Archive for September 19th, 2011

Cops aim to keep gangs apart

| 19/09/2011 | 70 Comments

(CNS): Although the police commissioner will not be implementing a curfew in West Bay, he says the police are getting between the gangs in the district to prevent a further escalation of the gun violence witnessed over the previous five days. David Baines said that RCIPS officers on the ground are closing gang movement down in an effort to protect those they believe are targets, as well as to apprehend  those they suspect might be responsible for the murders. He said both targets and suspects had disappeared from the usual haunts in the last few days as a result of the police presence and the realisation that they are at risk from opposing gang members, creating challenges for the police. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Speaking to the press on Monday afternoon following a high level meeting with government officials chaired by the governor, Baines gave an outline of what the police were doing to stop the violence. He explained that he had considered the possibility of a curfew or specific cordons in the West Bay area but he had not yet identified the right location.

“We are trying to constrain the criminality but still allow normal society to continue,” he said as he explained that in order for curfews to support the action taken by the police they had to be in the right place, where the gang members were. He explained that because the police have gone out looking for the people associated and involved in the gangs in their traditional locations, they have disappeared.

“We could be activating a cordon or curfew in an area but the offenders aren’t there anymore,” he said, claiming there was clear indication that people had "got their heads down" and had moved away from their homes base, where they would expect to be by the opposing gang members.  “I am unable to identify or request an area for specific cordon or curfew that could complement the police operation at this time,” Baines stated. “If that changes then I will ask the governor.”

He added that a curfew should not be imposed based on the number of killings but on knowledge of where the targets are and having an impact on the crime that is taking place. If he felt it would benefit the situation, the commissioner said he had the support of the governor and he would ask him. The governor, who called the briefing, also told the press that he would sign the necessary order at the commissioner’s request.

Updating the press on the situation in the West Bay district following the three fatal shootings, the commissioner said three arrests had been made in connection with the enquiries and forensic material had been gathered. He said two of the men remained in custody the other was released.

Baines also revealed that there were a considerable number of offenders involved in the crimes and that there were at least two gunmen with different weapons at each of the murders and in one there may have been a third. Furthermore, the police believe there were spotters involved in assisting the shooters. The commissioner said that there were at least three different types of weapon involved, including a shotgun, a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol.

He did not specify what had triggered the resurgence of the tit-for-tat gang violence but said it only needed “two or three toxic individuals who are able to take the traditional venom that exists between the gangs to push it over the level and we are now seeing this type of violence that’s escalated to a level we’ve never seen before. It is a challenge for us.”

He said the officers working in the West Bay district had a clear picture of who is involved and what they need to do to get in between and in “the face of” the gang members through various approaches. Police were looking at both those they thought were being targeted or at risk of getting shot and looking at those they think are responsible for the shootings and to stop  them.

“Three deaths in five days is quite rightly alarming for anybody. Our issues is to make all of our efforts to put a block on and to stop further retaliation between each of those groups. In some respects that has worked because we got in the main area between the Logswood crew and the Birch Tree Hill gang,” Baines added. He explained, however, that as the police push down and increase their presence to prevent the continued conflict, the offenders are going further afield and “picking some of the more distant feuds to target individuals.”

Following the surge in rumours of further killings on Sunday, police have looked at all the names given to them of gang members, and while there were no more shootings, Baines said it indicated the level of concern and threat. “What is apparent is that some of those names that were circulated are active and are associated with gangs and people are putting two and two together,” the commissioner told the press.  “Our challenge is to ensure that doesn’t become a reality, so we are engaging those people and using every aspect of the law to prevent them from being involved in further activity.”

Baines emphasised that his role now was to make sure there were enough investigative detectives working on the murder cases and at the same time deploying  proactive officers to prevent a further escalation.

The commissioner also noted that he had started recruiting for fifty posts that he can now fill as a result of the reinstatement of the police budget, which was cut over the last two years. He said if there were suitable candidates on island, they could be recruited quickly, but he said it would take time to recruit from overseas. He said he was looking for 20 firearms officers, more surveillance experts and he was also keen to recruit a forensic manager to help ensure "evidential opportunities” were maximised, he added.

When it came to the request by the politicians for a SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics)  team, he said he understood the concept of a crack task force but explained there was no such thing as a single officer that kicked in doors, gathered forensic evidence and specialised in surveillance. There were a number of different skill sets required, he noted.

