AG report under wraps

| 14/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline news(CNS): Despite the fact that the Auditor General’s Office has completed its latest report on the situation regarding government finances, Dan Duguay told CNS that he was unable to reveal its contents. Although the auditor general confirmed that the latest edition of the State of Government Financial Accountability, first published in 2008, is being handed to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly today, he would not be able to release the report to the media on Friday as would be his usual practice. Duguay said the chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)has now said that he must gives his OK before it can become a public document.

When CNS asked on Tuesday for an update on the status of the much anticipated report,  Duguay confirmed that it was complete and that the report would be officially handed to the speaker on Wednesday morning 14 April, but he said he would not be holding a press briefing on Friday and that he was not able to discuss the findings.

“Unfortunately, I am not able to say when it will become a public document because the PAC has changed its rules regarding the process by which the AG’s office can make it a public document,” said Duguay. “I am not sure what these rules consist of or when they were changed but I have been told that I can’t release the document until the chair of the PAC has given his OK.”
 
Duguay said his office had worked hard to get the document completed this month as a result of the findings of the Miller/Shaw report and government’s plans to bring the budget to the Legislative Assembly at the end of this month. The AG said he was very grateful to everyone, not just in his office but the Financial Secretary’s Office as well, for the urgency in submitting their comments on the report and helping to complete the document this week. However, the AG said it was frustrating that it could be several weeks before the content of the report is revealed to the public.
 
“This document is not just important in its own right but given the budget preparations and the comments made by Miller and Shaw in their report, this is an opportune time for the public to see where government accounts really are. I am hoping it will become a public document in the very near future.”
 
Duguay said he could not reveal any of the details in the report but he said it offered a comprehensive update of core government accounts as well as all its statutory authorities and companies. He explained that the report highlights those entities that have made considerable progress since the 2008 edition but he noted that the report also reveals the details of those that have fallen even further behind.
 
CNS contacted the chair of PAC, Ezzard Miller, who said that the rules had not been changed and that he was merely obeying the regulations agreed by Duguay and the former PAC chair during the previous administration, which+ he said he had discussed with the auditor general. Miller stated that this written agreement indicated that all members of the Legislative Assembly must have received the documents and he said it was necessary for them to sign to say they had received the AG’s reports before they could be public.
 
The chair said he had no desire to keep the document from the public as he agreed it was a very important report and he would do his best to ensure that all MLAs received a copy and acknowledged receipt as quickly as possible. “As long as I am chair of the PAC we will follow the rules and agreements,” he said. “I have no reason to see this document held back and want it to be public as soon as possible but the agreement made was that members would be given and have chance to read the document before it is a public document.”
 
Miller said there was no agreement to the time line so in order to know that members had their copies the PAC chair said they all had to sign for them so he could be certain the rules had been followed.
 
He said he had made a commitment as chair of the PAC to revise the Standing Orders to remove the ambiguity of the time line concerning Duguay’s reports but government had not yet done anything regarding the suggestions. The PAC chair said there needed to be clarification on the situation about precisely when reports from the Auditor General’s Office could be circulated in the public domain.
 
Most of Duguay’s reports are of particular public interest as they involve the scrutiny of how government funds are managed and spent. When the first report regarding government finances was published it revealed the shocking delinquency of government’s accounts and financial disarray.
 
In the first report Duguay noted that, in effect, the Legislative Assembly had lost control of the public funds and over the time period he assessed billions of dollars had being spent by government without any accountability to the public, which contributes a significant amount government coffers through fees and duties.

Category: Headline News

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let the truth will be told.   I am sure the report will be made public in its entirety, lets just be a little patient.

  2. Anonymous says:

    JUST IN:  Duguay’s contract will not be renewed. 

    I wonder why…maybe his report is a little too honest for those in power.

    Go after them Danny Boy.  I think now is the time for  your report to get leaked.  You have nothing to lose.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My advise to Dan Duguay is that these guys will not renew your contract so you might as well hold the bull by the horns and make the information public. Otherwise politicians know how to castrate the best of reports that would incriminate them.

  4. Canary in a Coal Mine says:

    What’s wrong with this?  This will obviously give them more time to read the report, study it, arrange their affairs.  And book flights!

  5. Silver Foxx says:

     To all who comment……I beg you read what is written in the article before you start to write all the emotional male manuwre! In the rush to get bad news about the government, many just expose the bias for or against who ever.

