Mac lost CI$450k public cash

| 24/08/2011

(CNS): The decision made by the Cayman Islands premier to circumvent the proper process in acquiring financing for government cost the public purse CI$450,000, the auditor general has revealed. In his latest damning report of government's handling of the procurement process, Alastair Swarbrick raises several very serious concerns about the events which led to the cancellation of the tendering process in favour of a deal that not only failed to deliver the promised savings but in the end resulted in a serious loss to government's coffers. He says the decision to go with Cohen & Co, which promised to save government $24 million on the long term loan, was made directly by the premier against ministerial advice and without any evidence that the savings were possible.

In his latest report, which uses three cases studies to illustrate the myriad problems in government procurement, the auditor general shows that when the proper process is ignored things can go very wrong when it comes to value for money for public cash. The government loan case study demonstrates clearly how, when the process was circumvented, the government lost money but once it came back on track during the third bid, following the regulations and engaging proper expertise, the public did end up with value for money.

However, before that occurred two tendering process were cancelled and the premier in his role as finance minister had turned to party officials to advice him about securing a $155 million loan for government.

According to Swarbrick's report, McKeeva Bush claimed that he abandoned the tendering process for the financing because he believed he could save government money and to avoid what he said was a conflict of interest regarding one government official involved in the bids, whose family member worked at one of the banks in the joint venture which had come out on top.

Swarbrick notes that the Public Management and Finance Law has a provision which allows the minister of finance to to secure a loan for government but he said it should still have been a transparent, fair and open process. He also raised concerns that the premier had gone to a the United Democratic Party treasurer, Peter Young, and not sought advice from a government civil servant or a government contracted expert with a specific accountable remit.

He said that there was no paper trail or documented transparency on the premier's decision to go to the political party ranks for advise or how Young had introduced Bush to Cohen and Co, but Swarbrick indicated that Young was familiar with some of the principals at the New York finance house. The auditor said that there was no evidence that Young had been paid any fees by government as a result of the introduction.

Once the introduction had been made, Cohen presented the premier with a proposal that promised to deliver $24 million in savings on the $155m loan, which Bush had been authorized to secure by the FCO to help government pay its bills during the 2010/11 financial year.

However, ministerial officials advised the premier against signing a deal with Cohen as they did not believe the promises made by Cohen were achievable. Despite that advice, the premier chose to sign the deal and commit the government to lending from Cohen and Co and the subsequent significant loses.

“We did not find any support or documentation for the decision,” Swarbrick revealed, adding that the decision was based purely on a written submission made by Cohen. “We saw no analysis to say the promises were achievable and the ministry officials did not believe they were.”

The ministry officials were proved right in the end as government was forced to withdraw from the agreement when the New York firm was unable to provide the promised savings and what they offered would have cost the country significantly more than the winning bid in the first tendering process.

The premier did not extricate government from the potentially costly financing deal, however, before two short term financing loans had been arranged via Cohen with SoctiaBank and Banque Havilland, which the auditor said proved very costly. On the short term and stop gap loans government incurred costs that exceeded those it would have paid it it had gone with the legitimate winner in the CTC bid by over a half million US dollars.

Swarbrick stated that the report highlights issues that his office brought to light in his first report. In particular, where the loan is concerned, it demonstrates the problems of both political interference and what happens when there is blatant disregard for the process.

“Government got the best deal when it followed the process properly,” he said. “This demonstrates that there is validity to the rules being in place and being followed.”

Swarbrick also noted that in the case of the Cohen loan the premier may not have directly brokenthe Public Management and Finance Law, which allows him to procure a government loan, but he did contravene the regulations and what he did was outside the accepted norms of good governance, transparency and fairness and above all value for money. He also noted that there is some conflict in the clause that allows the premier to secure a loan for government with the rest of the public finance law.

Check back to CNS later for more from the auditor general's report regarding the complete failure of the DoT to tender a contract over $1.2 million, in direct contravention of the law, and for the problems surrounding the CCTV bid, which the auditor states was unnecessarily held up as a result of  Cabinet interference.

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Comments (135)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of losers. At least he had a go at getting us a better rate than these local bank sharks were prepared to offer us. For God's sake, take an extra-cold shower and get real. You haven't figured it yet? Your bank is your worst financial enemy. You think they're your "friends"? Please!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually McKeeva is our worst financial enemy, bonehead.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you even read the rates?

      1.  He didn't get anything. Remember the deal FELL through.

      2.  The rates quoted an overall carrying cost of LESS than what Mac attempted to get.

      3.  The reputation has been heavily tarnished that no large banks (local or otherwise) would ever want to sign anything with the Cayman Islands Government.

      4.  You obviously don't understand fixed versus variable rates. 


    • Anonymous says:

      If we're a bunch of losers, we're a BIG bunch of losers

    • Anonymous says:

      What a loser. For God's sake take an extra cold shower and get real. You haven't figured it out yet? it was McKeeva, not our bank that cost us $450,000.00. You think he's our friend? JJJJEEEEEZZZ. I've seen some very dumb posts here but yours unquestionably takes the cake, sweetness. XXXXX

  2. Dred says:

    I believe we should build a monument to all our Auditor Generals… memory of their work here….

    OOh and by the way how long was the new Auditor General permit for? I really don't think it will be renewed.

    Well Swarbick…..get your monies worth. You are a national heroe in our eyes…..

