OAG: MITAMA broke law re CI$6M spent on o’seas promos

| 31/01/2022 | 316 Comments
Cayman News Service
Then Premier Alden McLaughlin and his chief officer, Eric Bush, in London in November 2020

(CNS): The former administration broke the law when it committed the current government to around $6 million in spending over the next five years on overseas promotion. The former premier’s ministry signed agreements and contracts to open overseas offices and attend an Expo in Dubai just days before and after the election. The breaches of the Constitution as well as breaches of the public service and public finance management laws have been exposed in a report by the Office of the Auditor General, which has not yet been published but was recently delivered to CNS.

The damning report raises a number of questions about how former premier Alden McLaughlin, now Sir Alden, and senior staff in his Ministry of International Trade, Aviation and Maritime Affairs handled the financing and staffing of three proposed overseas offices to promote Cayman in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as attendance at the long-running Dubai World Expo.

CNS became aware of the report at the end of last year and requested a copy of it, which we have since learned examines the mismanagement of public funds and questions why the previous government committed the country to new policies after calling an election.

While Auditor General Sue Winsper confirmed such a report existed, she said it was not hers to release and she was unable to comment. The report was conducted at the direction of the governor after the new PACT administration raised concerns about the chain of events that had landed it with new policies relating to the offices and significant financial commitments for the next five years that had not been approved by Parliament.

When we approached the governor’s office, we were directed to the deputy governor’s office. Officials there told CNS that they could not release the report as an internal inquiry was now underway relating to the civil servants involved. On 21 December we submitted a freedom of information request. Then on 11 January, the ministry asked for an extension in light of the internal report expected to be concluded today, 31 January.

While we have not yet received a copy of the report through the official channels, the report found its way to CNS this weekend.

In the document, Winspear concludes that breaches of both section 55 of the Constitution and section 7 (3) of the Public Service Management Act, as well as section (12) 2 of the Public Finance and Management Act were made after the ministry recruited staff and signed five-year and open-ended contracts with five senior staff for the overseas offices.

This all happened between 9 and 20 April, literally days before and after the election when the Unity government was removed from office.

The chief officer of the ministry, Eric Bush, also signed a contract with Alee Fa’amoe, the husband of the deputy chief officer in the ministry, Andrea Fa’amoe, to take up the temporary job of commissioner for the Dubai Expo. This post and an assistant post were not properly evaluated by the government’s internal job system.

Although the DCO had recused herself from the hiring process, there was no documentary evidence about how the conflict in this situation was to be addressed, Winspear said.

When the new government was elected, it re-evaluated the need for the overseas offices and participation in Dubai and was worried that it was legally bound by the policies of the previous government that were rolled out and committed to just weeks before the election.

Winspear warned that the actions by the previous administration have not only committed the current government to spending almost CI$6 million, but it has also had an impact on policy.

Last week the PPM took aim at the government, criticising PACT over the recent grey-listing and suggesting that by not opening the Brussels office, they had risked the financial services sector.

In response, the current financial services ministry told CNS that allegations they were “dithering” over the opening of the Brussels office was in order “to follow good governance processes and procedures, and to receive Parliamentary budget approval” for the funding of the overseas offices, which, according to the report, had not been received by the previous administration.

“The opening of the overseas offices does not affect whether or not the EU lists the Cayman Islands,” the ministry said, explaining that the listing is directly linked to the long-standing situation of Cayman’s grey-listing by the Financial Action Task Force in relation to our anti-money laundering regime, which happened on the Unity government’s watch. The ministry said that completing the FATF action plan would assist with the EU delisting, not opening overseas offices.

Of particular concern for Winspear was that Chief Officer Bush continued with the novel policies and signing deals to find staff and secure permission for the overseas offices after the election.

She pointed out that the purpose of the civil service is to remain politically neutral while serving the government of the day. She said international best practice requires that no new policies or major agreements should be signed and settled during the time between when an election is called and election day.

But between 10 February, when McLaughlin called the election, and 20 April, while the government remained in question, the ministry signed at least five long-term contracts and one expensive temporary contract for staff.

Winspear pointed out that these were not the only costly commitments the previous administration committed the next government to in the weeks before the election. The government signed a deal with Dart for the ReGen waste-management contract just six weeks before the election.

In her report, Winspear urges the implementation of a pre-election policy to set out guidelines to civil servants about the use of public resources during the period running up to an election and to prevent ministers from initiating new policies or, as was the case with the overseas offices and the expo, have Cabinet vote to spend public cash without seeking parliamentary support.

Winspear said that while Cabinet has the power to vote money for exceptional circumstances, such as spending on the pandemic, she made it clear that none of the spending on the Expo or preparations for the offices constituted exceptional circumstance and so should have been approved by Parliament. As they were not, this was a breach of the law.

She pointed out that although the new government has a different policy position regarding overseas promotions, it is now committed to some $6 million it does not necessarily want to spend because of what could be legally binding contracts, all of which could have waited until the election results were concluded.

See the report in the CNS Library.


