Chuckie joins war of words

| 11/07/2009

(CNS): The former tourism minister, Charles Clifford, has hit out at the financial secretary for the way he has presented spending on Cayman Airways by the former minister under the emergency funding provisions of the PMFL. He accused Kenneth Jefferson of deliberately misrepresenting and manipulating the facts, as he says the $3 million spent on CAL was not just for one route, as stated by the FS, but for the acquisition of an aircraft, the launch of the Washington and re-instatement of the Chicago routes, as well as new routes to Honduras and Panama.

In the continuing war of words between members of the previous PPM administration and the current Financial Secretary, Clifford has raised the stakes by accusing Jefferson of, “very obvious and overt political posturing in the Legislative Assembly” which he said was a clear breach of the Civil Service Code of Conduct, rules and regulations.

“What is the Governor proposing to do about the Financial Secretary’s conduct in this matter?” Clifford has asked adding that the country needs to know. He said that the FS is not entitled to practice politics from the Financial Secretary’s desk and is required by law to maintain neutrality and to present fair and accurate financials to the Cabinet, the Finance Committee, the Legislative Assembly and the country.

“Given his obvious propensity for politics and to go beyond his mandate as Financial Secretary, how are we to believe that his recent statements are anything other than political rhetoric from the UDP government designed to discredit the PPM Administration,” Clifford said.

He stated that through the Financial Secretary’s political posturing he had, “divested himself of any semblance of neutrality” and as a result any future government opposed to the UDP, be it the PPM or some other group or party, would find it very difficult to work with him.

“It follows that from this point forward this Financial Secretary will feel the need to say and do whatever is necessary to keep this UDP government in office,” Clifford said. “Which of the Financial Secretary’s statements are we to believe? What is the actual financial position of the Cayman Islands Government? We still don’t know.”

He suggested that given the recent inconsistent statements from the Financial Secretary’s office an independent audit was required. “….it is unacceptable to leave these uncertainties out there and for our Financial Secretary’s conduct to go unchecked. Our current Governor claims to be the caretaker of “good governance” in this country so let us see whether he will sit idly by and do nothing on this issue too.”

Clifford claimed that Jefferson had misrepresented the $3 million expenditure from the exceptional circumstances allocation because he had described it as one “CAL route” where as Clifford said it was for a number of things for Cayman Airways: “Including but not limited to, the acquisition of the 4th Boeing 737-300 aircraft; the launch of the Washington DC route; the re-instatement of the Chicago route; and the launch of the La Ceiba, Honduras and Panama routes,” he said. “The launch of the La Ceiba route was deferred for 4 months due to unreasonable delays by the Honduran Civil Aviation Authority and was inaugurated in early June. At the time of the general elections on 20th May 2009 plans were being finalised for the launch of service to Panama.”

Clifford said the approval of the $3M was against the backdrop of a declining tourism industry worldwide and three hurricanes but notably that Cayman was uniquely placed to meet the challenges with its own national airline.

He said in consultation with the private sector a decision was made to open two new Cayman Airways gateways in the United States and to begin to invest in the South American markets. Clifford said it was perfectly justifiable spending from the extraordinary provision and was based on sound research and data: “….During the time that these decisions were taking place the world had just entered an economic crisis and governments around the world had to make decisions which required emergency funding to mitigate the impact of the crisis,” Cifford said. “The Cayman Islands was no exception and it is against this background that the PPM government used section 11(5) of the PMFL to approve the $3M for Cayman Airways which was subject to the subsequent approval of Finance Committee when the committee next met.”

See full statement here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

Comments (42)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

     The Chief Secretary’s position had two applications.  One got accepted and one did not.  Food for thought people. Whose application do you think was thrown out?

    Food for thought… that’s how the system works.  Regardless of how many applicants there may be for a position, only one person will be chosen to fill the position.