    A special thank you for not rolling over and playing dead on this….Keep up the good work.

  3. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Mr. Swarbrick, thanks for all the work you have done to date to highlight the many issues.  However, I hang my head in shame and hope that one day soon the Cayman Islands will return to the rule of law, with good administrators.  Clearly something is wrong at more than the local Cabinet level.

    However, I disagree when you claim that a breach of a Regulation made under a law does not constitute a breach of that Law.  That is simply wrong, terribly wrong sir, because according to the section 2 of the Interpretation Law (1995 Revision): “Law” means any Law and any regulations made thereunder, and any prerogative Order of the Sovereign in Council applicable exclusively to the Islands, whether enacted before or after the commencement of this Law.

  4. Fishy says:

    When you read the report you will see that Mr. Young was instrumental in setting up the Cohen deal. What is alarming is that when he called the Rooster and spoke on the Rooster show for 1 1/2 hour he did not say that he was the middle man.  If this was such a proud and clean undertaking why could he not tell Austin that he was the real 'Big Man' to put this deal together. Poor Mr. Bush, if I am not mistaken, I believe he said that he met the parties to Cohen when he was doing some overseas visit and he just met them.  You know what is so heartbreaking about all of this? Is that I really like Mr. Bush. Just that I want him to do clean deals and do not make the country pay out all these funds that we do not have.

  5. martin says:

    I can't believe this bull-shit about conflict of interest with a family member of a Gov't. official but nothing mentioned about Peter Young the treasurer of UDP! It boggles the mind that Peter Young who is an accountant and an officer of the UDP did not say to the Premier something like; Sir I want you to ignore the Deal with Cohen, because I see where we will be losing $400.000.00 if we go through with this. Uh, Uh nothing like that! Makes one think doesn't. In my opinion, the least that should have happened was, that Mr. Young would have been chided for  such bad advice, if not removed as treasurer. But who am I that I should question these kind of things. Wake-up Cayman It's going to get worse unless we "meaning the people of this Island " get of our fat rumps and let this dictator know that we aresick and tired of his Bull Shit

  6. An0n says:

    Peter Young???…….Say no more.


  7. Libertarian says:

    I don't think we should be involved with any loans. I don't think we should be owing monies to another person or an entity; especially, during a U.S. recession. Instead, we should be lowering fees, permits, and import duties (doing what we can) to encourage local businesses to grow and create jobs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How in all conscience the generally well intentioned UDP govt. members stand by and have their names tarnished by association with someone who has no ethics, morals education or even a simple understanding of the difference between right and wrong…?

    You are all guilty by association, stand up and be counted now, or be unemployed in 2013.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, ease up on the education thing please. Not everyone has the same level of education in the world. and just because a person may have more education that another, does not mean that they are a better person morally or ethically either – for example, take Kenneth Lay of Enron, Bernie Madoff, Christopher Girvan, etc. All of them may have more education than you or I, but certainly not persons you want involved in your business affairs, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      so… ummm, which one do you think have ethics or morals? just curious

  9. Anonymous says:

    One can only hope (dream) that the single 'thumb down' on every comment is

    Mr. Bush's single last supporter…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure I read somewhere way back that the committment fee for the loan was $150.000.00. I am really left wondering how on earth this stupidity is now costing us $450,000.00. Either way, this is a huge, inexcusable disgrace to our country and someone should be made to pay. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    How's this for a conflict of interest…………Peter Young and Mark Scotland have been business partners in ARCP for years.

    Most of our political "leaders" believe they are above the law and their supporters are given everything they ask for on a silver platter while the rest of Cayman starves and fights for the scraps!


  12. Anonymous says:

    I do think its illegal to make you pay / part pay your work permit fees. Your employer is responsible. Who is your employer?

    Things like this happen on a daily basis from the top to the bottom, and are ignored so they will continue to happen.


  13. tru dis says:

    Just change the name of the country to Tortuga and the Premeir becomes the pirate king. Makes sense to me.  Much easier than getting anyone in power to change themselves.   All the killings would keep the unemployment down.  Money could be made by takeing in kicked out despot rulers like Qaddafi.  There would be direct trade with Cuba (dissidents for dissidents) Just do away with any laws that are still followed and get rid of the police, judges,etc. They are a complete waste of money given the lack of respect for the law by leadership and followers.  No need to raise work permit fees to get expats to leave as they will leave all by themselves along with all the paper Caymanians and the 3000 gifted status holders.  Caymanians will finally get what they always seemed to have wanted.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is the only country that I know where the minister of finance has no clue what accounting and accountability is all about. He is completely clueless. What a shame! 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I vote we change the Cayman Islands to this.                        


  16. Anonymous says:

    This is the reason he fights FOI. He needs to be locked up. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct. It is unimaginable that he cannot or will not be held legally and personally responsible for this.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the key dropped off the edge of the Universe.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Good job Mr. Swarbrick! clean house, the wool was pulled over the eyes of Caymanians for too long, expose every inappropriate financial deal. This exposure should bring back fiscal responsibility and accountability to the financial department, the Ministry of Finance and the country on a whole.

    Love your work Mr. Swarbrick, excellent job, let the chips fall where they may.  You deserve an OBE or MBE.  Again thank you and job well done, keep it up!


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, good job to the PPM too for passing the FOI law for the WHOLE of the Cayman Islands to utilize.


