No sign of public accounts

| 22/12/2009

(CNS): Although the chair of the Public Accounts Committee had said he had wanted to see the government financial statements up to date by April 2010 that target date could be literally years off. Ezzard Miller, the independent MLA for North Side, says it is totally unacceptable that with more than six new auditors helping the CFOs even the 2005/06 set of accounts is not ready for his committee. He said government’s annual accounts, the report on how public money has been earned and spent, needed to be completed in order to better inform future budgets and above all the people.

Other sources have told CNS that it could be as much as three years before all of the government accounts are caught up. Miller said he had been pressing the point with the financial secretary and others but he said it seems that no one else wants to make the commitment to getting what are essentially important accounts up to date and allow the people to see in black and white where the money has gone.

“It’s not even been suggested to me that the 2005/06 are ready for the PAC,” Miller said. “Given that, the idea of having the other three (06/07, 07/08 and 08/09) ready by April is very unlikely. There is nothing I can do to force the issue except point out that this is an unacceptable situation. People have a right to know that those who are responsible for this and who are not doing it are breaking the law.”

Miller noted that given how much CFOs are being paid and the extra help they now have, if there was a commitment to getting it done he believed in could be done. He also expressed his disappointment that the governor, Stuart Jack had not made a single comment about the situation before he left. “You would have thought given his so called commitment to good governance that he might have asked for an update on this situation before he left,” he added.

The reason for the continued delay Miller suggested was that the amendments needed to the Public Management and Finance Law (PMFL) to allow the CFOs to set the quarterly reports and the draft output reports aside until the main accounts were up to date have not come before the Legislative Assembly. As a result he said that the CFOS were still trying to catch up on those detracting the focus from the bigger financial picture.

Although the government says it still knows how much money is being spent on what and how much revenue has been earned the people of the Cayman Islands have not seen an accurate account of how public money has been generated and expended for five years — since the PMFL was introduced.

The issue was first brought to light by the auditor general, Dan Duguay in his report The State of Financial Accountability Reporting, published in April 2008. Duguay pointed out the massive delays by some government departments and agencies. He wrote in the report that government had "lost control of the public purse" and the situation had to be dealt with immediately.

However, morethan 18 months after the AG’s report was released government appears to be no closer to completeing the 2005/06 set of accounts than it was when Duguay first revealed the issue to the wider public.

Category: Headline News

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    well, at least there will be plenty of jobs for caymanians when all the expats leave town. Thats what you want anyway, right?

  2. joe bananas says:

    Put a tee shirt over goverment s face and what have you got?  A very, very,successful thief who will never get caught and never be arressted.  Why is that you ask. (I’m glad you asked)  Because the Cayman voters will do nothing but whine period.  And your new dictator for life knows it well.  there might be a few who stand up but watch what happens to them.  Without a great number of people willing to stand up you all might as well get in line to be a cook/housekeeper for your leaders and get payed with your own money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow, now the Premier gets his own HouseKeeper & Cook!  Check out the ad, maybe you qualify: http://www.gov.ky/  and click on job opportunities. 

    This really is a Banana Republic, and is definately going the way of Turks if some of the smart Caymanians don’t immediately ask for change and make change happen by removing some of these dishonest politicians.

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      It is definitely "definitely".

      • The Snowman says:

        Hey Dick, you’re definitely a smart dude.  Maybe you should have the job of running the place. I’d definitely vote for you… if I could vote…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it time for a blank slate Cayman?  Just write it off.  Start from scratch with this fiscal year, get rid of IRIS which is the overly complicated software package that the CFOS use and consolodate all of the financial business under one roof.  Then hold civil servants accountable.  That will be the start Cayman needs.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a load of HOGWASH!

      Ezzard Miller criticized the PAC under the previous administration & said that the PAC would be different & more efficient under his chairmanship!!!! Well, as we can all see NOT ONE THING IS DIFFERENT, except maybe Ezzard Miller has a lot more excuses! It has been 7 months since the elections & they still blaming the PPM!!!!! UNREAL!!!!

      Ezzard Miller, you are the chairman of the PAC, no one else! YOU, yes you, had so much to say about the previous PAC, & promised so much as chairman, but you, like others previously, HAVE FAILED! Stop criticizing others, stop blaming others, & get on with doing your job. You had so much to say before, now try & back up your talk with a little positive action! Stop passing the buck, it ends with you, understand?

  5. Anonymous says:

    UK, Please come in and take control of this mess.

    I know that you are pretty poor at running your own affairs but god help these fools.

    I knew that most of my taxes were subsidising single mothers, Brac dwellers and buying votes from caymanians, but I would still like to know where they are throwing away the rest of my money each year.

    • Hanson says:

      Folks

      I am very concerned with what government is doing with the country’s money. Just recently, I learnt that the Portfolio of the Civil Service is now accepting applications for the post of Housekeeper/Cook for the Premier. The Premier will not be paying for his own Housekeeper anymore! And I know he must be making between 15000 to 20000 dollars a month.

      It is high time… Cayman, that we need CHANGE!!! We need an independent oversight committee to “check” government fast, or we may just end up like the Turks and Cocoas Islanders.
      • Chancy says:

        Does he still have a chauffer? Maybe the chauffer can learn to cook; at the Ritz-Calton of course.

      • the Watcher says:

        How come you haven’t complained about the Governor’s perks? This is petty. We they don’t account for the government money, something is wrong. What’s the hold up?

