms reigning supreme! Under the direction of our stooge leader and inspirational advisor Boss Hogg!

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought it stood for, “People Provoking McKeeva”.

      • Anonymous says:

        McKeeva now controls the PPM and the sheep must now sing his praises or else. None of the lot understand the meaning of integrity much less have any. Alden sold out the PPM to his new BFF Big Mac for the title of Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways board gets free tickets for themselves and family, now that’s a good deal!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep while the staff benefits are cut which the staff got as part of their contracts to make up for their low salaries, They travel first class in yard clothes while staff have to abide by the handbook and dress like they going to church.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am all for openness and transparency. The Office of the Auditor General also needs to be held to account. A truly professional report would have provided context and balance or at least commit to providing a followup to fill the gaps. Such an imbalamced and incomplete report would never be accepted in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please advise in what way the report is deficient.

      • Anonymous says:

        The report fails to realise the differences between the SAGCs, some operate to international standards and conventions and laws while others are cultural local activities providers. Some require highly qualified and experienced staff (Caymanians and expatriats included) while others don’t. Some SAGCS make a profit and remit to govt annual dividends that support the spending of core government. There is much context that is missing from this report and its careless to publish it without the relevant context as the uninformed will of course take offence before seeking the relevant facts. It is also not apparent that the comparison was based on the same set bundles within each authority, it certainly seems not. No standard criteria for the definitions etc.

        • anonymous says:

          9.40am How about this for relevant context, list the salaries and titles of the chiefs at the CAA, AND their professional qualifications in Aviation management/oversight.

    • Anonymous says:

      The report passes no recommendation or opinions.. At most it’s just a compendium of factual information obtained directly from government. So why does that upset you so much?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because context is important for understanding and facts are not apples and apples if there is no standard approach to reporting them. For example, one SAGC might report the salaries of senior management only while another SAGC might report the COST of that employee which include salary plus pension plus health insurance etc. Comparing those two sets of costs might lead one to conclude that one SAGC pays the their senior management much more than the other when in fact their headline salaries could conceivably be identical!

        If there is a report which publishes the above “facts” without analysing and putting context around the numbers for each SAGC then it is a misleading report.

    • anonymous says:

      10.37pm Stop wittering on about context and balance – the facts speak for themselves.Without these revelations from our hard working and honest AG we would never have known how bad things are.

  9. Dire Straits says:

    PPM reward their own kind with multiple paid board positions and full time senior management jobs. This nothing more nepotism and collusion at the highest levels to advance the government’s agenda. The time has come for Cayman to drain the swamp and reset all board appointments. Imagine being paid to sit on several politically appointed boards just to be a yes man/woman. The only better job is being a MLA. Getting Money for nothing and your kicks for free.

    • Anonymous says:

      Peanuts to what is earned in the private sector. But now you know why the Authorities fought against the public authorities law. Some of the CEO’s earns more than our Premier.

      The Authorities were established to run more efficiently and make money for the Government. That has clearly failed. Maybe it’s just time to bring these run away trains back into the civil service.

      Note that Port Authority workers are paid more than out Police Customs and Immigration Officers.

      Trivia name an MLA that voted against the public authorities law. Look it up it’s interesting.

      • Observer says:

        That some authorities make money while others are subsidised should not be the basis for determining salaries.

        The salary should be based on responsibilities, expertise and performance.

        • Anonymous says:

          On your latter point I got to weigh in with the OP. No way should port workers earn more than police and emergency services workers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bernie voted against the public authorities bill.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m I the only person to see that the Chairman for the AOA board makes $12K per meeting. The others make $9K and $6k and they have had 6 meetings for the year.-

    WTF…….This should have been the headline, but I really wonder why it’s not!

    Can anyone help me find who are these 3 board members or where they are listed?

    Also, who is the 1 person that work in that Authority and his/her salary is $184k per year.

