Ministry presses on with Cayman office in US

| 31/01/2023 | 56 Comments
Governor Martyn Roper, Financial Services Minister Andre Ebanks and Cayman’s representative in the US and Canada, Chris Duggan, at the opening of the DC office

(CNS): The financial services ministry opened a government office in Washington, DC last week, which will be headed up by Cayman’s representative to the US and Canada, Chris Duggan. According to a press release, the PACT Government intends to open two more overseas offices, one in Europe and another in Asia, despite the controversy over these offices after it emerged that the previous administration had progressed plans for them even after the PPM lost the election.

According to a report by the Office of the Auditor General, which was leaked over one year ago but has still not been made public, the relevant ministry, which was headed by then-premier Sir Alden McLaughlin, signed contracts to open overseas offices days before and after the election. The deals committed the next government to spend millions of dollars, which had not been properly allocated.

The OAG found that there had been breaches of the Constitution, the Public Service Management Act and the Public Finance and Management Act.

The audit office was tasked with examining the circumstances after André Ebanks, the current minister responsible for financial services, raised his concerns with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson. Although there were findings that suggested wrongdoing on the part of senior civil servants, no one has been held to account.

After the report was leaked, Manderson refuted Auditor General Sue Winspear’s findings, though she has continued to stand by the work. However, the controversy led to a new set of rules governing the conduct of civil servants and ministers once an election has been called and during the period leading up to the transfer of office to a new administration.

Governor Martyn Roper was also implicated in the report, as the UK has to give permission for the opening of foreign-based offices for Cayman, given its status as an overseas territory. In Winspear’s report, she documented how, the day after McLaughlin brought the date of the election forward, Roper made the requests for Cayman to open this Washington office as well as one in Brussels.

Roper was present at the opening reception at The City Tavern Club in Georgetown, Washington, DC, attended by around 60 people, including officials from Caribbean countries, representatives from the British Embassy, former members of US Congress, DC industry stakeholders and members of the Cayman Islands industry. The governor said the UK fully supported the office and its remit

Ebanks, who was the Cayman Islands’ London-based representative for the UK and Europe before he decided to run for office, wished Duggan all the best. He said the representative’s role affords greater opportunities for providing the true and accurate record of the Cayman Islands to US elected officials, department staff, industry representatives and the media.

The goal of these offices is to promote Cayman’s financial sector and attract investment.

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Category: Business, Financial Services

Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So Andre wanted to put Alden on trial for those offices and the waste of money that he claims they were and now… he is taking credit for them?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your tax dollars at work

  3. Island Time says:

    Certainly sounds like someone is setting themself or family up for a lucrative position.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jobs for the boys.

    • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

      Here is an initiative for Chris Duggan:

      At the new Canadian built airport in Bermuda one can clear American customs and immigration at the Bermuda Airport. I did it last month.

      Chris Duggan should lobby to have pre clearance for all people entering the U.S. from Cayman. That would be a great convenience to all of us who get tired of spending so much time in lines in airport immigration lines in NYC and Miami.

      Get working on it Chris. You will have a lot of time on your hands in Washington.

      • Ex Nihilo Creatum Est says:

        If you have ever worked with Chris, he never gets anything of substance accomplished. Very good at shaking hands, handing out cheques and being an MC. Also he’s very good at landing cushy jobs! Prove us wrong Chris.

      • Anonymous says:

        As far as I know it is only Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda and Republic of Ireland where this facility is available. I can’t see the US authorities expanding this without upsetting the myriad of jurisdictions in the world who would want to. It would be great to have it here, though.

      • Anonymous says:

        6.57 That would be a good idea exvept for the fact that most travelling with Cayman/UK passport from Cayman are now Jamaican.

  4. Anonymous says:

    YAWN…& what benefit will this office actually be to Caymanians!? More social networking with UHNWI’s that will run us off “their beaches”?

    When are we going to get something useful on-island like oh I dunno – maybe coordinate a proper US Embassy office in Cayman so we don’t have to go to you-know-where to do simple things like student visa applications, visa renewals etc.

    Or, how about fillable PDF forms for BTOC/Cayman Passports – so we don’t have to be put through a ringer every time you renewal them for something like use of a paper clip or the wrong type of byro pen ink. SMH.

    It’s high time for these simple 21st century things to be sorted out man.

    • Orlando Bob says:

      Get serious 10:34. We are a minnow to places like the U.S. and Canada. We are a colony too.

      People in places like the Cayman Islands will continue to have to go to the American Embassy and the Canadian High Commission in Kingston to process visas and related matters.

      These 3 islands are simply too small for places like the U.S. and Canada to devote financial and human capital on Grand Cayman. Pretty damn expensive to operate here too.

      Problem we have is that many here are delusional about our importance in the big scheme of things in the Caribbean for governments in the U.S. and Canada.