Baines explained that the RCIPS would be introducing a public order capability armed with larger batons and Tasers that would be able to close down areas where additional criminality was occurring and control the ground to stop criminals moving around, especially in areas where the community protects them and see the police as an intrusion rather a support.

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Mac: Crime in officials’ hands

| 19/09/2011 | 87 Comments

(CNS): The premier has once again emphasised that the elected government has no control over police operational matters in the wake of three fatal shootings in his constituency of West Bay. In an address to the country after the gang related murders McKeeva Bush said that government had done all it can, despite being “willing to do even more” to address the issue of crime. He pointed out that the elected officials had made serious demands in a political motion about crime to the governor and the police commissioner and had voted another $4.5 milllion in the budget. “This growing trend of violence in our country has been recognizable for many years," Bush stated.

"I have had many concerns, concerns which I have made known to all of the commissioners of police, including the current commissioner. I have voiced the importance of forcefully addressing the severity of this issue from long before my inception to office in 2009 and in these years leading up to the senseless executions which we are witnessing today,” he said in a national address broadcast on Radio Cayman Monday lunchtime.

He reiterated, however, that the present constitution restricts the elected government and, by extension, the “people of these Islands from getting involved with the operational matters of policing and security.” Bush stated that recent comments by the governor, duncan Taylor, that when it comes to “matters of crime and security that the buck stops with him,” were accurate.

The premier added that since taking office, his government had given the governor and Police Commissioner David Baines all of the financial, legislative, political and moral support possible to aid in this fight against crime.

Bush reminded the people that he had recently tabled a motion dealing specifically with crime and had made demands on Duncan Taylor and Baines.

"The governor and the commissioner, having agreed to the terms of the motion, were given an additional $4.6 million in financial support. Whilst we are empathetic and understand that they need time to implement the agreed upon strategy, I wish to state publicly, again, to the governor and to the commissioner of police, that we as a government have done all we can do and still stand willing to do even more, and that today we continue to make our voice publicly heard on the matter,” the premier added.

He called on them both to use every instrument available to fulfil their constitutional obligation. "In a meeting today with the commissioner and the governor we voiced our position strongly that enough is enough; we need action and we need action now," Bush stated, adding that the commissioner had assured government members that over the days to come “we will all see a stepped up police presence.”

Offering his condolences to the families affected by the killings in his own district, where he has been the representative for some twenty-five years, Bush pleaded with people to come forward with information and help stop the violence. He also said he would be meeting with pastors and concerned citizens tomorrow. Bush explained that a community group would also meet with parents and individuals involved in gangs and affected by them “to find out what can be done to stop this senseless slaughter.”

On Saturday night a third young man was killed in the district of West Bay. A recent high school graduate at only 18 years age, Preston Rivers was gunned down outside a house in Andreson Road by two masked gunmen.

This shooting came on the heels of the murder of Andrew Baptise (24) on Thursday in Sand Hole Road and before him the killing of Robert Bush (28) on Tuesday while he sat in his car at the junction of Birth Tree Hill Road and Capts Joe and Osbert Road. A young woman was also injured by a bullet during that incident.

The governor announced yesterday that he would be hosting a high level meeting Monday morning with officials involved in law and order and would be making a further public statement this afternoon.

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Cops arrest fugitive in connection with gun

| 19/09/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A 26 year old man who escaped police on Saturday has now been taken in to custody on suspicion of having a gun. The RCIPS said they hadarrested the man on Monday morning on Suspicion of Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm in George Town following a manhunt which took place on Saturday afternoon (17 September) along section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway Bypass. Police had closed the road to facilitate a search for the wanted man who they explained was wanted in connection with an incident in Bodden Road last week. 

Officers explained that the suspect was not wanted in connection with the recent murders in West Bay but is believed to be the man who fled the scene when police arrived in Bodden Road after a report from a member of the public.

Police from the uniform support group had recovered a semi-automatic weapon on 9 September in the afternoon after responding to a report made by a member of the public. When police arrived the suspected discarded the weapon and fled the scene.

On Saturday afternoon the police pulled over the suspect on the bypass but he reportedly fled from the officers into the bush area near the Island Heritage roundabout.  Despite a man hunt in which the police helicopter was deployed the no arrest was made at that time.