    • Anonymous says:

      The Chief Secretarys etc

      Er, yes, that’s right! One post can only have one winner-here in Cayman-and, goodness gracious me- everywhere else in the civilised world.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Chief Secretary’s position had two applications.  One got accepted and one did not.  Food for thought people. Whose application do you think was thrown out? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Re "The Chief Secretary’s Position"

      According to press releases (or was it the marl road-archives would confirm?) three people applied, one wasn’t qualified and two were interviewed by a panel which made a recommendation for appointment to the Governor. What conspiracy theory are you putting forward? Whatever, your use of the words "one got accepted, and ond did not’ shows your ignorance of the process.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hang in there Chuckie. You got 4 years to accumulate the Hams and Turkeys for distribution the Christmas before the next Election and you will be right back in the Ivory Tower to continue where you have left off. Save your energy for backing the Hams and Turkeys instead of blowing it off in retribution to your constituency members.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Come on now give theBodden Towners a break. They’re not all brainwashed with the UDP’s "May 2009 cash cow" …………….almost 1000 of them voted for Chuckie !!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Me thinks the same person is writing all of these emails…someone who has nothing to do, or some one who has been sotouched by the former MOT that it has reached fanatical proportions.

    Our own little King of Glop.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie..Move on with dignity….unless you have a bucketload of documents in your underpants that you can titilate and excite us with…..Please…you got to know when to fold ’em. Don’t waste your law degree or police experience…Surely you can help the country with it, or teach courses like the dude in the movie, Mr. Abagnale…..(Google)…Info forthcoming from others, regarding the past, in the public interest and the people’s right to know….Peter principle at play here, I’m afraid.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Roxi, you need to share whatever you smoking with big Mac since you think he is screwing up Tourism.

  8. Roxi says:

    I’m smoking tourism, marketing, cause and effect, common sense, and a little bit of coconut huxing rolled in for good measure to see the bigger picture and what it means for our country 😉

    Trust me when I say !( People are already regretting their mistake.

    • Anonymous says:

       I dont know what all the fuss is about.  You gotta crack a few eggs to make an omlet.  Government needs to spend some money to get more people flying to Cayman.  Isn’t it a good thing that more routes/planes are added to get more activity? Not to mention a few more jobs… This is exactly what a government should be doing: spurring economic activity. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Clifford is the best Minister of Tourism this country has ever seen. The Tourism Apprenticeship Training Programme which he started will go down in history as the programme which ushered in large numbers of Caymanians into our tourism industry. I know all about that wonderful programmebecause my child is benefitting from it right now.

    Since May 2009 the new Minister has taken tourism down a dangerous path. Doing away with Pirates Week, creating turmoil in the Ministry and Department of Tourism, staff demotivated and feed up, no board at CAL and the Caymanian CEO being pushed out etc.

    Let us ALL pray for OUR country !

  10. Anonymous says:

    Roxi what in the world are you smoking ? if Clifford was that great the people of Bodden Town would have voted him back in.When will PPM supporters get over this election defeat to the UDP ?I’m watching to see when this PPM vs UDP fight among supporters come to on end here on CNS, if it continues over the next 5-8weeks i personally will stop visiting CNS……"s time for all Caymanians to come together right now to get this country back on track!!!!!!!!!………………….

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/13/2009 – 14:25.

      Jus because the bodden towners didn’t vote for him doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great representative.
      The rest of cayman may have thought he was good. Kinda the opposite of mckeeva. The rest of cayman dislikes his representation and the west bayers keep voting him back in.

  11. Roxi says:

    Mr. Clifford is one of the best that this country has ever had serve, not only does he care about the people, has a backbone, is intelligent, but he’s honest too! How often do you get that combination in a politician??

    I know this man; he’s always been about service for country above self. Trust me when I say that it is the integrity of his that has saved this country many a time from Mac…what will happen now that he isn’t there to do that? BT made a grave mistake.

    CAL has NEVER been more efficient than under the leadership of Mr. Clifford and his board!

    I wholeheartedly agree with Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 07/11/2009 – 10:28

    We need more leaders like you Mr. Clifford, not slapstick leadership like the likes of Mac. Can you all believe that the Ministry of Tourism now has NO employees with the relevant (tourism) education or experience necessary?? He has “reassigned” all these qualified, bright young Caymanians. Is that the person you expect to bring advancement to Caymanians??