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Category: Government Administration, Government Finance, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (316)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So what stopped the passing of this document to the press.
    Do we have any form of protective marking on documents.
    I doubt if the civil service or CIG actually know what that is.
    So third world.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:13pm..what we really need is a Whistle Blower Protection Law to protect someone who when they see criminal activity like this to report it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What the Auditor General needs to do is an audit of the Naturalization Application Process and interview all staff in that office. She might want find out what has taken place during the past 5 years, detect any discrepancies in the application of the rules and discover how applications are supposed to be dealt with.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable that yesterday’s statement from the Governor is more concerned about the leak than what was actually done!

  4. Jotnar says:

    Two reports critical of conduct of public officials – by bizarre coincidence both written by a lady called Sue.

    The first is rendered toothless by the police deciding they need to investigate ( action they think will take up to a year!) and demanding the report is redacted down to the point where it’s practically worthless for the public to establish who did what and should be accountable.

    The second almost reaches a similar fate – in this case a civil service investigation which would also never see the light of day – but escapes that outcome because someone is outraged enough to leave it under the windscreen wiper so to speak of a journalist brave enough to publish it.

    And the official reaction is – to hint darkly that the disclosure will be “investigated” as it’s a very serious matter – unlike the underlying offence. Because despite the so called commitment to transparency, the real culprit is the person who allowed the public to find out about the egregious and possibly corrupt use of tax payers money, preventing the issue being quietly buried.

    And the Governor and Deputy Governor have the brass necklace to say they are committed to transparency. Hell, they could give Boris lessons on avoiding transparency. Want to claim transparency- publish the results of the civil service investigation and hold people to account – publicly. But that’s never going to happen, is it?

    • Anonymous says:

      She didn’t write the reports as a lady named Sue. Have some respect for the Auditor General.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because her name is the crucial point of the post, right. Sure Sue Gray has an official title too yet the entire British media refers to her report as the Sue Gray report, but you are bent out of shape by my mentioning that the Auditor General s first name coincidentally happens to be Sue. I am sure she is mortally offended.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely the leaker has protection under the Whistleblower Act.

  5. anonymous says:

    Lets have full transparency. If laws were broken release the legal opinion and take action. Clearly the Governor must have requested one. Why all the talk of policy chances in the civil service?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is unfortunate that rather than confirming that all of those responsible for the various serious failings evident in the report will be held to account, the Governor’s first comment is that the persons that told the public the truth about significant flaws surrounding how they are being governed, is the subject of ire. Your Excellency, please get your priorities straight!

      Our Civil Service is out of control. It is bankrupting us!

      • Anonymous says:

        @9:53Am..Amen, the Governor speaks out of both sides of his mouth saying that he believes in transparency but will pursue the person that leaked this document..Why? Was there something that you were going to redact? Was this ever going to come to light? Seems to me the Governor has been caught with his pants down and is reacting like a spoiled child. He needs to focus on what occurred and not on who leaked it..Get your priorities in order Mr. Governor!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The singular and most fundamental principle contained in the Public Service Management Law prohibits civil servants from getting politically involved. This is essential for good governance. Unfortunately both the Governor and deputy governor have undermined this with various precedent setting appointments that the principle is no longer worth the paper it is written on.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can’t believe what I was reading today in Compass. How lightly, almost dismissively they talk about the Auditor’s findings and conclusions, focusing entirely on the the “leak”.

    There’s a saying that fish begins to spoil at the head.

    Bring back Anwar Choudhury!
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5842837/amp/Cayman-Islands-Governor-removed-office-hauled-Britain.html

    #leggewasright
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2015/06/24/the-global-implications-of-corruption-in-the-caymans/?sh=50b07b61e5f8

    We have entered times that compels us to contemplate our values, our life choices, and define who we are.

    EVERYTHING THAT IS CORRUPT WILL BE EVENTUALLY EXPOSED TO LIGHT. Government hiding secrets for decades will have to deal with whistleblowers like never before. People will discover shocking truths hidden for years. People will revolt. They already have. What is happening in Canada, or the US Border officers questioning their superiors are the signs of the fundamental change.

    Cayman is a bit slow, but it can’t escape the change that is happening in the world-Hierarchies will dissolve and synarchic systems or heterarchies🔅, will be proposed as more efficient and compassionate.

    Please, Support CNS! Don’t close the pop up window asking for donations ☕️. Times are tough, CNS needs your support.

    🔅 https://www.ipma.world/heterarchy-answer-crisis-hierarchy/

    • Anonymous says:

      If there were ever proof that that Compass is nothing but a mouthpiece for the government since its new ownership took over, that is is. This wouldn’t have happened under Legge. He might have kissed certain private butts, but he wouldn’t have sucked up to the government (elected or CS) in this way. Truly disgusting.

  8. Orrie Merren says:

    There were also unconstitutional-unlawful appropriations of government funds, which were approved in Finance Committee and, ultimately, approved in the budget by Parliament (under the PPM-lead Unity Government) that were ultra vires and void ab initio, which also contravene the Public Management and Finance Act, by subsidizing the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association, which applied the funds to (CILPA’s purported sub-committee) the Cayman Attorneys Regulation Authority, which is operating ultra vires.

