Mac signs FCO fiscal rules

| 23/11/2011

bush signs uk2_0.jpg(CNS): McKeeva Bush signed on the dotted line on Wednesday, committing the Cayman Islands to a fiscally prudent and transparent future, during his visit to the UK for the annual  Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC). The Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories and the Cayman Islands premier, who is also the finance minister, signed a Framework for Fiscal Responsibility for the Cayman Islands. The agreement ties this and future governments to stringent new rules regarding public spending and borrowing and greater transparency on all public sector operations.

UK minister Henry Bellingham said the agreement demonstrates the commitment of the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) to “prudent and transparent fiscal management through effective medium-term planning and putting value for money considerations at the heart of CIG decision making.”  It also includes a commitment to effective risk management and delivering improved accountability in the public sector.

OTmeet nov11 (500x474).jpg“The agreement of a Framework for Fiscal Responsibility with the Cayman Islands Government is a strong example of the UK Government’s strategy towards the Overseas Territories in action,” said Bellingham after he and Bush signed the agreemen ahead of the OTCC opening (right).

“The strategy aims to help territories strengthen public financial management and economic planning and this Framework is a clear sign of the Cayman Island Government’s commitment to those goals. I am sure this development, and returning the public finances of the Caymans Islands to a sustainable footing, will be welcomed in the Cayman Islands and internationally.”

The document sets out a range of measures to strengthen public financial management that will eventually be reflected in a revision of the Cayman Islands Public Management and Finance Law, which the deal calls to be implemented by July 2012.

The UK has agreed that Cayman will not be able to comply with the limits on public borrowing specified in the framework at present but it expects the local government to achieve the full compliance by the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Although the text of the agreement that has been signed by Bush has not been published, the final draft is understood to be close to the document published recently and posted below.

The stringent measures in the document will not only prevent government from borrowing any more money for capital projects, it also places conditions or public-private partnerships, such as the proposed cruise port development with CHEC and the ForCayman Alliance with Dart, which involve public assets.

Category: Politics

Comments (34)

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  1. The Lone Haranguer says:

    Like I said, Hail Brittania !

  2. Anonymous says:

    We can enact as many Laws (such as the PMF Law) and sign as many Agreements (such as this Framework Agreement) as we like. But until there is a major change in the attitude  towards these Laws and Agreements by those whose job it is to implement them, we are whistling "Dixie".

    There is a major piece missing in the jigsaw puzzle to make this work properly. That is accountability and sanctions up and down the chain of command in the public sector. In the private sector, the matter is pretty simple: "perform or you are fired". Until this principle is applied across the board in the public sector, little will change.

    Ironically, perhaps, we can fire the non performing politicians every four years. But it is not so easy with non performers in the civil service. The chain of command for the civil service runs up to the Deputy Governor (and ultimately to the Governor and the FCO in London). So these public officials should think long and hard about what they should be doing to implement a meaningful performance regime for civil servants. Well performing civil servants should welcome it; and it is time that the expensive non performers went.

    Tim Ridley

    • Anonymous says:

      Who will decide who are the non-performers though?  Alas, non-performers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am the poster at Wed 17:36. You say these things much better than I Mr Ridley. Thank you.Under General Orders, it was virtually impossible to fire a Caymanian civil servant (no problem with getting rid of foreigners) The Public Service Management Law does actually allow ANY civil servant to be fired for poor or non performance and it has happened. But, quite rightly, it requires the desire to do so (which many shy away from) and the following of clearly set down due process procedures. The main culprits in our civil service woes, however, the Chief Officers, and some Heads of Department are never fired because this requires the Deputy Governor or Governor to do it and this causes much beating of the chest and 'getting rid of Caymanians/foreigners taking over" stuff which then gets the politicians involved and so on and so on. Of course if you are a junior civil servant and you are fired (99% of the time by a Caymanian boss) the politicians dont give a rat's ass.

  3. Truth says:

    Alright!  Great news!  The UK has stepped in and forced Caymanian leadership to sign an agreement that if followed will allow them to NOT spend the Cayman islands into insolvency. Now watch as they (Caymans leaders) spend all there time and a lot of money trying to get around this.  And of course we all must now listen to all the many Cry babies telling everyone how terrible it is for them that responsibility is being forced apon them.

