FOI request takes over a year

| 21/10/2019 | 18 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): In August 2018 CNS made a freedom on information request to the commerce ministry for a copy of a deal it had signed with TechCayman, a proposed digital platform that the ministry claimed would make Cayman the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the Caribbean. But when the ministry responded it released a very heavily redacted copy. As a result, we appealed to the Ombudsman, who released her decision on the document Friday — one year and two months later. The ombudsman found that some of the document does contain contain commercial information that can remain under wraps but the rest must be released.

Over the process of the appeal, which also involved another applicant who had made the same request, the government released a little more of the agreement with the company that was supposed to be a launch pad for Cayman’s digital economy. But it was impossible to know if what remained secret was of public interest, so we pressed on with the appeal.

The government now has until 31 October to release the remaining redacted parts of the deal, with the exception of those areas which the Ombudsman has found were redacted in compliance with the Freedom of Information Law.

However, since the deal was signed more than 14 months ago it remains unclear what the agreement has achieved. No companies appear to have been established under the platform and the three dozen or so jobs that were expected to be created for local people do not appear to have materialised.

Following the year-long effort to get the deal released so that the public can see the full details of the agreement, CNS will post the document as soon as it is received.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what CNS is looking to get out of this? I’m sure concessions were given to TechCayman, that’s a given. Why nothing happened is the bigger question

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mirror Mirror…and they will put them right back in….after a few drinks and a washer…

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you’re looking for an example of the public sector’s habitual incompetence and panicked attempts to conceal it, look no further than this.

    The idea was misconceived and ill-executed, and in an effort to hide that, the civil servants and politicians involved have proved contemptuous of our freedom of information legislation.

    And we’re PAYING these people!

  4. Narcisso Clarke says:

    Ppm is clearly now filled with some really really bad actors! Opposition appears to be totally lost now too?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This PPM government has been a real disappointment and I look forward to the next general election where they can be removed from power.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the “Most Powerful Unelected Politician” continues to hold sway in GT

  7. Anonymous says:

    Franz must be so proud of his civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly what did the civil service do wrong? I am not sure the delay was caused by the civil service. Stop being jealous.

    • Linda says:

      5:14. I am sure our DG is not happy with the length of time taken to process this FOI request While he is not responsible for the time taken by the Ombudsman. I am sure he will do as he always does. Fix it!!

      Perhaps you should be offering support.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Government’s favourite excuse: ” sorry we cannot reveal or disclose that information because it is commercially sensitive”

  9. "Commercially sensitive I promise" says:

    Government’s favourite excuse when it comes to transparency is “commercial sensitivity”
    Glad you won the appeal CNS, we look forward to reading the story and the documents themselves when they are released in the coming week or so

  10. Anonymous says:

    One of the biggest issues here. Even when things do happen they take so long that they are no longer relevant. The Standards in public Life law is a good example of this, on hold until the MLAs hide their conflicts of interest. The CIFA investigation is another, and the many other possibly huge investigations that the ACC is investigating with all the speed of a glacier. Prevarication is the last refuge for those who are opposed to transparency and we have some experts here!

  11. Mirror Mirror says:

    Sounds to me like this is just another failed opportunity by the CIG to develop an industry here. All the Bru-Ha-Ha about hundreds of jobs and educaltional centers to the east end are just publicty for the government to cover up it really is doing nothing but collecting paychecks and taking fancy trips on the public’s dime.

    For Caymanians who blame foreigners for destroying these islands, I suggest you look at yourself in the mirror. YOU elected the government, and YOU keep the politicians in power.

    Not foreigners.

  12. Say it like it is says:

    Who are the shareholders of TechCayman?.

  13. Raffaelle says:

    CNS you have understand my dear this is not a democracy it is ppm hegemony run by confederate hedonistic leaders and their archaic minded brethren and siblings, there is no Good “gowernunce”, transparency nor sustainability for those who do not subscribe to their mumbo jumbo ideology or dumb down politics! I hope that explains it! The most dangerous aspect now is they are importing those who will simply carrying out their every wish by completely overwhelming our way of life and letting them be blameless and obscuring their destructive chaos and deceitfulness. That is why you cannot see this agreement.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The ever-expanding library of bad and/or redacted “public” deals by this regime should give everyone sufficient pause to vote “NO” on Dec 19. Considerably skepticism is reasonable!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Re-run of the FOI request for the Aina Report? Remember the cost of that? $1million!

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