AG to probe nation building

| 11/08/2011

(CNS): The auditor general’s office has confirmed that it will be initiating a value for money audit of the premier’s national building fund but it has not yet set a date for when the probe will begin. Following the increase in public interest in the relatively new government budget item, a spokesperson for the audit office said it would be doing a report. Two FOI requests have revealed some, though not all, of the details of where the money was spent, but how the decisions were made is not yet clear. The auditor’s office indicated that it would need to look into exactly how money was being allocated because without transparent criteria for giving money to the various entities there were risks in terms of value for money.

The Nation Building Fund falls under the premier’s ministry and first appeared in the 2009/10 budget when $2.9 million was appropriated. The following year another $3.5 million was allocated to the line item and in the most recent Finance Committee hearing members were asked to vote again for more than $3 million. When McKeeva Bush was probed by the opposition for details on the fund during Finance Committee, he refused to be drawn and said he “wasn’t writing out the cheques”, as he accused the opposition leader of not liking the programme.

However, during the last brief meeting of the House at the beginning of this month the premier read a statement detailing where the funds had been spent over the last two years and government’s release of documents following FOI requests revealed more information. The criteria, however, for the distribution of the money have not been made clear and it is this area which the auditor’s office says it will need to review in particular.

The audit office, which is currently focusing its attention on trying to audit the outstanding government consolidated accounts, said it could not give an exact date when it would commence but it planned to do the audit before the end of this financial year.

In the last three budgets almost $10 million has been allocated to this particular line item, listed as TP52 in the budget documents. In response to two freedom of information requests, the ministry released a breakdown of where the money went during the first two financial years. The open records revealed that more than half ($4.1 million) had gone to a number of local churches but the records also reveal significant disparities between the donations, with one West Bay church receiving over $1.3 million, while another had received only $12,000.

The documents also showed that during the 2009/10 financial year $95,000 had been given out in grants for a variety of projects and programmes, from Catboat building to a grant to the CNCF. Almost $350,000 had gone to local contractors who lost out when the scrap metal contract with Matrix collapsed and some $17,000 had been spent on educational costs for students outside of the normal scholarship system managed by the education ministry.

In the last financial year just under $46K had been spent on rangers for the Barkers area, which is being earmarked to become a national park, and almost $50,000 had been spent on the Christian Heritage Park in George Town. A total of $1.3 million has been given to various entities for a number of different projects or donations to charities as well as hurricane shutters for the elderly and a donation to the Pines Retirement Home. More than $4,500 was also listed as being spent by the premier on Mother’s Day flowers.

This past year more than $350,000 had been given to young people outside of the normal scholarship programmes under the nation building programme for tuition, living expenses, bus fares and money for books. Again there was considerable difference between the amounts given to different students ranging from $450 given to one, and more than $36,000 to another student.

The premier said the fund was used to give money to anything that could be considered beneficial for nation building. In his latest statement about it, he took aim at those who chose to deride the fund as he stated that there was a “keen need” for nation building which his government intended to address.

“The concept of nation building is not a new one, as I started this many years ago through assistance given to young Caymanians who wished to further their education but did not have the financial means to do so,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly. “Although there was no title given to it at that time, this was the start of what we now call the Young Nation Builders Programme.”

He went on to explain where the money had gone and to justify the need to help some students who did not meet the criteria for scholarships available in the private sector or through the education department.

See the premier’s full statement below and the FOI request documents regarding the nation building fund.

(For ease of viewing the PDF documents, click "view" then "rotate view" and  "counter-clockwise")

Category: Politics

Comments (110)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I heard on Rooster news this morning that there may be a response from the Ministers Assoc condoning the gifts to some of the churches.

     

    As the old saying goes, " Christianity cant kill nature"

  2. Anonymous says:

    It seems that the new AG has now incurred Mac's wrath who is now levelling the same charge he made against Dan Duguay – that of publicity seeker. He is questioning the Compass's journalistic integrity for its editorial in today's paper when that newspaper had clearly been in his corner or at least it hates him less than it hates the Opposition. Apparently, the only person not guilty of unprofessionalism is McKeeva. LOL.      

