Volunteers wanted to ‘police’ public servants

| 15/09/2020 | 43 Comments

(CNS): The Governor’s Office has put out a call for civic-minded, fair and politically neutral accountants, lawyers and other professional volunteers who would like to be considered for a seat on the Commission for Standards in Public Life (CSPL). With the implementation of the law earlier this year, members of this commission will be in a position to make a difference and hold public servants, especially politicians, accountable.

As the tenure of the former members, Rosie Whittaker-Myles, who chaired the commission for almost five years, and member Sheenah Hislop come to an end, Governor Martyn Roper is inviting expressions of interest from the public for appointments to CSPL. Current member Isatou Smith’s tenure currently expires on 31 October 2022. However, it appears from the release that the commission will grow from three members to four (the chair plus three members).

The Commissions Secretariat explained that in accordance with the Constitution, the CSPL comprises a chairman plus between two four members, which means that there are between three and five individuals on the commission at any one time.

Since 2015, when it was formed, the CSPL has limped along with no power to investigate or enforce standards among elected officials, board appointees and public servants who might be conflicted politically in their roles. But the law was finally implemented in March this year, just weeks before the country was locked down, finally giving the commission the power to investigate potential ethics breaches and conflicts of interest.

“The Commission for Standards in Public Life is an extremely valuable resource in the advancement of good governance,” the governor said in a press release inviting members of the public to put themselves forward. “Now that the Standards in Public Life Law has commenced, this Commission has the ability to function at a very high level, especially as it relates to reducing conflicts of interest,” he added.

According to the release issued by the Commissions Secretariat, people who would fit the profile for the commission are civic-minded, demonstrate the ability to be measured, fair and politically neutral, and are regarded by their peers and members of the community as maintaining the highest standards of integrity. They must also have a willingness to advocate for the cause and educate the general public. 

The release noted that the Constitution requires the members to be Caymanian and “have knowledge of practice in the private or public sector”. At least one member must be a chartered or certified accountant with at least ten years experience and another member must be a legal practitioner who has practiced in the Commonwealth for at least ten years.

No one who is a member of the Legislative Assembly or who has held office in a political party for the last five years can be a member. The ban also applies to anyone who has held public office during the preceding three years.

The appointments are made by the governor after consultation with the premier and the leader of the opposition for a renewable term of four years. These voluntary appointments, which come with a small stipend, require individuals to contribute about 10 to 20 hours per month, sometimes more for a chairperson.

In addition to its local remit, the CSPL has regional involvement with the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption bodies (CCAICACB) as a member. The CCAICACB hosts an annual conference and other knowledge exchange endeavours with its regional delegates with the goal of curbing corruption. 

Anyone interested in being considered for an appointment to the Commission should submit information about themselves, including previous experiences and appointments (to which they can attach a resume), and why they believe they would be a good fit on this Commission.

Expressions of interest or a request for additional information can be emailed to Deborah.bodden@gov.ky.

For more about the Commission visit the CSPL website.


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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is how it works in real world.

    “Ethics commission claims Fort Myers [Florida] police chief misused city purchase card”

    https://www.winknews.com/2020/09/16/ethics-commission-says-fort-myers-police-chief-misused-city-purchase-card/

  2. Anonymous says:

    Corruption: An insidious, creeping crime https://www.caymancompass.com/2015/06/03/corruption-an-insidious-creeping-crime/

    David Legge had guts to say as it is. Today’s Compass is a butt kisser.

    Nothing has changed since the famous June, 2015 article. If not for CNS and its readers that remember things and bring it to the surface again and again ( Ms.O‘Connor-Connely for example) the territory would have been a very scary place to reside in.

    “When it comes to Cayman’s continuing status as a financial services center of the first class, not even the appearance of corruption can be tolerated. In this arena, on the world stage, there can be no room for “cultural differences.””