Anyone with information about gun crime in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Confidential Stoppers Number 800-8477 (TIPS)

 

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Law pavesway for equality

| 19/09/2011 | 73 Comments

(CNS): Government has made an important step towards creating a level playing field in the workplace for men and women with the passage last week of the Gender Equality law. Mike Adam, the minister for gender issues, explained that the goal is to eliminate sex and gender discrimination in employment, training and recruitment, as well as promote equal pay. He said the bill will protect against discrimination in other areas, such as access to goods and services, as well as discrimination in job adverts, forms and interviews. Sexual harassment is also addressed in the law, protecting men and women from unwanted sexual advances in the work place.

As well as being an important step in preparation for the implementation of the bill of rights next year, it will also help Cayman in its goal to have the United Kingdom extend the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to the islands. The law, which was passed with cross bench support in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, will come into effect in January next year, giving government time to begin an education campaign.

Adam said government was committed to taking equality beyond fair wages to ensure women in Cayman were offered equal opportunities in every aspect of life.

He said the bill would improve the quality of life for women, who often are the main victims of discrimination because of their sex, gender, pregnancy or marital status, but the provisions within the law would also be applicable to men who experience discrimination.

Adam pointed out that people often assume that because Cayman is a modern society there are few problems of gender discrimination at work, but he said this was not true.

“When we dig deeper and actually look at the statistics that are available to us, it becomes glaringly obvious that men and women in the Cayman Islands are not afforded equal opportunities, nor are they on a level playing-field when it comes to income and other areas,” he said.

He pointed out that in the 2009 Labour Force Survey men made up 50.5% of the labour force and females 49.5%, showing near equal participation but that equality didn’t translate to income.

“Females make up the majority of the two lowest salary brackets in this survey. 83.3% of persons making less than $800 per month were women and 63.5% of those making less than $1,600 a month were also women. Being confined to the poorest of the poor is extremely challenging, especially for women who often times are the sole bread winner of their families and do not receive any or adequate financial assistance from the father of their children,” Adam told his legislative colleagues.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, men comprised 65.5% of those making $7,200 or more a month. “Not only are women under-represented at the highest salary brackets in our country, but they are also, more often than not, paid less than men for doing the exact same work,” he added. Information obtained from the 2005 Occupational Wage Survey that was conducted by the Department of Employment Relations depicts high levels of gender discrimination when comparing the monthly salaries of men and women performing the same occupation.

“The provisions in this bill will no doubt be an opportunity for women and men to seek redress of discriminatory practices,” he added.

The law is the final product of many years of work, Adam said, which began in 2004 when government told the FCO it wanted CEDAW to be extended to Cayman. The UK said government would need to prepare local enabling legislation before that could happen and legislative research and development began in 2007.

Although the law is far reaching and ensures protection for all, there are certain exemptions in sensitive areas such as in hospitals, prisons or other establishments where a person requires special care or supervision to be done by a person of a particular sex.

Other than the special exemptions, once the law is in place it will be an offences to discriminate against anyone as a result of their gender at work and a Gender Equality Tribunal will hear discrimination complaints. Its five members will be appointed by Cabinet including a chairperson who is an attorney-at-law of at least 10 years standing. Once a claim is substantiated the tribunal will notify in writing the complainant and the person against whom the complaint was made of its findings and issue directions requiring the person to stop the discrimination or pay compensation of up to $20,000. A person who fails to comply with a direction of the tribunal commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000).

Adam told the House he believed that striving towards gender equality in the Cayman Islands was the right direction. “While there will definitely be a shift in the way that wethink and do business as managers and companies, I believe that the rewards that we will get by trying to ensure an equal future for our daughters and sons is worth every ounce of complication that we may encounter on this learning curve,” he said, adding that there is nothing complicated or wrong in supporting gender equality.

See law here and amendments below

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Manderson to step into deputy’s shoes

| 19/09/2011 | 16 Comments

(CNS): When the current deputy governor retires in January next year, Donovan Ebanks, the first person to hold the post created in the 2009 constitution, will be replaced by his colleague and former head of immigration, Franz Manderson. Having served some three decades in the civil service, Manderson became chief officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs in 2009. He has already stood in for Ebanks on a number of occasions and was viewed as ‘heir apparent'. The governor said Manderson had been selected via an open recruitment process but William Hague, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, approved the appointment.