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nation Building, people we need to get up off our brains and really examine who are we building this nation for in what way and who will we compete against?

    1.   Are we building a nation of complainers and seekers of handouts?

    2.  Are we building a lawless society where no one is willing to speak out?

    3.  Are we building a nation where political parties reign supreme?

    4.  Are we building a nation of greed and intolerance?

    My fellow Caymanians what have we become? we have become so spineless and diluted that I am begining to lose hope in the Caymanian society.  Then again there is hope as I look at the resurgence of the blue Iguanas and believe if our Caymanian men and women of values begain to teach our young people the same mores and values of old by the grace of God there will be a resurgence of values within the society.

    Why are we forever looking for investors to save us? We should be preparing our young people to compete in this global economy.  Well over 40 years Grand Cayman has seen unprecedented growth, billions of dollars have pass through our shores and what have we done with the money, what are the beneifts to our population?  Because of jealously and greed Cayman is poised for the Humpty Dumpty fall.  We could have gotten it right and I believe we can still change things around if we are willing to do the right things. Why don't we begin with education today, make education totally free (from day care to university) for everyone born in the Cayman Islands with one Cayman parent and a Caymanian grand parent.   Give a stipen to all retired and able body Caymanian who have grandchildren, neices and nephews family members to provide after school guidance for these young people until the parents get home from work.  These children will definately learn true Caymanian values, there are lots of retired (young) former civil servants that would be willing to help in this respect. 

    How can Cayman expect to compete in this global economy with an incomplete education model, set way back in the 70s, we need new ideas.  Choose five young Caymanians from economically depressed situations across each district with average IQs do an assestment on what they are good at and sponsor them by sending them to the very best schools in Europe for their chosen vocation and report back with your finds in one year.  How about that for nation building

     

  4. Vavoom Hillary's says:

    Okay here's my two cents into this article not saying I have any personal problem with Wesalyn Holiness Church; but  really a church and that amount of 1.4 million something doesn't seem right about that; XXXX

     

    And what makes matters worst is that a couple of weeks back there was an woman who was from the George Town area who was pleading to the public for help to get her electricity turned  on so she would be able to move into a more spacious home for her and her family who didn't have the funds to put their electricity on and now knowing that the "Premier" could really take 1.4 MILLION DOLLARS which doesn't belong to him and belongs to the COUNTRY he took that seem money to give to a church who proberly can't even account as to what they spent that money on; I mean really now? …

     

    When the "Premier" knows of his fellow Caymanians by Birth who are in need of assistantance to get an foot start in their homeland to get out of the proverty genre not saying help them to live a lobster dinner every night lifestyle but help them to be able to eat haft decent because they only know Caymanians during election time; then afterwards once they get elected they act as if they don't know them anymore; which is wrong because people the people help them to get in there hoping to receive an positive change within our islands but thats like saying they are waiting for gold to drop out of the sky if you get my drift.

     

    But people of Cayman Islands wake up really after all these years have ya'll seen any "POSITIVE CHANGE" have anything been changed to help the people of Cayman? 

     

    And foreigners,expats and status holder please don't be offended by what I'm about to say because everyone is entilted to their own opinion and really think to yourself's if us the Caymanians came to your homeland and got all the benefits while you suffered wouldn't you all have some type of hatred towards us I do … its in everyone because everyone IS teritourial of their turf's.

     

    But Caymanians wake up vote to get BOTH political parties out of cabinet because they both flip and they both flop meaning ( we all vote for the other side when the current side is messing up and through it all we are the ones left with the sh*t stick which isn't fair )  So Caymanians wake up the political parties are for themselves and not us don't be in denial when its the TRUTH!

     

    And you all know this is true!

  5. Anonymous says:

    These large church donations are nothing new…check out the church under construction entering Bodden Town. And that was PPM I understand.

     

    The donations are to have them "harden" their halls to provide HURRICANE SHELTERS! 