      Cayman has always, or should have always, had the power and right to question its government's decisions and budget spendings – now it is enshrined in law THANKS TO THE PPM!! YEEEEHHAAWWWWW!!!

  18. Hurting says:

    I feel cheated. I had to assist my boss with my work permit fees because the fees went up. My boss sympathized with Bush and explained in a meeting why the work permit fees went up and why we now have to pay a portion. I now feel like Mr. Mac and is treasurer raped me. I am a poor man and I need a refund on my work permit fees.  Mr. Bush, we the small man and the Caymanians are struggling while you continue to make financial mistakes at our expense. I really feel like the both of you  raped me  

    • Looking on the bright side says:

      It is against the law for an employee to be charged for ANY portion of a work permit fee. I can sympathise with you, but there are others who have to pay ALL of their work permit fee or be fired by the boss. McKeeva has scant regard for laws, so it doesn't matter to him who pays the fee as long as the fees keep coming in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe your boss is also cheating you and using excuses so that you will assist in paying for your work permit fee.  This is illegal!!!  It has been going on for a long time andit is time these employers, like Mr Bush, are stopped as you say 'raping' the people of their money, dignity and self respect.  Because they don't have any dignity or respect for their employees and the people does not mean they have the right to use them for their own purposes.  Time these Islands were cleaned up!

    • Anonymous says:

      You should not be paying your work permit fees. That is against the law.  This is something else which needs to be looked at. The way some employers treat their employees just because they hold a work permit.

    • anonymous says:

      clearly this is not a real post…guys, find something possitive to do please….

      • Anonymous says:

        This dude is 'possitively' a UDP supporter. Just when we were thinking they had become extinct.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he's making a bid on Gadaffi's hat.

  20. Anonymous says:

    He didn't lose it… he gave it to his friend.  He's nice

  21. Anonymous says:

    I would be ashamed to come out of my house anymore, never mind bluntly insisting on continuing to 'run' my country's Government. God help us.

  22. Anonymous says:

    When I took up my government job the department manager clearly explained something about the expensive equipment I would be using: if you do not follow the rules and end up breaking something by trying to fix it yourself when you am not qualified to do so then you will be held responsible for the cost of setting things right.  Simple and fair enough really.

    Premier Bush, you tried to fix something (which apparently wasn't even broken in the first place) but did not know what you were doing. You broke it in the process costing We The People $450,000 of our money.  Pay up!


    One Civil Servant



  23. Eye on the Isle says:

    How much longer are we going to have an Autocrat as our leader? Look what he's doing to this government. We have to march on the Governor.

  24. SORRY STATE says:

    Mac and the Govenor should pay all monies back and resign NOW. If the PPM had any backbone they would contact the Foreign Affaires Committee and ask for a full investigation of the this government, FCO and replace the govenor. Where is the oversight?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Neither a borrower or a lender be.


    Keep spending money we don't have Mac. Keep digging the hole deeper.

    • anonymous says:

      ..and that was $69M lost by Chuckie and the PPM!…I say kick them all out and get Bo Miller and the Independents to run this country.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Pay it back, Mac!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well we all know what to do! We actually do not want the FCO to sort this outfor us because they will not do things the way we want them done. The No confidence motion is the answer. Go to your UDP representatives (yes they are your reps, even if you are not UDP) and tell them to support the vote. They can force a change of leadership and give one fo their own the opportunity to step into the Premier role even if only for a short while. Maybe they will be able to redeem themselves in some way prior to the next election. The main issue here is to get Mac to step down, after that things will sort themselves out. Why have the rest of the UDP become impotent? Have they forgotten what will happen to them if they do not step up ? They will suffer Macs fate as well.


    • Anonymous says:

      Become impotent? They are already impotent. Did they all not get up on a platform and defend Mac’s actions and behaviour?

  28. Ubelievedat says:

    It is high time we Caymanians get serious and petition to Governor to remove this man (premier) from power for eternity.

    This man (premier) is NOT capable of following law and order, much less policy and procedure.

    If we allow this man (premier) to remain in power and control of our country, then not only will our country be bankrupt, our economy will continue to dry up, investors will continue to run from our shores, the wealthy will refuse to return to our shores, and us citizens will continue to be jobless with the ultimate outcome of us being homeless.

    The question is:: will the CI$4 million of the Caymanian's monies that was given to the churches for enhancing their buildings for the purpose of housing and sheltering people during the hurricane season, will these buildings be used to house Caymanians when they become homeless???????????

    We are in dire straits people..  On one hand, this man's careless. reckless and unprofessional behavior is making our country an undesireable financial center,  giving our country a bad reputation, is a total disgrace to us as an ambassador and is potentially creating the lawlessness of which will cause the UK to step in, dismiss our Constitution and put us in the same position as Turks & Cacios Islands.

    The premier and the entire UDP govt, collectively, are responsible for our present situation and all wrong doings for inasmuch as this, the premier is basically powerless without his team therefore they are all like him – agreeing to his actions by vote and voice.

    On the other hand, this man (premier) and his party members continually vote in favor of allowing one single person to own the majority of the property in West Bay District and in the George Town District.

    This man (premier), and the entire UDP govt is an immediate & serious detriment and concern to the immediate and future survival of us and our country.

  29. I have an idea says:

    Next time you want to save us money, resign!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for shining the light Mr. Swarbrick, last call for casting, and the award goes to ….. Oops last one standing, roll up the red carpet and turn off the lights please.