Governor Duncan Taylor chaired a recruitment panel, which included Colin Ross, the chair of the Civil Service Appeals Commission and former deputy head of the civil service, as well as Dan Scott, regional managing partner of Ernst and Young and the Judicial and Legal Services Commission chair, who were unanimous in recommending Manderson for the position.

As deputy governor of the Cayman Islands, Manderson will also become the head of the civil service, and the governor said the public sector was lucky to have someone as capable and as widely respected as Manderson to take over the most senior post.

Manderson began his public service career in the immigration department as a clerical oOfficer in 1981.  He progressed quickly through the ranks and within ten years was promoted to assistant chief immigration officer.  After four years in that position Manderson was promoted to deputy chief immigration officer, a position he held for eight years.  During this time he also completed a law degree at the Cayman Islands Law School and took a year out of government to do his articles with Walkers, after which he was called to the Caymanian Bar.

In 2003 Manderson became the chief immigration officer, a post he held for five years before he was appointed as the chief officer for the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs in 2009.

The governor said that during his time in the job, Manderson has improved the strategic effectiveness of the portfolio and has overseen the introduction of key pieces of crime-reduction legislation, including the Alternative Sentencing Law, the Police Law and the Information and Communications Technology Authority Regulations.  He has also led a number of initiatives aimed at promoting security, including the National CCTV Programme.

“I am delighted that we have a person of Mr Manderson’s calibre to be the next deputy governor,” Governor Taylor said. “In my year and a half in the Cayman Islands I have learnt that Mr Manderson is a widely respected individual both within and outside the civil service.  His skills, experience and personality will be invaluable as he leads the civil service through challenging times.  I am confident that Mr Manderson has the ability to provide the high quality leadership the civil service needs in the years ahead.”

The governor also acknowledged what he said was the sterling work of Donovan Ebanks as chief secretary and deputy governor, and the significant changes he had brought about in the culture of the civil service.

“I would like to take this opportunity to put on the record my thanks to Mr Ebanks for the support and advice he has given me in my first 18 months as governor.  I look forward to continuing to work with him until his retirement in January,” he added.

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Cayman gets clean bill of health for Cholera watch

| 19/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) Disaster Response Team visiting Cayman has found local cholera-preparedness to be “very good”. Dr Robert Lee, who led the three-member delegation, told the health minister that the islands surveillance system was unique in the region and could offer no suggestions for improvement. “The Cayman surveillance system is unique in the Americas…I can’t think of any way to improve it,” the PAHO doctor said to  Mark Scotland during a visit sponsored by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), to assist overseas territories in their readiness for a cholera threat.

“The Cayman Islands has a low probability of the introduction and a relatively low probability of transmission of cholera,” said Dr. Lee.  “It’s good to see confirmation that your systems are well-developed. In the event of a few cases, your hospital can manage them, as it is designed with great flexibility – which is also unique in the region.”

The team’s current assignment is in this region following the cholera outbreak in Haiti which has resulted in over 400,000 cases and many deaths. While cases are now declining there, neighbouring Dominican Republic recently saw a spike in cholera following the summer rains.

Cholera is primarily contracted by consuming contaminated drinking water or food, with the main symptoms being profuse watery diarrhoea and vomiting.

The visitors toured the Cayman Islands Hospital, examined plans involving other agencies, and met with senior officials and Health Services Authority (HSA) staff members, including the Cholera Response Team. The Cholera case management training was conducted for about 45 members of a multidisciplinary team. They confirmed that a good monitoring system is in place, and that there is close collaboration with the Cayman Water Authority and the Department of Environmental Health.

Happy with the “validation that Cayman’s medical personnel are very motivated, trained, and familiar with dealing with such an emergency”, Dr. Marodon cautioned that management of water supplies and waste-water are key considerations in this disease. The visitors offered advice on assessing the risks posed to residents with poor water supply, discharge and sanitation; as well as the need for closer monitoring of ground-water tables – where bacterial contamination can occur.

Scotland thanked the scientists for lending their expertise and applauded the continued work of local health-service professionals and related stakeholders.

The visit of the team, including Dr. Frederique Marodon and Yvan Grayel of the DFID, was facilitated by Cayman’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar. In conclusion, they shared their findings with the Health Minister, as well as Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn.

