Bryan: Ministers need more say in CS recruitment

| 05/04/2024 | 136 Comments
Cayman News Service
Government Administration Building

(CNS): Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan wants Cabinet ministers to have more power in government’s hiring of Caymanians because people expect their MPs to help them get work. Speaking on Radio Cayman yesterday, he admitted that the current immigration system had created challenges for local people, from the increasing population to the housing crisis. He said private sector employers were not playing their part by hiring and promoting Caymanians, and ministers should be able to call out the civil service when it also overlooked local workers and recruited overseas.

When he appeared on For the Record on Thursday, Bryan said that “drastic measures” were needed to reform immigration, but it required the government’s caucus to agree. He said some changes that had already been agreed upon were coming.

The minister said the problem of people not hiring local workers had a far-reaching impact and that employers had an obligation to give local people work to support society. But he also voiced concern about the lack of powers ministers have when it comes to opportunities in government and the promotion of local people. He said they no longer had any influence over the civil service, even though it’s one of the country’s biggest employers.

Bryan said constituents expect MPs to help them find work in government. However, they can no longer do this because the elected arm cannot get involved in human resources in government and could be sanctioned if they do, as was the case with one minister. He said he was very cautious about making any comment to any civil servant about recruitment to avoid any allegation of interference.

Once in government, he realised he did not have the power to meet his constituents’ expectations. Even if Cabinet were to propose legislation requiring the government to get work permits for foreign civil servants, the governor could stop the act by refusing to assent to it, the minister told the radio audience.

Bryan said he planned to discuss this issue with the governor because trying to help Caymanians get work in the private sector was also very difficult. This is one of the main reasons why he has been so vocal about immigration reform, which he added “was desperately needed” to at least reduce the number of permits that are granted.

He said that politicians were unable to play any part in controlling the number of foreign workers hired, trained or promoted by the public sector, even when Caymanians are overlooked, and were also unable to influence private sector employers because the business community insists they should be able to hire who they want. But he said that was only true to a certain degree, which was why immigration reform was necessary.

“If we are too loose with immigration policies… and if it’s easier to find a non-Caymanian, then you are going to find a non-Caymanian,” he said, adding that employers “should be required to find Caymanians regardless of the ills they come with”.

Bryan argued that if it were not so easy to recruit expatriate workers, then employers would have to find, hire, train and promote local people. “Immigration is related to so many problems that we have,” he added.

Changes to the immigration law are coming this year, but Bryan said he was not the person to say what they are because the labour minister should make that announcement. But he said there was a power struggle between politicians and the administrative branch of government, which meant they could do nothing to address the problems in the public sector.

He argued that the civil service should give preference to Caymanians and the deputy governor should not have the sole power to make decisions about hiring overseas workers over locals. He said the civil service should not be exempt from the screening and requirements of a permit system.

In both the private and public sectors, he said, politicians were prevented from assisting their people because of the pressure from the business community and their profit margins on the one hand and the constitutional exclusion of politicians from the civil service recruitment process on the other.

Acknowledging that the political arm of government should not have absolute power over the civil service, he said there was room for more shared responsibility, and it was necessary to reform the legislation to make management more accountable when they put expatriates ahead of local staff.

The minister accepted that politicians should not interfere by placing people who support them in favourable positions but said there was room to open the door about discussing the issues when Caymanians are overlooked or special favours appear to be given to expatriates.

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Government Administration, Politics

Comments (136)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    ‘then employers would have to find, hire, train and promote local people’…..let’s start with providing them with a decent education to actually make them attractive to potential employers. Just being a ‘Caymanian’ should never be enough.

  2. Richard says:

    Ah yes, cronyism meets cayman welfare

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tell that to KB please.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kenny baby, hit me up with a civil service job, just one, you know Kenny I need it, I’ll do anything even vote for you Kenny, just hit me up Kenny one more time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kenny is a walking object lesson in why this would be a really bad idea: He comes unburdened by intellect but highly blessed with criminal conviction(s).

  6. Anonymous says:

    How about no? half our minsters have criminal records… why on earth would i want them in charge of who gets hired in the sector that is the single biggest employer of Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with some of what Bryan says to a point, after all you don’t work permit holders hired for simple jobs like to pushing grocery carts from the parking lot but yet Fosters I know has one such person employed. These types of should be filled by Caymanians. I am sure some school leaver would want that job. Yet FFF has gotten away with not even being required to advertise this position.

  7. Garrison says:

    Think it’s bad now? Whoooo what a S up that will be.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I guess that the Ministerial Code of Conduct and the Anti-Corruption Act was ushered out the door with Wayne. This statement is contrary to so many of the paragraphs in the Code of Conduct….

    By way of example
    “16.1 No Minister may exert his or her influence to support the candidature of any person for
    admission to or promotion within the Public Service”

  9. Anonymous says:

    yep..he could only get away with this nonsense on cig radio….
    because we have a government who refuse to answer to independent media….
    pure wonderland madness…..all overseen by an inept governor.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Guy comes out and says “I need to buy votes by giving people jobs who are not qualified to do them, or they would already have them” and nobody calls him out on it?!
    What does this guy have over people to keep getting away with stuff? Did Mac give him his book of secrets?!

  11. Expat says:

    Just like how he Monopolize and took over Travel Cayman. Qualified people couldn’t even get an interview

  12. Anonymous says:

    “….people expect their MPs to help them get work…” and get their bills paid, and their children to get scholarships, etc.

    That the demonstrative of the hand-out culture which is Cayman politics. Not only do MP’s actually believe this but the voting population expects it!

    Our political system has failed to help us collectively. Politicians don’t care about making things good for the islands as a whole, thus making policies which will benefit everyone. They only know and display their garrison politics, focusing on their own 200 constituents’ personal needs to ensure votes.

    Populism has never provided a stable governance foundation in any part of the world….Cayman has been propped up by it for 50 years!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    There are good reasons why Ministers should not interfere with the Civil Service. Good governance and the prevention of corruption.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.