No audit planned over curfew decisions

| 28/05/2020 | 52 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): No official audit of the decisions made by the team that has managed curfew exemptions over the COVID-19 lockdown period is planned by the current government. Premier Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday that it was not his call to look into the fairness of the decisions, and if there were complaints, they would be handled by the relevant bodies. But some business owners believe that, as a result of how this was handled, they could lose their businesses.

Since the very beginning of the lockdown, McLaughlin has railed against the massive number of requests, which he has claimed were often unreasonable, made by business owners for exemptions from the curfews put in place to control the spread of this coronavirus. He has said that too many requests were not for essential services, as week after week he explained that the government’s goal was to save lives and prevent as many people as possible from leaving their homes.

However, as questions have increased over alleged inconsistencies in the decision-making processes of the Curfew Time team and a lack of transparency, McLaughlin has defended the arbitrary system and even suggested it has nothing to do with being fair.

Now, as more and more businesses are allowed to open and employees return to work, the claims of arbitrary, unjust and unfair decisions are increasing. Complaints from business owners vary from opinions that the decisions make no sense to more serious accusations that the public servants in the department, which is run by Chief Officer Eric Bush, are making different decisions for similar businesses to the advantage or detriment of the businesses in question.

According to Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston, her office has received a small number of official complaints about how this department has treated their requests. But she told CNS that at this point, there is an insufficient number to warrant an audit by her office into the process.

However, at Wednesday’s press briefing McLaughlin made it clear that he did not believe it was necessary to conduct any review over whether or not the decisions had resulted in any competitive disadvantage.

He said that we are “in a very very difficult and precarious position and government does not have the resources or the time” to investigate complaints. “We are trying to save an economy and to give every business and every person here a fighting chance to survive.”

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Category: Business

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alden does not want an audit because he knows what will be uncovered my put some people in jail.

    All of the public expenditure must be audited for value for money determination, then report to the taxpayers.

    Sorry to tell you Alden, but that is how democracy works.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Ombudsman Office has become not fit for purpose.

    Roy please yank back their budget, spend the money where it will serve a useful purpose.


    Get an Ombudsman regime that will fearlessly continually critically analyse all government actions for Constitutional and lawful compliance.

    The Ombudsman’s refusal to be proactive, even after several complaints, is totally a dereliction of responsibility to the Caymanian people and the reason why the office was established.

    Do not let the Ombudsman become another waste of taxpayer money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are there actually people who believe the Governor doesn’t have the full legal authority under the Public Health Law to affect emergency temporary curfew orders? What planet are they living on?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a directive from WHO – do we know if CIG is following these updates and will amend directions accordingly?

    If not, where are they taking their lead from as I know masks are not advised for general public in the UK?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Pet grooming…YES….hurricane shutters…NO

  6. Anonymous says:

    Have no idea why these foreigners are here. Sorry just slapped myself, GREEN, our GRASS. Current Politicians will never protect us.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Audits? We don’t need no stinkin’ audits.

  8. Madura says:

    Yea, this local government put the “third” in third world.

    • Anonymous says:

      This local government saved our lives by their policies. We should be thanking them. If all you think about is making money all the time then Covid19 came to teach us all a lesson. Hope we all are quick learners

  9. Anonymous says:

    🎼Banana republic…septic isle🎼The Boomtown Rats ©️

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about the CCTV contract? Any audit on that?

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. That is why they keep appointing outsiders. They cannot see, let alone understand, the connections.

  11. Bonnie Anglin says:

    Our issue is not a “fair audit”. Our issue is deeper and more painful. Our issue is that it cannot take COVID-19 or a Hurricane to force us – once again – to address poverty in the Cayman Islands. And YES. I said POVERTY. And YES. We have families living without proper sanitary facilities and lack of internet services (most importantly for home schooling).

    With or without any disaster too many of our people – Young. Healthy. And below Retirement Age – have been used by Politicians to rely on hand-outs to ensure their servitude to Vote for them. It’s time now for a National Call to Action! Train our people. Put them to work. Stop “buying” their Votes by NAU and hand-outs. Put us to work. The loss of Work Permit Revenue will be offset by a decrease in Transfer Payments (NAU and Government Cheques) – while building PRIDE in an honest days work,

    PRIDE is our heritage. Not NAU. Not Politicians giving us money to pay our water and electricity bills. PRIDE – when your children know Mommy and Daddy works. I DO NOT ASPIRE FOR AN AUDIT (which is another $ Million Dollar for a Consultant). Let’s just train and put OUR people back to work.