    • Anonymous says:

      CARA appear to be condoning the unlawful practice of Cayman Law around the world. It is an offense, but these esteemed officers of the court do not care. Mo Money!!!!

      • Orrie Merren says:

        Some local law firms are accessories to illegal practice of Cayman law by lawyers in foreign jurisdictions (infringing s.10(1), Legal Practitioners Act).

        A recurring theme, which cannot be overlooked, is the connivance of successive governments (both legislative and executive branches) concerning unlicensed practice of Cayman law by lawyers in foreign jurisdictions, which is (and has been) a criminal offense for decades, but which only carries a CI$200-fine for persons in breach: see s.10(1), Legal Practitioners Act (2015 Revision); Tower Construction Ltd v Hadsphaltic International Ltd [1986-87] CILR 40 at 46, 50-55 per Hull J (Grand Court); James Kessler QC & Tony Pursall, Drafting Cayman Islands Trusts (2006, Kluwer Law International) at pp.8-9.

        Where, however, when the proceeds of unlicensed-illegal practice of Cayman law are deposited into the financial system (e.g. a bank account) it illegally taints the formal monetary system and amounts to money laundering the proceeds of unlawful profits, which the AML regime is aimed to prevent (i.e., deterring profiting from illegality: see CIMA’s Guidance Notes on the Prevention and Detection of Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Proliferation in the Cayman Islands (5 June 2020) at pp.9-10; Jamaican Bar Association v Attorney General and General Legal Council [2020] JMCA Civ 37 at [14]-[30] (Jamaican Court of Appeal) and [2017] JMFC Full 02 at [2]-[23] (Supreme Court of Jamaica); AG of Canada v Federation of Law Societies of Canada [2015] 1 SCR 401 at [1]-[31] per Cromwell J (Supreme Court of Canada).

    • Anonymous says:

      Unlawful appropriation of government funds, like Mac using a government credit card to appropriate funds , for gambling.
      Anything happen to Mac over that… nothing ?
      Going after Alden and Eric is simply picking the low hanging fruit that suits PACT at the moment.
      Saunders allegedly cancelling a contract at cost and embarrassment to the country , is that acceptable.?

      • Anonymous says:

        That was proven in court not to be the case. The elements of Theft were not satisfied. Stop spouting hate and malice and think.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This Chief Officer should be suspended and put on notice for termination. The Auditor General has already done the investigation – if crimes where committed then turn it over to RCIP. The history of this officer is full of such activities and the public should demand accountability. Honestly this is enough of his bravado and contempt for public funds totally is unacceptable. The list of unethical activities on his record is enough to warrant finally some action.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Chief Officer did not act alone. Everyone involved should face sanction. He should not be the fall guy for others.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree, where is his CFO in all of this mess, want he the one advising his CO on budget matters?? Clearly he as to also be held accountable too!

  10. Anonymous says:

    My questions is how can anyone sue the the government when they have broken the law section 55 and section 7 (3) would that not also make them culpable of this breach. Them remaining there in these positions is or not actually and offence under the law.

  11. SMDH says:

    This $6 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the additional interest and underwriting costs that PACT wants to incur for a $400 million bond issuance that isn’t even for capital expenditure. It’s for their own version of social spending.
    At least the previous government could invent a better story.

    • Anonymous says:

      @7:38pm Nice deflection! Even if the the PACT does follow through with borrowing they won’t be breaking any laws..

      It’s not about the money this time..It’s about breaking the law..plain and simple.

      • Anonymous says:

        Speaking of breaking laws, why are they not distancing themselves from Mac, Kenneth , Seymour etc.?

      • Anonymous says:

        Deflection is exactly what is happening here: PACT is still failing to have us removed from the EU’s blacklist.
        At least the establishment of the foreign offices would help to prevent our inclusion on these lists in the first place.
        The FS industry is the machine that feeds the social spending and these efforts were legit methods to protect Cayman’s golden goose.
        Rather than an intelligent discussion over the protocols of establishment there has been a rush to crucify. The current display reinforces the notion that we in this community love to tear down others.

        • Anonymous says:

          We are not on any Black list yet..I believe the PACT Government has already said that have accomplished much of what the EU is requiring.

          Bear in min the Black List is a moving goal post. At least a couple times a year we will get into this situation. This is not just a PACT thing.

          Do you have any idea of how many the PPM had to fight off during their 20 plus years. Oh and by the way without offices in New York, Brussels, Dubai and wherever else?

          Let’s stop deflecting from the issue at hand. This is not about the EU Black list. This is about breaking the law and contravening the Constitution in a deliberate manner to advance the PPM’s agenda.

  12. anonymous says:

    The PACT is so upset about all these Invest Cayman jobs that they are posting even more Invest Cayman high paying jobs on the new CIG Careers website. Guess PACT have some pals that needs jobs too.
    https://www.careers.gov.ky/application/login/login.aspx?sortby=D#

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. 11 whole jobs. *yawn*

      • Anonymous says:

        Its a problem when we the island needs to save money versus increasing the civil service. Seriously when will we address the white elephant in the room? The civil service employs over 6500 individuals? That’s far to large for a working population of 30k. Can we at least look at cutting expenditure versus increasing borrowing??