     

    As bizarre as this sounds it is good use of money to provide a public use. It has been done for 15 years with the private schools as a cheap alternative to building new schools.

     

    Do some research before you folks go crazy…you only look silly in the end.

    • Anonymous says:

      when is the end, by the way?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you have missed that the church in BT is the one drawing the most controversy on this whole issue re the Premier' nation building fund.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    I searched the internet for the last two nights and the Cayman Islands is the only place in the world that a government borrowes money to gives it away. We needed approval from the UK to borrow US$185million dollars and the UK's local representative is sitting back and watching as the money that we borrowed is given away. Surely if we needed approval to borrow it we must need approval to give it away? What a mess. Please Mr Premier could you advise us at this point how advanced is your nation building plan, is it  quarter, half or three quarters done or tell us how may millions more you'll need before the nation is built. My guess is we've only just begun, brace yourselves folks you ain't seen nothing yet.

  7. PastorBucket says:

     

    My housemate did, I just posted asking if anyone had. How disgraceful & disrespectful to his own people, believers & non believers.

    So what are the people going to do against this?

    What more has to happen before people actually protest (peacefully of course).

    Jesus would not approve of this message

     

  8. PastorBucket says:

    Can anyone confirm that Bush called opponents to this decision

    (which include a great many secular Caymanians as well as Christians)

    "devil worshippers" ?

    on a radio show yesterday?

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I am still trying to work out when it is that the talk show that Mac will speak on is actually on the radio, at what time and is it everyday?

  9. Concerned says:

    Mckeeva may be mad with power but he isn't dumb. No man can coME from his beginning and stay in office this long. We need to realize that this man has an agneda for us and this country and until we put a stop to it HE WILL ALWAYS GET VOTES AND ALWAYS BE A CAUSE FOR CONCERN!

  10. Knot S Smart says:

    I am so sorry for the poor Auditor General. His job is like trying to stop a sieve from leaking water.

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    O Mr.Bush.  Thank you for repeatedly reminding me yesterday that myself and more than half the island are "DEVIL WORSHIPPERS" simply because we don't agree with 4.1 million of the peoples money blindly being donated to churches.  Did anyone else hear Mr.Bush on the radio yesterday? 

    • Anonymous says:

      No I didnt.  I couldn't.  I refuse to subject myself to such frustration and torture.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can't stand to listen to Mac either, he really makes me want to vomit.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Yea.. He thinks he is going to heaven because he took our money to give to the churches.

      But what a shock of surprisation he is going to get because that Satan man saving a spot for him right down in the bottom of hell.

      OH NO..

      I should not have alerted him to that, because now he will start giving our taxpayer money to fix up Hell.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like the perfectly normal reaction of a guilty conscience to me, except I never would have imagined that he had that capacity. Things must definitely be improving.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Silly me, I was thinking "nation building" was along the lines of work the strong Caymanian men who went to sea and the equally strong women who ran things at home like Grammee and Grandaddy did. What, it's only "UDP Nation" building you meant? OK, now I get it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Although I see this investigation as a SECOND investigation into the Premier ($4.1M — that's four point one million folks — the bulk of it to West Bay Churches?  The Premier is out of control and ripping the piss from the electorate); however, the AG should probe DEEPLY into how these funds were used by the beneficiaries; i.e., the churches MUST account for every last dime paid to them.  I wonder if a few pastors are feeling a little nervous.  The silence from those who received the biggest payouts is deafening!

    • Anonymous says:

      These pastors had so much mouth when the gay cruiseship came, nothing could prevent their loud chatter, protests and righteous indignation then, but when it comes to accepting money for God knows what, they get so quiet.   That reminds me of what Jesus said about those religious people who were trading at the temple and using his Father's place of worship to engage in commercial interests – didn't he call them money-changers, whip them, turn over their tables and run them out of his Father's house?   Pastors, if you had any sense of right and wrong, you would return the money to the taxpayers from whom it was taken without their knowledge and consent.

    • Anonymous says:

      The AG should dig into the real estate purchases the some of this money is going to.

