Audit finds many gaps in CIG online services

| 29/06/2022 | 42 Comments

(CNS): It is not clear if the Cayman Islands Government has achieved value for money from the services that it has shifted online, and Cayman is lagging behind other countries in its provision of e-services, the Office of the Auditor General has found in a new report. Sue Winspear and her team identified a number of gaps in online services provided by the CIG and how it managed the process, which began almost twelve years ago.

The government first announced its e‐business initiative in 2010 but did not have any dedicated staff. It then relaunched the e‐government programme in 2013, but it wasn’t until December 2014 that the first director of the initiative was appointed. Then in 2017, the eGovernment Unit (EGU) was created, and after a very slow start, some government services began to be moved online.

But twelve years on, the auditors found that even though many services are available digitally, several are not available at all, while others, like applying for a driver’s licence, still cannot be fully completed online.

“I urge the Government to work towards providing these, and more services, online,” Winspear said as she released the report last week. She also encouraged the CIG to systematically monitor and report customer satisfaction to determine how easy it is to find and use online services. That will help improve the services, she said, adding that officials should also capture the cost of designing, developing and delivering its projects for online services, which they are not yet doing, posing the question of which services have proved successful.

“This is a significant gap as it is essential information for demonstrating value for money,” she said, noting that it is currently not possible to say whether or not the government has achieved value for money so far placing public services online.

Responding to the report Tamara Ebanks, the acting chief officer at the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development, which is responsible for e-government, acknowledged the recommendations and noted that most of the ones within the ministry’s control were being complied with or are being actioned.

“The ministry and the eGovernment Unit are committed to improving our efficiency and enhancing the security of our data and systems across government and by extension making it easier to do business in the Cayman Islands,” she said.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson welcomed the report, which he said acknowledges some of the successes government has had in moving to online services. “People can now access over 70 different government services online, including many of the top 20 services provided by governments worldwide,” he said. “Having so many of our services online to make people’s lives better has been an important accomplishment.”

The deputy governor said that since 2014, the eGovernment Unit has been pivotal in developing and progressing an overall strategy.

But in her report, Winspear noted that in 2015 the unit drafted a strategy but never finalised it. At the same time, it set up an E‐Government Steering Committee, but it stopped meeting after April 2017. It was not until 2021, during the audit, that the EGU started drafting a new E‐Government Strategy.

“The new strategy includes more up‐to‐date objectives, including fostering a culture of innovation, creativity and collaboration and developing the digital economy,” Winspear said in the report. “However, it does not include a strategic objective relating to efficiency or cost savings… These are significant gaps,” she noted.

Manderson said the government was committed to e-governance and the transition to digital processes and it was working on expanding the range of online services while ensuring robust cyber security. He also said that money had been budgeted for the work.

Ian Tibbetts, Director of the eGovernment Unit for the last five years, said that during that time the EGU has been laying the technical foundation and framework for a national and digital ID system. “Initiatives such as these are designed to make the Cayman Islands Government increasingly agile and responsive, for the benefit of our residents and businesses,” he said.

See the auditor’s report in the CNS Library.


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Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CIG online services are third world. Embarrassing.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The people in the DG’s office are not serving him well. He clearly does not understand these things and his statements of celebration and congratulations clearly demonstrate that he doesn’t realize how far behind the Cayman Islands is as it relates to e-government and digital transformation.

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  3. Unsub says:

    What a load of Hog Wash now appointing family legacy appointees who don’t have a friggin clue only there for the big salary and titled and most important political funding opportunities for the next election eh DG ? Sounds all wonderful what about the serious Cyber vulnerabilities that exist in the system that offer absolute no protection to our private information. I suggest some of you get your shit together and head of of your @$$. In fact they have been offer solutions by the very best in the world but because some very devious state actors are benefiting from these very vulnerabilities they refuse to put that protection in place Cayman. Do not be fooled Cayman.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Franz Manderson’s constant excuses / RCIPS excuses for falsely claiming a boat rescue / CG excuse for not getting to the rescue scene but also claiming credit….wtf!

    ….a world class excuse factory Mr. Manderson, that’s what you run! Please retire! Oh, and leave it to Eric or Gloria?

    No, wait!…

    Wha’ a mess!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Some progress is better than none. Yes it would be more. Yes it could be better. But some issues have to be taken into account. Such as interfacing with the the systems that exist in the various departments, our existing laws which may require changes, and the resistance that certain departments exert to avoid online interface which will then restrict their fiefdom.
    Let’s just keep pushing forward and Joe Public use the online access where possible.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Resign now Franz for love of country.

    Roper the time has come to shoot this dying horse and put it out of its misery

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  7. Anonymous says:

    While in general this is not a great report, it is a small step forward.

    CIG is certainly not ramping up in world-wide technology; it lags far, far behind and makes excuses for its deficit. Very sad how our Ministers continue to display their lack of education – We are the casualties. But they are duly elected by those with even less education, insight and susceptible to bribes.

