CO moves ministries against backdrop of controversy

| 31/05/2022 | 92 Comments
Cayman News Service
Chief Officer Eric Bush, Minister Andre Ebanks and DCFS Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams

(CNS): Chief Officer Eric Bush is moving from the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development (IISD) to the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure (PAHI). Bush has been in the spotlight recently over controversies relating to his role in the previous government’s plans to open offices overseas and Cayman’s participation in the Dubai Expo. An internal investigation cleared Bush of any wrongdoing, contradicting the findings of the Office of the Auditor General.

In a statement released by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson Monday night, he made no mention of the recent scandal relating to Bush, who has been in the civil service for two decades and is no stranger to controversy.

The DG skirted around the reasons for the move, but CNS understands from sources close to Cabinet that Investment, Innovation and Social Development Minister André Ebanks had concerns relating to the issues raised by the OAG about the activities in the ministry before the general election and its immediate aftermath.

But in the press release, Manderson described this transfer as recognition of “an area of need” within the civil service to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the previous chief officer in the planning ministry, Alan Jones, in July 2021 after a career of 31 years of service.

“Through my role as head of the civil service, I am committed to maintaining the agility of the public sector to continually evaluate and adapt to the needs of the government,” Manderson stated. “The placements of our chief officers helps us effectively deliver strategic outcomes that progress the business of government in the most effective and responsible ways.”

Manderson added that it was “undeniable” that there are “many distinguished leaders throughout the service”, and Bush was one of these leaders with senior-level experience that can be placed where needed. “It is critical to the success of the service that we remain open to working in new ways while continuing to achieve high levels of performance as we serve the people of the Cayman Islands,” he said.

Bush will take the helm of the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure next week, working alongside Minister Jay Ebanks.

Manderson said the planning ministry is managing several projects of “critical importance” to the government, such as roads, which are largely managed by the NRA, and the proposed submarine cable, which is in the very early stages. The ministry is no longer overseeing the PlanCayman project and the rollout of the National Development Plan as these have been handed over to the premier’s ministerial team.

Since Jones retired last year, the planning ministry has been headed up by Deputy Chief Officers Tristan Hydes and Leyda Nicholson-Makasare, who will now go back to their jobs as DCOs.

Tamara Ebanks, who was a third DCO at the planning ministry but was seconded to the social development ministry last year to work on some of the key projects initiated under Bush, will take over as acting chief officer for PAHI. She now heads the ministry that is overseeing the current transformation of social welfare.

This sideways move for Bush is outside of his previous roles in the civil service, where he began as a police officer. He climbed through the ranks and headed up the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, then the Ministry of Home Affairs, before he served as the Cayman Islands Representative to the UK between 2016 and 2019.

He returned to Cayman and the top job at the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs (ITIAMA). This was a new ministry created by then premier Alden McLaughlin but after the 2021 elections, those portfolios were transitioned back under the financial services umbrella and the new Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development.

According to the press release, staff in that ministry registered some of the highest scores on the 2020 and 2021 Civil Service Engagement Survey, which “profoundly reflect how Mr Bush’s distinctive attributes of strategic thinking, leadership capability and a commitment to empowerment translate into management of staff and delivery of outcomes”.

Bush stated that he was honoured to continue to serve the people in this new job. “While the world around us changes, the civil service must continue to be dynamic and innovative to fulfil the vision of our elected leaders,” he stated.


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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (92)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Manderson’s statement is again just another one of his many, many unbelievable statements. His skin gets thicker and thicker as his repeated brazen actions and statements depart from fact and truth.

    Bush was shifted to the UK position when the not fit for purpose multi-million dollar traffic cameras fiasco was exposed.

    Bush was again involved in the planned multi-million dollar expenditures for plush overseas offices.

    The good job done by the Auditor General was lambasted by the useless Governor and Manderson.

    In refining metals the dross always rises to the top, this rule also applies to the Caymanian Civil Service, the useless get promoted.

    Bush is now in charge of a Ministry in which he has no previous knowledge of the subjects he is now supposed to manage and lead – be very thankful Manderson did not put him charge of the aviation ministry because he might have also fancied himself a pilot!

    Manderson, there are several persons with the education, training and experience to lead the PAHI Ministry. You have again killed the spirit and dedication of many wonderful Caymanian civil servants, you do not appreciate their dedication and hard work, shame on you.

    Without knowledge of the subjects the PAHI Ministry Bush, even if he wanted to do so, is incapable of making decisions in the best interests of Caymanians.

