Gov’t compliance with procurement rules queried

| 10/10/2019 | 29 Comments
Cayman News Service
Ezzard Miller chairs PAC, October 2019

(CNS): Public Accounts Committee Chair Ezzard Miller remains concerned, following the latest PAC meeting, that government is not complying with its own new rules on procurement. Although new legislation has been implemented and a new more transparent, independent regime created to manage how government buys goods and services, Miller is worried the new rules are not being applied where it counts most.

During the hearings last week, Central Procurement Office Director Taraq Bashir appeared before the committee, alongside Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, to answer questions about how the system is working.

Speaking to CNS after the meetings, Miller said he was concerned to learn that the rules are not being followed for the two major ongoing government projects, the airport and the port, which both began before the new system was implemented but are continuing well after.

He said that the law is very specific about who does what and when. Where government is acquiring goods or services or tendering for a major project involving public authorities, it is the boards, and not the ministry, that has the lead role in organising and assessing the bids.

But in the case of the airport re-development and the proposed cruise and cargo project, where both should have been handled by the relevant authority, the ministry has been much more closely involved than the law mandates, he said.

While the Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) has at least remained involved in the ongoing development, the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) has been entirely pushed out of the cruise-cargo procurement process, Miller said.

The PAC chair also stated that by using the Freedom of Information Law to request correspondence, he has learned that there is no written correspondence between the tourism ministry and the port authority on the project.

“How can that be possible?” Miller asked, pointing out the law requires the authority to be running the process.

He said he was concerned that because the government began the process for both of these projects before the new procurement legislation and regime was implemented, they have been able to circumvent the rules, which he believes will have long-term negative consequences and prevent real scrutiny of how public cash is being used.

During the course of the hearing, however, Auditor General Sue Winspear stated that her office would examine all of the major capital projects that government undertakes, including the airport and the port.

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Category: Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am not for either Party, I vote for the best candidate in my district, simple as that. Ezzard strikes me as someone who just loves to hear himself speak, a career politician. If I was suppose to pick an affiliation PPM would not be my first choice but I must admit that the country is “booming”. There are opportunities for us Caymanians and those less prepared for this growth are the ones suffering. This could be that you never kept studying or improving yourself enough to compete or you did not invest properly and now its too late. Not that there aren’t serious injustice to some Caymanians but a lot of us are complacent and cannot take advantage of opportunities. We now expect the Government to spoon feed us. Get up and do not feel sorry for yourself, Cayman is the land of opportunity. This is why people are coming here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is the country/government interested in preparing the next premier…. maybe Mr. Ezzard would do a good job of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Miller wouldn’t compliance if it hit him in the head. He just sees Arden making noise so he wants to make some too.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What about illegal parking Ezzard? How much revenue could the government collect from clamping?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Smoke and Mirrors. Folks please understand the Opposition is simply grasping at Straws. The PPM is achieving wins that no other Government in the history of our Islands has come close to achieving.

    Airport terminal redevelopment complete
    Runway enhancement about to start
    Cruise Piers and Cargo facility will commence next year
    Preferred bidder on a landfill solution
    Ground broke on the Long Term Mental Health facility
    Planning approval for new John Gray school.

    Amazing achieving. Now you see why the Opposition is concerned.

    Facts are facts!

    • Anonymous says:

      How ridiculous. You sound like Trump.

    • Anonymous says:

      And amongst those facts is that the preferred bidder on the dump was selected years ago, but zero progress. And the planning approval is to fix the last build disaster for the JGHS (Alden’s baby) which left the sight a semi completed mess. And the airport terminal is not large enough to handle existing passenger volumes, doesn’t allow passengers to board and disembark under cover, and the terminal floods when it rains. Yep, sounds like a roaring success.

      PS you forgot to mention how the government has also managed to achieve a “win” of making the commute for anyone East of George Town a daily self flagellation of epic proportions, or securing the prize of the most tax payer funded trips for the Premier to go bike riding and hanging out with European royals

      • Anonymous says:

        More corruption cases popping up in court since this government has been elected than for the previous twenty years. If you doubt go look it up.

        • Anonymous says:

          3:18. Didn’t you ask for more accountability and a zero tolerance on corruption?. This is exactly what you are getting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alice in wonderland was also entertaining to read.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you a lunatic?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is all private sector driven. PPM taking all the credit for doing sweet f*** all as usual.

      • Anonymous says:

        Private sector!! Really!! When the public service and private sector work together cayman is unbeatable.

        But the private sector alone cannot take credit for the amazing achievement of our world class Government.

        Thank you is about time to document and praise these achievement.

    • Anon says:

      Interesting you include cargo and pier project to begin next year. No respect for our people. No doubt you are being well compensated and that has caused the blinders to be on securely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad to see you left out the overpriced school with no walls between classrooms and the one still unbuilt..We have a new airport that is already outdated, over budget and cannot accommodate our passengers..

      Anyone that trusts to give Alden $200M to spend on the port might as well go throw that all in Hog Sty Bay because you know it will be twice that when he gets done..

      Not the best track record…

    • Chris Johnson says:

      The biggest problem facing the country is the difference between the haves and the have nots and how to bridge the gap. Unfortunately this has widened over the past fifty years. Whilst unemployment is significantly down the cost of living goes up. Coming into town to work for those in the outlying districts must be a nightmare which adds to their stress.

      Above all other problems I think this needs to be addressed by our Government because the welfare system is inadequate. As I frequently say ‘ who are we developing the island for ?’ Development and profits arising therefrom must take into account the Caymanian people.

      Apologies for sounding like a politician!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and Trump have equal Integrity.
    God-sent. I pray Ezzard can get these nightmares uncovered and exposed, to then get the Country on the right track.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a good thing that we have Mr. Ezzard keeping an eye on our country’s affairs.


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