        • Anonymous says:

          This is an island country for Christs sake. Not Miami or another city that has a federal government with separate responsibilities. We do everything in our small island and it takes resources.

        • Anonymous says:

          @5:21 Right, but you were okay that the PPM bunch were hiring more to send around the world with big fat salaries, paid accommodations and swanky new offices all so that Alden could have a nice new ministry if he got back in..SMH

      • Anonymous says:

        Only 11? But let’s see the amount per person.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gizza job! Eh…eh…eh…I can do that!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ministers cannot hire civil servants or sign contracts. Chief Officers are bound to uphold law and general convention. While I certainly believe Alden has the hubris to have believed the Progressives would have been returned to government, ultimately Eric made these calls and should be held accountable for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chief Officers bound to uphold laws? Bullshit! They do no such thing.

      • WhaYaSay says:

        Call me naive but I think Wes Howell bucks the “incompetent\unethical” trend exhibited by most CO!

        • Anonymous says:

          Naive, particularly when operating under the “guidance” of those up the line. Wes is a good guy though but is yet to demonstrate (at least publicly) appropriate independence in standing up to wrongdoing all around him. He deserves to grow and to succeed. He will need to swim against the current to achieve his potential.

        • Anonymous says:

          You certainly said it correctly “Call me naive”, and clearly don’t know anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      He always seems to get away with everything!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no way that Eric did all of this without Alden involved. Alden even announced it was going to happen prior to the election..

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sitting here with my popcorn waiting on Roy and Joey to post a Youtube video to explain this away..not a peep as yet..may have to get another bag…

  15. Anonymous says:

    And many civil servants who worked 16/20 hr days between April 2020 and December 2020 were DENIED a $1000 honorarium by their Chief Officers … but the ones at the top can do this and NOTHING WILL COME OF IT … #BeyondDisgusted

    • Neverwannabeacivilservant says:

      3.19pm I find it ironic that civil servants are able to work 20 hours a day (superhuman?), but prior to Covid were unable to answer their phones.Maybe they should apply for a stipend rather than an honorarium.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all CS jobs face the public answer phones or communicate with the public … many many people work behind the scenes … and yes during 2020 working from home where the nature of their work is 99% computer based with citrix logins worked longer hours seven daya a week … do a survey … not all CS answer phones !!

    • Sally says:

      Can you give us more details? And since you aren’t satisfied, maybe you could mention some names to get some action started……. that is, if you’re REALLY disgusted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes mention names and then no longer have a job or get blackballed and sidelined .. yeah right only Caymanians with specif names are untouchable and get moved from one high-paying CS job to another CS job when they incompetence is exposed.

        People in high-paying CS jobs for 15+years with only a high school education … LinkedIn in your friend if you are interested !!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well now we know how much knighthood costs.

    • Alan ROFFEY says:

      “This all happened between 9 and 20 April, literally days before and after the election when the Unity government was removed from office.”

      I’m looking at news coverage where the” New Deal” whereby PACT became the winner of the election, by embracing McKeeva Bush, versus PPM, was only made on April 19th.

      It’s obvious to me that the civil service should not freeze in any of its policicy implementation between election day and at least April 19th, when it looked like PPM would stay in power, until PACT grasped the nettle to take power.

      It’s therefore unfair in my view to be so harsh on civil servants who thought, in good faith, they knew who they were working for, when the sudden change of leadership happened so many days after election day.

      This kind of story just reinforces the idea that the civil service should just stand still, like deer in the headlights, whilst our politicians do their deals in smoke filled rooms.

      The jurisdiction deserves better.

      I am not saying I stand with either PPM or PACT, but to tarnish the reputations of hard working impartial people who genuinely thought they were acting in the service of the elected government, which looked like it was PPM between election day and April 19th, is unfair.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop defending your friend EB and buddies in the PPM. It’s embarrassing. The track record of EB cannot be defended it is littered with scandals and acts of incompetence that were rewarded with promotions. If he worked at Andro you would have fired on the spot for misconduct and wasting funds as he was not authorized to do so according to the law.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you Mr. Roffey for your educated and eloquent post. The CS works for the government of the day and whether we like them or not, we are hired to advance their policies and this is what we do.

        • Anonymous says:

          You advance their policies even when that advancement breaks the law. That is the fundamental problem. Our civil service behaves like Nuremberg never happened. Just following orders is no excuse. The law is the law and it applies to all. Crimes are crimes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for this thoughtful response.

      • Anonymous says:

        Alan. Do not let your sailing trips with a former Governor and Eric’s inner circle blind you. The actions were wrong. The damage is great. The rule of law is just a glimmer on the horizon. It is long past time to set a new course.

      • Anonymous says:

        No Government was formed until the Governor assented to it. Civil Servants can think or believe anything they want but until a new Government is seated they cannot assume who the Government will be.

        Alden dissolved the Parliament in February 2021 and the election was set for April. Anyone in their right frame of mind including the civil service could see the writing on the wall for the PPM. Only the die hard PPM’ers actually believed that the PPM would sweep the elections.

