Turtle farm boss reported to corruption cops

| 08/03/2021 | 60 Comments
Cayman Turtle Centre (Photo credit Mark Hardison)

(CNS): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has reported its concerns about the potentially corrupt behaviour of the Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (CTCEC) CEO to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Commission of Standards in Public Life (CSPL). Following the PAC review of how salaries increases were handled for management at the CTC, the committee called for Tim Adam to be fired in a report that should have gone before Parliament this year.

The report never reached the floor of Parliament during this administration as a result of the premier’s decision to bring the election forward, which closed the House more than six weeks earlier than expected. However, the PAC report on the Turtle Centre as well as one into the ever-growing airport redevelopment costs have been circulated, and both cases demonstrate a worrying disregard for properly managing public cash.

However, the situation at the CTCEC goes beyond the usual poor management of public cash, and PAC Chair Ezzard Miller said the members felt that the CEO should face disciplinary action and that there was more than enough grounds for the board to fire him. “I had no choice but to report the the performance of the CEO of the turtle farm to the Anti-Corruption and Standards in Public Life commissions as I believe it is clear he broke both laws,” Miller told CNS.

Explaining the salary issues that led to the CTCEC management, including the CEO getting two significant pay increases by mistake, Miller said Adam’s actions relating to the attempt to rectify the error were overt and clear. “He went to the board with four options and persuaded them to select the one that favoured him the most,” Miller said.

In his letter, the PAC chair set out the details of what could be the CEO’s unlawful bahaviour that saw Adam personally benefit from two pay changes that were not approved in accordance with legal requirements.

“Firstly, 24 CTCEC employees including Mr Adam were erroneously paid incremental pay increases. While this was brought to the Board’s attention by Mr Adam, it was he who devised the four options for dealing with the over-payments and advised the Board on those without recusing himself,” Miller wrote. “The option recommended by Mr Adam and accepted by the Board was the one that was most generous to employees whereby they continued receiving the erroneous higher level of pay despite not being entitled to it.”

Given that the board reversed the decision just days after the PAC hearing, the inevitably conclusion is that this was an admission to the wrongdoing, he said.

Explaining the second pay issue, Miller said that an incentive salary scheme for just senior management was also changed by Adam to increase bonus payments from a maximum of 15% to a maximum of 17% without the necessary board, and possibly Cabinet, approval.

PAC’s report also outlined the ongoing challenges to the viability of the CTCEC, given the level of subsidy it still receives, the lack of value for money offered by the facility and the current ongoing challenges to tourism presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, they found that the profits on the retail side and losses on the farm side were both overstated due to misapplication of costs.

“The Committee recommends that Government update the CTCEC’s budget documents to introduce a purchase agreement and outline measurable deliverables (outputs) for the different aspects of the business, each with a corresponding level of subsidy, in line with existing practice for most SAGCs,” the PAC stated.

Meanwhile, the work the committee did reviewing the airport development also highlighted a number of issues, and the PAC has made a number of recommendations, including the need for a formal post-project evaluation exercise as soon as possible. “They should then prepare a report, which identifies lessons learned and share this widely across the public sector so that all can benefit,” PAC said.

“The committee heard that large numbers of errors and omissions were identified in drawings prepared for the project and that these contributed to significant delays and cost over-runs,” the report stated, adding that the committee was concerned that no one “was checking these prior to issuing them to potential vendors or for planning approval”.

As a result, the members recommended that a public sector project manager is appointed on all major projects with the technical capability to check drawings before they are issued, and that if an overseas lead consultant is appointed to manage any project here, that they have a full-time local presence for the duration of the contract.

Given the importance of these reports, Miller said he was disappointed that by calling a snap election, the government will avoid answering to the people during this campaign regarding two critical statutory authorities, the mismanagement of public cash and the ongoing poor management of major capital projects.

“Members of the committee and staff worked hard to get these reports completed as quickly as possible after the live witness hearings,” Miller said.”I am very disappointed that the parliament was prorogued before the government completed its response and explained what it was going to do to address the PAC’s recommendations.”

