Top lawyer warns boards about anti-corruption law

| 12/03/2010

(CNS): The attorney general has said that people serving on government and statutory boards in the Cayman Islands should be paying close attention to potential conflicts of interest as a result of the implementation of the anti-corruption law. Samuel Bulgin said the new law will have a very significant impact, not just on public officials, but also those in the private sector and general public that work or engage with public officials. The Law covers a range of offences from bribery of public officers and members of the Legislative Assembly, frauds on government, contractors subscribing to election funds, breach of trust by public officials and members of the Legislative Assembly, abuse of office, bribing foreign public officials and conflict of interest among others.

The Law covers public offices from justices of the peace, to members of the Legislative Assembly and Cabinet. It also covers those serving on boards, authorities, tribunals and commissions of enquiry, as well as Jurors. The country’s top lawyer stated that the law was of particular relevance to those who have volunteered to serve on boards and tribunals with regard to the concept of “conflict of interest”, which is covered in the Law.

The Law mandates that where a government entity of which a public officer or MLA is a member, director, or employee, proposes to deal with a company or partnership, and where the public officer, MLA or a member of the family or an associate of such persons has any interests, direct or indirect, and holds more than ten per cent of the total issued share capital or total equity participation in such company or partnership or similar entity the public officer, or MLA shall forthwith make a written disclosure to the relevant government entity of the nature of such interest.

“Any public officer or MLA who fails to disclose an interest as stipulated by the Law and who proceeded to vote or otherwise takes part in the proceedings of the entity relating to such interest commits and offence and could face prison time of up to five years if convicted,” Bulgin explained.

He said in instances where public officers and others are in doubt it is advisable to seek legal advice or simply recuse themselves from the proceedings.

Following the recent announcement that the Anti-corruption Commission has been appointed, the AG urged everyone who does business with government and public bodies tog et a copy and acquaint themselves with the provisions of the law. Bulgin also stated that the Anti-corruption Commission will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to sensitise the public more fully on the various provisions of the Law and the role of the Commission in the near future.

See Viewpoint by Tim Ridley

Category: Local News

Comments (37)

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  1. Play Fish Tea For Me says:

    I hope that the AG also reminded government bodies and statutory boards of their substantial obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights at the same time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope that this legislation will not only extend to boards but also to corrupt civil servants who might work with boards and use their position for gain.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, I wonder if the Premier has examined the cost and necessity of the security detail for this guy?  I suspect that this is one of line items where thousands of dollars are being wasted and could be cut!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hypothetically, would a promise made by a politician before an election to provide a reward at the public’s expense in exchange for services rendered on an election campaign be covered by this new anti-corruption law? How about if the election was before the law came into effect and the reward was to be ongoing, including the time before the law came into effect and the time after?

    Why was the implementation of the law delayed I wonder?

  5. Anonymous says:

     What? Corruption is now illegal in the Cayman Islands? Oh my God, that’s gonna change everything! 

    er, well, on second thought, probably not. 

    How long does this AG get to keep his job anyway? Is he a lifetime appointment no matter what? Given the state of crime in this country, shouldn’t he be held accountable? Isn’t he the top of the law enforcement chain? Does he get an annual review or what? How’s his job performance looking? 

     

    Hey all you boppers out there, on another matter, how much longer do you give Dan Dugauy on the island? Surely his meter is about to expire. That guy has been exposing way too much corruption. Our Christian leaders won’t put up with himmuch longer. 

    I predict that Capt. Eugene (the West Bay corpse who keeps getting elected with McKeeva) or Rev. Sykes (the preacher with a congregation of 13 who helped write our constitution) will be the next auditor general. 

    • LOL! says:

      LOL  LOL  LOL……but putting all jokes aside, you do raise several matters of concern!!!

  6. Raffaele says:

    The law is like a cobweb always catching little small flies while the hornets and the big wasps fly right through it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear Lord, help us Jesus. This story has got to be some kind of joke on us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did bulgin help to grant the thousnads of status – including his own. Where was he when Mcfield was appointed to the legal aid enquiry and will McField be terminited now?66

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only his own, what about his colleagues in his department, even those who had been here less than 2 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good point Sun, 03/14/2010 – 07:47. Since he was the then sitting Attorney General one must believe that what took place with the now infamous Cabinet status grants would have been done on his advice as to its legality. Speaks volumes doesn’t it?!

      • Anonymous says:

         I do no understand why the AG is never there when we need him. I unfortunately used to have confidence in him until the ugly scene with Mr. Mark and Mr. John John played out. The country deserves better! When you think he is deceased then his picture shows up on CNS, I guess to let us know that he is still breathing.

    • Anonymous says:

       Not sure what else it could be but a joke that is not even funny. The situation with the two members from BT in my opinion was a down right shame and disgrace. Where were the AG at that time? 

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is time fora new AG and Chief Justice…Crime has been getting out of hand for the last few years yet we dont hear much from these people. Why

    • Caymanians for Good says:

      Silly comment..the AG only works with what the Police gives him and the CJ only applies the law to what is presented to him.

      The silent one here is the public who should be giving evidence to put away these thugs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks PPM for getting this law tabled. Mr. Bulgin this was due from January, what is the reason for the delay?  Hope you make sure that you enforce the law XXXXX. We have to give praise where praise is due.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now we need a real AG, with backbone to do what is necessary to uphold all of our laws. 

      This AG is afraid, and for good reason, of what will happen if he applies the law to any UDP member or UDP politician, we all remember what happened before and know will happen again.  As an example just look at how the Attorney General failed to uphold the Election Law in the Bodden Town election fiasco.