    Lord, I say a prayer…Help us keep him in check!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done Chuckie –

    Continue to expose Mac and the UDP for their nonsense.  7 weeks in, and they are already showing their old colours.. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    The FS needs to resign full stop. He has created too much uncertainty about the country’s finances. How do we know what to believe from him ? Mr. Clifford thank you for setting the record straight on the CAL matter. That is exactly the kind of hard talk that this country is looking for from the PPM. If the PPM isn’t prepared to offer this type of opposition on a consistent basis some other group or party will fill that void.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The public management and finance law (pmfl) defines an "exceptional circumstance" as an event which occurs during a financial year and which-

    (a) is beyond the control of the Governorin Cabinet

    (b) could not have been reasonably aniticipated at the time of the enactment of the appropriation law

    (c) has an economic or social impact that is significant enough to necessitate executive financial transactions different from those planned for that financial year and

    (d) requires the executive financial transactions to be entered into in a timescale that makes compliance with the procedure established by section 12 impractical.

    You can read the relevant section of the PMFL yourself as the law is online, when people talk about the funds that were spent, it is under this mechanism (section 11(5)) and not section 13 which is the emergency provision.

    What Mr. Clifford need to explain to the Country, is exactly how all those things he said he spent the monies on met the 4 critereas established by the law.

    Did he just wake up one day and decide to buy another plane, did someone call him and say we have an opening in Washington but for you to get it you have to start flying there next week?

    Is he admitting that his Government operated the Country with no planning or foresight and so some $23 million worth of items popped up just mere months into the financial year that he could not have reasonably anticipated and therefore include into the original budget?

    May I submit sir, that you anticipated and knew of these things, but excluded them from your original budget, because inclusion of them at the time would have shown that you did not have a balance budget and that the country could not afford it?

    We live on a small island, all the members off the Legislative Assembly are a mere phone call away, nothing prevented you from calling a meeting off the Legislative Assembly and seeking propper permission to spend these funds. The purchase of Miss Lassie’s house wiith funds authoirized by this section further shows that you either did not understand the law or it meant nothing to you.

    Instead you choose to abuse a section of our law, do your deed in secrecy and then went to the Legislative Assembly months later for a rubber stamp, knowing, that you’ve removed their power to vote "no" on the subject since you’d already done it.

    And then sir, you have the audacity to utter comments to the effect that it was justified and somehow it was someone else’s fault? Please Mr. Clifford, you need to recognize that the Cayman pepole are a lot more informed and educated than you think we are, that’s why on May 20th we spoke and spoke clearly, we no longer desire representation from you, listen for once in your life!!!!


    • Islander@kaibo says:

      Was just a matter of time before he came out of hiding up here and off his facebook page he updates daily to give his 2 cents again. I agree he should just keep quiet and focus (a)his facebook so we are up to date…I’m sure he didn’t know it too has its disadvantages (b) his blackberry messenger (c)his condo now that he has all the free time (d)his boat (e)his family (f) A job. But then again, our politicians get pay so much doosh, they can do without (f) and revert back to (a thru e with the perks they attract)
      Chuckie and everyone else on all sides. Let’s stop the fighting now. You wanna lead by example? Start there now!!!

      • To Islander@kaibo says:

        Really…what is the point of your post?  You seem to have nothing better to do than update CNS as to when Chuckie is at Kaibo.  Everybody knows Chuckie has a condo at Kaibo and a boat.  What’s the big deal? You seem to be trying to imply that he lives some big grandious lifestyle.  First off, half of Cayman (rich or claim they starving to death) is at Rum Point/Kaibo on a Sunday in big ole boats with outboards that alone could cost as much as Chuckie’sboat!  Secondly, you have a bunch of Caymanians who are lil boys to Chuckie who own condos up that way.

        Your talking about Chuckie getting a job but it sounds like you have too much spare time to be watching him so closely so perhaps you should get one too. 

        I don’t really care if you’re posting from Kaibo, please just have something valuable to say.

  15. Anonymous says:

    For all of u who seem to think that attacking the most HONEST leader these islands have ever had need to go and sit down.
    Mr Clifford did a good job and he did it by the books! Maybe some of u who spend all of ur time talking about things u know nothing about need to ‘find a job’ besides following the UDP!
    Wake up and realize that this FS needs to go! He is reporting false numbers to this country!
    I don’t blame Mr Clifford for defending his name! All u UDP supporters who run him down will soon see what u have lost!’