    Knock, Knock, who dat? the UK come to clean house after XXXXX performance and the Auditor General report.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Can the no confidence motion now finally be allowed to be debated, or can the people initiate a referendum to stop the madness, even if the UDP members are too afraid to do it themselves?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Swarbrick, you are my hero, the man of the hour, the only one with a pair of …. in these Islands.  UDP members could learn a lesson from you.  They obviously are weak yes men who meekly allow their leader to do as he pleases without so much as a sign of protest, even when they personally have misgivings and concerns, you will never hear them publicize their concerns, as party politics comes first with them, above their own country, their duty, and their own children and grandchildren's future.   Shameful.   They have sealed their own fate – their aspiring political careers have been blemished by their weakness and the people will remember it at the next poll.  You, Mr. Swarbrick, on the other hand will go on to have a stellar career, for not being afraid to do your job and give an accounting to the people of these Islands.   

  33. Anonymous says:

    yes the majority of voting W.Bayer's have made bad choiceses for years. however the rest of the country voted in the other's that allowed him to become leader.

    remember the previous time he was chosen as leader, the UNI. GRAD'S. from other districts made that decision after the election. 

        obviously no thaught of good governance were in their minds when that decision was made.!!!

    so who is really responsible?

      the majority of voters and elected representatives not just WB,

    you all knew him just as long as EVERYONE   else.


    wake up, why do you think the S. grants came about????

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of us tried to get rid of the BT two who were not elected properly.  Of course, the judge did not have the courage to what was right and even helped the UDP threaten to bankrupt us if we did not pay the costs in 7 days by saying that we did not file the documents in time, even though our case was nothing to do with that section of the elections law.  7 days.  I've never heard of such despicable behaviour before especially by those who were supposedly elected to act on our behalf, whether or not we voted for them.  They really tried to teach us and everyone else a lesson as to what happens if you go against them.  What does that tellyou about these people and all the cronies in their pockets.  I will never forget what they tried to do to us for doing the right thing.  I knew from the time those two were elected improperly that none of the UDP had any respect for the law or the people of these Islands and this has been proved over and over again.  Voters, remember what they tried to do to us, they will try to do to you. They only understand dirty.  You should never forget that. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Dart, please keep your dog on a leash!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Last night I distictly heard an angry, baying voice, echoing from West Bay shouting, "who will rid me of this meddlesome priest." I presume the disembodied voice was referring to Mr Swarbrick. Perhaps it said 'beast', I'm not sure, my hearing's not so good.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I heard that also, but just thought it was feeding time at the trough

  36. Anonymous says:

    Dear fellow Caymanians, please let us get together and save our Islands from the XXXXX of the Premier. Those are OUR islands, not the Premier's own land to do as he wishes. 

    He's waisting OUR hard earned money in those very difficult economic times we're experiencing. While many of us have a hard time making ends meet, he makes deals against our best interest and then flies on luxurious private jets. 

    How can we trust him anymore? I'm fed up of having to work hard and being barely able to make it while he puts in jeopardy OUR future and the future of our children. 

    Let's unite for the love of OUR islands. Let's tell him that we are not the fools he takes us for.

    To the other UDP members: if you take his side or do not speak up, you are as XXXX as he is. Shame on you. 


    • Anonymous says:

      West Bay keeps voting back in for some reason the rest of us will never understand.


      • Anonnymous says:

        Ever think it's possibly because West Bay needs some reasonable choices?

  37. Anonymous says:

    WTF!!!!!!!  WTF!!!!!!!!  That's awhole pile of jobs!!!!!   F@@#@$@#%^^&$%&*()#$@#(@#$%(&$)#@%^^%(@)%@$)^(^&)&)@$(%()^^%)_#^)(@%^)(&(#(^^K!

  38. Anonymous says:

    CI$450,000? This is equivalent to almost six years worth of duties paid by my business to Government.

    And then there's another CI$800,000 of subsidies cascading into Boatswain's Beach every month. So all the duties my business has paid to Government over  the past thirty years would only be sufficient to absorb the recent Cohen losses and keep the Turtle Farm going for about another ten weeks.

    Does this reflect the low regard the Government has for other people's money? My money?

    I feel as sick as a dog about these abuses.



  39. Anonymous says:

    It's clear to all those who actually care that the root of this country's problems is the Premier.  The question is what has to happen constitutionally to get him out of office?  Is seems the opposition, the govenor, and the constitution is impotent do anything to bring this despot to task.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Elio's got his work cut out on Rooster 101 this week!  My guess is he'll have other arrangements.

    • Anonymous says:

      nope…he'll just give his 'substance over process mr harris' speech for 3 hours zzzzzzzzzzz

      • Anonymous says:

        Damn right. I mean, $450,000.00 is quite a considerable chunk of substance, wouldn't you say.

    • Anonymous says:

      My gues is he'll be on the air telling us how great the UDP is and their grand plans to save us and how the opposition is to blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure tired of listening to Elio's drivel though.  I feel my little gray cells in my brain dying when I try to make sense of anything he says.   I have never seen or heard a man who so much liked the sound of his own voice….. It will make for interesting entertainment though, to hear him rationalize this one and explain again why CTC's decision was overridden and why Govt. decided they knew more than the capable members of CTC.

