Ethics bill still under review

| 10/05/2019 | 34 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Some four months after the cabinet secretary told the Public Accounts Committee that government was once again reviewing the Standards in Public Life Law, there is still no date for when it will be implemented. CNS understands that it is still being reviewed, but Governor Martyn Roper is interested in seeing government enact the legislation and there may be some movement shortly. However, Roper has made no public comment or indicated any sense of urgency, despite telling the Standards in Public Life Commission last November that he was going to address the missing law with the premier.

The law was first passed more than five years ago, in January 2014, by the Legislative Assembly with the unanimous backing of all members but it was never implemented. What has been described as pressure from people appointed from the private sector to serve on government boards led to the legislation being amended in May 2016.

But three years later the watered down legislation, which was supposed to address concerns those individuals had about being forced to reveal what they considered too much information about their interests and assets, has still not come in to effect.

According to Cabinet Secretary Sam Rose, those concerns remain. “It is my understanding that the premier has plans to conduct another review of the law and is discussing this with the attorney general. I anticipate a further announcement on this in the not too distant future,” he said in January.

Earlier this year Deputy Governor Franz Manderson told PAC that issues with the law were coming from the private, not the public, sector. “I have never heard anyone from within the elected government or the civil service say they had an issue with this law,” he said.

However, the Standards in Public Life Commission as well as the auditor general and the opposition members have consistently called for the legislation to be enacted.

In his most recent comments about the law, Ezzard Miller, the outgoing opposition leader, said it was “unacceptable” because safeguards are needed to ensure that “people involved in public life… sitting on the boards of public bodies are operating with integrity and honesty”.

He also believes that if board members of public entities do not want to abide by the requirements of the law, they should not be appointed.

On Wednesday three other opposition members issued a response to the premier’s criticisms of them, in which they hit back by pointing to the failure of the current government to implement this legislation.

The independent opposition group said that not only had the government not enacted the law but it has not adopted the seven Nolan principles on public life because they would challenge the actions of the current government.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Puritian says:

    It will be under review until this very sinister government gets ushered out of power and then one of their very last acts will be to past it overnight out of spite or vindictiveness. That will ensure the next government will never enjoy all the corrupt practices and benefits they had in place. The final act will be to also ensure total immunity from prosecution or responsibility for past misconduct or deeds and to only start from a date set forth by them going forward. That folks is really what the “Review” is all about is to guarantee the law has that ironclad stipulation put in place.

  2. Heartbreaking says:

    If you are wanting to adopt one of these dogs please make sure you are also willing to take care of their health issues and give them the best care. It would be sad for them to go from one careless owner to another one. These dogs need all the love and care they can get!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ethics in Cayman, don’t make me laugh

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  4. Anonymous says:

    “You mean we couldn’t do this? Or that? No, no, no, kick the can, kick the can.”

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  5. Michel says:

    In my opinion it is time to stop reviewing and start acting on this important matter.

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  6. Say it like it is says:

    While we are faffing around with this Ethics Bill, can’t we have our indefatigable Auditor General conduct an audit of all our politician’s and senior civil servants’ expenses.I recall some years ago one Government department could not produce a single receipt for expenses claimed during the period under review.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Each Dept is supposed to publish their spending and credit card/travel expenses online. Many CIG Dept website pages haven’t been updated in over a decade. Some list officers from two or three regimes ago, and this is with employing full time Dept to update websites.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know what these ‘concerns’ are with the law? These ‘delays’ by the Premier just seem like a stall tactic to just not do anything and then make some sorry excuse just before the next election. #2021sooncome

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Boy I wish that law could be expanded to include the “press” that operates in cayman.

    Watch all of the cockroaches run.

    😂😂😂😂

    CNS: For the record, neither of the two owners of CNS have any business interests in any other company. No one else has any shares or connection with the company.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Conflicts of interest come in more ways that the simple ownership of shares.

      Corruption does not have such a simple face.

      Anyway👍🏽

      CNS: I’m sure this makes sense to you, but I have no idea what you’re hinting at.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The cancer is corruption in government, private sector and in civil society, generally.

        Not straightforward to deal with as the mere passage of legislation and the implementation of enforcement frameworks.

        Those certainly help.