  11. Anonymous says:

    NRA it’s not the lowest paid staff for the Civil Servants, what about CIPS only 2300 a month? And I am sure there is a lot more.. shame on this Government

  12. Anonymous says:

    CNS, I cant find the report. please help.

    CNS: Click on the link to the SAGCs page in the Library, scroll down to OAG reports, see ‘Key Management and Board Remunerations in SAGCs during 2016-17’

  13. Anonymous says:

    Linford, your pension not enough or wha? Ever think of serving your country for free?
    I am an experienced professional with nowhere near your amassed wealth, and not once have I asked for or received any compensation for service to my country. Once a politician, always a politician, I guess.

  14. Say it like it is says:

    This is what happens when you put locals in charge of these SAGC’s. The salaries at the Civil Aviation Authority can only be described as obscene averaging $186,000 for management staff and “other” staff averaging $120,000. How on earth (forgive the pun), can these salaries be justified. No wonder this information has been hidden from the public eye. It needs an expatriate to upset the honey pot and reveal what’s going on.
    We have 154 “bosses” earning an average of $152500 a year for doing what?. Little wonder our innumerable fatcats have been dragging their feet for years on the Standards in Public Life Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      You said it right , this is what happens when you have locals in charge.

      • Kmanian Bobo says:

        You are a bigot and should go back to your country which is run by your local people. There you can try to fix it or complain away from the Cayman Islands a place you are blessed to live in. People with your attitudes are the worst and must be returned to sender

        • Anonymous says:

          But Bobo, do you really think Caymanians should be paid more than people doing the same work and having the same positions in New York, Miami, London, Toronto while doing a tenth of the amount of work?

          If your answer is yes, then you have an entitlement problem and you are also being ripped of by your own Caymanian people. You, as a Caymanian, may be blessed to live here but you do not deserve to be ripped off by your own people. FREE DE PEOPLE.

        • anonymous says:

          BoBo For sure Caymanians can do no wrong.

    • What is the purpose of this report? says:

      I wonder if the objective of this “public interest” report is so morons like you can conduct a public stoning. Putting such a report out there for public viewing with very little other information such as the profitability of the SAGC and the number of years of service the key management personnel that makes the SAGC profitable to contribute large dividends to the CIG, does nothing else than cause this type of divisiveness and bloodthirsty comments. You are probably the same kind of individual that rails against the expats being in charge and being the fat cats holding the Caymanians down when it suits you. I do not believe these numbers are accurate.

      • Sensible Caymanian says:

        This report is accomplishing what it was set out to accomplish rally some factions that are not advised to buck against hardworking and well meaning public servants. Some of the SAGCs are the only ones that are actually not getting money from Government but are remitting profits to government while building their business and establishing a positive global reputation for this jurisdiction that we all call home. These SAGCs are paying for public schools, civil servants salaries, roads etc. Any private sector principal in the financial sector is making upwards of $175,000 in their industry …why are we so small minded that we tear those down that are contributing positively to our economy. Is it out of pure jealousy and envy….grow up people, we dont live in a communist society where the state should dictate salaries. Free market economy should decide…we expect these people to contribute and their SAGCs to put money into government but they are to tied to civil service salaries….how nonsensical is that. this report needs to be balanced and report all the truths not part truths.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes 7:49 but in a free market society on an island of 60,000 people, civil servants should not be making far more money than their counterparts in London, Washington and Ottawa and on top of that, no requirement to pay income tax or pay anything towards one’s health insurance. This is not free market but people feeding at the public trough.

          • Anonymous says:

            So what exactly are their counterparts making in London, etc.? That is just one of the gaps and a key point about the report, it provides no comparative information.

            • Anonymous says:

              9:08, I can assure you that their counterparts in London work 3 or 4 times harder than their counterparts in Cayman. They also make one hell of a lot less money after paying income taxes, property taxes, regular monthly payments for their health insurance and daily transportation costs. Just ask anyone who has worked in London and lives in Cayman. This is simply an anecdotal fact. While many civil servants also run businesses on the side here in Cayman it simply would be impossible to do in London, while holding the types of jobs referred to in the AG’s report.