    Not a good future for more educated and ethical Ministers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t elect Ministers, form government Cabinets, or hire civil servant department heads. All we do is elect district MPs from the very shallow pool of candidates. That’s all we can do without radical changes to the Elections Law.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sue must have been to renew her license recently.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty clear no one in CIG really cares about any of these issues—except when the auditors are snooping round and they think there could be bad publicity. They are just like school children when the teacher steps out of the room. All this seems like hard work; it’s easier just to keep pushing the same old paper.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a matter for the civil service to fix not politicians. The buck stops with DG Manderson

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      • Anonymous says:

        Civil servants can’t work on problems they are not funded or even employed to do. The initiative was announced in 2010. There was no director until 2014. Why does the article say it’s been 12 years with limited outcomes?

        Feels like a structural issue more than individual civil servants at fault.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Who is responsible for structural issues in the civil service of not civil servants? Which one is irrelevant. The civil service has been engaged and richly remunerated to achieve things. It is usually responsible for any successes and failures. We celebrate the successes. We criticize failings.

          This is not a success.

          And to clarify, the period from 2010 to 2022, is 12 years. Let me know if you need any help with my workings on that.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s both. Some of the delay is because the elected government won’t deal with enabling legislation.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a joke!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Copy what Estonia has done (they are willing to share it with us), cut 80% of the Civil Service, give every Caymanian family $50,000 a year with the money saved, reduce import duties, and be happy. The shitshow has to end!

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    • Anonymous says:

      We did !! Our system is modeled off the Estonian system

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      • Anonymous says:

        Estonia – 29,000 Civil Servants and Employees of Government agencies serving 1.3 million people.

        You think we have anything even approaching those efficiencies? We have not even attempted them.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Summary:

    Sue Winspear – You’ve had 15 years. Get your finger out!

    Uncle Franz – Our world class civil service is doing a great job!

    Dystopian delusions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Franz Manderson needs to retire or be fired the excuses and claims of a world class civil service shows his disconnect from reality. The civil service is a joke because of his decisions and the poor management by his picked minions across the service.

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      • Proudcivilservant says:

        8:34 our accomplished DG gave no excuses. Cayman is the leader in the Caribbean for government online services.

        I expect that over the next 4 years Cayman will lead the world in online services.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Best 5K in the Western Caribbean by far.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Best in the Caribbean is a VERY low standard. Try comparing us to knowledge based economies, like ours. You know, Hong Kong. Singapore. Switzerland.

          We cannot even automate speeding and parking tickets!!!

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  13. Say it like it is says:

    From reading the comments on the progress (or rather lack of it) in developing an overall online strategy, that the Deputy Governor has no idea of what is happening (or rather not happening) under his governance.Yet he refers to “world class performance”?.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Emperor has no clothes…..Our governance is becoming a scam. There is no accountability and too often those in control of important functions neither understand their role, nor are willing to access the substantial private sector support available gratis. The harm is mounting and is literally unaffordable.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    fostering a culture of innovation, creativity and collaboration

    That’s pretty much what I do every day when I’m out drinking with my friends.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Never, in the field of technology, has so little been achieved by so many, for so much, in the service of so few.

    This is not brain surgery Franz. This is a small government catering to a small population. Your suggestion that we are top 20 in the world is somewhat laughable.

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    • Merith says:

      5:03 I pity you. The DG didn’t say that.

      People can now access over 70 different government services online, including many of the top 20 services provided by governments worldwide,” he said.

      Come on if you are going to offer criticism at least say something factual.

      I just licensed my car online and renewed my TBL in less than 10 minutes. Both services were very user friendly.

      It would seem to be that the civi service is being audited to death. How they deal with all of these audits, the million recommendations and thousands of FOI’s and accomplished so many other things in so many areas is simply outstanding.

      Kudos to the DG and civil servants.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Audit? Waste or time and money. If you couldn’t figure that out without an audit then there’s little hope for you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5:02 The audit was needed to gather the evidence for the reached conclusion. If you ask leadership they’ll tell you they’ve got the best systems in the world.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Here is the disconnect. The Government says they want something, e.g., online services. Then, years later, the Auditor General comes and asks why ‘value for money’ was not established? Because it wasn’t a government goal at inception. The Government and Auditor General need to sit down and decide if value for money and similar metrics are really a basic requirement of every decision – or not – and either make it so (going forwards) or admit that its not a government priority for every decision and then drop it (going forwards) as a basic audit question.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Constitution and Public Management and Finance Law mention the importance of value for money. That is one of the main basis for having an audit office. It is somewhat remarkable that any person would think getting value out of public spending should not be a goal for everything the government does. I suppose it’s ok if you don’t mind your money being wasted which is what you are implying.

  18. Anonymous says:

    online services are fine but please dont forget about all the people that dont have or use computers like seniors

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    • Anonymous says:

      Simply an excuse. It’s 2022!

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    • Rick says:

      You have a phone don’t you? That’s a computer.
      Every senior I know has one. No excuse.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “65.2% of households have access to internet services.” – From the ESO (https://www.eso.ky/didyouknow.html#8)

      Obviously this is not for the OP but the commentators who think that since everyone they know is online then everyone is online. There is a not insignificant percentage of our population with let us call it limited ability to access services online. All the OP is doing is reminding us that just as we should not have manual-only systems these days we still cannot have online-only.

      ESO also say that “98.5% of households have at least one cell phone.” But if you think about it that’s (a) not necessarily a smart phone and (b) probably especially not in the 35% of households without internet.

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