OAG asks for input on government scrutiny

| 22/11/2022 | 22 Comments

(CNS): The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is asking people for their opinions on work the office could complete over the next few years from a list of potential areas of public finance where it plans to take a closer look. From affordable housing and the civil service to the George Town revitalisation project and healthcare inequality, the office will prioritise potential audits based on public input to optimise its limited resources.

The OAG is already committed to conducting reviews of the waste-management project, WORC and Cayman Airways over the next year, but there are still many other areas the auditor believes are in need of scrutiny.

The office has built a solid reputation for independence with the publication over the years of clear, evidence-based but often controversial reports. In a press release about the draft programme of audits and special reports covering the next three to four years, Auditor General Sue Winspear said the public is well placed to provide opinions.

“I believe that members of the public are in an excellent position to provide input to our work programme,” she said. “We are very interested in users’ views about the public services provided and what areas could do with an audit review to try to drive service improvement. I welcome the public’s comments on areas of core government, statutory authority and government companies’ operations where they think my Office could add value by looking at how economically, efficiently and effectively services are delivered.”

Five performance audits are currently underway: the integrated Solid Waste Management System for the Cayman Islands (ReGen); improving financial accountability and transparency (long-term financial sustainability; Cayman Airways Limited; improving employment prospects for Caymanians; and rebuilding and diversifying the economy.

The OAG is also currently conducting a public interest report, which is an overview of the environment and the Cayman Islands’ progress in its sustainable development goals.

The four-year programme includes proposals for another six potential audits in 2023 and a range of performance audits over the three years. None of the proposed new reports are fixed and could change as a result of the feedback received from the public.

“I want to ensure that my office provides the best value for money to the people of the Cayman Islands,” Winspear said, adding that she wanted to use the resources to focus on the issues that matter most and where the OAG can add the most value. “Your views on what matters and when we should audit issues will be important factors in helping us decide on the final programme of work,” she said.

The OAG’s five-year performance audits programme for the period 2022 to 2026 can be found on the OAG website or posted below.

The consultation will run until 2 December, after which the Auditor General will consider all comments received and finalise a programme by 9 December.

Feedback can be provided by email at auditorgeneral@oag.gov.ky

or in writing to
PO Box 2583
Grand Cayman KY1-1103

For more information call Sue Winspear directly at (345) 244-3201
or Angela Cullen, Deputy Auditor General (Performance Audit), at (345) 244-3220.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about why CIG bought Smatts property in GT, what is actually being built there?
    What is happening to the Glass House and the Tower building site – nothings happened since Hurricane Ivan?

  2. Anonymous says:

    how about looking at the approval processess of Cabinet agreeing to buy and sell crown land. Where are the business cases? Are the prices paid fair?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The AG should look at how can Cabinet approve a proposed road without NRA providing detailed plans, access plans for land owners, costings of the road build, the costs of materials and also without what is the likely cost to compensate land owners for the land compulsory acquired. Also the time taken from when a road is gazetted to when completed – why does it take so long to build? Why does it take so long for the landowners to be compensated? Where and how many projects have NRA and cabinet gazetted a proposed road and not built? Why did NRA pick a particular route compared to another such as the East West Road? Why didn’t NRA do an EIA before putting the route for gazetting to cabinet, what costs did they provide to Cabinet? Where is the EIA for the Linford Pierson Highway going through the Ironwood Forest? I did not see any of this in the last AG report on the NRA?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Did the OAG look at NRA recently? Did they really look at how NRA tenders for their road building and materials?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Very simple, you pick the project and audit for, value for $$$ spent. You might just find thirty and above cents (30c) on the dollar is wasted. Put another way 30% + wasted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look into the pensions of politicians and payments they have approved themselves including raises and severance.

    • YES says:

      The number one area is the Police and second to that is the workings of the world Vkass Civil Service and all the malfeasance that goes on from top to bottom . Seriously.

  6. Anonymous says:

    NOTHING will come out of trying to get at the mystery of Cayman Airways. There will be endless obfuscations and claims of need for nobody to know because of confidentiality of business transactions and competitors not being allowed to see how a jurisdiction of 70,000 people, uniquely in the world, can miraculously have a profitable airline with ?four spanking new Max 8s, plenty of empty seats and low freight. The answer of course is “it’s profitable after subsidy” (T Bodden). There, Ms Winspear, job done.

  7. Anonymous says:

    OfReg went out to recruitment for 3 new Executive Directors,[(1) Fuels, (2)ICT and (3) Electricity & Water] in 2020. Those posts were advertised with the updated salary scale as determined by the Portfolio of the Civil Service. It appears the 2 incumbents were rehired (one of whom I believe is past retirement age) and a third new Executive Director was hired. Can you investigate and determine if these hires [especially the NEW one for ICT] are being paid at the new salary scale? the Lower scale that POCS determined was appropriate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OAG please focus on waste of resources, especially financial, throughout the entire public service!