              • Anonymous says:

                Again, claims & innuendos, but no facts. Context is all.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Anybody who has spent time working in London, NY, Toronto in some of the job areas mentioned by the AG does not have to be a genius to know that the Cayman management salaries are obscene by any normal western standard.

                  1:45 You are probably on the gravy train and you have no reason to want to get off. Enjoy.

          • Anonymous says:

            I would dare to do the comparative salary benchmarking as the recent studies has shown that similar counterparts in London, NY, Europe, USA, make far more than some of our similarly qualified and experienced public servants.

            • Anonymous says:

              9:44, Absolute rubbish. I can safely assure you that the AVERAGE aviation management staff salary in London, Toronto, JFK, Miami, Washington airports is not $186,000 KY even taking into account the currency conversions.
              Furthermore, in the rest of the world people pay income tax on their salary. Some people need to get off this island and see what the rest of the world is doing in terms of salaries and qualifications.
              People have a great thing going here. An amazing gravy train if you can get on it.

          • Anonymous says:

            We are not in London, Washington, etc. You want to be like them, then go there!

            • Anonymous says:

              10:41, You completely missed the point. We are talking about comparables. Surely you would not compare running our airport like running Heathrow and Gatwick in London or Dulles and Ronald Reagan airports in Washington. The problems and challenges these airports have are not comparable to the management of our airport. But Caymanian salaries are significantly higher.

              My concern is how public monies are being spent. You should be concerned too.

        • anonymous says:

          7.49pm Yes let us have all the truths, in what way does the CAA (not the CIAA) contribute to the Government coffers. Who are all these people earning such sky high salaries and list their professional qualifications in the aviation field.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s called transparency. So we know how much of OUR money gets wasted on, and by idiots like you. Welcome to the real world. Keep opening the worm cans Ms. Sue W.

    • Anonymous says:

      And you think that an expat is going to be paid less than a local.

    • tagcayman says:

      I am not disagreeing with you, but on that same note, Civil Aviation also has to have certified professionals AND they are one of the only authorities that generate a revenue operating well in the black every year.

      • Anonymous says:

        Civil Aviation is the local regulator and as such they set their fees to cover whatever their budget may be. Those who fall under the CAA rules have no choice but to pay the fees.

        • tagcayman says:

          They are also in charge of registering aircraft to Cayman, not just aircraft here, but aircraft all over the world. This creates a large revenue.

      • anonymous says:

        7.26pm Its the CIAA that raise the revenue (but it’s all been spent on the magnificent arches), not the CAA who have an oversight role.

        • tagcayman says:

          The Airport Authority runs the airport, the Aviation Authority Registers aircraft globally as well as have oversight in local regulations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t worry. It’s just somebody that has a bee up their bonnet because CAA does so well every year – no subsidies, no borrowings, etc. Perhaps it is a jealous auditor or someone running a subsidised authority that spends plenty but has to be bailed out every year by government or even a jealous chief secretary who thinks they deserve more but likely can’t make it in the private sector to earn more. Who knows. Kudos to CAA though!

        • anonymous says:

          If it does so well where are their accounts and tell me why should overseas airlines register their planes here and how many Caymanians are qualified to certify these planes . The Maritime Authority registers foreign ships {mostly luxury yachts) but all the certification is carried out by qualified expats.

          • Miss Pris says:

            Hi 6:20pm. It’s not airlines, but private aircrafts that they have on their registration and promote around the world to eg a billionaire who owns their own Boeing 747. There are many perks to being registered here in Cayman, with the most obvious one of them being our tax-free status. It’s a great draw for many people in a variety of industries including our financial sector and those owners of megayachts under the Maritime Authority. It should be noted that their office is primarily Caymanian.