  41. Libertarian says:

    Reminds me of these sayings that "there is no difference between Jew and Gentile [between one politician and the next one], for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"… "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I am no Christian, but commonsense tells me that if your heart is elsewhere, you will not do your job right!  You will think about no one else but your self-interest.

  42. Fed Up (again) says:

    Pick one.

    1.  McKeeva must resign!!!!

    2.  HE the Governor must abolish the Government!!!

    3.  RCIP must finish one of their investigations into McKeeva and bring charges!!

    If none of these three things happen,


    4.  I and the family and the extended family are the hell out of here!


    • anonymous says:

      HE does NOT have power in constitution to 'abolish Government", RCIPS can only "bring charges" if they find something "illegal" and pretty sure McKeeva in not going to resign just cause you asked, so….Goodbye….might miss you, might not.  


      Very interested however of where you are going to go to. Please post that info….might want to check it out myself.



    • Wet Paper Caymanian says:


      I agree And elect a new government. The shame that you bring to our Beloved Cayman Islands Mr.Premier cast a dark shadow over everyone that lives here either born Caymanians, paper Caymanians and the rest that cares who we used to be proud to be called a Caymanian. To answer one question earlier when will this all stop. When we stop to be afraid to sign our name. And thank you civil servant for ltting us know where your coming from and I even seem to take your comment a little serious. Unfortunatly many know some truth and others more,  we probably would be shocked at all being wasted.

      As long as INTIMIDATION is used against many,many of us we will not be ready as a people. If you want a change to occur, We have to believe andprouve that we can work together and not be envious of one another and that day we stand a chance at standing up, speak up and sign our name for positive ideas and not feel that someone might use it against you or worse a member of your family. We have a few options but we need to grow stronger and proud and shape a better future for our children and their children. Mr. Bush God's Will not yours. Worse scenerio, next election if we're not taken over before. I sure hope not !!

  43. Shepherd says:

    How many need to call on the Governor????  What is his job here, really?

    Please end the madness and corruption, this poor Island can't take much more.

    I've got some spare balls if needed.

  44. sammy sea says:

    When I first glanced at the headline of this piece I was quite excited!  I thought tit said:

    Mac lost 450 pounds! 

  45. Anonymous says:

    Peter Young……..says it all.

  46. Me says:

    I can't believe this bull-shit about conflict of interest with a family member of a Gov't. official but nothing mentioned about Peter Young the treasurer of UDP! It boggles the mind that Peter Young who is an accountant and an officer of the UDP did not say to the Premier something like; Sir I want you to ignore the Deal with Cohen, because I see where we will be losing $400.000.00 if we go through with this. Uh, Uh nothing like that! Makes one think doesn't. In my opinion, the least that should have happened was, that Mr. Young would have been chided for  such bad advice, if not removed as treasurer. But who am I that I should question these kind of things. Wake-up Cayman It's going to get worse unless we "meaning the people of this Island " get of our fat rumps and let this dictator know that we are sick and tired of his Bull Shit!

    • South Sounder says:

      When you read the report you will see that mr Young was instrumental in setting up the Cohen deal

    • Anonymous says:

      Peter Young is also one of the owners of ARCP………….and his bisiness partner is none other than Minister Mark Scotland!  How's that for a conflict of interest?

  47. nauticalone says:

    Ok people, that's it. We have to awake from this slumber and remove this man from the office of Premier!

    If you are ready and willing to join forces….please vote "like" this post.


  48. John the Baptist says:

    All Caymanians should know Slow-Come from Breakers. I vote Slow-Come for our next Premier

  49. Anonymous says:

    Mac… "lost" some money?  This was not "oops, there goes half a million dollars".  This was, "I'm gonna do this my way, I don't care what you say, there goes the money, bye, bye."  This was no accident – it was deliberate.  The unfathomably poor decision of an unfathomably unqualified man.


    Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.

  50. Macfan says:

    I can hardly wait to read about the private deal Mac probably made to get the Shetty tourist mega-hospital to locate here.  Of course by then, most of Grand Cayman will be owned by either China or India or both and Mac's name will be but a footnote in the history and good governance of nations in the Carbbean.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention the CHEC deal.  Funny how they entered the picture, when they did not even take part in the bidding process like the other companies did.  The next one for the AG to investigate is that deal.

  51. truth says:

    I'm just wondering what lame excuse AND who he will blame for this.  One thing is clear.  He has nothing to fear from opposition, the people of Cayman or the Governor.

    A XXXX that cannot be caught will not stop.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Imagine. That money could have been well spent in our school system.  Either on equipment or teachers. 

  53. Shock and Awe says:

    Leave the guy alone!!  He's Premier by mistake and doing his best.  If someone made YOU Premier and you didn't have a clue what would you do?? Enjoy it? Cash your enormous cheques each month and collect a pension too?  Gather all the perks you can? Travel and see the world for free as much as possible? Make sweetheart deals with anyone who calls you Honorable Premier? Pi** away everyone's money? Act like a big shot? Go to sleep knowing you've created one #hit storm after another and will never be elected again? But you're ok financially?

    Maybe you should be Premier. 

  54. Anonymous says:

    Calling on His Excellency, FCO, where is good governance in all this?  Please the people of the Cayman Islands are in dire need of accountability, just how much longer will this practice continue? 

    CNS please continue to print how the monies of this country is being spent because, no one will have an excuse in saying they did not know, it is now public knowledge.