See the relevant documents in the CNS Library


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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    #bringbackjoey

  2. Anonymous says:

    When I heard the CEO testify to PAC that he didn’t know what the signing authorities were prior to 2020 when changes had to be made because this issue came to light ….. I was astounded! There are only two reasons for his answer 1. He lied or 2. Gross incompetence. That simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Either one is a dismissable offence!

      • Anonymous says:

        At least he not saying he christian lik som oder Staturoty authorty bosses

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh yes they profess, but again they are human and therefore not infallible.
          Sometimes when there is such a failure of leadership it is one finally meeting their comeuppance, as the Limey’s would say Payback is a B|^€h.
          A true Christian usually shows love and empathy towards other peoples situations and realize their own talents are God given and utilize them in the way God intended rather than acting as a know it all, and seeking to rub salt into wounds.

  3. Truth says:

    Its the priveledge of being a “Lodge” member. They look out for fellow “Brothers”.

    I will bet 10,000 to 1 that nothing will come about this. Nobody will be prosecuted and they will still get a big Government Job, AGAIN, COME NEXT ELECTED Government.

    Until this disease called “Lodge” is eradicated then nothing will ever get better and the same old shit will continue to occur especialy in Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Suspended with pay for 2 years until everyone forgets about it…

    • Anonymous says:

      The disease is actually perpetuated by the God of West Bay who has demonstrated that you can get away with anything in West Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t hire persons from the private sector to run public sector entities.

      It just does work.

      There is much more duty, care and due diligence needed when handling public funds.

      • WhaYaSay! says:

        This is THE most logical statement made. EVER!!!
        It is a completely different game when you’re a civil or public servant. Most private sector professionals are too self involved to do it.

      • Anonymous says:

        When there is even duty and care in the public service, some decision makers hate that because it shines a light on their past behavior and “incompetence” shall we call it 😏.
        Then they turn on the new efficient manager and try everything to get him out, either through direct or indirect means, like withholding support and resources aka setting them up to fail. When that doesn’t work they bad mouth them so that their future becomes very bleak . How many cases need to go to court before decision makers treat people properly like https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/5779fc70e561096c93131afc

    • Anonymous says:

      But he nah in the Lodge, try again.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s coming. Don’t worry. When people have enough of a governments bs and secret tree house clubs they all come together like ants over sugar.

      • Anonymous says:

        Must be a lot $ . Just look at. their cars and houses. No school fees because their children all get scholarships. This country has been good to you : No one should have to remind you to treat tCaymanian decently and stop showing your favoritism to your likeness. Your disdain for us clear.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yawn, this kind of stuff is standard operating procedure in Cayman.

    And let’s be honest, that place is a glorified turtle abattoir, not a turtle centre or conservation establishment.

    • D. Truth says:

      Anonymous 7:27 am: The only thing wrong with your comment is that is too damn true!

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct, and the ACC will do nothing about it. They don’t go after the high society and privileged wrongdoers only the lower status offenders. I know what I am saying.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This government is corrupt and those who vote them back in deserve what they get!

  6. Anonymous says:

    You just can’t make up this stuff. Overpaid management and overblown egos, losing millions and little accountability, while occasionally selling turtle meat at a price we can’t really afford. The only ones benefitting here are Adam and his cronies. Is it any wonder the paper Caymanians call us entitled ? Seems we as a nation have no backbone or integrity, and are easily bought off, while the select few keep their snouts in the trough. Is there no one in power who’s prepared to stand up against (and point out) corruption and cronyism, without expecting a piece of the pie ?

    Mind you, Ezzard is just a Johnny cum lately with the whistle blowing. While I do agree with many of his views, his timing stinks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    XXXX it will all be swept under the rug in time to come. Noone will be made accountable in the end.

    Cayman Kind at is best!!!

    SHAME!!!!!! on all who allowed this to happen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for our world class civil service…..zzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      9:51. Only one problem with your comment. It’s wrong

      The Turtle Centre is not part of our world class civil service.

      How is this so hard to understand

    • Anonymous says:

      9:51pm

      Run by an “ex private sector CEO” where this is standard operating procedure.