    We also know that being a Lodge member is also a big factor in this appointment, why are we still surprised and so disappointed in Manderson and the Governor.

    Manderson’s World Class Messed up Civil Service continues at our expense.

    • Free the Civil Service from the Bush snd the ManDG says:

      Only one way to deal with this constant embarrassment (see my name)

    • Anonymous says:

      The Internal Audit Service (IAS) should be independent from the DG just like the Office of the Auditor General. IAS’ independence is greatly affected because the DG can dictate favorable outcomes in the investigations IAS is tasked to do. The reason why that Canadian almost became tje Director because he is a “yes” man of the DG.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really urge the negative posters to seek professional help. Your clearly don’t know our DG.

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    • Just another day in Lala Land says:

      Enough of the DG praise already he knows he is farting up it takes lobbying He and his bosses over yonder to get rid of him snd the Bush Man.

  3. Sheriff says:

    So was the photo taken pre-COVID? Or do these people have a special excemption from wearing masks indoors like the rest of us are “required” to do through the end of June.

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    • DS says:

      What’s the submarine cable proposal all about, govt or some developer again? What For? Somebody explain this is my first time hearing about a submarine cable.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhh, the saga continues, the Teflon don Eric Bush rolls on always upward regardless of the transgressions.
    Franz and the Gov are correct in their bugle call and trumpet blast that we now have a “World Class” civil service.
    Unfortunately, our once proud civil service has descended into the most incompetent and corrupt civil service this country has ever had and yes joined the other “World Class” civil servants worldwide.
    Let’s look at the new “world-class” criteria for promotion which is trumpeted by one requirement “go along to get along” make 2+2 be anything you want other than 4.
    So here is Eric Bush’s sterling record in the civil service
    Joined the police force-XXXXX.
    Joined Cayman Airways HR with no qualifications or experience in HR second fiasco
    Joined the civil service and was given responsibility for the security cameras project -we all know the result was not good, third fiasco
    Given responsibility for the Prison fourth fiasco
    Given responsibility for Fire Service fifth fiasco first time headed by non-Caymanian
    Sent to London office to escape accountability Another fiasco spent much time and money entertaining.
    Returned to Cayman to head up new Ministry another fiasco, AG says clearly he broke the law in her report. The report covered up by DG and Gov concentrates to divert public attention to the leak of the report while silently constructing a promotion and escape hatch, for Eric Bush
    Watch this space XXXX he is likely to be the next DG given his diversity of incompetence across the various Ministries,
    I challenge the Gov and DG to publish Mr. Eric Bush’s academic qualifications.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    In the public service a good boss is one who turns a blind eye to tardiness, unproductivity, inefficiency, workplace toxicity, etc. I know, I was once trapped in such an environment.

    My boss loved the ass-kissing he received from the useless employees, just like “Proudcivilservant’s” praise of the DG. Meanwhile, those employees enjoyed liquid lunches with the boss and by 4:30 pm were back at their favourite activity, bending their elbows and wagging their tongues…oh, and collecting big public $$$ every month.

    In those circumstances, which are evident in the public service, I truly believe Franz is the Best Boss Ever!!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    This is not good. Scared for the controversy to come.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Completely normal for a third world run island. Nothing that needs to change or will change.

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    • You got your nerve says:

      @8:07 all 17 of you been Ya too long time you haul your carcass from the best place you ever lived and go back to your crime/ rat /maggots etc infested crabholes. That’s all , don’t make me tear up ya hear just don’t.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The continuous lack of accountability is mind boggling. DG and AG should be term/time limited, similarly as Governor is. Especially when there has been so many transgressions.
    The “do as much as I can get away with mentality” for as long as I can, because great rewards await.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    With his police experience does that mean he will be getting the Planning department to do some enforcing??? 🤔

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  10. Elvis says:

    All change lol

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    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone noticed no one has a mask on? I thought we had a mask mandate. Are certain people exempt?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    isn’t it amazing the things you will believe when you live inside an echo chamber? things like ‘world class civil service’ 🤣

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  12. Logic says:

    These cayman bar room politicians swear they so important yet all they do is misplace an waste the tax payers dollar an get praised by these sheltered clowns that continually vote for them even though all they continue to do is Sell and sink cayman more everyday..Bunch of imbeciles

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Eric Bush is a tireless civil servant and a knight within our Country. I’ve watched him work for 15 years and we are really lucky to have him. Wish we had 15 more like him.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    There’s a lot of big words here, only matched by the amount of tiny minds. Maybe they’re all still busy working on the report into Dr Lee and his handling of the Doctors Express smokey smokey case…

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    • Proudcivilservant says:

      Finally a leader that does the right thing not the popular thing. We should all work for someone like the DG.