    It seems as if what is happening here in Cayman is very similar to what took place in TCI and here I was thinking that the Cayman Islands were so much more transparent than TCI and what happened there could never happen here.  Now I am begining to wonder just now far is the UK  away from direct rule over us.


    • Village Vicar says:

      There is no transparency in Cayman and in fact there is more information available on TCI companies than those in Cayman. This whole Cohen deal was suspect from inception. The Minister of Finance should pay the losses personally for his negligence. Cayman prides itself in being a financial centre of repute and thus we should be dealing with first class banks, not brokers. It looks like the same deceptive deal as the turtle farm financing with commissions abounding. Finally I do not know much about Peter Young who introduced Cohen to Bush but my research reveals that this gentleman was a director of the defunct hedge fund, Beacon Hill which went into compulsory liquidation years ago, owing millions to investors.
      Thank you AG for your informative report and I look forward to reading others that reveal the mechanics of similar situations.

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      He continues to abuse his powers and the purse-strings of The Cayman Islands and we spend 2 days writing comments of our utter disgust on CNS, but life goes on and he will continue to do so as "sticks and stones will hurt his bones, but words cant".

      My people, words are no good no more, we now have to use "sticks and stones" to get our Country back, or are we just plain cowards that The Premier believes we are – lets prove him wrong.

      Cant we all see the the total abuse this man is doing when he feels like doing so and peoples, we are in the vast majority as, trust me, he has a very few cowards and beneficiaries who have stuck with him.

      There is no more time for just talk, we need action and one way or another this man CANNOT remain as our Premier.

      • Anonymous says:

        It beats me why everyone is so hesitant or scared to take a stand, he is just one man afterall, he can't intimidate an entire island full of people into submission, yet somehow he has done it.   Caymanians, show the mettle that your forefathers had who were out at sea, they were not spineless yellow belly chickens, and they are probably turning over in their graves as we speak.   Anyone willing to start a referendum to remove this dictator and restore it to good governance?   The people in Syria and Libya are doing so in the face of bullets and gun battle, why then are you so afraid, and what are you afraid of?   What can possibly happen to you if you take a stand?  At te very least it will show your Govt. representatives that you are no longer willing to put up with the BS and if they don't fall in line, they should be prepared to move out.

  55. big mike says:

    $4 mill to churches another half a mill wasted, honestly the poor stays poor and mac gets his belly bac!

    • Pending says:

      And there is the result folks when you have  person who has no qualifications in charge of a countries finances.

  56. Anonymous says:

    the blunders and incompetence of this administration never ends……..

  57. Anonymous says:

    any comment mr governor?

    why does the media not pursue the governor for comment?

    • Anonymous says:

      why does the media not pursue the electorate who continue to vote as they do…..I reckon it better for the island if the Governor does not step in and gives certain people enough rope to hang themselves….if the Governor did step in it would just provide another person for certain politicians to point the finger at and drum up voting support from those who like to believe it is overseas meddling that is causing the issue – Caymanians need to give Caymanians enough credit i.e. that we are in control of our country and can like any other country mess it up all on our own….and with a logical approach, and not being dragged into the snake oil salesmen's rooms of mirrors and mist, sort it out all on our own!!

  58. Dred says:

    None of this is surprising at all.

    My only question is for the people who voted in West Bay and actually for those who voted UDP around the Island.

    Tell me this. Knowing what you know now, would you still have voted UDP in the 2009 elections? I can say the 1 vote I threw UDP way will never happen again and it hurts me like hell now to even think I did it. Mark NEVER AGAIN. NEVER EVER EVER EVER AGAIN. I would vote for me first.

    I can only hope and pray that come 2013 the people of West Bay will open their eyes for once and fully realise this man is not for Cayman. And to the rest of UDP none of them are men. They are all puppets. 

    Let me say this again cause he like to keep saying that he is trying to help the people who are suffering. HE MADE YOU SUFFER. There is no one out there who has caused so many businesses toclose down than McKeeva Bush thru his MASSIVE and BUSINESS KILLING TAX HIKES. – Business fees, Duties, Gas, Permits, etc.

    So I ask you that everytime you hear him say he is helping you do not think him good for it. He is only trying to repair the damage he did to begin with.

    Let me tell you all from a bird's eye view what this man has done….

    He found something that PPM did wrong and even them have admitted to doing it. He blew it up probably a whole lot bigger than it was, and this is evident by him not wanting to actually do the financials on those years. Why? Cause he wanted us to be in a PANIC STATE. I still don't get how you go from 5 million surplus in March to 81 million deficit in June and I am someone who is decent with numbers. Those numbers look tamperred with. Or should I say manipulated.

    In a PANIC STATE anything and everything looks good. He wanted us to be so scared of Cayman going under we would HAPPILY AND GLORIOUSLY accept anything he threw on the table ala Refinery, North Sound Dredging, East End Mega Quarry to name a few. Do you remember the million dollar residencies?


    For you people who are religious the bible speaks of false prophets and you need to sit back and ask yourself this simple question.

    "Is McKeeva Bush behaving in a christian and God fearing manner?" Or if you wish "Do you believe Jesus Christ would think what he is doing to be worthy of his home in heaven?" If you can not answer YES to these questions then you need to remove him from office because he is not looking after the good of the country and by being a false prophet he is the worst kind of person you want representing you.