            • anonymous says:

              10.39pm These private jets and luxury megayachts are subject to the very strict licencing laws as they come under British regulation. As such they are subject to survey by licenced specialists who I am sure are all expats. I do not deny the local offices are staffed mostly by Caymanians but my point is what are their aviation/martime qualifications to justify these sky high salaries.

      • Miss Pris says:

        Thank you! This is something this article fails to point out. If CAA ran as a completely private entity our country would not be benefiting from ANY of the profits they make annually. Government can’t have it both ways. When you work under core government and they decide to increase salaries for their staff, the rest of us in the authorities (HSA, NRA etc) don’t benefit. It is up to our own authorities to determine if they can also give raises to their own people and by how much; perhaps it’s the same and sometimes it’s not, but it all depends where you work. When core government sees a successful authority like CAA making a profit suddenly they feel that they have a right to step in and dictate what their salaries should be. Like I said before, they can’t have it both ways. I wish that everyone knew the positive impact that CAA has on Cayman around the globe, from Asia to Europe to the US. CAA promotes our little island globally and their knowledge of international aviation regulations is required to be on par whenever they travel the world to meet clients, attend meetings, speak at conferences etc. I suggest that everyone learn more about them before making judgements about one of our most respected authorities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea right hire an expat to run CAA. They would want more money. Damned if you do and damned if you dont.

      • Anonymous says:

        No they would not want more money because in the rest of the real world people pay income tax. Therefore, they would still be ahead financially.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks for answering for all of us expats who do not want to ask for more money because we are from the real tax paying world. You are our voice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but you can’t compare aviation specializations with salaries of dime a dozen accountants for example.

    • Anonymous says:

      Crabs in a bucket!

  15. Better Life says:

    This report needs to be put in context and to clarify if really is comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges across the public service. It is very difficult to put a report out that does not also list the profitability or not of the entity and the relative job responsibilities and industry differences. This report by itself is not very helpful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good review of the facts. This very brave Auditor General also should to look at benefits of core Govt employees versus SAGC employees:

      -core Govt employees do not pay pension out of base salary as Govt pays the full amount – this is like getting an additional 12-13% of your salary saved for you every year.

      -SAGC employees pays their portion (5%) directly from their base salary to pension.

      -core Govt employees do not pay anything towards health insurance at CINICO for themselves or their dependents. When retired after only 10 years of service, they will have full post-retirement insurance covered at no cost for life for them and their dependents. Place a value on this please.

      -SAGC employees pay towards health insurance (except HSA) with coverage much less than that of core Govt employees. Some SAGCs pay the full premium for employee and a percentage of cost for dependents but employee must pay deductible, co-pays, and anything the health insurance does not cover. Plus, SAGC employees don’t have post-retirement health care. They pay for basic care at CINICO or if they cannot afford the premiums, become indigent so Govt can take care of them. This is very similar to rest of the general working population outside the public service.

      Re the Boards, does any of these Boards also offer healthcare coverage to their members through CINICO?

      Keep bringing out the facts, Office of the Auditor General. Then, Govt can work out a salary scale that is equitable for core Govt and SAGCs.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have a world class Auditor General. As for the rest of the civil service?

      • Anonymous says:

        You sound like a jealous auditor who needs to work more and stay off CNS!

      • Anonymous says:

        Incorrect. Civil Servants pay their portion of their pension. And the health coverage is built in to the full remuneration package (lower pay than the SAGCs but health coverage as a benefit).

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe you don’t understand the meaning of the term “non-contributory pension”….see Compass of 06 Feb 2019, page 26, read the advertisement from Department of Commerce & Investment at the top left hand part of the page.

        • anonymous says:

          1.48pm This is classic civil servant make believe. For years you moaned about bringing your salaries in line with the private sector and now they are on a par.If you had to pay the premiums , co pay, deductibles, airfares and hotel expenses for yourself, your spouse and your children you would probably die of shock. To cap it all you don’t even contribute to the indigent like the rest of us have to.There are also many civil servants who do not make pension contributions.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Will anything be done about this or will new Ministries be formed?

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