Ministry refuses release of study on proposed subsea cable

| 10/01/2024 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service
Existing Maya-1 undersea cable

(CNS): The planning and infrastructure ministry has released some documents relating to the proposed new undersea communications cable and the recruitment of the project manager and team, as well as the basics of the CI$1.3 million contract with Cambridge Management Consultants. However, an external study, which CNS understands is the Outline Business Case, that should detail the justification for the project is being withheld. CNS was told in response to a freedom of information request that it was exempt under section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act, which relates to national security.

Section 15 (see here) indicates that records are exempt from disclosure if it would prejudice the security, defence or international relations of the Cayman Islands or if the records contain information communicated in confidence to the government by or on behalf of a foreign government or by an international organisation.

However, even if there are security implications in the document, this does not mean that the entire report should be kept from the public, given that the United People’s Movement plans to spend millions of taxpayers’ money on the proposed cable, which some, including those in the communication sector, are not convinced is necessary. The external study is believed to be the business case conducted by Grant Thornton after they secured the CI$250,000 consultant contract last March.

In a vague press release in December, the ministry attempted to justify the costly project without releasing any supporting evidence for it. As a result, CNS made a freedom of information request to find out the justification for the project and allow the public to judge for themselves whether or not it is something the country needs and if the people rather than the private sector should pay for it.

According to the government’s procurement site, a tender that opened last year for legal support services for the project closed on Tuesday. According to the bid, the legal team will assist the growing number of consultants already employed to establish the new international submarine cable system for the Cayman Islands based on the strategic and business outline cases that have not been released.

It appears that, even before the actual construction begins, the UPM Government has already spent a considerable sum and intends to spend even more in the exploratory stages of this proposed project, which was initiated under the last PPM administration.

CNS has asked for an internal review of the refusal to release the business case, and we are awaiting a response.

See the documents that have been released in the CNS Library.

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Category: Business, Government Administration, ICT, Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. Braaca says:

    Hope this cable plan includes the sister islands, especially Little Cayman as its main issue is that all communications are limited because they connected over Microwave Radio links from the Brac.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s to spy on your Internet communications. Advanced DPI, now fully undercover & RCIPS/UK/MI-6 control.

  3. SJames says:

    We need know all about this. My sources say there are serious vested interests. I do hope the AG takes a look at it.

  4. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    The new government and the civil service have lost the plot.

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  5. Anonymous says:

    Unaccountable CIG spending for hidden illegal personal enrichment? No accusation here. Just asking for a friend.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We, the people, need to know exactly how we will benefit from this project. If completed, how will it be managed, who will maintain it, where will profits go, etc.?
    All other such infrastructure is run by private enterprises. Why is a government getting involved?

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone who uses the Internet will benefit. We live in an information age, not the age of sailing ships. Every additional cable coming into the islands is an enormous benefit to everyone in the islands. Furthermore, the more cables coming in, the lower prices will be as there will be competition.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If it were a matter of national security wouldn’t it be an issue for the Governor, whose responsibility that is, rather than the government? Anu concerns with the report being released, Governor?

  8. Guido Marsupio says:

    New government needs to demonstrate, at the very least, that it is not blatanly corrupt. Caymanian voters should not stand for that. Yes, petty corruption has been here for ages but to this level it is unacceptable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The CIG can’t and won’t show it’s work, because it’s corrupt.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Follow the money………..

  11. Anonymous says:

    Government on the rampage.

  12. Corruption is endemic says:

    National Security Concerns in this matter for these Islands are laughable.

    One should remember we live in a BOT not an independent country and even if we were it is hard to imagine this rising to the level of a State secret

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you thumbs down because you think Cayman is an independent country or because your think this should be secret?

  13. Anonymous says:

    just follow up at next cig press conference….oh wait….
    welcome to wonderland.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Same OBC as the Brac High School. Two for one deal. Good way to save a few Benjamins JuJu.


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