    Sept/Oct 2022 – Miss Cayman Universe suspended from her duties but still receiving a “stipend” and still eligible for her college scholarship.

    Nov 2022 – CIG is hosting FATF Conference, Privy Council sittings, Pirates Week, Air Show, UC College Basketball Exhibitions games. Collectively a great opportunity for waste.

    52/12 – NRA dispatches teams of 6-8 persons for the smallest jobs. Observations show 2 actually doing any work and the rest “monitoring”.

    365 – Public service employees use public vehicles (and fuel) for personal use.

    These are just a very small number of items OAG could focus on!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Crime-fighting “police agencies” budgets have grown into 9 figures, larger than some small NATO member countries…we might ask where does that money go, if not investments into crime fighting results?

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) should look into the Purchase Agreement (purportedly prepared in accordance with s.30(2), Public Management and Finance Act) dated 8 November 2019, between the CI Government (executed by the Hon. Attorney General) and the Cayman Islands Legal Practitioners Association (CILPA), where CILPA was given government subsidy CI$2,299,523.00 (from the public purse) for 2020 and 2021, respectively, purportedly for AML regulation, site visit investigation and enforcement of Cayman lawyers, which seems to have been prima facie unlawful and ultra vires s.4(9) of the Proceeds of Crime Act (the primary enabling legislation), that appears to have funded (not CILPA but) the Cayman Attorneys Regulation Authority (CARA), who was not expressly mentioned in the said Purchase Agreement.

    If this turns out to be correct, CILPA would be liable to make restitution to the public purse in order to reverse the ultra vires unjust enrichment.

    If this CI Government subsidy to CILPA, which was used to fund CARA, was indeed unlawful, would depositing this subsidy money into a bank account not appear (technically) to be the proceeds of crime? Any bank holding these funds or that held such funds on deposit might need to be careful for an AML exposure.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Civil Service is actually the biggest water of Public Funds, and not necessarily because some Civil Servants may be lazy or inept (although that can be a significant factor in some cases).

    It is the Civil Service HR practices and benefits schemes that will destroy us. Some are quite obvious – the ongoing extended leave with full pay is scandalous. It bears no relation to modern employment practices. It is a unnecessary squandering of public resources. The OAG should ask why foreign prison officers (for example) can smuggle drugs into prison, get caught, and STILL be on full pay and benefits a year later.

    Much worse still is all the benefits Civil Servants receive. Do the Cayman Public recognize that when a foreign civil servant with 3 kids gets hired, the government can end up paying more in benefits than it does in the workers salary? If they hired a foreign worker with no kids, it would cost us less than half – but no-one checks or considers the implications.

    Eventually Government will run out of our money if this kind of overt disregard for sound economic principles continues.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm, 12:26. So Government should hire only workers with no kids ( how easy is that, you think?), or demand they leave their kids behind ( a version of this used to happen with the lower paid workers)? How does this requirement you suggest fit in with your earlier statement “bears no relation to modern employment practices”?

      • Anonymous says:

        That is what the private sector has to do. Why should Caymanians have to pay for 100% of the education and health insurance costs of expatriates while being required to and struggling to pay the costs of their own children?

  12. Anonymous says:

    How about staying in your lane and auditing the finances and outputs of the government and its many bodies and entities? This looks to be a task that should take up 100% of your time and more. If you get all that done, we can think about having you weigh in on “rebuilding and diversifying” Cayman’s economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, 11:28. But Auditor Generals here have tended to eventually get bored with the mundane but necessary tasks and drift off into crowd pleasing projects. Ms Winspear has been a very fine A-G; she should continue her work in her lane as you suggest.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The biggest revenue loss line items for the CI public’s purse are defined and limited duty waivers, concessions and other deliverables to preferred developers that are way past stated limits and not being tracked by any government agency. At least tens of millions in foregone revenue, if not hundreds by now. Even Roy, when in charge of finances, admitted his corrupt PPM regime had no idea, and no interest in keeping track. This has to stop.

  14. Anonymous says:

    OAG should have no shortage of work to do. For starters they need to be given more resources to be looking into all SAGCs including Turtle Farm, Cayman Airways, CIAA, NRA, and the Port. OAG should have the ACC on speed dial, and public needs to start seeing meaningful charges and arrests for collusion, embezzlement, and outright theft, all the way to the top. Ministry Dept Heads that aren’t following reporting and transparency guidelines need to be put on notice, suspended, or fired. Heart attack or not, the DG should be feeling more heat, not less heat.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The affordable homes projects under NHDT warrants further scrutiny. Irregularities with the board – charges brought against the Chairman. Project costs – what has been funded to date, is it within budget/overruns, why were the original designs changed and did that lead to increased construction costs, who is handling the construction of the homes, what does it cost to build these homes. The 2 bedroom are selling for $170K and the 3 bedroom are selling for $185K – given today’s construction costs these homes will cost more to build than what they are being sold for.


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