    Today only CNS seems to have guts to light a fire under under many a$$es. Don’t underestimate it. Support it. There are no alternatives.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just think for a second, if your voice was silenced here, on CNS, who would keep CIG on their toes? Certainly not Compass.

      I believe good people work at Compass, but they’re on a very short leash, “forced” to write nonsense and “praise” obvious absurds. Such as bio-buttons, sanitation of hotels by “ powerful chemicals”, “resort bubbles”, etc.

      I wonder who came up with these paragraphs:
      “The rooms are sprayed with a bacteria-killing chemical agent by cleaners in hazmat suits, wielding electrostatic spray guns.
      The process resembles an anti-terror squad decontaminating a crime scene, or perhaps an outtake from ‘Ghostbusters”

      Do they really believe this is something to be proud of? Or it is a sign of insanity on the island free of the virus which water and soap successfully eliminate?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This should be made up of non caymanians , they cannot be trusted to police their own. To much corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah and I guess that expatriates can be? 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong demographic.
      Should be non-Lodge.
      White Lodge gave the black man his very own Lodge, (the Prince Hall,) to make him feel important.
      Some things in life you can change, your colour and ethnicity is not on the list.

      You can change who has power over you by telling them to get lost and refusing to play their game.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah….except I worked with expat civil servants who padded their expense reports all the time. Worked with one who hired her friend to come down a teach a course. When I took over the role, found the created “invoice” on a memory stick she gave me. Claims for taxi fare when the conference was across the street from the hotel etc. etc. etc.

      Think about “The Pines” incident, the lawyer at Solomon Harris, the lawyer that hit the pedestrians. Expats are just so morally and ethically superior to us lowly Caymanians. #butu

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Governor.

    If we want an effective Commission and functioning SIPL law we need a Chairman preferably with a legal background along with a Deputy Chair with a strong compliance background supported by 2 or 3 board members with appropriate experience. All must be politically independent (to the extent that is possible in such a small country) and free from undue influence. And they need to be paid for performing a task for which they will eventually be criticized, critiqued, shunned and maybe even threatened.

    Asking for unpaid volunteers. Seriously?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Small stipend “ it says, but I wonder how small ?
      Planning appeals, JP and other posts are unpaid and time consuming. Unfair to have what sounds like a time demanding role in SIPL (about 20 hours a month ! ) to be unpaid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly the CIG thinks it will be able to count on hundred of unpaid volunteers to do a large part of its job for it forever. They will soon find out how wrong that assumption is. It is too hard to get by here now to donate your time especially when you will be challenged, poked at, made fun of, abused etc. so taking one of these roles serves to make you controversial, as opposed to burnish your CV/career/skills. You also don’t have all the discretionary power you used to with one of these positions. It’s basically all risk, all hassle, and no reward unless you are a masochist or an executive-type person who likes to take charge of things and will spend endless hours just to feel like the boss. There might be a few of those people still around but they’re frankly dying off. Today’s human beings want something for their labour, even if it is intangible, and these positions do not even come with any prestige. I think if you are the Chair (not a mere member but a Chair) of a Commission then you get to have dinner with the Governor once a year. The other hundreds of us who serve on boards, appeals tribunals and so on that pay absolutely nothing are not even honoured with a single reception or even a card or letter all year, year after year.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is true but we do it because someone needs to! And unfortunately what is now clearly happening is that this is becoming an opportunity to slander and degrade anyone that accepts these positions. This speaks volumes about the few that take the time to anonymously and baselessly slander and victimize anyone that dares to accept. They hide in the shadows and just seem to come out to destroy the names and reputations of others that donate countless hours… Whoever these persons are that behave like this, I sure hope they have no political aspirations. I wouldn’t want someone so divisive and monstrous leading or governing us.

  5. J Cross says:

    Ethics are you for real Cayman?? The U.K. has two kinds of morality side by side one which they preach but do not practice another which they practice but seldom preach.Corruption has always been their reality as has immorality its in their DNA!