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IRS rakes in billions $$ from offshore accounts

| 19/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(Bloomberg): The Internal Revenue Service has taken in a total of $2.7billion from holders of offshore bank accounts, the agency said as it announced that 12,000 taxpayers responded to the second round of a partial amnesty program. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman the agency’s emphasis on international tax enforcement prompted more people than anticipated to accept penalties and reveal their accounts. “The results we’re seeing today were unthinkable just a few short years ago,” he said on a conference call with reporters. “The world has clearly changed.” The results mark the continuation of the IRS’s beefed-up enforcement efforts, which include the voluntary programs as well as prosecutions with the Department of Justice.

“You’d have to be living in a hole not to know that the U.S. government is really focused on offshore tax evasion, getting better at it,” Shulman said.

He declined to comment on U.S. efforts to obtain account information from Swiss banks, other than to confirm that the U.S. and Swiss governments are discussing the issue.
 

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Government makes audit deadline for first time

| 19/09/2011 | 9 Comments

(CNS): For the first time since it was introduced around eight years ago, government’s financial bosses have complied with the Public Management and Finance Law by meeting the deadline for audit. Never before have all the top accounts working in the civil service managed to give the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) the information it needs to complete government audits by the 31 August deadline set out in the law. Alastair Swarbrick, the auditor general, said Monday morning that every portfolio and ministry as well as all government companies and statutory authorities had submitted financial documents on time. The auditor general revealed that only eight public authorities had not supplied enough information for an audit.

He said all twelve ministries, portfolios and offices as well as the twenty-six statutory authorities and government companies submitted draft financial statements and supporting documentation on or before the 31 August  deadline for this year.

“I am pleased to see the efforts by the government and the progress it has made to provide timely financial reporting. This is an important step towards achieving the ultimate goal of providing the Legislative Assembly and the people of the Cayman Islands with full accountability for the receipt and use of public funds,” Swarbrick said.

He explained that since the information came in, which in most cases was very close to the deadline, the audit staff have been assessing the quality of the submissions to determine if there is sufficient information to commence their audit work. Swarbrick said that all 12 ministries and portfolios and 18 out of the 26 statutory authorities and government companies had provided enough and those that had not have been asked to resubmit their financial reporting packages.

“While there are a few submissions that require more work, my office can now begin the audit work necessary to report on the fairness of those financial statements that met the initial reporting requirements,” the auditor general said. “The next challenge will be for my office to audit the statements in as timely a fashion as possible.”

Given the efforts of the office to audit the remaining backlog of financial statements, the availability of resources, and the timing of the government’s submissions and efforts to meet this year’s reporting deadline, he said the audits won’t be completed until early in 2012.

Government also wants to produce its firstever consolidated accounts by the 31 October deadline for audit, which Swarbrick said would be another first as the audit office has never been given consolidated accounts from the government.

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Rollover reprieve receives tepid response

| 19/09/2011 | 9 Comments

(CNS): The temporary suspension of the controversial seven year term limit for foreign workers, known locally as ‘rollover’, has received a cautious welcome by the financial services industry but the sector is still looking for more far-reaching steps by the government to ensure economic growth. The former outspoken chair of Cayman Finance, Anthony Travers, who has railed against the policy for some time, said it was a step in the right direction, but given the substantial damage he believes it has caused, there has to be much more than a temporary halt to address the problems of uncertainty in the minds of the professionals who come to work in the jurisdiction.

“The announcement that the rollover is to be suspended is certainly a step in the right direction but it would be premature at this stage to come to any conclusion about the effect of the suspension given that the study has not yet been undertaken,” Travers said last week in wake of the news.  He added that the move makes certain points clear, in that there must now be some recognition at the political level of the substantial damage done both to the local economy and the financial services industry by the imposition of the rollover policy.

“Suspension of the rollover of itself without more will do nothing to redress the uncertainty as to the tenure in the minds of the sort of financial professionals that the Cayman Islands must now attract,” he noted, pointing out that very clear new legislative procedures will be required before confidence in Cayman can be re-established.

Travers believes there is widespread ignorance of the importance of this issue to the overall economy of the Cayman Islands, to job opportunities for Caymanians, to government and private sector revenues and to the future development of a financial services industry, which, he said, has been seriously impaired by the current policy.