    This is not about me and not even about you. This is about your Children and your Children's children. Think about them. Think about the country you want them to enjoy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: "the 1 vote I threw UDP way will never happen again" – I can say the same thing for Ellio. I voted for him in 2009 becoz i thought he could stand up to Mac and not be a "Yes" man, and I thought he would be good for Cayman in general. However, I have been proven soooo wrong, in my eyes he is now like Mr. Hyde instead of Dr. Jeckyll.


      Honestly i can tell you that I WILL NOT be voting for UDP (or any of their cronies/puppets) in the next election. XXXXX

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you we should never vote for anyone claimimg they are along with MacMadasse. Let us hope and pray there will be another election.

    • Anonymous says:

      Couldn't agree more.  The Bible says whatever is done under cover of darkness, comes to light eventually.  And those engaging in "dark deeds" while at the same time professing to be "Christian", and bringing reproach on God's good Name and are even more reprehensible to Him, than non-Christians who engage in such deeds, because they do not claim to have faith in God or to have a moral compass.   Rest assured, all you who do such things…. You will reap whatever you sow, as the Bible says.   It is just a matter of time.   And to all churches who remain silent and continue to keep the "nation building funds", shame on you for taking the taxpayers money in the manner it was given, and keeping it when it does not belong to you and should never have been given in the first place.   Return the money instantly.   Otherwise you too will face judgement day and I would love to hear your explanations, rationalization and accounting for your actions when you stand before Him. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Dem Bayers who give away their future for fridges, stoves, driveways and whatever else.  Shame on you.  Even expats act more patriotically than you do, because they are not selling out Cayman the way you do.


  59. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Swarbrick.  Please keep up the good work and please do not buckle to the intimidation tactics used by MacDinejad. We have seen too many good Auditor Generals get forced out. Stalwart men like Nick Treen and Dan Dougay were doing a great job and were forced out due to politics. A strong Auditor General like yourself is a defender of the public purse. We must root out this type of unethical and ignorant interference by clueless politicans who have no business sense. Keep up the pressure!

  60. Anonymous says:

    It is now 2 years and 3 months since Mac was coronated in his latest Rule over the people of the Cayman Islands. The people have been heavily crushed and the men have been castrated!  Ezzard, Arden and Aldin are now the only ones that seems like they can stand up. Mac is out of control and has the Government cheque book and if anyone crosses him he will not get a cheque.

    Where is Norman Bodden, Dick Arch, Berna Murhphy and Eldon Rankin? Are they forming a new party?

  61. SMH says:

    This just keeps getting better and better 🙁

    When will this madness stop!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      From what the world can see when Caymanians stop trying to lead themselves.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Hey Mac, were you saying something about saving the country money? Very well done indeed Mac, thank you very much indeed, that's one more $450,000.00 we no longer have to worry about. We hope ya trip up n pop ya mout. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, but unfortunately he would never "trip up n pop mout", actually "rooster would have to cut teeth" first before he admits he is ever wrong.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Bad enough on its own, but there are other issues on this one.

    The loan arrangers were clearly pleased to be given this deal, apart from lending a private jet, did they express their gratitude any other way?

    Were arrangement/introductory fees paid?

    If so to whom?

    The rules are there for a reason, ANY public official or politician must abide by them or be met with suspicion of at best incompetence (costing CI an unnecessary $450k) or much much worse!

    Your turn Your Excellency!

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      Hear Hear…..Wake up H.E. Duncan Taylor.  THIS is your job and you are failing to do it.  

      The FCO reports to William Hague and it is high time "We the People of Her Majesty's Cayman Islands" asked Mr. Hague to get rid of  H.E. Taylor for abandoning his duties to the Crown.

      Can no one stop Big Mac and his ego?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why should Taylor take the rap/be the scapegoat for Macs slackness?  C'mon now, whilst I agree its high time Mr Taylor did something to help us the only one who should be forced out is Mac.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can these private business people who lent their plane this way, be charged with "attempting to corrupt with gifts" and include any other private business interests or individual who encouraged a politician to go down a certain path that is not good for the country overall, but benefits them personally?  Is there a law that could be applied strongly to them and can their assets be seized?  Maybe next time they will think twice about attempting to corrupt?

  64. Anonymous says:

    I don't know how the AG can say such things.  It was a great deal.  MAC and Co. got the use of a private jet out of it didn't they?

  65. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Quoting the Peahead Premier, "I choose Substance over process". Process Wins!!!!!!!! What d#%$head.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely.  The process is in place to (hopefully) insure substance.  By circumventing the LAW, Mr Bush has broken the process and delivered NO substance.  That should be his motto:  No Substance!


  66. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see people are finally paying attention to what is going on. You often wonder WHILE all of these are going on is no one paying attention. If this is what they Caymanians Voted for I say don't let the Caymanians vote anymore. Only the Expats get to vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sir/Madam, you can vote in your own country and Caymanians cannot. Why do you feel that you are entitled to vote here also? As a Caymanian,  I am very concerned and ashamed of what I see occuring in the polital arena here but your request does not make logical sense. Other places like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Egypt, UK, USA  etc are experiencing very difficut times also but this does not entitle me to vote there. You are a guest of this island so please curtail your sense of entitlement. Thank you.

  67. Anonymous says:

    A fraction of the money p***ed away by McKeeva Bush could have been used to pay the salary of a colleague who was let go because government was "broke".  Government is not broke.  It is just f****d up thanks to Mr. Bush.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't you mean Cayman is not broke.  It is just f****d up thanks to Mr. Bush?