    • Anonymous says:

      They have to want it. For example, I encouraged a young man who wanted to be a bike mechanic. A colleague & I got him registered for the UCCI classes. I paid the tution for the term. He did not show up. We called him – could not get a ride was the reason/answer.
      People who really want something would have found a way – walk, bicycle, hitch. Too often this is the result.
      Our people have to really want to better themselves and take every opportunity.
      However, I agree with you on the vote buying hand outs. Too long persons have been selling their vote & sole.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many young caymanians vacationing in northward hotel costing goverment millions. Why not sentence them to hard labour and have them out here with me working construction and learning a trade?
      The money that they earn can go towards their children needs. That’s one less burden on goverment and hopefully a better individual into society.
      There are many solutions to our problems but instead of doing the right things our leaders rather fill their pockets with rich mans crumbs.

      Legalize ganga and stop ruining young people lives. Not hiring them because they have a Ganja conviction or fire them from their jobs because its in their urine.

      The political divide and conquer is distroying our people .
      Stop vote for West,East,North and South. Vote for cayman. Vote as caymanians.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How dare any of you minions question my or my governments decisions, don’t you realize we know better than all of you. I even have a multi lingual health minister!

  13. Anon says:

    I have done my bit and logged a complaint with the Ombudsman. Anyone who has had a problem please do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why, you think we have the rule of law here, or wha?

    • Anonymous says:

      Very good. Lets put some numbers and specifics to this to see if its a real problem or not. – Even if its just to set down some ‘best practice’ for ‘next time’. (Like logging the why of a decision so decisions can be (a) standardised, (b) defended and (c) reviewed.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Government wants to do away with ALL accountability check and balances.

      In ALL matters unaccountable government wants to rule by decree.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If he’s truly trying to save the economy he needs to get up to speed with the latest research and on the ground results in numerous locations that have reopened at least a month ago with no surge in cases.

    He needs to stop propelling fear and look out for the welfare of the ‘whole’ community.

    He needs to be accountable and realize the days of an emergency are long gone and the islands need to go back to the people.

    People are more than capable of making their own decisions for the benefit of their families.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So full of crap, lets Eric do his bidding on this topic.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Chapter 1, page 1- “never let a crisis go to waste”

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of Government resources to conduct an audit.

    Thank you CIG.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Of course Alden won’t agree to any audit of the arbitrary decisions that HE is making! Why would he want to do that? As the minister responsible for international trade, the premier himself is THE “Competent Authority” under his newly fashioned regulations, whereby he has reserved the arbitrary power unto himself to decide which projects gets exemptions and what activities the public will be limited to etc. Anyone who hasn’t read those wonderful regulations as yet should get a copy and carefully read through them and then download and compare the English regulations, so that you can really see how disproportionate and arbitrary our lockdown regime is.
    There is nothing more ripe for corruption than a government which licenses itself to have that kind of authority, whereby friends of the government can get advantageous exemptions and political opponents can be discriminated against and refused their rights to freedom to make a living, without any transparency or consequence.
    We are now operating as a full fledged totalitarian regime. A banana republic without bananas.
    There is no way that Alden is going to expose himself to the liability that would follow such an audit.
    Until someone sues him and the government and obtains damages. Wait until that precedent is set. I’ll bet Roy will have to sharpen his pencil and revise his elaborate guesstimate of the cost of “recovery“ then!
    Think class-action lawsuit and billions in damages, and you might get the picture.
    If Stuart Kernohan and Alex Henderson could get millions of dollars settlement in lieu of damages for what happened to them, imagine when you get a bunch of angry local business owners suing for loss and damage in the tens of millions for their businesses being destroyed.
    But wait, you say, we were dealing with a national emergency! But that’s going to be hard to plead as a defence, since the Governor actually has not yet to date even proclaimed a state of emergency. Watch that space.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Every decision made by the UNITY government needs to be reviewed and investigated. COVID 19 is the perfect scenario for all the bad decisions and potential corruption to go unencumbered. Without an audit process we have a classic situation of the fox guarding the hen house. That sounds like a banana republic.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Typical Alden

  21. EYES WIDE SHUT says:

    Alden McLaughlin and his government do not believe in transparency, accountability and fairness. It is exactly how McKeeva Bush operated. That is how corruption, the trading of political favors and support functions and is facilitated by the Premier, Ministers and Chief Officers like Eric Bush. It is all by design and is only wrong when others do it make no mistake.

    The Premier, Cabinet members and civil service management thrive on the ad hoc system in decision making so that malfeasance and political corruption involving the politicians, senior civil servants, public officers and private citizens or businesses can go on uninterrupted. If there are no standards or criteria to guide how the decisions are made then they cannot be audited as there is no process and consistency. This is the political definition of cayman kind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, you know where the governors office is if you want to raise it to his attention.