       

      Who is selling the real estate to the churches?

       

      Is the sale price at "fair" market value?

       

      Who is the real estate broker? Is the broker's commission at "fair" market value?

       

      And don't let the people hide behind numbered corporations.

  14. Anonymous says:

    When I listened to the premier's diatribe on radio Cayman yesterday it made me want to puke, who writes these speaches, is this what the taxpayers are paying Charles Glidden a big  salary to do.

    Alden as leader of the Opposition needs to go on radio Cayman this evening and demand equal time or may be the Independent Ezzard as well.

    We need to thank Ezzard for getting around the premier's refusal to  give the details on the " nation Building Fund" this is more like "Nation Buying". Thanks Ezzard for making the details public.

    I also attended the Dart show in Bodden Town last night and was not impressed by the obvious political patronage, Bodden towner's are to keep quiet abot the garbage dump because Dart has bought Mark and Dwayne vote by providing money for the two primary schools how pathetic.

    Dart has finally found a country he can buy and has bought Cayman.

    God help us all.

  15. Ubelievedat says:

    PROBE = search, examine, question, poke around,

    Then what???

    Have one AG (Auditor General) tell the other AG (Attorney General) ??

    And then what??

    Oh I get it!!, the AG (Attorney General) doesnt want to get involved.

    And then whats new???

    aaaaaaah……………Same old story!!!

    All bark and no bite.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nation what? building? what nation? that has been long destroyed. So much for separation of church and state. The "pastors" DISGUST ME! I love Christ but I hate "christians" if this is what being christian means, I want no part of it. How about we give civil servants back their pay out of this so called fund. Build a nation they say? I employ them to help feed hungry mouths of your devout civil servants who you have silenced to no end and keep trampling on. Take heed from the UK. *tick tock goes the clock*

    • Anonymous says:

      You can't love Christ and hate Christians. That is a simple contradiction in terms. 1 John 4:20 says "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen".

      And you are losing focus on the issue. This is about the lack of transparency about why the Premier's fund  was allocated in the way it was. Many churches did not receive any of these funds at all. The funds may be justifiable in some cases where it served a public purpose but not others.  Please do not try to use it as a hate platform against Christians.

      • Anonymous says:

        or any people.

      • Anonymous says:

        FYI I am heavily involved in the church and community, and I see first hand how these self proclaimed "christians" behave with their holier than thou attitude, hence why I made the statement. I love Christ but I can't stand "christians". Note in quotation marks because they are far from. So no need for the shoving of scriptures down anyone's throat. 

        Until they utilise that money in a non self-serving way to genuinely help the less fortunate and the youth and not build anymore concrete structures then I will re-think my perspective. A church is more than a mere building, steeple and one day "christians" warming the bible filled pews!

        • Anonymous says:

          You have missed the point. Substituting "can't stand" for "hate" does not negate the point. I note that you did not claim to be a Christian only that you are "heavily involved in church".  

        • Anonymous says:

          The irony, which obviously escapes you, is that you are criticising the pastors for being unchristian while your hate-filled words are themselves unchristian.    

  17. Anonymous says:

    I've given up reading the posts about Bush and Saint Julianna and their despicable political patronage. It's too depressing. All we need to do is sit tight and vote them out of office next time. There's nothing we can do about West Bay since there seems to be a majority of retards there. Saint Julianna has her family wrapped up on the Brac plus the recipients of huge post Paloma grants (check into it Auditor General!!) and paved car parks and driveways. So we need to make sure Bodden Town and George Town don't return the UDP. But please, let us not have Clifford in BT or Lucille and Alphonzo in GT. Can't we do better? Oh I forgot, the pool of people who can run is so narrow, we can only expect Caymanians and, moreover, these who haven't succeeded in the private or government sector, and who are looking for a secure job in the LA.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is exactly whats wrong with the country now……if fools like you and the other UDP supporters had listened to what Charles Clifford had to say you would not be in this situation now ! Peter Campbell didn't listen either……I bet he's paying attention now !!!