  16. Jedi Dread says:

    Is it me?

    Or are all the Pro-Chuckie comments seemingly written by the same person?

    The writing style seems the same, and the amount of words per sentence seem the same… those comments only seem to be in praise of Chuckie and nothing else.

    CNS, I’m curious if the IP addresses are the same.

    On another note, the best comment pertaining to the article so far, was this one:

    would all of you stop wasting time and energy beating your chests and each other heads and put that energy into fixing the multitude of problems facing our small islands

    Please, take heed, a country divided makes for easy conquest.

    – Jedi Dread –


  17. Fed-UP CAYMANIAN says:

    IF this $3M was used to purchase a aircraft, then that alone should be enough to call for a commission of inquiry. Yes, the 737-300 was and is an upgrade from what CAL had, BUT these airplanes are now also ‘outdated’ albeit that there a hundredsflying worldwide. The upgrading of the CAL fleet could have and should have taken into account many other factors i.e the availability of more efficient 737 models (700 and 800 series) that have well in excess of a 4 hour flight duration. I have long had the opinion that CAL should ‘experiment’ with the west coast of the USA i.e. LAX to encapsulate the far east tourist.

    So to the supporters, Charles Clifford upgraded CAL but it wasnt done correctly or with much foresight as in possibly less than 5 years the 300’s will have to be sold/leased/stored for more efficient planes.

    And while we are on the subject, can or will Clifford provide dertails on why Embraer sent one of their jets to be demonstarted to CAL. Was it the intention of CAL to purchase such a aircraft? Come on Chuckie- answer honestly!

    Suffice to what I have said, I have been and will always continue to support CAL 100% even though the cost to get to Miami is almost half of a mortgage payment.

  18. Caymanians against nonsense says:

     What did Chuckie say???

    "What is the Governor proposing to do about the Financial Secretary’s conduct in this matter?” 

    Is this the person that said, and I quote, "the Governor knows who to mess with", end of quote after his commission debacle??


    Please go away Chuckie… were the only Minister not returned to Government…that says even more about you than the rest of the incompetent Government you were a part of !!!!

    Will not waste any more words on this….

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mr Clifford’s decision to fly to Honduras has been proven to be magnificent and I would urge anyone who wants to leverage the Freedom Of Information Act to prove/disprove this.

    Although money has been spent in Panama, we are not there yet. Fortunately the CEO has had some excellent advice from valuable sources who are intimately connected with Panama and we are not far away. In fact the CEO had the foresight to hire a senior staff member right out of Panama. These are the type of hires that give us a competitive edge in the region.

    Panama is a simply amazing place with unbelievable benefits for Cayman. Sure, it’s a few minutes more by plane, but when you can buy all that stuff in the Free Trade Zone at a significant saving over Miami, then I ask you, what are the disadvantages?

    Fact:- Copa flies to Jamaica 3 times a weeka and they are full and making a lot of money on excess baggage. Well, why can’t we do the same. Are we not worthy to benefit from sound business decisions?

    It won’t be long before Cayman is trading in Panama with a lot of power. Imagine if a Caymanian says to a vendor in Panama, "I am from Cayman’ and he/she gets a 10% discount. Try that in Miami. I urge the politicians to continue the good work laid by the previous Minister and bring it to fruition for the benefit of the people of the Cayman Islands.

  20. Anonymous says:

    That’s good to see the former Minister if CAL responding.  Mr. Clifford I know you will set them straight they are not going to walk over you…..

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Clifford for all that you’ve done for CAL. Efficiency audit, New HQs, standardised our fleet with B737-300s; new routes (New York, Chicago, La Ceiba and Panama); discontinued non-performing routes (Boston, Ft. Lauderdale and Houston); two salary increases for staff; rebranding (look at how attractive our planes are now – they turn heads when they are taxing into an airport; purchased 2 Twin Otters for our Sister Islands…..and the lsit goes on. Even though you’re not our Minister now you continue to defend us. Thank you Sir !

  22. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Chuckie that was found guilty of wrong doing and laughed in the face of all the people when Kurt told him he wasn’t going to sanction him in any way?

