Bush denies accounts liability

| 18/03/2011

(CNS): Following comments made by the former chair of the Public Accounts Committee to CNS last week that it was down to the minister of finance to ensure government ‘s financial statements were delivered in accordance with the law, the premier has denied being responsible. McKeeva Bush said that the claims by Ezzard Miller were inaccurate as the premier did not have any power over civil servants. He said that the attorney general had advised that the finance minister had the power to instigate legal proceedings against those who have failed to submit documents under the Public Management and Finance Law but he did not have the power to make the COS and the CFOs comply.

“I nor any other minister of government do not have administrative control over the civil service,” (sic) he said in a statement delivered to the Legislative Assembly when it met on Thursday morning. “Under the decentralised accounting system and the decentralised human resource system that operate in government, chief officers and chief financial officers do not report to the premier nor the minister of finance.”

Bush said the chief financial officers report to their chief officers and chief officers report to the deputy governor so, he said, it was not possible for the minister of finance to ensure compliance with the PMFL.

Although in a position to do so, the premier said he was not in the “business of bringing proceedings” against chief officers. “Human beings generally do not perform well in an environment of fear,” Bush added, stating that his government believed in encouraging civil servants rather than “tactics of intimidation” and would be making changes to the PMFL instead. After quoting Shakespeare, the premier said government would not slay civil servants but would make the PMFL easier to use.

“If the member from North Side is of the frame of mind of prosecuting civil servants, I have more constructive and much less destructive work to do,” Bush stated.

He went on to deny suggestions by Miller that his government didn’t care about accountability of government accounts. He said that “sterling efforts” had been made by the present government to enhance the public sector’s accountability to the country. He boasted of 70 annual reports being tabled since they were elected to office but failed to point out that only four of those were for 2010 and only a handful had been in compliance with the law.

Bush said that Keith Luck, the consultant from the FCO who was reviewing the PMFL, had completed his work and his report was being finalized. That together with the information he had from his visit to Jersey would pave the way for better management of public finances. The premier announced that he intended to move towards a centralised accounting and human resource function and away from the current decentralised model.

“I am absolutely convinced that the difficulty the Public Service is experiencing with meeting the full requirements of the PMFL stems from the fact that the regime was too sophisticated and complex for the size of the public service that exists in the Cayman Islands,” the premier stated. He compared the situation to having a Ferrari when it was a Honda Civic that was needed.

Bush went on to further criticise the article on CNS entitled ‘Miller packs in PAC’, saying he found Miller’s comments particularly offensive when he had suggested government may be trying to avoid accountability.

“There are too many games being played by the member who is only gearing up to introducing his own team or party – call it what you may – but these games being played, which are said to be for the people, are not doing the country any good and only goes against our real national interest,” Bush told his legislative colleagues. “I don’t know of any politician in recent years who has gone through the fire and discouragement as I have had to bear for love of country since 1988 and McKeeva didn’t and will not quit. I have no time for the political games.”

Despite the premier’s claims that government was committed to getting the accounts up to date, he revealed that government would not be addressing the problem of the now chairless Public Accounts Committee until May when the House met for its Budget sitting.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier is not responsible or accountable for crime, finanvce, tourism or anything else.  Why do we need to waste all this moneyon salary pension, benefits, travel entertainment, etc. etc.   If you are not accountable sir, please step down and let someone willing to take responsibility for his/her actions lead this country the right way into transparency and honest open government.  At this time, we are receiving no return for the large amounts we have all had to pay to keep this man.  I for one am not afraid of being bullied, I will not take it any more.  I demand to know how my money is being wasted. 

  2. Right ya so says:

    Elect a child and this is what you get!

    • BORN FREE says:

      Here we go again! Mckeeva Bush ALWAYS blames someone else! When things go wrong, which is very often, it is always someone elses fault, never Mckeeva Bush’s. Now that’s a good leader for you! THAT WHA YA GET! It’s time for him to G.O! GO

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if he is responsible or not.  The AMAZING thing is… he doesn’t care! 

  4. anonymous says:

    Right or wrong Alex, he doesn’t know how to act nor speak to people. He is unprofessional and sarcastic.

    I imagine that all the LA meetings are arguments, disagreements and seeing who can sling the most stinging sarcastic rhetoric. It’s amazing if anyting is accomplished.