        XXX
        Dog eating their supper now and trust me as much as the Governor will try to make an example out of the person leaking this there will be more to step into their place. The truth is finally coming out and people that benefited for years and retired off the big government contracts are now upset because they no longer can get their hands in the cookie jar or access to the politicians with the power.

        Those days are done. We need more Government in the Sunshine and I believe this is just the start of things to come.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Strip this joker Alden of his QC and Sir titles – what a joker

  18. Anonymous says:

    PACT Government concerned about $6 million and about to hand-out stipends to local gyms???

    • Anonymous says:

      Same dog puppy.

      Governor. Good governance? Come nah man!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      @11:47..Typical PPM move..deflect, deflect!

      Where is Roy’s (Alden’s) statement on this..not a peep out of them.

    • Old Ground says:

      Yeah and don’t forget that Hon. Chris “finance guru😴” Saunders wants to float a $400,000,000.00 bond in these slow economic times. The $6,000,000.00 is a lot but pales in comparison to the bond. And by the way, do ministers such as Bryan, Ebanks (NS), and Bush even know what a bond is or how it works. As a betting person, I bet 20:1 they don’t.😂😅

      As 11:47am so rightly said, now they want to give stipends to gyms. Well how about stipends to the small restaurants, the small convenience stores, the helpers and nannies who couldn’t work due to curfews, the gardeners/landscapers, gas stations, construction workers. If EVER this country needed a recall vote, this government proves beyond any reasonable doubt that we do.

  19. anonymous says:

    You have to love these Chief Officers who can pretty much do anything they want to. Why would you think that the Minister knew what contracts were being signed. The mastermind behind this needs to go. Franz?????

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sneaky PPM. They committed PACT to a $0.5M pay increase for MPs, which they immediately grabbed with both hands, knowing that it would take them a year to notice that $6 million had been diverted elsewhere. They would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that pesky Ms. Winspear.
    https://caymannewsservice.com/2021/07/mps-clear-ci3-5-million-for-wages-in-2021/

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm – they did get away with it. Do you see anyone getting held to account? Any return of the money? Best you are going to get is those that got the soft jobs put on paid leave for a few years, then a confidential settlement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hold up … Kenneth, Chris, Jon Jon, Julie, mac all of the pact members who were elected last term agreed to the pay increases so don’t you start spreading foolishness. The pact government set the budget and could have changed the salary agreement, they were not committed to anything !!

      • Anonymous says:

        @4:57..Deflection again, you do realize that it was your infamous PPM that voted for this and it was already set in law. the problem was they had not voted the money for it. Would it have been any different had the PPM won the government again..do you think they would have voted not to do it?

  21. Big Daddy Kane says:

    Eric simply Doesn’t have the Brains to do this. This Bigger than him ! Check what is going in the London Office and all will be revealed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, Eric is told what to do and where to sign .

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry; he will once again receive a promotion for his incompetence. He’ll eventually be Deputy Governor!

      • Frequent flyer says:

        Once Covid has died down all his energy will be directed back to his air miles collection – just see them take off!.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are investors all over the world to pursue with fine wines and caviar paid for by us suckers.

      • Anonymous says:

        That would be the classic example of the “Peter principle”, where persons are clime the ranks and are promoted and appointed to the level of their incompetence, instead upon a basis of the competence.

    • You're right! says:

      That’s why they sent Tasha for a five year contract… bc she won’t have a clue either. Andre figured it out and was back here in two two’s!

    • WhaYaSay says:

      @10:43- can you at least help us out with a web link. Enquiring minds want to know😀

    • Anonymous says:

      True he doesnt but that seems to suit the real decision makers who like YES people they can hoodwink and push around.

  22. Political Slut says:

    Please revoke all this appointments immediately especially those running around overseas talking about there for life Famoe Duggan and Garcia need to be removed fired or retired this S#@! has to stop Cayman! We can do better than this Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Great. Then us taxpayers can pay for expensive law suits. You can’t blame Fa’moe, Duggan and Garcia. All they did was accept the offer made by Eric.

      • Anonymous says:

        And they didn’t solicit the offer or anything? It was a gift out of the blue? And they had no reason to think it was a bit off to get a 5 year contract to open up an overseas office in the middle of an election? You are either incredibly naive or a tad disingenuous. My money is on the latter.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Anyone looking at this closely can understand that those representative offices were needed to try and prevent Cayman from getting blacklisted by the European gang of colonizers. However Wayne and Pact neglected to understand the importance of this – and now they are running around like a flock of chickens with their heads cut off because they did not follow up on what the last govt set in place.
    “Cayman getting blacklisted” – 101% the fault of Wayne’s and Pact lack of understanding and using the preventative measures – left in place by the last govt.

    • Anonymous says:

      The era of schmoozing and glad-handing our way off blacklists, are long over. Those kind of diplomatic events aren’t appropriate, and where they might normally exist for non-blacklisted, not in session right now during the pandemic. What matters is that the Unity regime was reminded repeatedly, and then given final notice, and those warnings were not heeded. The MLAs instead used that session time to filibuster and rant about their personal detest for gays and conspired to challenge and appeal gay marriage conventions as their priority. Tara Rivers was sent over and probably did more harm than good. Now, here we are, living with the echoes of Unity/PPM inactions past.