      And if its possible take off your UDP blinders off and tell me which BT politician achieved more for Bodden Town than Charles Clifford……not even Jim Bodden. Check the record of achievement if its possible for you to be fair.  What will BT get this time under Mark and John John ?……A DUMP !

      And look at how hard Alfonso in particular worked for George Town and indeed on many important national projects.

      You get the government you deserve because you voted for them….now take it and shut up and stop badmouthing the few honest politicians that we have in this country !

      • Anonymous says:

        10:45: What part of my post justified you calling me "fools like you and the other UDP supporters" and the rest of your nasty diatribe (look it up Bobo)? If you want to help Charles Clifford, it is better not to try to do so in such a boorish (look it up Bobo) manner. He is already a discredited/ rejected at the polls politician-he doesn't need your kind of help.

        And when you have done all that, could you expand specifically on what was achieved by the politician as referenced by the following:"And look at how hard Alphonso in particular worked for George Town and indeed on many important national projects". Could it be his magnificent speech in the LA calling for the schools to fly, raise and lower the Cayman Flag to show how "Caymanian" they were , only to discover it had been going on for "donkey years" before he ever got to the LA, something that was demanded many years before by a certain young loudmouth in Benson's day called Mc Keeva Bush?

        • Anonymous says:

          oh Lordy! the shit and the shitty people we have to put up with round here!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Where was the advertisement for this scholarship fund?  Shouldn't everyone know the criteria so they can apply?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Wait….I have a question……..when the last administration was spending money on building much needed schools for the children of our future, McKeeva and Rolston, said that children can learn under a tree; buildings don’t make children learn and these new schools were no more than an attempt by Alden to build monuments for himself. Following that same train of thought, surely wasting money on church BUILDINGS is not going to create the wholesome righteous God-fearing Christian society that McKeeva thinks is so important. Since his argument fails there, what is really McKeeva’s objective? Would it be to secure votes?

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva very obviously got HIS education under a tree. It also seems he only went for half a day and the teacher was at home sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      UDP and PPM.

       

      Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum(b).

       

      Some choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        UDP and PPM are not the same.

         

        PPM was following process and using the money to "build" and expand education structures and programs for everyone's children and future children – not the select few.

         

        UDP are not following process and using the money to buld up their own churches (while others are left in the cold) and using the money for a select few students "who did not qualify under the regular scholarship criteria". Why did they not qualify? Was it because they were rich enough already to pay their own way?

         

        I am for education, but the money should have been spent on students to further their education locally at UCCI or ICCI, then, after they work hard and obtain good grades they could qualify for Govt scholarships. Instead, the premier has no problem buying computers and paying off loans for his friends and close supporters children – WITH OUR MONEY!! TOTAL BS.

  20. Anonymous says:

    "More than $4,500 was also listed as being spent by the premier on Mother’s Day flowers."

    I wonder how many mothers outside of West Bay received flowers and how many attend a church other than Wesleyan (WB).

    XXXXX

    Things that may you go, hmm!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how the owners of the two flower shops in WB feel about this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just check out who owns the flower shop that got all the business, this speaks volumes.

        • Anonymous says:

          hmmmm wonder if she will also be the bank rep that sits on the mortgage committee?

    • Anonymous says:

      Precious sweetheart Mac. Another $4,500.00 worth of votes. How much is it going to cost us to keep our king in power anyway.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The money is gone, never going to get it back, wast ofmore money to even try. These votes bought and paid for. I can only hope that those that took the money that did not deserve it understand that they are no better than he who gave it. Name them all and try to find out where it went is the best that can be hoped for.

  22. nauticalone says:

    What to say about such blatant abuse by Mac and his?

    And so many powerful and very highly paid persons sit by and watch!

    It's fairly clear we're headed for a TCI style awakening.

  23. Anonymous says:

    what's a TP52 grant?

    • Anonymous says:

      TP = Transfer Payment – a category of appropriation for Gov't Expense where the Gov't does not receive a service or expect anythng in return.