      Maybe direct rule for a few years would do this place good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you blind? Don’t you see the governor sitting there at every public briefing, nodding and giving his tactic approval to everything that comes out of Alden’s mouth?

    • Anonymous says:

      Governor is responsible for good governance so where is he?

  22. Anonymous says:

    On May 26, a preprint* was released providing the first direct evidence that povidone-iodine, a widely used antiseptic, is capable of killing SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    As little as 0.5% povidone-iodine completely inactivated the virus in 60 seconds, comparable to 70% alcohol. Greater concentrations were equally effective but provided no additional benefit.

    This was an in vitro study, testing the ability to inactivate the virus when infecting isolated cells from the kidneys of African green monkeys. Povidone-iodine is traditionally used topically, and this study does not provide any basis to suggest it should be swallowed orally, which might cause diarrhea, or worse in large amounts.

    70% ethanol ISN’T safe to use inside the nose, as it can alter the ciliary beat frequency, suggesting functional damage to the nasal tissue. 1.25% povidone-iodine solutions ALSO have this problem and 2.5% solutions are toxic to the nasal mucosa, but 0.5% solutions are safe for anyone who doesn’t have an iodine allergy or another reason to avoid iodine. 0.5% solutions are safe to use in the mouth, nose, and eyes.

    This suggests that 0.5% povidone-iodine solutions (which can be made by diluting 10% solutions), can be used inside the nose with a sterile swab, nasal irrigation system, or nasal spray, and that they can be swished in the mouth for 60 seconds, to kill the virus.


    * The term “preprint” is often used in these updates. Preprints are studies destined for peer-reviewed journals that have yet to be peer-reviewed. Because COVID-19 is such a rapidly evolving disease and peer-review takes so long, most of the information circulating about the disease comes from preprints.

    • Anonymous says:

      $6 bottle that would last forever….yet many are waiting for the vaccine!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Povidone-iodine might be effective at killing surface virus, but if you have COVID-19, the virus just regenerates minutes later via sub-surface cells and spreads via mucus or saliva. So it does little to nothing for an active case. Let’s not spread witch-doctor quackery cure-alls right now. We don’t need people inhaling mouthwash or drinking Fantastik. Jesu.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what the up roar is about, but perhaps it was the quality of the request. So many business owners lack basic skills that a 5th grader would have. If the request was incomplete or unitelligible, than what do you expect? Your plan to reopen has to be understood and if it isn’t why would they waste their time with hundreds more to go thru. Cayman is really good at complaining that for sure. I am as well, but hopefully you’re able to understand my post 😉.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a crock. It’s the idiots processing the requests that have the low-grade literacy. Talk what you know. The refusal I got simply said that my business didn’t “fall into an exempted category“, which made no sense, since if it did, I wouldn’t need to apply for an exemption to allow my workers to return to work. It also wasn’t signed, did not identify who made the decision and other than the aforementioned vacuous response, there were no clear intelligible reasons given for the refusal. I wrote back and demanded that they provide me with a written response in compliance with section 19 (2) of the Constitution and the idiot simply responded to that by saying I should contact the planning department, which has sweet F.A. to do with the process. The whole entire process is corrupt and engineered for Alden to exempt whoever he wants, for the projects he chooses. How is that not an abuse of office?

      • Anonymous says:

        I can definitely see your anger in this post. Relax, you’ll give yourself a heart attack, try to see through all the conspiracy theories and I promise, the earth is NOT flat!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, and maybe you should pull your head out of Alden’s backside once in a while, and look around you. Maybe then you might have a heart attack too.

        • Anonymous says:

          But you don’t know that. Neither do I. We have been taught that we live on a sphere hurtling through space at God knows how many miles an hour, but my glass sits calmly on my table.
          I don’t know and neither do you.

      • Anon says:

        7.03pm I agree, the lack of a name to the response reflects the time honoured civil service tradition of lack of accountability.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true. Too many running around about they own and operate a business and can’t show up on fime. Let you wait an entire day to get the AC service when their appointment was for 10:00. won’t return a phone call from their customer. This will be survival of the fittest! Maybe we will get better service after this – at least I hope so.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hellooo, this is Cayman of course there was favoritism that is the way the system works.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The ombudsman seems to love her job. She knows better than to challenge the almighty. Is her office at least going to investigate the complaints made?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Ombudsman was hired for one reason only…so she won’t rock the boat! She is a wet noodle and that’s probably being a little unfair to the noodle.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are right, then she is playing a direct role in the destruction of the country. Grinning like the governor, and muttering “how awful, they really should do better next time”, on repeat, until retirement – with nothing ever getting fixed and no one ever being held accountable.

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