      I have worked with him for over 10 years. We call him BBE. Best Boss Ever.

      You haters and those filled with jealousy go and fly a kite this weekend.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Of course he is the best boss ever. You are paid lucrative salaries and benefits with no effort or accountability required.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @Proudcivilservant – you love chocolate and kool-aid too much!

        Perhaps join the DG’s 5k this weekend and run-off that baggage!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Of course you’d feel like this 5:46. Low expectations. Can’t get fired. Bend/break policy rules at MPs and other people of power and lodge member requests. Bonuses for doing lackluster work. He may be your best boss ever, but he is obviously not representing the average Caymanian citizen and providing them with good value for money.

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      • What a Mess says:

        Proud civil servant , Sounds more like Best Buddy Ever to me . Shameful that’s not the mark of a good Leader, buddy buddy with everybody , then when it comes time for disciplinary action they all sit down and sing Kumbaya.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow, he’s had an awful lot of jobs.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    The man is as incompetent as it gets he would never hold a job in private sector. He would be let go immediately not getting past probation yet he is praised by the Deputy Governor. That is the difference between the real world and life in the civil service

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  17. Anonymous says:

    This mess shows how arrogant PPM, Alden, Eric and Franz were thinking the election was theirs.
    Now the all secret PPM political meetings at Eric’s house in Prospect make sense. He is unfit to be a CO and senior civil servant. They are all a disgrace to this country thinking they are above the rules. All unfit for leadership and the positions they hold.
    They are worse than Boris Johnson.

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  18. Two Cents says:

    So let me see if I can follow this nancy story.

    First of all, ten days is a reasonable period for the Governor and DG to receive a draft of the Auditor General’s Report, review it, give her feedback and she finalise it. So if she finalised it on 10 November 2021, it is reasonable to believe that they had known about it from 01 November 2021 – for 3 FULL months – when, on 31 January 2022, CNS shared it with US – you and me (the people who pay them).

    And what is the Governor’s reaction to us learning about it? He seeks to assure us that his office and CIG “remain committed to transparency”. Really Governor, really?

    And he doesn’t see CNS sharing with us something that he and the DG have had for 3 months and said nothing about as “transparency”; he sees it as an “unauthorised leak of an official document” which in his mind “is a serious matter” and is quick to pledge that it “will be investigated”. Really Governor, really?

    He acknowledges that the AG’s report raises “important matters” and seeks to assure us that these “were already being addressed as part of the civil service’s response to the findings of the report”.

    The DG takes over lead vocals and asks us to believe that they “remain committed to ensuring transparency while following the processes and policies in place to deal with such matters. As such I ask that the process is respected and allowed to be carried out without prejudice to preserve the integrity of the review”.

    Missing from their hastily compiled jingle is ANY indication of WHEN we might expect their review to be completed (like next week, next month, next year, after the Governor leaves, after the DG retires) or of “the processes and policies in place to deal with such matters”. They obviously feel that we are not even entitled to know those policies and processes. Is that because we might find them inadequate particularly when the potential contraveners extend up to the Governor, or is this because they want to have the flexibility to manipulate “the processes and policies in place to deal with such matters”?

    This attempt to sing their way out of this mess was a total flop. They would have been better off acknowledging that each had unfortunately failed in some way and pledging a full disclosure of their findings and the consequences within some timeframe. They either got bad PR advice of they didn’t follow what they got.

    As I see it, this is not a matter for the Governor or DG to oversee. It is not even a matter for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, to whom the Governor reports, to oversee. Instead, every effort should be made to secure the services of someone senior from the UK’s Cabinet Office with responsibility for civil service matters. The individual should be assisted by our able Auditor General and a robust local attorney (there are a couple of fearless ones around).
    That’s my advice – for 2¢.

    Btw, the Cambridge dictionary defines ‘nancy story’ as “a story that is not true and that is intended to deceive people”.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Franz, & Eric are two examples of why we cannot become independent from the UK.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Has everyone forgotten the cctv disaster. Eric Bush was part of that..certain security company he has interest in. how come that was never looked into.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    So MP Bernie Bush is held accountable for his transgressions whilst the civil servant Chief Officer Eric Bush gets rewarded for his transgressions that were outlined and deemed illegal in the Auditor General’s Office report.