    Wagging the dog and being s spin doctor is what Mac is all about. He has no business trying to run a country. Of course everyone will disagree with him at this point because of the things he comes up with. No one trusts him anymore. Twice burned thrice shy?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Mr. Bush, but you are the Premier – the BUCK STOPS WITH YOU. Whether you like it or not, you are ultimately in charge of the country.

  6. Twitter Premier says:

    I really don’t need any of the CFO people. I just tell the "sweetheart" in Treasury where I am going, how long I will be staying, and how many people are coming along for the ride. If she says there is enough money in the Treasury, then I go.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Wrong….he goes first, then the staff talk a year to try to account for the trip and they don’t care if there is anything in the treasury. 

    • Anon the mouse says:

       "I really don’t need any of the CFO people. I just tell the "sweetheart" in Treasury where I am going, how long I will be staying, and how many people are coming along for the ride. If she says there is enough money in the Treasury, then I go."

      Adding to Lachlan below: Wrong he goes first then tells all the departments that they need to take cuts, lays off people, cuts Civil Servant’s salaries and don’t pay vendors.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard should make a members motion to advise the Attorney General to prosecute all civil servants who do not follow his wishes.

    • I see you says:

      How about just those civil servants that break and flout the laws of the Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      07:02 I am sure Mr Ezzard Miller read your comments. Now I suggest that he either do what he has to do or shut up.
      He has been walking good, but now he is limping on one side. Watch it Ezzard, straighten that side up our you will be walking with a PPMUDP walking stick.

      • Anonymous says:

        The good thing about Ezzard is he is neither UDP or PPM, he calls it as he sees it. He opposes whatever he feels is wrong despite which side brings it. I hope Ezzard stays that way, because at one time he was UDP but now he is a true independent.

    • Door Not Hitting Me in the Behind says:

      Yes.  Despite all of the negative comments about the US and other countries, the civil servants would have their a**s kicked to the curb by now. And it sets the bar so low and the good people of Cayman have accepted this sort of unaccountability as the norm.

  8. Jumbles says:

    With these daily bizarre rants, Mac is becoming Cayman’s answer to Charlie Sheen.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a Mess!.

    The Government budgets and Finances the Government but no one is responsible to the Government for how, where, when or why the Publics money is spent.

    If the Governor controls how, where, when or why the Publics money is spent, why are we spending such lavish amounts of money on those who make up and administer the Government.

    Why dont the Governor have responsibility for Budgeting and accounting for the Publics purse.

    Complicated is not the word. Confusion seems more appropriate.

  10. Alex says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble but Bush is right on this one

    • Anonymous says:

      Alex, I too have to bust bubbles on this, the Premier is absolutely correct.
      What I see happening is that there are people who does not care whether the Premier or wrong, they are just against the person, and not the name.
      The man is right.

      • village idiot of absurdistan says:

         Mac has a tendency to only take responsibility for things he has ‘full control’ over and where ‘checks and balances’ are absent. Accounting does not fit his ‘model’ very well so he is conveniently passing the buck on. 


        After his rants regarding bloggers, Twitter, the Constitutional Commissioner and now this article and its nonsense… I pondered how scary it would be if Cayman had an army, oil or some other commodity that Mac was able to control. Downright scary I say. Mac simply can’t take any criticism- a clear sign of a person with weak character. 


      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         The underlying issue is that we the voters have allowed Bush to morph the political system in Cayman to where he has all the power and no responsibility or accountability. Think about it for a second, there is so much red tape and middle management that there is always someone to point the finger at. Now we have a Premier, coupled with a party system that fails the country we literally have one man in control. Sure Bush is right about the accounts, he has a person to point his finger at and he created the system so he could do that. He is wrong because the system is bad for the people and the country and good for him. The finger pointing that really saddens me is Bush continually pointing his finger at The Governor and theUK over the crime situation. Bush is turning his back on the people by not being a true leader and attacking crime. After everything the people of Cayman have been through over the past 10 years, if the voters have a shred of common sense they will vote Bush out and change the system for the sake of the country.