    Stop this foolishness!  In all my years, I have never seen a worse governemnt or party than the PPM. They have developed such a hate campaign and division amongst our people and their inablity to accept a loss at the polls is just unbelievable. The people of this country rejected you folks. You have got to come togrips with that. You failed us miserably and I for one could never ever vote for any of you again and believe it or not, I was on the PPM bandwagon in the last election. Never Again!!

    Whether the FS is correct or not, how am i supposed to believe anything that comes out of Chuckies mouth after the way he and his cronies left our country in such a state of financial disarray. Believe me if they had listened to MCKeeva when he asked them to curb the spending, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation now. i still remember Kurt’s answer to McKeeva, "Not on the kindest of mornings would he change anything."  I’ll bet those words will haunt him for the rest of his life.

    PPM the UDP is in power now. Why can’t you accept your loss, support the government and wait your chances in the next election. You keep this crap up and it will continue to be fresh in our minds for next election, ensuring that you won’t get elected then either.

    Chuckie, go find yourself a job and get on with your life! Enough is Enough!


  23. Anonymous says:

    Just incase you all for got

    "According to Kenneth Jefferson the CI$3 million for the establishment of a new route for Cayman Airways also came from this source of funding." 

    The FS is so like Bush now don’t even know when he is speaking the truth…I say he need to retire. Why is he constantly reporting false statements?’


  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Chuckie, all of those who think its more important to get on with the business of the country than to get to the bottom of this issue need to realize that the integrity of the FS office must be maintained in order for this to happen.  

  25. Anonymous says:

    In response to 20:26…u are rite Mike was in charge of CAL at the time Mac wanted a quick sale of our National Bird…I wonder what part Mike played did he agree or not?Mike is a good person however with Mac n charge back then one would never know what was going on with Mike Mac and Air Jam..mayb that’s y he got the boot…thanks to our Caymanian Pilots we have our own Airline to still fly today:)

  26. Anonymous says:

    Every time the FS or UDP talk PPM need to hit back keep the match under their butts…Good Job Mr. Clifford!

  27. Mango Dread says:

    I totally agree. STOP the blame game and lets get on with the work ofthe country.

    • backstroke says:

      All the lip service now to rectify what went wrong, but cliffy, how many tourist are we getting from washington, get the routes that produce and I wouldnt care one bit. You failed too, so UDP, PPm  GBY, WGAS, give this a chance, lets see what the auditor general have to say then beat your gums.

      I cant beleive that you all did not see and know what was going on,a lot of it was the PPM,s I dont care attitude.


  28. Anonymous says:


    That is exactly the kind of in depth explanation we need to
    see on these matters. Thank you, Minister Clifford.

    Whether or not you 100 % agree with the decision at least youcan see
    there was a legitimate thought process going on before the decision was

  29. Anonymous says:

    All of these decisions The Hon. Charles Clifford made such as the rebranding new routes, new aircrafts were brilliant and we needed this for our National Airline..Mike and Mackeeva couldn’t think of any of these ideas as they don’t have good marketing skills..or management skills That’s why it was best for Mike to leave…he did well but he didn’t really bring any new ideas to CAL…Good Job Charles!  And of course he didn’t want  to sell CAL to Air Jam I really wonder how Mike felt about Mac wanting to do that?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Go get him Chuckie. Dont let him spoil your good name. As for the Governor, based on his decision with the Bodden Town elections I think he is also UDP.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for protecting CAL Mr. Clifford and for telling it like it is. Who would have thought that our very own Financial Secretary would be also be using Cayman Airways as his political football.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with you. For example our increasing crime rate!!! I honestly feel that everything can’t be left to the Government, we as concerned citizens need to do our part but our leaders need to lead. That means PPM, UDP and whatever other abbreviations there might be, need to be thrown out the window and we need to all be CAYMANIAN!

  33. noname says:

    Thats right Chuckie….set um straight. Tough talk. I like that !

  34. Anonymous says:

    would all of you stop wasting time and energy beating your chests and each other heads and put that energy into fixing the multitude of problems facing our small islands

    • Anonymous says:

      "put that energy into fixing the multitude of problems facing our small islands"

      It seems the FS is part of the problems that need to be fixed. The issue is not simply about the past but whether any of his statements and projections are reliable going into the future.