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh? It’s got nothing to do with the UK. It’s a legal requirement of Cayman law in accordance with the Cayman constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK is far from perfect, true. But at least there seem to be consequences for their parliamentarians. Contrast Charlie Elohicke getting 2 years in jail for groping two women XXXX

  6. Anonymous says:

    SIPL is a grave overreach!!

  7. Logan born Caymanian says:

    Exactly what standards is our dear governor talking of ?? When the only standards UK needs is to keep status quo in place whilst our political stooges get rich or die trying ,but so long as they don’t interfere or challenge our interest.we let them do their ting! This is why corruption will always exists in this territory because it greases wheels of the machinery that maintains this defunct Colonial power alive !

    • Anonymous says:

      Boi u can hear some shyte!

      Endemically corrupt private sector to “police” public sector😂😂😂😂😂

  8. Who deh Cap fit says:

    Well here we go yet again another committee filled to the brim with political minions lodge cronies both male and female and a few expats approved by the PCC political corruption commission aka Mafiya. Caymanians aren’t you tired of this Shit! Oh I almost forgot approved by our Dear oblivious and indifferent F c O blackHat agent provocateur! I and I quote “ Dey Good people”

    • JTB says:

      No expats allowed – it’s the law

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually tired of you! You say a lot and smear the names of others but you actually contribute nothing meaningful to society. A wannabe politician sitting in the armchair of life and throwing stones at anyone else who is actually trying to make a positive difference. Rather than sowing strife, dont hate and participate, in a meaningful and positive way.

  9. Pedant says:

    Chosen after consultation with the premier and leader of the opposition? Fat chance it’ll be objective and use its powers properly then. I’d like to bet that no-one is “held accountable” for anything as a result of this Board’s action, in the next two years. Any takers?

  10. anon says:

    Having a Committee tasked to bring accountability to Public Servants is like having a Committee tasked to ending corruption. It will never happen in these islands, both have always been endemic and always will be.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t volunteer for that job if you paid me a million billion dollars.

    Black ball is real in the Cayman Islands.

    I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot gaff.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Only if we get to fire people

  13. Anonymous says:

    There really is no need to specify accountant or lawyer, there are many intelligent people who do not choose these professions

  14. Anonymous says:

    For starters, there shouldn’t be anyone on this Committee that isn’t also an active seasoned member in good standing of the Cayman Islands Compliance Association. No gay-hating clergy or construction industry moguls. That should go without saying, but of course one has to spell out the obvious in the Cayman Islands…esp when it comes to overt self-evident conflicts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh here we go…Because conflicts of interest and cronyism are only cayman islands problems. #staysensible

  15. Anonymous says:

    off REG…😴😴😴

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can expats volunteer?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you read?

    • Anonymous says:

      5.56 They don’t want ex-pats to volunteer because we would empty the place! And because we aren’t lodge members, we won’t do any backdoor shady deals or funny handshakes and turn a blind eye to their nefarious scheming.

      • Anonymous says:

        And there you have it: Caymanians hate their own for whatever their reasons of the day are, and the expats hate us too. What hope do we have? Wake up Cayman and pull it together. We are successful and everyone wants to be here and become Caymanian. At least start to respect one another regardless of gender, politics or sexual preference and then we might stand a chance!

        • Anonymous says:

          10.17 Nope. I’m not having that. Ex-pats DON’T hate you. Ex-pats get frustrated at some of the nonsense that you allow to happen and then moan about. We (I) would LOVE this island to be a paragon of virtue but the navel gazing needs to stop before that will ever happen.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think your comment speaks for itself… you as an expat will empty the place! You forget we see what’s happening to the very countries you’ve run away from. They are in complete turmoil! How did you get on in emptying the place there?! Cayman has its faults but there is a reason you’ve come here. If you are a part of the solution and able to be respectful of others, welcome! If not then please continue to be a part of the problem in your own country.

  17. Cayruption Islands says:

    I truly hope this will not be another stacked committee out to manipulate the system for their own gain.

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