    Silver Foxx.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The government was elected by the people, and they so badly woo the public and say how much they are for them, but that’s only until they are elected.  Then they are the almighty and the people who elected them are subservient.  Dan Duguay’s ability to publish his unbiased findings is a necessary check and balance, otherwise governments could cover up what they wish to cover up.  I say that when Mr. Duguay has finished his audit, it should be published for all shareholders to see and that means every citizen of this country, not just the government members, who can then hide what they want.  Cut the crap of trying to control and hide things that would prevent corrupt practices from occurring in the first place.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the Super Tuesday guest of Rooster wants control of the AG reports.

    He wants to have control, I am shocked…

  8. Solong says:

    So much for transparency in the Cayman Islands. I wait with baited breath to see Dan the audit man’s latest pronouncements. No doubt the report will make interesting reading.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great! Government gets to decide when reports criticising government should be made public. i.e. never. Unless there is a strict timeline for PAC to make the reports public – no clauses for extensions, no excuses – then we will return to the bad old days of not knowing anything ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true.

      Now let us not let this secret withholding of reports continue.

      Speak with our UDP MLA’s tell them to change all laws to require the publishing / release of all reports upon completion of the reports.

       

       

  10. Anonymous says:

    GT MLA Ellio Solomon was opposed by some when he called for the Auditor General’s reports to not be released immediately, but we now see that after a few months of research the current Chairman of the PAC has realized that the former PPM Chairman of the PAC and the Auditor General had agreed that the reports should not be released immediately.

    They can oppose you Mr. Solomon, but eventually they come around.

    • Anonymous says:

      The former PPM Chairman of the PAC was wrong to agree with the AG that completed reports should be withheld from the public. 

       

      They were both wrong to reach that agreement and anyone else is wrong to want to continue to withhold reports until the PAC or any other arm of government makes a decision to release a report.

       

      Give to me that for which I have paid my fair share, I paid for it is now equally mine and yours, not yours alone to decide to do with as you wish.

       

      Yes, I will continue to oppose anyone who wants to keep secret from the public reports paid from public funds.

       

      Thank you for publishing this post.

       

  11. Anonymous says:

    Finally some logic in the release of these reports….one must have balance rather than the AG simply having the soap box, sometimes for years at a time. Now let’s hope the PAC does justice and do their work to ensure the quick release of the AG’s, the government’s memo AND their complimentary report.

    Balance please and no more showboating.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Showboating?”

       

      This is not “showboating” this is giving information to the people that paid the AG to do a job. 

       

      There is no “logic” to withhold reports, government for years has had the mistaken belief that they “own” reports that we paid the bill to have prepared. 

       

      Government wake up, you are employed by us to serve us, you do not pay us, we pay you, you are not the boss, we are the boss, get used to that OK?

       

      “Logic” is to release reports upon completion to the “Logical” owners who paid the bill for the reports, the tax payers – release all reports now!

       

      We demand the report today.

       

  12. Anonymous says:

    Better late than Never!

    It has taken the Chairman of the PAC several months to realize that there was an Agreement between the PPM Chairman of the PAC and the Auditor General that the reports of the Auditor General should not be released immediately to the Public.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      BETTER NEVER LATE!! 🙂

      What makes the MLA’s so special that they are more human than us humans – we demand equality – all humans must have access to all reports at the same time. 

      To be otherwise is discrimination – and discrimination my friends is no longer allowed in today’s world, check the Constitution.  Right?

      That way there will be no more delay tricks.

      Dats me 2 cents on de subject.

       

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this process of the AG not releasing his audit reports to public before it goes to PAC. I thought that the previous process was flawed as the AG reports should have the scrutiny of the house before it goes to the press. Even in the private sector, external audit reports goes through the full process of management input and response(from the auditee) before it goes to the regulator!

    XXXX Once his audits are completed and all stakeholders have given input then he should step aside and let the PAC do their job(in Parliament where it is then publicized).

    You are not the politician Mr. Duquay! preserve your independence, in fact and in appearance!!

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    If the AG’s report cannot be released to the public before all the Members of the LA have not only received their copy of the report but also had time to read the report, then it will most probaby take a good while to become public.  Even one member of the LA could effectively delay the report from being made public.  This must be changed by agreeging to a specific timeline and putting it into the Law.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard,

    The public has a rite to see this report know before new budget is set.

    Deliver it now or deliver your resignation.