      • Anonymous says:

        Don't make the same mistake Mr Bush has made and believe that

        McKeeva Bush = Cayman.

        That simply is NOT the case.


  68. Anonymous says:

    The Minister of Finance is completely ignorant of modern and/or ethical financial practices.  His abysmal performance in this area has damaged lives and caused financial harm to the government of the Cayman Islands.  Now is the time, Mr Bush, to sit down and shut the hell up and leave these sorts of things up to those who know what they are doing.


    • Anonymous says:

      to 12:19

      Your posting is fartoo long, it should have stopped after the 7th. word……think about it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you think he takes so many trips overseas?  If he says in office long enough at any given time, it will become clear he doesn't actually know what he is doing, hence the chance to escape overseas whenever he can under the guise of seeking investors………Not one of those so-called overseas investors who have all these grand plans, have yet put their money where their mouth is.   Dismal failure in my book.

  69. You gotta be kidding! says:

    "According to Swarbrick's report McKeeva Bush claimed that he abandoned the tendering process for the financing because  as he believed he could save government money and to avoid what he said was a conflict of interest among one government official involved in the bids who's family member worked at one of the banks in the joint venture which had come out on top".

    Really, now! We are supposed to believe you entered into that deal to AVOID conflicts of interest? What role does the family member of the govt. official play? Probably not involved in any decision making. Considering that this admin is riddled with conflicts of interest this excuse is obviously hogwash.  They clearly have no ethics.

    It was perceived that the UDP were better financial managers than the PPM. According to the Compass report "financing arrangement costs for the long-term loan – had the Cayman Islands government actually chosen to go with Cohen – would have cost approximately $854,153 more when compared with the long-term deal offered by Royal Bank of Canada and FirstCaribbean".  Obviously they have now irredeemably lost that case. 

    • Puh-lease says:

      You've got to be kidding me… Big Mac said there was a conflict of interest with a government official's family member working at a local bank that was dealing with the bid?  That is soooo lame.  We cannot walk ten feet in our George Town Financial district without bumping into at least three Caymanian relatives.  What hogwash!!!  

      ONLY if a member of the Tenders Comittee was married to the Bank Loan Officer named in the proposal would I buy that lame excuse…..otherwise, smart business people simply recuse themselves from the process, but let the "Process" work it's course.

      Next he will tell us that a sign from God told him to give millions of dollars to local churches instead of the Department of Education, Food stamps, or ethical avenues to help the poor & needy.  

      This overinflated ego must go.  XXXX


      • anonymous says:

        ..what if the Financial Secretary was married to someone that works at one of the banks he recommended??…would that count for you?..maybe that is what Mac was talking about…not sure.


        Not saying that this is the case, just a hypothetical question….

        • Anonymous says:

          We know that this is complete BS given this govt's complete disregard of issues of conflicts of interest, but just to humour you, in your hypothetical case would the FS's wife have any decision- making responsibility with regard to this loan transaction? Was the Bank obtaining unfair advantage in making its bid? Did the Bank's bid in the end prove to be the best on offer?  

      • Dred says:

        You know what's funny….I mean really funny about that….

        Okay cause he has someone on the UDP who has a family member working somewhere in the bank. Now this could be anywhere meaning runner to teller to god knows what. Now he thinks this a CONFLICT of interest of such GREAT significance that he can not see himself to do that BUT…..BUT……BUT


        He could not see the conflict of interest in……

        1) Obtaining money for "ensuring that cabinet passed that changes"

        2) Taking a joy ride with some of his cronies on a private jet owned and operated by someone seeking his business….


        So…..passively obvious VS BITTERLY obvious……

        Now it is possible that no one would have known the wiser about the staff member especially considering it was RECOMMENDED by the CTC BUT ……BUT…..

        In each of the other two cases it was done behind everyone's back…..

        I would say this man baffles me but I am so thankful I can not grasp why he would think this waybecause it would mean I am slipping off the perferbial edge also….

        This man does not just need to be out of office he needs to go to a home for the mentally challenged.

      • Anonymous says:

        Next he will be telling us he is none other than God himself and has the right to distribute money as he pleases to whichever church he pleases.   By the way, wasn't it his family's real estate company that sent a bill to Thomas requesting payment re: a certain land rezoning?  Talk about conflict of interest….. Pot calling kettle black.    

        • Anonymous says:

          Err… conflict of interests would be the least of the concerns in that matter. If it were the only issue it would not be subject to a criminal investigation by the police. It is possible that the criminal offences of bribery or extortion were committed. BTW the real estate company is called Cambridge Real Estate while the company in the case of the rezoning demand is called Windsor Development Corporation. No application for rezoning was submitted by Windsor Development Corporation.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Didn't stop him from buying his cousins house in westbay for a jacked up price to make way for a non-existent dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      They blasted PPM for overspending and running up a deficit, in fact they wore out that line so much and held themselves up as so much more responsible.  Yet look at how much the Cohen deal has cost the country, not to mention other failed deals that will soon become legal claims in the near future based on what has been reported in the press lately.   How much will all these bad financial decisions end up costing the country in the long run.  FCO, remember you are ultimately liable if this country becomes bankrupt, so start governing properly, for our sakes, before this place goes down the toilet.