      • Incredulous says:

        Have you ever done business before?
        It’s like you live in a concrete room and only watch the news.

        How do you propose we address the blacklist issue?

        • Bobo Fett says:

          This place is still the talk of the town in business schools across the world. The notoriety is well deserved and entrenched so deeply in every corner of the islands that it will never end.

        • Anonymous says:

          The only way to get of the blacklist is by enforcing our AML laws. CIG has a poor record of prosecution.

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree that will certainly help to address the current AML situation but I fear the threats will continue to come from the EU.
            Thus I agree with the OP (at 1/2/22 10:30am) that these offices will help to prevent them.
            It’s a small price to pay considering the income from this industry.

            • N says:

              And opening these offices “in compliance with the laws and the constitution of the Cayman Islands” would be even more of a price worth paying. Especially as the black and grey lists have been around for decades….so a few more months to go about the process correctly / legally could only have helped.
              Now the EU has even more documented evidence of concern!

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:30am Really? and the PPM after 20 years didn’t see that Cayman needed this until a few days before the election.

      Good try!

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel like trying to quell this angry mob is like yelling into the wind…

    • Anonymous says:

      You really think any of these characters would represent Cayman better than Maples, Walkers, and Cayman Finance? This was all about jollies for the lads, and control.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly is an office in Dubai needed?

  24. WhaYaSay says:

    FINALLY Eric’s incompetence may be catching up to him (anyone recall how he totally scr*wed up the PR points system years back)!!
    I bet he’s now hoping uncle sir Alden will swoop in to save the day.

  25. Anonymous says:

    And we though Allen Stanford was a short-lived Knight…raise your hand if you’re surprised. Submissions for revocation can be made here:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/honours-committees#parliamentary-and-political-service

    • Anonymous says:

      Strip Alden of his honours as a Knight and as a QC, neither of which is he deserving of based on merit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stanford was given a “knighthood” by Antigua and Barbuda and the same country took it away.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The arrogance of the previous Administration is laid bare, they had total confidence in re-election…alas, Wayne pulled off the greatest political blindside in years as the PPM partied…these overseas offices were all rewards for friends to come and go from on permanent working holidays….who knows what else is going to come out in the coming years, but you only have to look at the SMB corridor to see where the skeletons are buried

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if they were over-confident, Alden was never going to be eligible to pretend to be Premier for third successive term over PPM’s own leader of the backbenches.

    • Anonymous says:

      In fairness they were virtually all returned.
      At least their unity enabled things to get done. This group seems to be squabbling too much to make any real change.

  27. Anonymous says:

    There were some questions on the health minister household breaking quarantine as well? But of course …as always…nothing gets prosecuted…this one didnt even make it summary court to get thrown out or suspended….zzzzzz..lawlessness…..right mr. Health minister johnson….lol

  28. Anonymous says:

    By now, with so many controversies surrounding him (starting with the unexplained missing funds at Cayman Airways), Eric Bush should have been excised! But no, watch for more accolades or promotions!

  29. Scottie says:

    Meanwhile, let’s not lose sight of the inclusion of Cayman on the EU’s list of high-risk third countries for money laundering.

    This government has a lot of work to do to be removed on this list and has now shifted attention to this $6M expenditure which is a drop in their bucket of ill-monitored social spending.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whoever let this happen to Cayman should be fired!

      • Anonymous says:

        Arrested, actually – along with all of those who have covered this up almost a year and not called it in. That may include some PACT members.

      • Anonymous says:

        Franz better check his boy Eric and give him a nice package for his efforts here in mucking things up again.🤣🤣

        • RES ISPA LOQUITOR says:

          The actions of Eric Bush represent gross misconduct where several laws were breached.

          The significant breaches include the willful and deliberate breach of section 55 of the Constitution and section 7 (3) of the Public Service Management Law, as well as section (12) 2 of the Public Management and Finance Law. These were made after the ministry recruited staff and signed five-year and open-ended contracts with five senior staff for the overseas offices in breach of the relevant laws.

          That level incompetence, abuse of power and public malfesance cannot be rewarded with a nice package for a friend of the Deputy Governor. This is a significant issue and speaks to a Chief Officer making the rules as they saw fit with the instructions and consent of elected and senior management of the Civil Service. Potentially criminal acts occurred during this period highlighted by the Auditor General’s report.

          This cannot be swept under the rug. There must be consequences that are serious and do not include an exit package for his unlawful action that have caused a national scandal and wasting public funds.

          This matter should now be formally investigated by the Anti-Corruption unit for abuse of office by the public officer Mr. Eric Bush.

    • Anonymous says:

      PACT/UDP are desperate to find fault rather than move forward.

      Advertising and promotion of businesses and services is an accepted world wide practice.
      Cayman is dependent on income from tourism and financial services, and has contracts with many agencies in Europe, North America, and Latin America.

      I really can’t see what the fuss is all about from a bunch of people who are controlled, behind the scenes, by the most shameful politician Cayman has ever known.

      • Anonymous says:

        Seriously, did you not read the article..It is the Auditor General who has made this call not PACT, UDP or PPM.

