Accounts down to Cabinet

| 27/01/2011

(CNS): The country’s governor says he believes that his office does not have the ultimate responsibility for the problems surrounding the breakdown of the public accounts system but that the responsibility is held collectively by Cabinet. Speaking to CNS recently, Governor Duncan Taylor said it was essential that the accounts were properly addressed and that the system was changed. Although he said he did not believe that the country’s accounting system could go back in time, it would need to change in order to move forward and provide the public with transparent and accurate accounts. “The nettle needs to be grasped,” Taylor said.

He said he had spent considerable time in discussions with the auditor general and that he agreed with Alastair Swarbrick that the issue was certainly one of leadership. The governor said that the goal now was to catch up as quickly as possible and then change the system and address some of the complexities inherent with it. He said government had to be held accountable by the people for the money it spent.

Although he would not be drawn on exactly where the buck stopped, he said he did not believe it was down to the governor’s office. He said, however, the management of the system was the collective responsibility of all members of the Cabinet.

Above all, the governor said, the problem was a change management issue and that the law needed to be simplified. While it may take some years to to turn the system around, the governor said  it was important that government was held accountable.

On a more positive note regarding government finances, he said the savings made in the budget had gone a long way to reducing the anticipated deficit and that the FCO was satisfied the CIG was committed to addressing public spending.

He acknowledged the reviews of the civil service were taking longer than had been originally anticipated, but he said they were much more in depth than had been expected and had revealed considerable potential future savings. Following the completion of reports on the first four departments, which were recently made public, the next phase, which is a review of another eight agencies, is almost complete, Taylor said. However, the civil service management was trying not to lay people off and make the staff cuts through natural attrition. “Where there isn’t a benefit system it is difficult to make people redundant,” Taylor added.

With lingering economic concerns for the year ahead, the governor said it was important that government remained on track to keep government finances under control. Taylor said the next three months, when government took in a considerable amount of income, would be crucial, especially as government was still facing unfunded liabilities.

“The pressure will not ease on government finances until it has created a sink fund,” the governor added.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Michel Lemay says:

    I was under the impression that the Governor was the head of the civil service and different potfollios, or the Deputy Governor.But he tells us its Cabinet or is it Governor in Cabinet ? Now I am really confused. And the person who said it best is how can you balance a budget when the different portfollios have not submitted their reports in years ar lacking behind ? Do you start from scratch? lt’s not because we don’t have proper accounting firms in Cayman. Someone needs to wake up here. And exactly what does the Financial Secretary do ? Doen’t he have a say in the Finances of the Country ? I suspect what the Governor is waiting for and then and only then will we get his real job description with auditors and all that at our expenses. I hope I am wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not as simple as H.E. makes out. The Minister of Finance and the Cabinet collectively have responsibility for the country’s finances. The Governor through the Deputy Governor has responsibility for the civil service. The Minister of Finance and the Cabinet have no authority over civil servants to require them to do this or that. The Civil Service needs to be re-structured to improve accountability.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “He said government had to be held accountable by the people for the money it spent.” Who has the ability to do this? Anyone that lives in Grand Cayman? The UK? The world? Dan Duguy started the ball rolling and got kicked off. In Cayman the Mafia is the Government.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And the reason that is no ones fault and nothing will ever be done about it is because in Cayman its business as usual.  Why start to keep records (which will keep the money from being used against the will of those who provide it) now?  The current system is working for those with the loudest voices (and the biggest bank accounts).  In Grand Cayman no one that matters cares that the system is corrupt because it works for corrupt people.  And for all of you that do care well maybe some day you will all get together and vote in someone who has the ability to care for you. But your in for a long fight.

  4. MER says:

    Can someone please post a “job description” of the Governor’s duties, I have never once seen a governor actually “govern” our islands. So I am wondering if they are really only put here as protocol.

    Anytime action is requested of the governor by the people we always here “the matter is not for the governor’s office” please clarify for us which matters ARE for the governor’s office then!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the previous Governor was a bit too active in dipping his finger into every pie.

      • Joe Mamas says:

        And look how he was treated. No head scratching required to see why the current Governor does not want to get involved just so Cayman has another scrapegoat to blame all their own problems on.

        • Anonymous says:

          How he was treated? I am not sure what you’re talking about. The previous Governor did a lot of damage to these Islands. He was not a scape goat.

          The Governor has a proper role to play and the people of the Cayman Islands (not H.M.) are paying him to play it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cabinet needs to throw out the PMFL and revert to the old system.
    That will save so many accounting jobs from people who do not produce anything anyway as judged by their noncompliance.

    Then they can do the same thing with all the HR Managers Government has by streamlining and reverting to a core team.

    If they want to streamline things that will save the country millions.

    The PMFL is a system that has failed and it cannot be any clearer that it is the root cause of the problem.

    • Keith Joseph says:

      "throw out the PMFL and revert to the old system".

      Anon Thurs 15:52, I sense a real visionary here so could you briefly explain to us EXACTLY what the "old system" was and precisely (with evidence) how and why it was so much better. You would want to consider, I am sure, in your explanation how it dealt with fiscal responsibility, reporting on funds spent, accountability  of chief officers and so on.

      Then when you have done that, could you explain EXACTLY what you mean by "doing thesame thing with all the HR Managers Government has by streamlining and reverting to a core team". You clearly have a precise vision of what needs to be done so you should really share the preciseness with us. Go on. Don’t be shy and vague, tell us EXACTLY what the steps are and what they will achieve, especially with precise financial details how all you propose "will save the country millions".

