Development deals to remain secret

| 29/06/2020 | 75 Comments
Cayman News Service
Minister Joey Hew in the LA Monday

(CNS): Planning Minister Joey Hew has said that government has no intention at present of making agreements it has made with developers public because most contain commercially sensitive information. The minster claimed that government was looking at forming a policy framework that would be public but he did not think it was currently justified to reveal details of the deals.

Hew was responding to questions from Opposition Leader Arden McLean (EE) when he dodged the issue of public interest, given that it is often public resources that are at stake. The minister said that historically, developers entering into deals with government expected a level of confidentiality because of the commercial sensitivity.

But the opposition leader pressed the minister to address the issue of the concessions given to developers and why such things were not public, given the fact that it is not Cabinet’s money but the public’s money that may be negotiated away.

“I want to know when these things are going to be made public,” McLean asked.

Hew pointed to a committee working on the policy framework but said he could not give a date when that would be ready. He said he could not make a commitment to making other historic agreements public. When asked by the opposition leader if he thought this was fair, Hew said it was not his position to say what was fair or not.

He said that once a policy was formed, government could look at what could be released. But government had to adhere to whatever conditions were agreed at the time of an agreement, he said.

McLean questioned what government was trying to hide, noting that it created the public speculation that they were covering things up, whether they were or not. He said many agreements being made on behalf of the public were being made behind closed doors.

“Is this in the best interest of the people?” the opposition leader asked.

Hew said that he could not commit to publish past agreements and some might involve McLean when he was in government. Hew said he was not sure where the opposition leader was going but he insisted there would be a policy going forward. He said he could not commit to disclosing agreements that could get government in trouble.

The minister said he did agree with transparency and that he did not write the Constitution and the rules surrounding Cabinet, but he was committed to developing a policy.

“I don’t know what he is trying to get at here. What happened in the past is out of my control and I am commuting to the future,” Hew said.

However, McLean said it was not about him and what he wanted to know but about the public interest and getting transparency regarding these decisions for the people.


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Category: development, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (75)

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  1. The Political Slut says:

    Yes big wheels and big deals another secret motto of the ppm now reinfected with udp & cdp virus. Filled to the brim with their Star Chamber of Lodge parasites and a certain service club consigliere’s living it up in their mansions and protected compounds off west bay road Re directing business opportunities and consultant fees from our resident billionaires who now fund their lavish lifestyles. Whilst our environment is damage beyond repair our people overwhelm and made jobless and homeless living on donations from our foreign residents. Whilst our children’s future is in serious jeopardy our local economy and government is now totally controlled by leadership and the whims of even their concubines both male and female. Wow Cayman how did we get so far off the rails by those preaching transparency good” Gowernance “and sustainability?? But yet we hear all is well the numbers are good and we are better off than most! The question is who are better off ? US or Them? If you can answer that you can understand both this and why The minister’s deals need to be national secret.

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  2. Big Pappa says:

    This is a PRIME example of how Caymanian politicians,their cronies, etc. are selling out the Cayman Islands with little fear of any serious consequences…so that later, someone like Mr. Roy Bodden, who also happened to be a former politician (and had plenty of opportunities and power to make changes for the better – but didn’t) claim that it’s colonialism that has brought the Cayman Islands to this sorry state. No Mr. Bodden, it’s not COLONIALISM that has brought the Cayman Islands to this sorry state of affairs, but rather many of your backslapping bosom buddies who who are fully responsible for this.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Where is CTC on all this? CTC is supposed to monitor how Civil Servants find ways to bypass the tendering process.

    The auditor general should audit all capital projects.

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  4. History also remembers the weak & ineffective says:

    Hey Joey,

    Would releasing that “sensitive” commercial information pose a threat to national security?

    You don’t even have a good excuse, do you? Neither you or your party comrades.

    So, congratulations! You’ve joined ranks with a long line of ineffective leaders who are personally responsible for selling out this country and destroying its natural resources. You and so many of your predecessors have created little to no Planning laws to protect these Islands. Yes Joey, you and your predecessors have kowtowed to far too many developers who’ve consistently destroyed this Island’s environment and exploited its people economically.

    History will remember you. And one day, someone will write about what happened to this Island under your watch and how all you could do was “create” a policy frame work.