      • Anonymous says:

        Am I missing something here?

        Barkers National Park is listed under TP 52, okay? So how in tarnation if TP is defined as above, what in the world are we paying Park Rangers for? Nothing, right? Shame on you Park Rangers!

        Does the '52' mean there are *at least* 51 other areas where money is just doled out for nothing? No need for a 'Value-for-Money' audit here, that's for sure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, so a "hand out" or "freebie" or "patronage" then?

  24. Anonymous says:

    You gotta love the ultimate in double dipping too. Not only are most of the recipients big UDP supporters or their children but most of the companies given the businesses also belong to UDP supporters/members. This all makes me sick but I am very grateful that we have FOI because we would never see the details of all these gifts, we would just hear rumours.

  25. Anonymous says:

    How many mothers does Mac have šŸ˜‰ $4685 in Mothers Day flowers from the premier????????????? Let's see which UDP supporters these flowers went to.

  26. Anonymous9 says:

    The penny has dropped

    Anyone remember the comment made by Mac on the TV program (that had to be cut 30 minutes early before he got up and walked out)? Didn't he say something about "he who has 'the money' gets elected"??

    Ring any bells?

    • Anonymous says:

      Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasars.  Sound familiar?  The root of the problem is That Bush belives Cayman money is Bushes money and acts accordingly.  He uses it for anything Bush.  Light bills, Gas, Travel, Hotels, food, Clothes, fill up the bank accounts, donations to his personal causes, etc.  The solution would be if the people of Cayman (rightfull owners of the money) had the balls to force him to see the truth of it but they don't.

      • Anonymous says:

        Reminds me of the old saying "What's yours is mine and what's mine is me own"

  27. Anonymous says:

    We already have a list of churches with the amounts paid out to them so there is no need to waste time on this. What we do need the Auditor General to probe is the amounts and to whom the funds were paid to from the various churches. Its a pity that the architects of the FOI law couldn't have drafted a law that could have made it possible to follow the paper trail to the ultimate beneficiaries of these funds. Nevertheless knowing how honest these churches are I'm sure in the spirit of transparency (so that the hard working taxpayers will know where their money went) they'll publish this information in due course.

    • Anonymous says:

      the architects of the FOI law did have the foresight to anticipate your point. The FOI law provides the power for the Governor by Order to include other non government entities who provide a public service or who receive govt grants to be declared subject to FOI. 

      its a relatively simple matter to acheive. 

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Peoples, just look at some of the individual persons who received grants from the Premier under the pretense of "Nation Building" and who will understand how McKeeva and the UDP still have a few supporters.

      I mean, come on peoples, how do some of these people sleep comfortably at night accepting our money, to the point that there is even a Professional Athlete accepting a grant even though this athlete has chosen a life where he earns his own prize money and already receives grants.

      Well I suppose being 1 of the few supporters also works in your favour when the perks of being so is that you can afford a Ferrari, and am I working to be able to!

      • Anonymous says:

        The faithful will be rewarded in heaven….and the Party faithful will be rewarded here on earth.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Please Mr. AG, Do not under any circumstances do you get intimidated by the Premier, like the Governor.  I am very curious as to where the Wesleyan Church Monies has gone to.  Afterall, no due diligence is done on Churches, as they are exempted.  So I am curious how that money was dispersed.

  29. Anonymous says:

    just heard mac on the radio…. he's mad.  seems what he does here is okay so just shut up and go back where you came from.

    • Anonymous says:

      he was so mad he was sputtering.

      • Anonymous says:

        You should hear his brain sputtering even when his lips are not moving.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is the same person who travels internationally to represent us. How embarrassing!

    • Anonymous says:

      When, where is the phone in show? Is this the program hosted my Mcfield?? If so what time is it aired?

  30. WOW says:

    All I can say is WOW. How is paying consultants to "chop bush" at Barkers considered nation building? I hope none of this went towards payment for all the herb they were smoking on the site.

    What was the payment to Matrix all about ?