      I will be happy to review your proposals and know that you will welcome feedback.

  6. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Re: "The country’s governor says he believes that his office does not have the ultimate responsibility for the problems surrounding the breakdown of the public accounts system but that the responsibility is held collectively by Cabinet."

    Alden was trying to explain that to the people recently.

     

     

  7. Absurdistani says:

    > The country’s governor says he believes that his office does not have the ultimate responsibility for the problems surrounding the breakdown of the public accounts system but that the responsibility is held collectively by Cabinet.

    > Although he would not be drawn on exactly where the buck stopped, he said he did not believe it was down to the governor’s office.

     

    RUBBISH!!!

    The governor is responsible for ensuring good governance of this territory.

    Good governance includes proper accounting of the public purse.

    If cabinet continues to fail to get the accounts in order the buck stops with the governor.

  8. Barney The Purple Civil Servant says:

    I blame you, you blame me,

    We’re a happy family,

    With a great big paycut,

    and some job uncertainty,

    won’t you say it’s your fault too?

  9. Citizen 16-852K says:

    The issues most people have with Bush are not the specifics of any of the proposed projects but his over all attitude.  The UDP, headed by Mr. Bush, could very well change their name to the Surprise Party with the amount of information given to the public before decisions are announced.  This, combined with a total lack of accounting from both PPM and UDP adminstrations of past expenditure does not support public confidence.  Then I ask you is that the public’s fault?  Or the people put in charge of the various governments?  The public’s reaction understandbly has been non-supportive and instead being fearful and just a little skeptical.  But can you really blame the public?  Lack of information, lack of discourse, lack of accountability, lack of public input into decisions that will affect all residents and of course crime. These are the issues of importance to the public but don’t seem to be on Mr. Bush’s radar.  The problem is his attitude continues to be one of coming forth and making pronouncements, based on information he does not feel the public should be party to.  And of course more often than not blaming.  Either the media, or the public, or both, for not supporting his visions.  Aside from this the public seems to have been left out of the process while negotiations take place with Mr. Dart for instance, Mr. Shetti, and more recently the Chinese interests.  It is that perception which leads to comments on his style of governance.  He would be better off being open with the public or at least giving an impression of wanting to.  It is also very obvious the government has not embraced the FOI.  This is the one recourse in place for citizens to garner information outside of the bubble and rhetoric and also to find out where the money went.  And, in Mr. Bush’s words, it is seen as another of the "stumbling blocks" he seems to constantly have a problem with.  All of these are not a result of a public hateon but have more to do with a lack of maturity and openess on Mr. Bush’s part.  Only he can remedy this not the public.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand… if the buck doesn’t stop with the Governor, then what is he paid to do?  Oh, retire in peace and tranquility, right… forgot!

  11. Anonymous says:

    He speaks……what’s his name again?

  12. Johnson says:

    And they (the Premier’s critics) criticize him for launching projects that will boost the economy, that will bring revenue into the economy. They protray him as a dictator that all he wants is power and making money. His family went through intense criticism for two years. He has been threatened many times. The East End Sea Port, the great help from Dart (Caymanian Status) with the wealth he has, Cruise Berthing Facility, Shetty Hospital plans, now plans for channel into the North Sound, et cetera… all of these, they criticize and demoralize the Premier, calling him Dictator, and even posting negative comments on his assiciates and those helping to boost the economy.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but has anyone recall the agreements we have made with the FCO, the Foreign Office in the UK??? The agreement entails that if we, the Cayman Islands don’t balance our budget, if we don’t bring the country’s economy back on track, they will end up taking over and doing it for us! They may well implement taxation on these isalnds! So any fool that says that the Premier is doing too much and all he is thinking about is making monies, they are don’t know what they are talking about! The Premier can not waste any more time! Yet that is what dumb people want him to do with their excuses of about the environment and him undermining “minor” laws of process. These people are just rediculous and blinded by party politrix! They forget all about the POWER of the UK and the agreement that was made between us.

    As an independant supporter – not UDP or PPM, my hope and support goes to the present government in power, the UDP, because our economy is first priority!

    • Anonymous says:

      YOU SAID IT! I have to live here too with no other place to go and all these people detracting from progress in the name of party politics is simply disgusting. We young people have to move with the time and Mr. Bush is indeed with the times and far beyond. I heard some of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech and he mentioned healthcare and technology as being a priority. Doing business with China has even helped get GM back on top again after almost being broke. Our Premier with the Shetty Hospital, the new IT Technology Free Zone (or whatever it will be called) and doing business with China is what McKeeva Bush told us he was doing even before Obama’s Speech. This administration is foward minded we need to support them for the collective good of this country or the UK will indeed take over. Another good point is that Ellio Solomon’s bill for pension withdrawals to purchase a home is now being proposed in the UK too! Thank you to Mr. Solomon for putting that in motion! Better us get our homes than the our money being lost in the stock market!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please can I have some of what you are smoking?

    • Pending says:

      Hey Einstein,

      Simple question to you and all the other morons who dont understnad the concept of a budget:

      How can you balance a budget when you dont know what you have to start with?

      How can you budget or account for anything when this has not been done for years and years by the Government?

      How can you keep borrowing / builidng when you have no money to pay it back?

      Please answer these and then lets see if your spiel of absolute rubbish makes any sense.

      I am all ears.