    Please!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will change unless voters have real options at the next election, so who’s standing up and going for it? Where did C4C go? Where is the next C4C thing? There are enough next generation Caymanians to stand, so stand. Or stop complaining that the guys who can be bothered to do what you wont do are kinda crooked because nobodoy can be bothered to stop them

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  6. Anonymous says:

    With CFATF and FATF having us under a microscope guess how this will translate later on this year. CIG Cloak & dagger development deals represent another case of waiving a red flag to a bull. We’ll end up getting gored again.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry only in Cayman this can happen.

    This is unacceptable

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This UDP + PPM marriage has only served to double the skulduggery.

    The passive + respectful posture of Caymanians has been exploited by the self-interested elected, to do as they please and never account. Caymanians will never revolt, that is what they are banking on.

    Are we not better than this? We have the same right to the wealth and worth of the Cayman Islands as the self-interested whose cut from the deals will never be exposed. Those cuts belong to us and our children. We permit the secrecy, we permit the exploitation of our children’s worth by remaining silent.

    Joey Hew has always suffered from the burden of hubris but this most recent example of his arrogance and disregard for the electorate has gone off the charts. People of Cayman, wake up.

    Our children want fancy cars and nice places to live one day too. They want trees for shade and to seed the clouds for rain. Heat & drought are killing us now from lack of sustainable development planning. Everything is permissible if you can pay.

    We are better than this. Insist on it. Get some fire in your belly to insist there is something left for our children. Insist the self-interested account to us for their gains at our expense.

    When it’s gone, it’s never coming back. Never.Coming.Back.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Please, Cayman is on the same path as the USA.

      One day the islands will be 99% owned by the ELITE and SUPER RICH and the native-born CAYMANIANS will be left with crumbs. Then try to get a decent life for your children. Ha!

      Our history, our traditions, our self-esteem will be left on the seashore — just like beachgrass.

      The sheeple of the USA are watching their country slide away right before their eyes…… but then so are we!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    It was just some miscommunication. Joey Noclue said so at the Smith’s Cove meeting.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    PPM should be ashamed if they select Hew as the leader of the party. He sounds just like Big Mac.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Commercially sensitive = can’t stand the light of day

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So much for for freedom of information.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    How is ‘commercial sensitivity’ defined? Seems to me that many interpretations of this could be applied to just about anything.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Why are we not protesting? Honestly they don’t care about anyone. We barely won the port.

    Do we hold hands and block traffic for 8am at the 4-way by Cricket field on Wednesdays until we are heard!?

    We need to do more or they will never stop. Voting is not enough. It has never been.

    Transparency and accountable is our right.

    Large concessions to wealthy developers to get tax breaks, permits, and planning approvals in return for new roads has not educated our children or put more food on the table or fixed unemployment.

    Silence is betrayal.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    . He said he could not commit to disclosing agreements that could get government in trouble.

    And there you have it. Because transparency is now valued in whether it gets government into trouble. And pray tell what would get government into trouble? When the have done something wrong! SMH.

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    • Wake up Cayman says:

      Large parcel or mangrove wetland the size of 1 percent of the entire island was just sold by the Harquail estate to Frank Schilling who plans to use his government connections to dredge a canal straight through the center of the Central Mangrove Wetland area!!!! Keep an eye on this guy!

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      • Anonymous says:

        That is why Dart built the infrastructure for the canal in front of the National Gallery while developing the road. Stay woke Cayman.

        We have tunnels that run through no mountains.

        We have a bridge to West Bay but no river to cross.

        What’s coming next?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Is the minister acknowledging that his ministry did something wrong? Can’t be true! Just asking.

  16. Anonymous says:

    1. Caymanians on Cayman:

    – a modern, sophisticated, all-inclusive and educated society

    – like Monaco, Switzerland and Singapore

    2. Observers on Cayman:

    – a backward, unsophisticated, insincere, greedy and corrupt lot

    – more like Sudan, Haiti, Yemen or Somalia with the exception of banana mudslides

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Minister is a disgrace. He and the PPM ran on transparency and integrity. He is proving to have none. I will not waste my vote on him again!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Translation: back door deals, payoffs for planning permission, change in policy to permit deals, all in a days work for this corrupt Little Rock. On their soap box, politicians will blame the almighty expat for stealing their island. All that changes when they get in power and get their precious envelope of cash. Then and only then do they see it as progress. So who is wrong here; the foreigners paying off the Govt officials or our representatives taking this for their own? I saw stop blaming the foreigners as they only take what is given! Our forefathers sold all the land to the 3vil foreigners remember that.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    #JOEYWHO again? That man is dangerous and dumb

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Joey is a dangerous one- you just wait what he would give to be premier- you all going under the bus!