    Deputy Governor and Governor you both deserve all the rewards for what will unfold in the near future including the condemnation and loss of support of the public for your poor management of senior officials in the civil service.

    https://cnslibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/OAG-report-Dubai-Expo-and-CI-Overseas-Offices-Examination-of-Potential-Breaches-of-Legislation-Nov-2021.pdf

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    • Anonymous says:

      2;00 one slight difference bernie broke the rules eric didn’t. Wake up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Technically not deemed illegal. That is not a good defence. Do not let them hide behind it by mis-stating the facts.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. Technically not deemed illegal but nevertheless absolutely immoral and unprincipled. Should be fired. We want accountability.

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        • Junius says:

          Not so sure that this is correct, without direct disclosure of info, that DG is correct. If so, more is needed to make a fair and equitable assessment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bernie said sorry, was suspended for two weeks and was stripped of a portfolio from his Ministry. Are others being treated different with respect to accountability?

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      • Anon says:

        Not when you’re part of the boys club. You get moved more than dismissed.Wait till you guys see the new breed of these lodge minions. My question would be to him; what did he agree to in order to get help. Smh. Same crap different day.

  21. RES IPSA LOQUITUR says:

    The plan has always been for Manderson to promote Bush as his successor to the Deputy Governor position. This recent decision demonstrates the commitment to that agenda. The question is why? The public will never understand but it cannot be allowed to happen. Look at the track record and poor performances not the sound bites and spin from the top.

    Therefore, this Governor and the next need to start conducting their own assessment because Manderson’s judgement is suspect as it is emotive and illogical when faced with the evidence in the public domain. In the private sector Bush would have been released from his employment for cause years ago.

    Private sector and tax payers continue to pay for the mistakes of a poorly managed civil service that is proving to be the achilles heel of the Cayman Islands. Whilst the Governor and Deputy Governor continue to demonstrate no appetite for quality leadership, positive change, consistency or high standards within the civil service.

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  22. 4th Floor GOAB says:

    The DCO’s in PAHI need to go on strike and offer no help to the DG’s favorite pet. The disrespect is unforgivable it proves there is no meritocracy under the current leadership.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go on strike?!!! Are you kidding me???!! Neither of them are capable of doing that job. Not that I am endorsing Eric Bish, but when you are known as the “ad-hoc” ministry…..

      That Ministry won’t be no worse for it, with him joining.

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    • Anonymous says:

      One of them doesn’t have the mental capacity to deal with anything other than Agriculture and Planning, even those are a bit of a stretch.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Meritocracy! What is that again. I dare say that word is surely foreign in the Civil Service.

  23. Anonymous says:

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Please retire DG you have again made a fool of yourself.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Undeniable that there are many distinguished leaders in the Civil Service? Bullshit. I deny it. It is a den of ineptitude. A cabal of the self-serving. It lacks accountability, and cannot even admit its own very serious failings. It depletes Cayman and the potential of the Caymanian people on a daily basis.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    The statement for Franz is pure bollocks

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  26. Anonymous says:

    This latest episode defines the legacy and leadership of the Deputy Governor

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    • Anonymous says:

      The CCTV fiasco that Eric Bush was leading, which will forever be useless must never be forgotten. If they are working, the police wouldn’t need to constantly be asking for the publics assistance in solving crime. Bush should’ve been history based on his overall performance and poor results. Gone long ago but he got promoted and shipped overseas as a cover-up to cool off by the DG. The lodge works for the brothers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please beg George McCarthy to come back out of retirement. BTW, he’s not a lodge member.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Franzie doin the icky shuffle again.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Who conducted the internal investigation? Where they de-biased, independent, and acting in the best interests of stakeholders? Was contemporaneous evidence preserved, and did it match interviews? Who did investigators report to? Where is final report published for integrity? Are we expected to accept Manderson’s verdict without the report?

    Recycling failed and failing leadership is not the sort of “agility” we need. Cayman will remain in destructive CFATF Blacklist contention until status quo opacity is rejected. Manderson is the common denominator in every scandal that surfaces. What we should really ask why isn’t he on paid leave pending an investigation outcome? Does the FCO need to initiate that via public petition?

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Goody goody Gumdrops. Now PAHI will be headed up by a clueless Minister and Chief Officer. Sorry for the DCO.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Who was going to head up these international offices? That would be an interesting thing to know.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    #worldclassfluff

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  32. Anon says:

    Amazing. Just transferred to yet another post. Will anyone be held accountable for anything they have done in CIG? What has happened to the UK Rep? Will she have yet another lateral move, or will the DG just sweep this one under the carpet too. Breaking the law is one thing, and to break it as an official rep in another country is another ball game. Shame on this “world class service”…..

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