        More importantly, it’s the “culture of transparency” (supported by education) that territories, nations, states, countries, dependencies choose to live by that brings all to a better place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m unsure of your beneficial ownership but you have showed a lot of bias in you publications…you definitely have dogs in some fights…noticed you avoided the recent news about number of PR awards….obviously not in you interests.

        CNS: We have said over and over and over again who the two owners of CNS are: Wendy Ledger and Nicky Watson. If you are still unsure it’s because you don’t want to believe the truth for reasons of your own. Some people take positions on issues because they have “a dog in the fight”. If that includes you, I can understand why you would not understand people taking positions out of principle. Small-minded or corrupt people tend to think that everyone else is small-minded or corrupt too.

        As you well know if you are paying attention (and if you aren’t, be quiet) there are only three people working at CNS, which is a tiny staff compared with other media houses. This means that we try very hard to cover everything but it is not physically possible.

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        • Say it like it is says:

          CNS your response to 8.25pm – this individual must have just arrived on the island, for as you have as indicated, you have quite clearly detailed the ownership of CNS on numerous occasions. For the record your entire staff of three do a fantastic job with your limited resources.

          CNS:
          Thank you.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Soon come

    😉

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe after port deal is awarded to CHEC

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    • Anonymous says:

      It will be a very dark day for Cayman if CHEC is awarded the contract.
      Given their reputation , anyone supporting or promoting them would only be doing so for the wrong reasons.

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  11. The fact that this Law has never been enforced is a clear indication of our Government’s couldn’t-care-less attitude towards “standards in public life”. And it’s not as though the two related commissions are covering the ground – the Anti Corruption Commission and the Human Rights Commission. I was a member of the Human Rights Committee back in 2005, and that was a bit of a washout (which is why I quit); what a shame that the situation hasn’t changed at all significantly since then.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where have you been…are you watching this group grasping at the remaining straws of corruption to the levels of multi-millions?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Barlow I would respectfully suggest that the government’s “couldn’t care less” attitude is in reality an obstructionist program of self protection.

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  12. LookYa says:

    We are famous for this – approve bills and 5 years later, still no law. 🤷🏻‍♀️ If am not mistaken, the SIPL is such a case; CNS should put in an FOI as to how many are still pending since they passed years ago.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The only way this Law comes into effect is if it is amended to say that corruption and conflicts of interest are permitted if committed by politicians and their cronies.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    God save our queen.

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    • Anonymous says:

      God save the Queen indeed , but only if her Britannia Majesty’s government steps in again and stops attempts to award the contract to CHEC.

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      • Anonymous says:

        As a deal with project financing over $250 million, I can assure you that her Britannic Majesty’s Government will review and reject CHEC as their sordid reputation is well known to The Crown. London does not want to be stuck with a bailout down the road.

        Sometimes there are some real and substantial benefits being a colony.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said 6.11, hope you are right. Sordid is an excellent word to also describe the “behind closed doors” gang supporting them.

  15. Anonymous says:

    C’mon cockroach, grab these roosters by the nuts and show them who the real cock of the walk is. This law was voted in 5 years ago and now they want to review it? AGAIN? Wasn’t it reviewed 5 years ago before it was voted in? Sounds more like scrambling to cover their collective asses to me.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Once again, we’re being far too polite and patient: the only parties with a problem are those many with pre-existing happily conflicted interests. So many, that this regime, and those that aspire to rule in future, don’t want to cancel the perks now, or ever.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    No good having an ethics law when there is no accountability . Let’s see if recent allegations of favor by senior member of government is even investigated, let alone prosecuted.
    Ethics law is clearly not applicable to elected officials and civil servants.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The SIPL Law opens PEP records to inspection, criminalizes the current conflicted state of affairs, and they all know what this would mean – not just for their political feather-nesting careers, but for their personal freedom, and legacies. Don’t underestimate the opposition to transparency preventing the enactment of this law.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    If this bill ever makes law, an analysis of the deleted sections should prove interesting!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is law already, albeit not enacted. It’s required by Constitution Order 2009. You can review the amendments and see that the much lamented disclosures were removed a few years ago. This is just another in a long and continuing theme of Unity beclouding and obscuration.

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