    What was the settlement payment to Barry Martinez for $24,655.62 for? Did he sue the government ?

    $100,000 to Charles Whittaker ?????

    Assistance with Hurricane shutters? is this nation building ? or vote getting ?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote getting, just in case you were not sure

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh to be one of the chosen and get paid $3000 a month to be a park ranger, take a look at the name of the characters who gets these prize jobs. So many people work their a$$ off every month and struggle to live on half of that.

      Lost my job last year, have a business degree, bet I wouldn't be considered for this as I am not a UDP supporter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are they Park Rangers, or just consultants to the Premier who advise him on what Park Rangers should be doing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Must be nice to get money from Government when you own a CI$1,150,000 house in South Sound.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Guess the AG wants to go back home very quickly…The tyranny of the Big Mac strikes agian

  32. Anonymous says:

    like shooting fish in a barrel

  33. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    The Premier – in his role as Pope and Grand Poobah – dipped into government coffers and decided who would be deserving of his benevolence. He is still running the Cayman Islands as a village with him as the chief. Next he will be predicting eclipses and offering up human sacrifices but fortunately the people are more educated than that. I hope.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The Grand Poobah" – thanks for giving me the biggest laugh this week, I will always think of You-Know-Who in those terms šŸ™‚

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hear we go again spending more money to see or find out what we all ready know!

    And what we know is that Big Mac is Big Trouble for this Island and its People unless you can help hin with a VOTE that is……….

    Well I guess it is time to look for a new Auditor General as you know Big Mac will just send him on his way if the A.G. finds anything wrong with Big Mac's way of doing things or should I say XXXXX!

    Again I call on the people of this Island pull together and lets stop this mad man!

    And Mr. Governor when are you going to step in and stop this Dictator?

    • Anonymous says:

      While I agree with your comments, do you really feel that his Mcmaciness has the intelligence to be a dictator? I mean come on, he's like the embarrassing uncle, 'dad dancing' in the corner at family wedding reception. No matter what a complete idiot any given government employee may bee, unless they are told, and made accountable, you're wasting your time. If someone thinks theyu're perfect, then criticism will have no effect. Step up miss Julia…..

  35. Anonymous says:

    Scholar 20 has just failed Ethics 101 of the CPA exam – Accepting bribes, gifts, monetary rewards etc when they allowed the Premier to payoff their RBC loan of only 19,000+. Surely a new CPA can handle a student loan of 19000+ in just one year of overtime – otherwise you might not make it as a CPA.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Release the names and district of the "students who did not meet the criteria for scholarships available in the private sector or through the education department."

    So we can follow there careers and see if we are getting value for money.

     

    Release the district and churches of those who got shutters.

     

    I have no problem with the Barkers project. Even the druggies should have a nice area to do their crack, coke and gunga.

  37. Anonymous says:

    'Christian Heritage Park'….somebody explain, what does that mean?

  38. Libertarian says:

    Rather, you "nation build" by lowering fees, duties, permits, licenses, and removing immigration policies and laws that are anti-business. You "nation build" by allowing local small businesses and companies to grow and aspire themselves so that jobs can be created and more money can circulate into the economy. You remove restrictions, create incentives for businesses on the island, and you lower trade and business license fees. You don't use taxpayers monies to nation build. You don't give favors to a few big shots and have them have a compitative leverage over small local companies on the island. Sorry, but giving people and churches hand-outs and making people dependent on the government instead of striving to excel, is not how you grow the economy!

    • Anoymous says:

      Amen (sic!) to that.

      You just hit all the points that the Premier needs to address to turn these island round in one go.

      Libertarian – CIG needs people like you running it.

      • Libertarian says:

        It would be beneficial if Cayman was rule by the people and for the people. The technology we have today to do transactions on our phones, computers, and financial transactions on our banking atms, Cayman can lead out on establishing a electronic voting system where the powers to make laws could be completely removed from the politician. In terms of direct democracy, the Constitution we have from the UK, is a joke!  

        • Anonymous says:

          Question about your plan for direct voting by the people.  Would this only apply to general laws or also replace the decisions of other boards like the planning board?