      • PQL says:

        This is shameful and waste of the country’s money

        This is the very reason why we can’t go independent – no accountability

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Insulted by this writer,

      So, us Brac dwellers are on your pa-pa list.  We don’t want any of your sympathy or hand-outs.  If you lived on the Brac year round, you would realize that all we get are the scraps off of the plate. 

      Take a look at our infrastructure – poor main roads – when was the last time it was properly paved, extension of piped water has been ignored for years, District Administration building is over-crowded, Public Works Department drivers using defective/malfunctioning defective heavy equipment, garbage crew workload has substantially increased but they cannot get any additional crew/equipment, the list could go on and on.

      Most folks in Cayman remember the Brac around election time.  Promise you this and promise you that – constantly looking at their watches to see if it is time for them to go back to Cayman.

      Some of us recognize that Mr. McKeeva is a friend of the Brac.  Perhaps under his leadership the Brac will get a newly paved main road, extension of the piped water supply, upgrade of equipment for Public Works, etc.

      Us Brackers are thankful for what we get and aren’t begging for handouts; just would like to get a portion to keep our infrastructure halfway decent.

      I would caution the writer to be careful what they wish for, do you really want the UK to take control of here?

      Sign Me,

      Bracker – not on pa-pa list

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it is high time that you guys accept the cold hard facts. Cayman Brac has become a welfare state, if it was not for the Government, most of you would have to leave that little piece of rock.

        Most of what the Government does over there is not due to need, but due to efforts to try and sustain you. That is the reason the Brac has more Fire Officers than Police Officers.

        I know it is a hard pill to swallow, but you all need to swim off that bluff, trust me, you wouldn’t be the first to go somewhere else to find a better living and you won’t be the last.

        Quit sitting over there whining about not getting this and that, how much to do you contribute to the economy of these Islands, how much taxes do you pay (considering most imports on the Brac are duty free)?

        For those of you not educated enough, that is the reason the insurance policy of the Government did not pay after Paloma, it was the cold hard realization that you contribute zilch to the economy. We over here work hard and pay the taxes only to get over $10 million of our funds sent over there to rebuild your houses, buy you new furniture and powder your bottoms.

        You guys take and take and take and at the end, you still want more. Get a life!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Hello 15:10.

           

          I am not a Bracker, but A bread  ANDborn Caymanian. What rights you have to disrespect the way the brackers  feel about their Islan? . Who give you the right to tell them where to live and what to do with their Island. ARE YOU NOW A PIRATE? WAITING FOR THEM TO LEAVE THEIR LAND AND GOLD BEHIND, FOR  YOU AND YOUR THRONGS OF NATION TO COME AND TAKE IT OVER.  SHAME ONE YOU PORTRAYING YOUR SAVENGER ATTITUDE.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sounds like you were "bread" and born for sure — couldn’t be a born and bred one. Question, are you guys still shoveling the footprints of black people who come into your yard and throwing it over the fence?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thats the PPM for you. Just spend and to hell with where the money went.

    Stuart Jack was really offering good Governance when he witheld the AG report from the Public.

    I bet his sushi cost so much that it was shameful to disclose it.

    Keep at it Ezzard and seek the Publics support if you need it to straighten this mess out.

    Is it any wonder the PPM was so confused as to what funds were in the reserve.

  7. joe bananas says:

    This in itself should make Caymanians very concerned as it might prove that a lot of YOUR money is being stolen and not spent on Cayman.  That would explain a lot. At the very least it should prove that your not getting your moneys worth of work from your goverment.  They get payed a lot and do very little with NO occountability.  I would love a job like that.  Or maybe its just Cayman custom to steal and let steal?  That also would explain a lot.

  8. livingcayman says:

    This what I am talking about get rid of the CFO go back to how Government was runned before, obiviously the CFO’s are useless and cannot get the job done. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like they need motivation.

    How about no further funds (keep them at 2005 levels) until each department produces the accounts?

    Another failure of having all these CFOs in each ministry. What a waste of money.

  10. no worries says:

    The money is safe in the Money Hole.

    The Money Hole is a secret location all governments have where all the money it collects is sorted, bagged, and put in plastic bins.  Whenever a department needs money it goes to the Money Hole and takes a bin, but sometimes the thousand dollar bins get mixed up with one dollar bins. And I’m sure that’s the problem. It can be solved by labelling the bins. But it might be too late.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why look to the Governor to comment on the Governments accounts? That fiscal responsiblility lies squarely with the Fin. Secretary! He should have ensured that systems were properly implemented, Accountants had the requisite experience and assistance, and that Chief Officers were keeping on track with timely financial reporting!

    Why is the Chairman of the PAC not calling for Financial Secretary to do his job! The Government paid millions of dollars to consultants to implement this current system of financial reporting and they did not ensure that those left behind to implement were properly trained! A number of CFOs were hired or promoted with no relevant experience and with no prior year financials(in the new format) to follow!

    This is not about the Governor or the politicians; this is about the Financial Secretary not doing his job. In addition, the Auditor General (AG) should have been overseeing the entire transition period and reporting on whether sytems were being implemented properly! Maybe a different type of audit needs to suffice for the 2005/2006 financial year! Maybe an an "Agreed upon procedures" type audit (in the interim) should be pursured to give the public some comfort or assurance that the critical areas(revenues earned, expenses classified correctly, bank accounts reconciled, assets exist, etc) are as the Government says! But maybe the AG is too busy being a politician himself and is just into granstanding and sensationalizing everything!!

    • Anonymous says:

      they blame the governor because no politician here can take responsibility for anything