        No one should ever condone illegal activity particularly at the very top of the Government. I think you are little unhappy that in some way that this might bring some credibility as to why we the people no longer wanted the PPM.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed , let’s not condone illegal activity at the very top of Government.
          First, Get rid of Mac and It’ll make the Holier than thou PACT more believable.

          Until then, they don’t have any moral high ground to stand on.

          • Say it like it is says:

            I have to scratch my head when successive Governments and politicians are lambasted by their own for corruption, incompetence, nepotism and lack of accountability, yet any suggestion that a highly qualified expat of unquestioned integrity with status and decades of residence be allowed to run for Parliament,is howled down.Most European countries allow this but I suppose they are not deemed third world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wasn’t one of the reasons cited for us being on FATFs grey list, which triggered the EU blacklist, something to do with corruption? Where could they have gotten that idea?

  30. Anonymous says:

    This kind of thing happens every four years, everyone knows it and nothing ever comes of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      In fairness to the other career crooks, pretending to still be the Premier is a new one for the library of misconduct. It should have career-ending consequences for all involved.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Yawn… what did they do exactly? Oh yea tried to setup offices to promote our Financial Services.

    This is just PACT trying to dig themselves out of the bog they have found themselves in.

    The only issue I see is the hiring of Allee, that clearly screams investigation because I really don’t know what purpose that dude serves besides self promotion

    • Anonymous says:

      Yawn if you want, this is serious. Alden and his Cabinet secretly pretended to still be the Premier and Cabinet after the election, and after the Parliament was prologued in advance of that election and new regime taking over and new sessions of parliament convening. There should be some arrests, if our governance apparatus is worth anything. Stuff like this just confirms why we should stay on the blacklist, with huge consequences to business and investment here – including real estate.

      • Anonymous says:

        It seems that PACT has managed to distract from their inability to have us restored to the clean side of the EU’s ledger.

        With Financial Services industry being our golden goose it’s understandable to want to protect it.

        I see the point that 8:48 is making.

      • Anonymous says:

        The cabinet stays in place until a new cabinet is sworn in. They did nothing illegal

    • Anonymous says:

      8 48am You obviously don’t know Duggan if you think only Alee doesn’t serve any purpose.

  32. Da Bracster says:

    I don’t know about all of this but that London Office is in a real mess boy ! They get our City status sorted yet ??

  33. Don Dadda says:

    Alden is now a Knight and Master Mason absolutely nothing is going happen ! Get over Cayman

  34. Cayman Sanction says:

    Nothing is going happen here Cayman. Why ? Because the rules and laws only applies to some ? That’s a fact that we Caymanians see and experience every single day on this island.

    • Anonymous says:

      While we still have a repeat offender as Speaker and major political influence in this country, nothing is shameful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Two wrongs never make anything right..They should all be held accountable.

        • Anonymous says:

          If the repeat offender wasn’t voted back in by his illiterate electorate then this matter wouldn’t be an issue and we might be on the way to blacklist removal.

          Meanwhile the PACT group (not a party) continues to bicker and bumble around and make their head guy look useless.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor now has an opportunity to demonstrate that he is different and knows better and will govern appropriately. This scandal is bigger and more important than the correct position he took on the Civil Partnership law. Good governance is his responsibility. He must prove he fair and will uphold the law as it is written no exceptions.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Is the InvestCayman sponsorship of a Nascar driver also part of this scandal or a project of the current Government?

    • Anonymous says:

      I love how they parse the language by referring to a “Cayman driver” when he is not Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      London Irish rugby team (English premiership) is also sponsored by the Cayman Islands for the last two years. Such a strange strange thing to have spent money on!

  36. ppm Distress Signal says:

    The first question is why is our dear premier protecting Mr Bush and it’s a question all Caymanians would like to Know Mr Panton ??? the next question is if both Sir Alden and Mr Eric Bush is involved in international affairs wouldn’t our dear Governor know about this and would he not have to approve it ??? I guess we can only wonder now why the Knighthood was so urgent and important for some . This whole torrid affair stinks Cayman Nepotism cronyism XXXX! How can we expect the average citizen to have confidence in our system of government if those who’s job it is to both set an example and stop it are mired down in it ???

    • Anonymous says:

      I think we will find that the Governor was well aware of all of this but never believed it would have been leaked publicly.

      This governor is called a “diplomat” for good reason. There are many situations looking back now that we can see where he had Alden in his back pocket. Unfortunately, this time all of them have gotten caught with their pants down..The Governor isn’t worried, he will delay any decision on this until he boards that BA flight out of here. Only good thing is this governor may be too embarrassed to ask for Cayman status.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because if faced with an expat backlash, Caymanians will always circle the wagons to look after their own.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Freemasons at their finest doing what they do best.

  38. Anonymous says:

    You all talking about Alee’s appointment but don’t forget Duggan being sent to represent us in the US. He always lands a well paid job XXXX.

    • Silent majority! says:

      At $200k per year baby girl!

      • Anonymous says:

        So all those years of kissing every governor’s backside paid off.

      • Anonymous says:

        With rent/utilities/entertainment covered.