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  20. common sense says:

    Maybe the Ministry led by Joey Hew should be re-named the “Ad HOC” Ministry as that accurately reflects their approach to transparency, concessions and spending public monies!

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  21. Time to drain the Swamp says:

    The Auditor General must now investigate every major decision and all planning approvals and concessions granted by Minister Joey Hew who does not understand accountability, transparency and good governance. Every one associated with the planning approval process should be subject to an investigation. The time has come for a comprehensive audit of all decisions and portfolios under Hew’s leadership.

    Look at what both Minister Hew GTN and MLA Connolly GTS and former planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts did with the Smith’s Barcadere disaster and secret meetings with no minutes kept. All proved themselves to be unfit for office and are liabilities to the Cayman Islands.

    Minister Hew’s actions and attitude remind me of how McKeeva operates. This is not his first embarrassing episode as a minister. He cannot be trusted to lead the PPM or the Cayman Islands. We do not need another uneducated clown that is connected to every secret back room deal embarrassing the country.

    Time to vote Joey Hew out of office and all others who support such actions. Cayman deserves better than leadership like this. In 2021 it’s Time to drain the Cayman swamp.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ain’t gonna happen. Joey will be a MLA for at least 8 more years, probably more like 16. You can thank single member constituencies for that.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    how is this legal?
    audit this now.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Joey has got to go!

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    • Anonymous says:

      …all of them need to go, but not let off scot-free as has been the foolish precedent with past bent politicians. Every one of them should be under suspicion and thoroughly investigated by a competent auditing firm until that suspicion is cleared by sign-off. There is sufficient probable cause for it to be deep and invasive, unlike anything that has happened before. We need to demonstrate to CFATF that we are tackling the oft-cited corruption problems in the Cayman Islands with SIPL, ACC, FCU, and DPP all functioning as required.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    “When someone shows you who they are BELIEVE them”

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  25. Anonymous says:

    What does he mean? Does he work for me or do I work for him?

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Well Cayman, is this the gov’t you want for the future?

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  27. Anonymous says:

    This was pretty funny to watch, now the word of the day for my five year old son is “Madam Speaka”

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Joey Hew wants to be our premier he will be worse than Mckeeva, everything will be for his cronies while he sells the country down the river.

    The only thing they have done in the last four years is fight their own people against a cruise dock, which is definitely not needed now given the global situation at the moment. We must not forget the dastardly acts of the PPM we cannot award them a third term in office.

    They are definitely not the government you can trust and we definitely are not CaymanStrong with them at the helm.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If there is any issue related to the DUMP we have every right to know what was agreed to with a private developer.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Does anyone have any idea where matters stand in relation to the CIG doing something about the DUMP? After 20 years of discussion by the CIG surely something must have been decided by now.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, a private developer has discovered there is pirate’s treasure buried at the bottom of the dump and he’s made a sweat heart deal involving a backhander to rip off the citizens of the Cayman Islands by buying the dump. He will then secretly steal all the buried treasure and to cover up his misdeed, he will cap and cover the precious dump with grass and a park, making sure to remediate it so that no one ever will have to go back in there and find out he’s taken all the treasure. Sad!

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    • Anonymous says:

      He’s our next premier – bet on it!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Roy McTaggart is the better choice to lead the PPM that has honor and integrity. Why Alden refuses to endorse him as the next leader becomes clearer everyday. McTaggart is easily the better candidate for leadership. Alden and Joey have sold out and are now all about the contracts concessions XXXX.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Roy, Wayne, and others willing to serve the people honestly, need to form a new party and lead an era of consultative democracy where transparency, accountability, human decency, and the environment are more than just vote-gathering decoy aspirations. That’s what’ll be measured in the years ahead to earn a statue in Hero’s park. It might be a lot more work gathering a consensus, but at least there will be soundings from constituents and debate/shadow participation from the fully-salaried opposition benches. The CDP/UDP/PPM were nearly completely rejected last election, but were somehow allowed to slither back to form this frankenworst government. Someone needs to drive a spike through this whole recent era of bad governance, and give people hope again. Who will it be?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wayne Panton.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you will be running in the next election

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey Hew is worse than McKeeva Bush and Alden McLaughlin. It will be a dark moment in Cayman’s political history if this uneducated snake oil sales man is allowed to become Premier.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We are very much Cayman Strong with this Government. Rca use of their work starting last term finances have been improved and Government has been stable.