      If you doubt about how the Premier victimizes people who do their job then look at how he is critical of the other AG, the Auditor General, who when he does his job to protect our $$$$$ the UDP Premier lambasts and calls him nasty derogatory names.   Whenever the Auditor General in protecting our $$$$$ gets the Premier mad then we know he is doing a good job.

      Applications will soon be open for a good Attorney General.

       

  10. Concern Native says:

    Thanks very much Sam for steering this piece of legislation through. I home the members of the Statutory Boards get a copy of this new Law!

  11. Anonymous says:

    But of course this law only applies to PPM members & supporters

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this really the Cayman Islands’ Attorney General? Oh well, at least I am happy to see him saying something and trying to put laws in place to circumvent corruption on those boards.

    • Anonymous says:

      So sorry, but it was not the AG that put this law in place.

      It is another of the good things that the PPM did while they were the majority in government. 

      Yes, the PPM did some good!

      Thanks

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands needs an Independent Commission Against Corruption, the current Anti-Corruption organization is not independent and it is controlled by the UK Government’s FCO. 

    The UK Government and the FCO as a government agency is itself condemned by the EU and OECD for not enacting and enforcing effective anti-corruption legislation.  In fact in February 2010 the UK / British Aerospace Engineering Systems (BAE) admitted guilt to bribery and paid over US$400 million in fines for bribing foreign government officials in many developing and poor countries (e.g. Saudi Prince Bandar received over UK£2 Billion, yes UK£2 Billion in bribes authorized by the UK Government for over 20 years).  The UK Parliament, after many years of stalling, will be shortly discussing revising their 1906 corruption laws, hopefully to enact effective anti-corruption legislation this time.

    Independent Commission Against Corruption – Hong Kong

    “The battle is never really won – but the problem (of corruption in Hong Kong) has been contained to levels that most other societies would like to have.”  Corruption Survey Report 2010 (March)

    Brief History

    Since its inception in 1974, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has embraced a three-pronged approach of law enforcement, prevention and community education to fight corruption. With the support of the Government and the community, Hong Kong has now become one of the cleanest places in the world.

    But how serious was the problem of corruption in Hong Kong before the ICAC came into being?

    What was the reason for setting up an independent body to fight corruption?

    Let us revisit that part of the Hong Kong history that led to the birth of the ICAC:

    http://www.icac.org.hk/new_icac/eng/abou/history/main_1.html

    The ICAC website is:

    http://www.icac.org.hk/en/home/index.html

    ICAC International Corruption Newsletter:

    http://www.icac.org.hk/newsl/issue37eng/frame.htm

    Landmark Cases

    http://www.icac.org.hk/en/law_enforcement/lc/index.html

    Integrity and Quality Building Management

    http://www.bm.icac.hk/en/education_and_publicity_materials/education_and_publicity_materials.aspx

    Checks and Balances

    http://www.icac.org.hk/en/checks_and_balances/bf/index.html

    Our new Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption is behind the ineffective easily manipulated Hong Kong pre 1974 Anti-Corruption laws. 

    If our government is really serious about beginning to fight corruption in the Cayman Islands then we need to look at modern day anti-corruption laws in jurisdictions other than the UK .  Jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Australia have developed very successful anti-corruption organizations.

    The new Cayman Islands anti-corruption law established a secretive organization directly controlled by the UK FCO, it is not the independent anti-corruption fighting organization our Islands so urgently needs to move away from the culture of “it is the way business is done in the Cayman Islands” that is not recognized as corruption.

    Please contact me on 916-0707 if you wish to work towards urging government to enact and establish an effective anti-corruption regime.

    William H. Adam.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Mr. Adam for the information, much appreciated.  I hope those who have a real interest in anti corruption and the law read these articles.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sam – so when do we get to charge the planning board who granted approval for an illegal 8 foot high wall that we cannot afford supposedly at the request (insistence) of a man who has clearly stated that board appointments are political and if you do not follow his will you will be removed?

     

    Sure seems to me like we got an impartial hearing. Not.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope that you Sir will do your duty and ensure that the law is upheld to the letter and that you will not shy away from bringing prosecutions of those considered to be in breach of this Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have to be kidding on Fri, 03/12/2010 – 22:26. Obviously you have forgotten his stance on the questionable situation that arose at election time re Scotland and John John!!! Give me a break!  It is time that we get a true Caymanian Attorney General who will have, and be seen to have, the good of this country at heart.

      • Anonymous says:

        Could not have said it better! Straight talk right from the heart.

      • Anonymous says:

         This comment is priceless and says it all. Well done to this Hon. poster.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes I agree with you, well done! Only thing to add is the cost that will be saved by no longer needing the expensive security detail.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wha we need this law for.  We nuh corrupt.  Unna stop making Cayman look bad….. Another one, looooong overdue. 

  17. Anonymous turtle meat says:

    conflict of intrest.   i thought that the AG would have told mr mcfield that it was a conflict of intrest when he was on the board/committe to review the legal system manage.it sames to me that you only see this when UDP supporters  are not directly involved    SHAME   what a chief law inforcer we have.  no wonder cayman is going fast

  18. Anonymous says:

    Pot? Kettle? Is your Cabinet status grant legal? Should you not have recused yourself from aswering?

    No, the anti corruption legislation is new. Back then it was fine.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If it were made retroactive, like the rollover, this island would grind to a halt. 

  19. inside job says:

    he he he – ahhh it is refreshing to get a fun and funny story in our papers, a nice break from the murder, and robbery we have become so accustomed to.

    anyways, thanks for the laugh mr bulgin. this law is really going to go far around here pal.  

  20. Anonymous says:

    Given the refusal of our polticians to go after the gangstas in our midst, I will be amazed if they allow this new law to have any enforcement teeth in practice.

    • Enforcement says:

      The politicians themselves are breaking these laws.  How can anything be enforced?