      • Anonymous says:

        And how is he qualified for the position? He talks a good talk, but isn’t anywhere near as gracious/intelligent as his father was.

        • Tom Cruise Port says:

          Look around the island and note the luxury developments and the sheer number of financial services based here and you’ll get your answer why the global community still thinks the country is corrupted and a great place to hide funds. It’s basically lore now.

      • Alan ROFFEY says:

        “This all happened between 9 and 20 April, literally days before and after the election when the Unity government was removed from office.”

        I’m looking at news coverage where the” New Deal” whereby PACT became the winner of the election, by embracing McKeeva Bush, versus PPM, was only made on April 19th.

        It’s obvious to me that the civil service should not freeze in any of its policicy implementation between election day and at least April 19th, when it looked like PPM would stay in power, until PACT grasped the nettle to take power.

        It’s therefore unfair in my view to be so harsh on civil servants who thought, in good faith, they knew who they were working for, when the sudden change of leadership happened so many days after election day.

        This kind of story just reinforces the idea that the civil service should just stand still, like deer in the headlights, whilst our politicians do their deals in smoke filled rooms.

        The jurisdiction deserves better.

        I am not saying I stand with either PPM or PACT, but to tarnish the reputations of hard working impartial people who genuinely thought they were acting in the service of the elected government, which looked like it was PPM between election day and April 19th, is unfair.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy. They ALL deserve to lose that big salary Increases that they the top voted by themselves to give themselves! And in this time of crisis and unemployment.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Sir Alden and The Pigs of The Trough Shaped Table 🐽

  41. Anonymous says:

    I am laughing so hard! Can no one see the deflection and hypocrisy in the so-called Progressives (really should be called Regressives) actions to date in Opposition? They try so hard to show themselves as the anti corruption moral party and it’s so far from the truth! They criticise PACT as a government of handouts, when they did their best to keep people in the dark and dependent on their largesse! This fiasco is just one small example of the favours that went on behind the scenes for the 8 years leading up to the last election. The whole Port fiasco was so clearly driven by corruption – but Alden gets a freaking knighthood???? I laughed so hard. H.E. had his eyes wide shut with those guys! I await to hear the PPM Roys come up with excuses on this one. Can’t blame PACT now!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Guess we can sum it up why Governor Anwar Choudhury was removed. No accountability. The Miller report, the E&Y report. Short memory Caymanians. Wake up! Unbelievable!

    LoL!

    • Anonymous says:

      Bring Governor Anwar Choudhury back!!!

      • Corruption is endemic says:

        He made the mistake of thinking he had a real job…

        So the fixed him real good, at least locally. I’m sure his compensation package from the UK gov’t was a nice retirement bonus…

  43. Anonymous says:

    We all know which big people where going to sit in those locations as well.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Let us focus on this then we wont notice the PACT government borrowing $400 million to use for handouts to their supporters (social spending).

  45. Anonymous says:

    This is a very disappointing situation. Action will have to be taken to hold anybody that has been involved in any breach of any laws accountable for their actions. This will be a litmus test as it relates to the equal application of justice and respect for the rule of law. I hope that these findings are not accurate and that everything was done in line with the applicable laws and rules.

  46. Anonymous says:

    ‘Sir Alden is only the second recipient of a knighthood in the Cayman Islands, given for his personal services to Sir Alden is only the second recipient of a knighthood in the Cayman Islands, given for his personal services to the people.’

    Well I guess it doesn’t stipulate for how many or whether it applies to just his people, what an absolute disgrace

    • Anonymous says:

      We Caymanians love paper dragons.
      Things like this, (knighthood, gongs, etc) are what we feed on. It is the precursor to the trough that we also love so much.

      I am only a paper Caymanian but I learned fast.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Always knew Alden and Eric were snakes

  48. Anonymous says:

    Has any politician ever been convicted of breaching any laws related to actions taken by them in their official capacity and will this matter be referred to the DPP for review and potential prosecutions? It would be good to get a legal expert to explain what should and could happen now that this information has been made public. It would also be good to know why these findings have not yet been officially release and if the governor had knowledge of these findings when he was publicly promoting and congratulating Mr. McLaughlin for the top royal gong in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

    • Anonymous says:

      The report is dated 10 November. You can be sure that the Governor saw a draft of it before it was finalised.
      So to answer your question: “Yes, he did”.
      In all likelihood he had known about it for 2 months before blowing his celebratory trumpet.

  49. Anonymous says:

    If history is any indication, Eric Bush will go through this unscathed.

    As a longtime Civil Servant myself, I can tell you Eric Bush will be walking around tomorrow with his chest pushed out, letting the world know he is protected and untouchable.

    Benefits of being one of the “chosen few”.

    • Anonymous says:

      All hail King ErIc Bush untouchable Cayman lodge Boyz are PROTECTED he family to Mckeeva you know how it go you better over it .

    • Anonymous says:

      Even the Sun sets, believe in Karma

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t see Uncle Franz can let his boy Bush walkway here. Enough with all this covering up and shifting these CO around when they screw up.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Eric You again Mann ! You nah sick of doing Foolish Eh?? I see you have learnt from your last Two debacles . Roper is somehow mix up in this I bet you !

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