        • Backstroke says:

          Amen to that Lachlan, no more party system, we becoming like Jamaica, own lil Tivoli gardens style. God help us

          • Anonymous says:

            it is the stupidity of party politics that is destroying things in Cayman. I never vote the party line I put in individuals that I think will use their brains to judge right from wrong. Politics should not vote yes because it is the party line. They need to make sure that what they are voting for is good.

            As for the choice of going independent. Either way we look at it elected members are going to join up in groups to chose Ministers and to get support for things on their own agenda. What we hope happens is that in an attempt to get what they want they do not sacrifice what is needed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to burst your bubbles but we haven’t HAD a bubble since the Premier got elected.

  11. anonymous says:

    So is he blaming all this on the Deputy Governor?

    Who does he report to? Presumably the Governor and the FCO.

    If the Premier is correct it seems the civil service has effectively isolated itself from logical requirement that it should be directly accountable to the elected MLAs and surely that can’t be right.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wish to make one factual comment on Mr. Bush,s sermon on me as chairman of the PAC and his claim that him and his Government is so concerned about accountability.
    The information provided to the PAC, on March 8th, 2011, by the Auditor General as an update on the accounts of the Ministries and Portfolios state the following about the portfolio of finance and economics, for which the Premier himself is responsible; 2006 – in progress; 2007 – not being audited; 2008 – not being audited; 2009 – in progress; 2010 – not commenced. This decision by his Ministry not to audit 2007 and 2008 is truly mistifying and what confidence can the public place in the audited accounts for 2009 and 2010 from this Ministry.
    This is clear indication of his level of committment to accountability.
    Ezzard Miller

    • Chris Johnson says:

      If 2008 is not audited what comfort does the Auditor General have on the opening figures for 2009? Answer ; he doesn’t. Why does the Premier just dispense with all audits and save us the AG’s salary?

      • anonymous9 says:

        I’m sure that is next Chris…
        Someone posted on another article, ‘he’s added up in his head’ and it’s all good.

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        Chris….it is simply amazing that The Premier likes to shout about our position in the world financial community but he cannot balance his own countries books. I believe that the Premier and the UDP elected members are just playing at politics and simply want the benefits which hurts Caymanians.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is incredible.  Where is the backbone?  Where is the will to do your best no matter what?  Who are these people in government?  You don’t quit when the race starts!  You must do better than this.  This island is our namesake and you are throwing into mount Trashmore.

    I would not shake your hand in public sir.

  14. IRON CLAD` says:


    Contrary to McKeeva’s actions till present, did anyone catch the statements McKeeva made above? 

    1 – "Human beings generally do not perform well in an environment of fear,” Bush added, stating that his government believed in encouraging civil servants rather than “tactics of intimidation. **NOTE** haven’t we ALL learned that it is McKeeva who keeps reminding/reinforcing the General Orders of the Civil Servants that they shall have nothing to say politically? Haven’t we all learned that the majority of the country is afraid of McKeeva’s keen tendency for dispensing RETRIBUTION. In summary, INTIMIDATION and sweet-talking DECEPTION are two of Mac’s core strategies.

    2- “If the member from North Side is of the frame of mind of prosecuting civil servants, I have more constructive and much less destructive work to do,” Bush stated. ** Are you kidding me Bush? YOU have less DESTRUCTIVE work to do? On the contrary that’s ALL you seem to be bringing to the table since you were made almighty of the Cayman Islands Government and public purse(UNFORTUNATELY) that is – the DESTRUCTIVE proposals for the sake of your rich buddies and yourself i’m sure. In addition to that, you are SUCKING UP tax-payer’s money on all your fringe benefits(that you SO NOT deserve),  the  unnecessary travel and good life that you take advantage of, as well as all the other WASTEFUL spending that you are doing.

    3 – Bush told his legislative colleagues. “I don’t know of any politician in recent years who has gone through the fire and discouragement as I have had to bear for love of country since 1988 and McKeeva didn’t and will not quit. I have no time for the political games.” ** I have heard NOTHING FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH than what you say – "…for love of country since 1988". Mierda de Toro!!! Now let’s rephrase that. You have been through snow balls and (insufficient) OPPOSITION because of your LACK of LOVE and CARE for country and people. Nothing different!!

    Now people… WHAT YEAR will be get enough of this man and finally take some action to have him removed??