He hoped that these issues would be dealt with by those charged with the responsibility of undertaking the review but says, given the entrenched nature of the misconceptions, it would be prudent to defer for the time being any overly optimistic assessment as to a positive outcome. “Better late than never and hopefully not too late,” he stated.

Butterfield Managing Director Conor O’Dea believes the rollover suspension news is positive, but stated that the longterm solution is more important.

“Some individuals and businesses will benefit over the next two years I assume, depending on how the suspension is implemented, but we need long term certainty for all businesses operating in the Cayman economy so they can plan the long term future resourcing for their business. I view the rollover suspension as a short-term 'economic stimulant' which can only help all Caymanians and expatriates alike ultimately,” he said.
CEO of recruitment firm CML, Steve McIntosh, says suspending the rollover is obviously going to make a lot of people that would otherwise have been forced to leave very happy.

“Many employers will also be very happy to be keeping a staff-member they were already looking to replace,” he added, but said the move is far from a panacea that will restore the island to economic growth. 

“Rollover was unpopular because it caused employers to lose good people and boosted competing jurisdictions that benefited from an exodus of experienced professionals.  That damage cannot be undone,” he stated, noting that in recent years the policy scarcely had any operational impact on most financial services firms, as senior employees were exempted and junior employees easily replaced.

Some in the financial services sector are more upbeat, however. Don Seymour, Managing Director with dms Management Ltd, says the rollover policy had been poorly implemented and the results had been disastrous for the Cayman Islands economy. 

“This is a sound decision that will be enthusiastically welcomed by employers and employees alike.  It should give businesses more confidence and help create jobs.  Policies that penalise employers ultimately fail – you can’t distinguish between the two – what is good for the employer is good for the employee,” Seymour told CNS.

Chamber of Commerce President James O’Neill says that the organisation had expressed concern about the term limit and work permit policies for some time and that immigration reform is among the many action items in the Chamber’s ‘Future of Cayman’ strategic report. “Any sensible proposal that can help to stimulate the economy should be considered at this time,” he said.

The chamber is one of a number of bodies that the premier said would be involved in the review of the policy when he announced the two year suspension of the policy in the Legislative Assembly last week. Also included in the review will be the body which represents the country’s offshore industry. Richard Coles, the current chair of Cayman Finance, said the intention sounded reasonable and it made “good economic sense” to allow those who were facing rollover to apply for another permit in the mean time.

Coles added that while there are firms in the financial services industry who believe that the policy has increased the cost of recruitment and training, among other issues, the idea of assessing the impact first is the right approach. 

“This will allow the government to objectively assess how the policy would be amended or whether it should indeed be removed,” he added.

Although there are many who would disagree, and complain of a glass ceiling in the sector for local professionals, the chair said the financial services industry was “extremely supportive of the recruitment and training of Caymanians”, which he said was reflected in the number of Caymanians in senior positions.  “Improvements can and should always be made, but I feel that there are many firms in the industry that can be considered role models in that regard,” added Coles.

McKeeva Bush made the surprise announcement in the Legislative Assembly Thursday evening that he would be recommending a temporary suspension of the rollover to Cabinet on Tuesday, which would begin as soon as an amendment could be made to the current immigration law. He said a review would then commence, lasting six months, to find out what impact rollover has had and what could replace the policy, which will allow government to balance the needs of the business community with the sensitivities of the local people and in particular the voting population.

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Customers get to keep numbers in New Year

| 19/09/2011 | 9 Comments

CNS): Local telecoms operator LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless) says that it will be introducing number portability in the New Year. Having signed an agreement with PortingXS to provide the Local Number Portability (LNP) database services, the firm says these means local telephone numbers can move from one network to another. LNP allows customers to change their mobile or fixed line provider whilst retaining their existing number saving them the costly problem of notifying friends, family and business contacts of new numbers or reprinting promotional and contact material. 

Tony Ritch General Manager, Cayman Islands said LIME had taken the lead of the initiative and the goal is to make the 31st of January 2012 the date that LNP will roll out across the Cayman Islands allowing peopleto choose their telephone provider without losing their number.

“Of course, LNP willonly work if all other providers are also ready with us,” Ritch said. “This is a first in the English speaking Caribbean, many countries across the globe already enjoy the benefits that LNP brings and we are looking forward to launching this exciting initiative here.”

 

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