      The economy was strong and money was put aside for a rainy day. Even while increasing the benefits to the needy and elderly, reducing taxes, growing small business, and prior to Covid halving unemployment. Capital projects were being paid from cash and needed projects were started or finished.

      Again prior to Covid debt was drastically reduced. We were in a good place.

      Because of this Government we are well placed to handle the recession ahead. And because of this Government’s swift actions we have controlled the virus without many people becoming sick and locals or residents dying.

      Facts are facts my friend. Cayman Strong.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Marco Archer did much of the cleaning up of the finances and Roy maintained the status quo until he bowed to pressure from leadership to spend it in hopes of electoral victory in 2021. Why are the gov continuing to spend millions on a school Like we know what the current pandemic will mean for the future of schools. why are we repaving every street when there is a looming economic crisis.

        To me it’s quite clear Alden is doing the same thing he did in 2008-2009 in the global recession and expecting different results and that is the definition of insanity. History will not be kind to the premier since he’s so concerned about his legacy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Shut up twin!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Anonymous 2:18 am: I don’t usually write comments like this, but YOU ARE A FUGGIN IDIOT!!! Or a paid liar.

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  29. Lip Service says:

    Again this skirting of transparency. When will it stop….

    As long as there remains no moratorium on the public releasing of members of club, societies and groups, whether in government or not, then there will always be a shroud of secrecy thrown over any and everything.

    These entities have a vested interest, and even an aggressive point, in remaining secret.

    Why… well for one it would show the wheeling and dealing amongst them. It would show the favortisms and biasness of these entities among each other. The assistance they give to each other.

    If I had a special group that I was a part of, whose members could remain anonymous, but still direct huge contracts on behalf of Government towards my fellow brethren, and get away with it legally, then what do you think would be in my best interest?

    Common sense must prevail. These groups, clubs and societies hide behind a veil of secrecy. They claim to be upright and honest. But in their upholding of thier secrecy and aggressive resistance to lifting this veil of secrecy can only mean one thing…. Corruption…

    There needs to be a law requiring the publishing of the members of these group, clubs and societies. Until this is required, nothing will get better. The statement by this Minister is ONLY LIP SERVICE. Just like the Standards in Public Life law that cannot be passed after how many years????? I will bet all my assets that 20yrs from now we still waiting on all these things to pass.

    At least have these persons put on some RED LIPSTICK with all the “lip servicing” they accomplish….

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh please, someone make it end! These characters got elected promising openness, transparency and accountability. They plainly have not delivered on their promises. They have sold us out.

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    • #JOEYWHO says:

      Joey is a a dunce and complete sellout!
      He cannot be trusted and only represents the rich and developer class. He and Alden are two peas in pod. Joey is a joke and his party have become the new udp. Vote them all out in 2021

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    • Res Ipsa Loquitur says:

      How much more evidence do the voters need as to understand that Minister Joey Hew, Premier McLaughlin and the entire ppm led UNITY government cannot be trusted? Based on their own actions and words.

      How can Hew try to justify all the madness he is involved in as minister, does he think the public are stupid? He committed to a $2m parking lot enhancement project but there are zero notes or information from the meetings kept. He gives out concessions like candies without any process or framework to his friends and supporters.This is all deliberate and demonstrates the lengths he and this government will go to achieve its plans. This cannot be tolerated any longer.

      Everything they do and are attempting to do is shady and lacks transparency. Hew has admitted to the ad hoc approach to decisions made. They are working for anybody that will sponsor them or pay them what they need. They consistently lie and misled the people look at the cruise port project. They have no interests in doing things properly. Every project is riddled with serious questions and propaganda which points to the facts that they work for special interests group to the detriment of the public.

      They do not believe in openness. They do not believe in public consultation their version of consultation is an embarrassment. I hope that enough voters are waking up and seeing them all for what they are. They do not represent the majority they serve a small group of developers and wealthy business owners that has bought their support in order to direct their every action and decision as policy makers.

      This is not just a simple a return on investment…that is how corruption works in politics.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    We need to get rid of Joey Hewsless.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Commercially sensitive information isn’t supposed exist in fully transparent and compliant governance involving public cash or public resources. Since public cash or resources are all the government is legally allowed to play with, it really begs the question..,,what else are they doing that they want to keep secret and hidden? Where is the toothless SIPL vanguard when you need them? It’s past time for arrests of our corrupt actors to demonstrate to the CFATF that we are hearing their complaints. Are the Governor and FCO listening?

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