      • Anonymous says:

        The private sector needs anti-corruption and a whistle blowing mechanism too starting with work permits, and the now blatant discrimination shown towards Caymanians, when it even comes to salaries.

  9. Anonymous says:

    shut this vile facility right now.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I watched the most recent PAC on the airport on Youtube. The CEO had the NERVE to say they cannot find qualified Caymanians for their Finance department and that the airport ID process takes a long time and so people leave. Are we stupid, or what? Probation is six months, it takes longer than six months to get an employee ID? When last did any of us see an ad anywhere seeking an accountant for the airport? They do not advertise; they keep getting temp$$$ from employment agencie$$$ over and over and we pay for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really?
      You heard the turtle farm CEO say they can’t find qualified Caymanians for their Finance department and that the airport ID process takes a long time and so people leave?
      And fifty-upteen people agree with you with their Like buttons?
      So, where part is that in the turtle farm CEO’s testimony please?

      • Anonymous 9:34pm says:

        To 2:41pm: Where part you did not read the PAC on the AIRPORT? Guess your reading comprehension skills are rusty. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  11. Anonymous says:

    Fire him, his salary is way too high. Why pay a C E O that high wages to lose millions yearly, only wasting tax payers money, insane, insane indeed

    • Anonymous says:

      Fire him? Put his ass in jail!

      • Anonymous says:

        Every civil servant & employee/director of the other government entities (cayman airways/ofreg/turtle farm etc) should be auto retired at 65 to make way for younger Caymanians seeking employment/advancement.
        The way employees in the private sector are given retirement or even early retirement if you are at the Class A banks!

      • Anonymous says:

        Mind you put the rest of him in there too, not just his ass🙄

    • Anonymous says:

      How much is the C E O high wages?

      • Anonymous says:

        Must be a lot . do see the thee arsthey drive ,

      • Anonymous says:

        Must be a lot $ . Just look at. their cars and houses. No school fees because their children all get scholarships. This country has been good to you : No one should have to remind you to treat tCaymanian decently and stop showing your favoritism to your likeness. Your disdain for us clear.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Insubordination!

  13. Anonymous says:

    More government money just going down the drain! Turtle Farm should have been privatized a LONG time ago!

    • Anonymous says:

      oh yeah because privatisation has certainly seen an increase in quality to the treatment of it’s constituents rather than profiteering. I’m fine with the turtle farm losing money as a public entity. If it means the turtles can live in comfortable conditions and the ongoing conservation of green sea turtles.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just shut it down…….. and punish the theives. If you want more turtles, protect them until they are plentiful.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Close it down and sell the land

  15. Anonymous says:

    The most surprising aspect of this, is that Ezzard has put down his rubber stamp and finally found the rusty PAC whistle entrusted to him on behalf of the public, and hanging for years around his own neck, and is finally blowing through it to see if the device can still make noise. Too little too late?

    • Anonymous says:

      He has been on this for a long time with no effect. He gets shut down each time. How many horns does one need to have???

      • Anonymous says:

        He sure has, years and warehouses of this stuff, but LA soundbites and guest Rooster whineathons don’t have any material affect on those tenured crooks occupying our LA, SAGCs, and Committees. Leader of PAC (Miller) needs to fill in the complaint form, sign it, and submit it. Then a process of FCU/SIPLC investigation follows, and then it’s up to the RCIPS, ACC, and DPP to lay charges, if any. Miller, of all people, should know which forms he needs to fill in, when, why, and to whom. If one of those superior agencies isn’t following up, or handing out free passes to select allies, then that’s a much more serious governance problem that must be referred up to the FCO. Miller has been entrusted in this PAC watchdog capacity for at least a decade, approving all of the insane expenditures this website was founded-on.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The never-ending grift of government funds. From the politicians to the managers they put in place, and the staff that they then hire.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If Ezzard loses his seat and there is a new PAC chair, bet your boots this drains away into the sand.

  18. Darlene says:

    With no disrespect who got the raises?. Was it the little workers feeding the turtles, working in the restaurant and the coffee shop?. What Happen too the staff protest that suppose too have happened sometime in February 2021. Did the staff receive awards before the protest suppose too happen?.

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