      • Anonymous says:

        If that is the case – why does the US consular office operate from here for US passport renewals? … which do offer very easy to use fillable PDF forms too I might add.

        How hard would it be to also station another US embassy employee here for visa renewals and operate out of the same office, maybe rotate appointment types/schedules? Not very hard at all actually. Sounds like you need to get with the times, dear.

        It is not at all practical to have to travel to Jamaica for something so simple.

        Not to mention the unnecessary costs etc. But then again, people believe we are everyone’s cash cow so we are supposed to just keep finding money that we don’t have for everyday essential things and undue processes. Right!?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Us. Diplomats…
    All means nothing while we pay people Slave wages of $4.50 or $6/jour still!
    Shame really.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see why the government would want to change that. by making it so low that no caymanians fill those positions they get to collect a work permit fee. then the young people who would normally fill these positions don’t get any work experience so the work they would move onto later in life also gets filled by another permit holder. so more dollars for government in both short term and long term.

  6. Bershka Girl says:

    Wha happen to the phony baloney cultural attaché position for the london Office sure glad someone with sense shutdown that absolute rubbish down before that disaster and nightmare embarrass us all

  7. Wtb says:

    Chris has done what anyone would.
    Live onshore in a fantastic city with full benefits housing medical education etc a city full of culture infrastructure and pay no tax for it and pay USD for his cost of goods while being paid in KYD.
    It’s quite similar to the beneficiaries of our industry.
    Rock on Chris….but you will be overwhelmed up there unless you have big money behind ya.
    Re working there I think his wife is American anyway.

  8. Anonymous says:

    All three of the gentlemen above were well spoken and represented our country in excellent fashion.
    Very proud to be represented by these folks.
    His excellency will be missed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Georgetown is in Guyana.
    George Town is in Grand Cayman.
    7.41 got the basics wrong.

    CNS: He/she was a bit arsey about it but 7:41 was correct. The reference is to Georgetown DC, see here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for clarification CNS..sorry I jumped the gun without properly reading the report. My mistake.

      CNS: No problem!

  10. Big Bobo In West Bay says:

    A excellent move on the road to our independence. An Embassy of the Republic of The Cayman Islands one day?

    The more cost efficient and politically expedient way of doing this would be to have had the CIG work out of the British Embassy in Washington, in the same way that Provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec work out of Canadian Embassies around the world.

    This must be costing us a lot of money. Millions $$$$$

    Certain that the U.K. would be happy to see us go if we wanted to leave the fatherland in London. Ambassador Duggan one day?

  11. Cayman’s New Paradigm says:

    How come people who have little or no regard for Cayman or its people are constantly given the opportunity to represent the interest of others and themselves whilst using our money to do so ? I thought their was no business case to justify this great expenditure or is there now when certain special interest want to direct all business opportunities to certain entities and companies they control or is controlling them. Oh well is right back to the Dubai and London Deja Vue Road show original scam or plan. Aaaah Boy Cayman still playing that mental trick on us . Where our children’s future is still being robbed or given away to others whilst the so called elite brethren live well and suffer little or no inconveniences at our little islands expense. Show us dear minister Ebanks just how the average Caymanian now on NAU benefits from Mr Duggan lofty post in Washington DC !

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you imagine pays for NAU?

    • Miami Dave says:

      I really wonder how Mr. Duggan is going to fill his work days in Washington, D.C.?

      There are only so many hours in a day one can spend lobbying.

      Too bad we could not see his daily work diary / calendar after a year there. As he has absolutely no contacts or background in Washington he will be overwhelmed with the political machinations of D.C.

      Best advice would be to hang around the British diplomats there who are excellent and know their way around the block.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why does a British Overseas Territory need a lobbying firm in the United States?

  13. Anonymous says:

    this whole investigation fiasco turned out to be a waste of time and effort.

    these offices should have opened a long time ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      The opposite actually. It wasn’t properly authorised. We will always be an inconsequential Caribbean territory of a mother country that already has ambassadorial offices, embassies, and long-standing political lobbying power. She’s not doing it for us, and we need to ask why. What’s missing are effective advocates for the Cayman Islands, and accurate representations of how this territory contributes to the global economic engine. Those communications misfires reside on the shoulders of successive FCO, Governor, Premier/LOGB, and Financial Minister cognition failures. Tara thought we should go to Hollywood and give life to her disqualifying half-understanding of fin-tech. Cayman then went on to host more ICO headline frauds than all the other OFC jurisdictions combined. Still happening.

    • Anonymous says:


  14. Anonymous says:

    For a start, it’s Georgetown, not George Town. Basics I’m afraid.

    Not even going to start on the rights and wrongs of all of this subject, after all, it’s all a matter of opinion. How much has Chris Duggan already cost us, the tax payers? It’s a very long list of questions.

    CNS: Thanks for the correction. In our defence, the info came from the ministry, and in their defence, old habits die hard.


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