    • We start in 2013. Cant come soon enough. Adios to dictatorship ruling, but in mean while, keep up the pressure Ezzard, PPM they na do nothing

  15. Shock and Awe says:

    Let me understand this:

    – The Premier, who holds the portfolio of finance. is not responsible for the country’s finances.  Or as he puts it the accounting.  Accounting and finance appear to be two different species in his mind although it’s hard to imagine one without the other.

    In other words, how is one to plan any financing without any accounting?  No wonder he can balance the budget.  There isn’t any!!

    But I forgot

    – The Chief Financial Officers report to… their Chief Officers. huh? Are they double-double officers?  How much do they get paid??  Not twice as much.  We hope.  But you never know.  The bureaucracy is quite cumbersome in his estimation. But hey it’s not his fault.

    – Then the Chief-Chief Financial Officers report to the Deputy Governor.  Who we presume, report to the Governor.  Who reports to.. I dunno..  The Duke of Wellington?

    BUT with all this constant reporting going on there is only one thing missing:

    The Actual Financial Reports!!!!

    What do they do pass on blank pieces of paper?  "Here’s my report."  "It’s blank."  "That’s right, but that isn’t my responsibility." 

    "Have you got this year’s blank report?"  "Yes I do."

    Now, throughout this process (and reporting) are we to believe Mr. Bush as Minister of Finance, is kept completely out of the loop? About finances?  That makes sense and sounds like the same excuses used by Richard Nixon and Alberto Gonzales.  "I don’t recall."  "I was not party to that..ahh information."

    Never Never Land.

    Here’s the most obtuse comment:

    “I nor any other minister of government do not have administrative control over the civil service,”

    Really??  Administrative??  None whatsoever??  Then how does he explain the government’s actions when civil servants were forced to take a pay cut?  Was it a different government??

    WHAT is his role as Minster of Finance?  If he can’t explain, and won’t take any responsibility for the most pressing aspect of Cayman’s economy that is the missing and inaccurate keeping of government accounts. 

    Instead, he traipses out the same miserable excuse the ones responsible for the accounting have used "It’s just too complicated."  Too complicated??  Too complicated???? 

    Then….how in God’s Name have these people been appointed to these positions!!!!  If they don’t understand what they are to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They must laugh every payday. "It’s the PMFL."  heh heh

    Don’t be too hard on them Mr. Premier. After all it isn’t your responsibility and wouldn’t want to scare them by lighting a fire under their a$$es.

    And after all

    The Minister responsible for Finance, that being YOU

    Gets paid for not doing a job he doesn’t understand. And he reports to no one. Scary.

    One thing WE understand is he’s the minister of finance, likes to travel a lot AND he loves Cayman.  After the headache’s gone kinda brings a tear to your eye.

  16. The Beaver says:

    Rambling speeches, double negatives, Shakespearean quotes, attempts at philosophy and other mumbo-jumbo, all cleverly mish-mashed together in order to confuse the brightest minds.  I mean who could ever make heads or tails of the tales that this man spins?  Is there a beginning or an end?  Does anyone, after listening to the rants, ever remember what the original point was?  Used car salesmen, unite – you have found your Messiah!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Mac could always say that he is "not prepared to work with" any CFO that does not deliver reports on time.

    Didn’t he use that line to "retire" three senior Civil Servants when he first took office?

  18. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    So let me understand this. Mr. Bush wants to be the Premier of The Cayman Islands holding portfolios of responsibility but he doesn’t want responsibility and most important accountability for the "top job" its salary and incredible benefits including early double dipping pension. He wants the blank check, first class travel, perks, cronies, outside interests but again no responsibility. 

    Someone other than Mr. Bush needs to stand up and take responsibility for The Cayman Islands. That responsibility will include getting the cabinet, ministers and opposition to start working together and run the country.

    Pointing fingers and dodging responsibility should not be part of the job.


  19. I see you says:

    Big Mac does not have the power to make “civil servants” do what he wants them to do? Say its not so.
    At least he is accepting Ezzaeds advice of one year ago and suggesting that we go back to centralised accounting even as he bashes him. At least then we will know who to blame. I am sure it will not be the Minister of finance but the cheif officer of finance who will catch hell.
    Now that he has thrown Ezzard a bone perhaps they can become friends again

    • Anon says:

      Nobody catches hell in the Caymanian civil service for not doing their job so stop right there!