          • Libertarian says:

            A electronic voting system, which aspects of it via cell phone, has already been introduced in Kenya, Sudan, and Estonia (only for elections). Nevertheless, the full implementation of one, can be applied to all bills formulated in the Legislative Assembly. Cayman can become an successful experiment towards a true direct democracy for the 21st Century that will benefit generations to come. The onus on the MLA politician will be to sell bills to the public. The interested public decides to "purchase it" so to speak by electronically passing the bill into law. The MLA politician will only have powers of proposing bills, debating, hold public meetings, and perform general duties of the house, and see to the law being implemented on the people's behalf. The UK has the technology of introducing true democracies into the world, and sitting on it, because some are caught up in greed and holding power for themselves!  Instead scripting us with these colonial, backward Constitutions that gives power into the hands of 15 politicians that are not at all times aligned to the people's wishes. Developers come and do as they please because some politicians are weak people and are easily sold. This can never be if legislative power is equally distributed to all citizens.

            • Anonymous says:

              So this would only be used for passing new laws and not for other government decisions such as planning approvals, etc?  If that is true, I'm not sure it is a good idea (as you say it would very much be an experiement and how knows how it will work out), but at least that would mitigate some of the largest issues I'd see arising by having everyone vote on every planning approval, etc.

              • Libertarian says:

                Of course, you wouldn't involve the electronic democratic process for every trivial motion to be passed in/for the LA house. But the people will be able to have the right to vote directly for bills that can effect them and their communities dramatically, and any bill that deals with the entire national interest of the islands, its environment, and economy would be subject to the public's vote. Currently, if we want direct democracy, we have to rely on referendums, no confidence votes, and initiatives for 4 long years, and these priveleges don't come easily. 

                I think I shouldn't have used the word "experiment."  That word is what power hungry leaders may used to sustain their powers over the populous. To hear the implementation of an electronic direct democracy, would mean some of them won't be able to make deals with big shots and engage themselves in corruption and bribes.  An electronic direct democracy has been well researched and aspects of it, is already being tried in other countries with no failures.

                What we are lacking from both governments, is the "will-power" from our politicians to stand up and put the people first!  Yes, agreed… there should be a national vote behind every planning approval on this island. Many places will see the wisdom of an electronic direct democracy if the UK is willing to draft us a better Constitution with the checks and balances.

        • Anonymous says:

          Libertarian,

          This is an extremely insightful comment and one that would have the elite quaking in their boots if it gained traction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Libertarian, me thinks you need to pack all those suggestions up in a big fat canon ball and fire that DIRECTLY at Mac.

  39. Dred says:

    Just kick out the small amounts and deal with who got the medium to big funds and see who those were. I believe you will see a pattern.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, you have to see the irony in Mac's old church getting the least money and his current church getting the most.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Who are theseyoung nation builders.. what are they building and why can't we know their names?  How were they selected and what is the criteria? What pray tell are they studying that could not be met through the regular generous scholarship channels available on this island, local or private. Chances are some of these students will be deserving but being embroiled in Mac's foolish behaviour will cast a shadow over their careers.

    What did Charles Whittaker (in his personal name.. not the name of promoter mind you) need $100,000 for?! Isn't he separate paid by the government??

  41. Anonymous says:

    Good old Mac is going to have so many probes going on he'll be looking like a porcupine turned inside out. Add a half a dozen or so lawsuits to that and he'll finally be feasting on the fruits of his very hard labor.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Is this going to be conducted under FIFA rules so that I can resign from the Barker's Turtle Ranger Club and be presumed innocent?

  43. Anonymous says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Will the Auditor General's staff have access to party membership and contribution records and family tree's so as to be able to make sense of things?

  45. Anonymous says:

    In related news it was announced by an official spokesperson that all staff in the Auditor General's department would be put on paid leave until at least May 2013. Large numbers of paper shredders were seen being unloaded.

  46. Anonymous says:

    wouldnot hold my breath with this ag…….