MK: Cruise images not approved design

| 16/05/2019 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise and cargo dock plan (click to enlarge)

(CNS): Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has described the latest leaked images that were posted by CNS and circulated on social media this week as “examples of concept drawings” and not a final approved design for the cruise berthing project. In a short statement the minister said the images were not for construction but “are necessary at various junctures throughout the evolution of the project for illustrative and discussion purposes”. Kirkconnell also accused whoever released the pictures of trying “to mislead the public and derail the cruise berthing project”.

The latest statement from government comes as it is ramping up its promotion of the project and the trashing of the campaign for a people-initiated referendum on the subject, which announced Thursday that it has now verified more than 5,000 signatures and has just 200 more registered voters names to confirm before it meets the required 5,289 signatures to trigger a national people’s ballot.

In this latest statement Deputy Premier Kirkconnell again stated that “neither the Major Project Office nor the Cayman Islands Government have entered into any deal with any company bidding to design, build, finance and maintain the piers”.

Cayman News Service

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But Kirkconnell did not explain which discussions he referred to. He did not say whether he or ministry staff are engaging directly with bidders about the project or whether these are talks being held by the Major Projects Office with the remaining bidders, as the procurement process is still underway. Government has insisted throughout that the law is being followed regarding this project but there appear to be numerous anomalies with this tender.

At a major public meeting held by government last year, representatives from two cruise lines who were understood to be involved directly in an actual bid sat with government ministers and procurement officials on the panel presenting government’s case for the costly and controversial project. No representatives from any other bidding teams at the time were on the panel.

In addition, despite billing the tender as a design-build-financing project, government has now signed four separate side deals with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and MSC cruise lines. Describing them as funding commitments, Premier Alden McLaughlin and the tourism minister have been vague about exactly what those funding commitments are.

Despite numerous unanswered questions and concerns that the bidding process, regardless of government claims, is not following the usual rules, Governor Martyn Roper has said he is confident the process is being followed.

Speaking on Rooster’s breakfast phone-in show, Crosstalk, on Thursday morning, Roper dodged the issues about government apparently engaging directly with bidders after Johann Moxam, one of the referendum campaign activists, called the show and queried the legitimacy of the process and what he described as a “charade of good governance”.

Roper stated that Moxam’s comments were “useful to hear” and that he took his responsibility for good governance “extremely seriously”. He added, “What I’ve seen so far of the processes going on gives me confidence that everything is being done in line with the Constitution and in line with the laws of the Cayman Islands.”

Roper praised improvements in the civil service and the work by the deputy governor in the area of procurement and managing big projects, and said he was “satisfied” with what is going on.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the government was transparent and shared the dock drawing instead of doing everything behind closed doors people might begin to have some confidence.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Explaining what the deals they claim to have signed with the cruise ship lines are, when they simultaneously claim they have not agreed any deals on the construction, would help as well. Only, I suspect the more transparency the less confidence! Bit like pleading guilty in a criminal trial; transparent, but you didnt get 33% off your sentence so…

  2. Anonymous says:

    We really need to do something about these man-made (sorry people-made) structures killing our reefs and oceans!!!

    Wait what’s this? https://qz.com/1464528/some-oil-rigs-in-california-are-absolutely-teeming-with-sea-life/

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is not an oil rig that acts as an artificial reef this is a dock there natural reef is dug up and removed. See the difference?

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      • Anonymous says:

        And once they remove or relocate the natural reef , you think it’s it’s gone forever?

        I’m specifically talking about the 0.003% of reef of Grand Cayman. (Math based on roughly 75 miles of coastal shallow water reefs, not even the deeper reefs)

        That’s a total 3 _one thousandths_ of the total shallow water reef-line on Grand Cayman, if they were to remove 1/4 miles of reef (of solid continual reef not factoring any sand in between), which is no where near what they will actually be removing/relocating.

        Even if that “reef ending Armageddon” happens, you’re saying the reef won’t ever grow back? My point wasn’t that small sections of a reef wouldn’t be remove/relocated, my point was that reef actually grows back, even so on man-made structures.

        There is no reason this dock can’t harbor marine life including coral. It grown on live oil rigs, it can certainly grow on docks and pilings.

        In fact there is a lot more we could be doing in creating structures around the island to promote both reef growth, but also fish and lobster habitats. But this can’t possibly happen with the default mindset that development must be destructive to the environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unlike the water around Deepwater Horizon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You know in other countries, there are such things as efficient functional ports and docks, even bridges!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    So with the constantly changing designs any environmental impact study is worthless so to address that the winning bidder will conduct a biased EIA without finding any environmental issues. Good plan CIG.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Build the dock! Only add an extra pier fpr a total of 6 ships

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  6. Anonymous says:

    And the evasiveness continues.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The cruise berthing facility sham displays the ignorance of Caymanian politicians and, the people who vote them in, the same way the dump is a testament to their incapability in government.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    You now know how easy mother nature could bring your tourism to a halt. Sargassum! Keep denying global warming. Pretty soon you wouldn’t know where to put those cruise passengers. The silver lining for residents: less visitors.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I have a few simple question for Minister Moses:

    If these designs are not correct then simply show the people the one that has been accepted by Government to facilitate the bidding process

    How will the bids be evaluated fairly if each company is bidding on a different design.
    When will the Government remove the Deputy Chairman of the port authority from chairman of the procurement committee.
    What is the matrix that has been approved by the procurement committee to evaluate the bids and select the best bid

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    • Anonymous says:

      Great questions….only valid answer would be vague requirements make it easier to justify a pre-determined awarding process..this along with limited bid solicitation are common methods of procurement fraud.
      Chec has already paid something to someone for this contract when UDP was in power.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Will it make any difference on what plan THEY SAY is the best?

  10. Anonymous says:

    This dock is the best thing for Cayman. Those picking against the dock are either being paid or duped by the tender boat owners. There is no way that the referendum group doing their own verification is legit, the elections office if bound to toss out a to. Of those signatures in the real process.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or they want a thorough needs analysis, valid independant environmental impact study, and transparent and proper procurement process.
      I’m guessing you’re one of the many with a pending CHEC cheque.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about the environmental? Or you too busy thinking about money like the rest of the idiots in charge?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The best thing for Cayman is to FIX THE DUMP!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    If Roper is content with Unity Regime’s failure to enact the Standards in Public Life Law, and believes they had a mandate to get this far without consultation or regaining a majority vote, then his version of good governance isn’t what we need.

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  12. EOS says:

    It’s all signed, sealed and delivered. Of course the public just doesn’t know that yet. Good governance? Lol. If you believe that, I’ve got some horse manure to sell you.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    My gut feeling is that this push from the referendum camp is all smoke and mirrors.
    Every time they feel government is near a deadline to advance the port they make the same push and noise “we are almost there” is what they have been saying since last October. This is all just to try to scare government. None of it will count or actually be verified until the elections office says it is valid.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Nelson didn’t see anything either Roper, but then he did hold the telescope up to an eye-patch.

    We do not enjoy good governance in these Islands. There are no checks and balances on the absolute power being wielded. Your predecessor tried, but so far we have not seen enough of you. Thank you for at least exposing yourself to the talk show.

    Please break from the list that government wants you to talk with. There is a lot going on behind the scenes. Of course you need people to show things to you. Moxam is one that can. He is bright and has integrity. There are many others. Take no sides, but please roll up your sleeves and dig into the truth.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Where there is smoke there is usually fire…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s clear now Roper is just another shill for the CIG. Choudhury was probably digging into things he shouldn’t and got sent away. This government is corrupt as any and for the current governor to just say “I’m sure everything is legit” is very suspicious.

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