  4. Bushwacker says:

    Lyrics to Caymanian People Get Ready :

     

    Caymanian People get ready, there is a train a comin’

    Picking up passengers from their UK post

    They’ll come with pieces of paper, say’n it’s gonna save their own

    They’ll need no work permit, they’ll just get on board

     All they need is a UK passport to hear the diesels hummin’

    They don’t need a ticket or Visa they’ll just thank McKeeva

     

    Caymanian People get ready, there is a train to Oblivion

    Faith is no longer key, they say you betta open the doors and get on board

    There’s no hope for all among those who love Cayman the most

    There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner whom would hurt all UK kind

    Just to save his own

    Should we have pity on those whose chances grow thinner

    For there is no hiding place from the UK’s throne

     

    Caymanian People get ready, there is a train a comin’

    Picking up passengers from their UK post

    They’ll come with pieces of paper, say’n it’s gonna save their own

    They’ll need no work permit, they’ll just get on board

     All they need is a UK passport to hear the diesels hummin’

    They don’t need a ticket or Visa they’ll just thank McKeeva

  5. The Tax Man Cometh says:

    One day both UDP and PPM (and indeed the Cayman Islands) will wake up to find that the FCO slipped one on us while we remain divisive in ourlittle tribes.

    This will completely bind this government and the next as well. Shortsighted political scoring has allowed the PPM and members opposing this government to let the FCO open the door for direct taxation and more importantly increase our COST (more accountants in the FS office) of reporting to them every month.

    Simply ridiculous.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      In my humble opinion, it was a good move by the UK, as it is clear our home-grown politicians can't even buy a clue as to how to properly govern, and our own people keep electing them over and over again.  That, my friend, is what caused this to happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally rather Mother watching our purse strings, rather than what was being done before.  The previous handling of the purse strings, by both parties, is what got us into this mess, and I for one am glad that this will now change.

  6. Anonymous and certainly says:

    And who says the Governor is not doing his job?

    I bet it went something like this:

    Henry, Duncan here. How are you doing old chap?

    Duncan: Henry I think we need to reign these fools in before they do some real damage and we we have another mess on our hands like that other spot. Turks and Caicos, was it?

    Duncan: No I think it is better coming from you, better for me to remain "undercover" here, so to speak. You be the bad guy! I will keep on ferreting around for more dirt on the top dog. I think I am getting close to something, the sucker does not know what is going to hit him!

    Henry: Righty'o old boy, consider it done, and for good measure let's make him come over here for a little chat. Just so that we can give him a little reminder as to who is actually running the show. Poor sap thinks he is running a big old country, meanwhile it is more like a little municipality, hahaha What a joke, they couldn't organise a p**s up in a brewery! hahaha Ok, my old mate you keep on digging, enjoy your time on the beach you lucky sod!

    Duncan: Thanks mate! Maybe you should come out for a little meeting (holiday) We just have to keep a lookout for those pesky reporters. They have a habit of catching us swimming or with a g&t in the hand, a tad awkward to say the least. You should have seen the fuss they made when the lads from police were out here! They called them the "snorkelling squad" or something! hahaha Thanks again for sorting this out for me, Bye for now…………… to be continued!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Doesnt come in until 2015/16?

    Spend Spend as usual until then Big Mac, woo hoo! By the time the job cuts become inevitable it's someone elses problem

  8. B. L. Ingham says:

     

    Not so tough now that you're on “my home ground” are you?

    What was that you said? The UK “should not ride us like a donkey”? Sign here please.

    Oh, and you were quite right about one thing. “Me and you need to talk.”

    Now do be a good little fellow and go straight home. No stopping off in Nassau on the way.

  9. N.S. says:

    Mr. Premier, keep up the good work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    thank you uk!

  11. Ubelievedat says:

    handcuffed at last!!!…………on the spending but what about the investigation ???

  12. Bean Eater (don't sue me) says:

    This part gets me:

    “For projects with a lifetime value above CI$5m and for those where the use of Pubic Private Partnerships (PPPs) or any other form of alternative financing is being considered, the Cayman Islands Government will also retain independent accounting, legal, financial, economic, environmental and other technical advice as appropriate to ensure robust investment appraisals are produced.”

    What thisreally means is that all of Mac’s hair-brained ideas will get rejected, but the lawyers and accountants hired to tell him that will do quite well until the CIG declares itself insolvent.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We had a chance to do all this without the UK being involved if we had followed the precepts of the Public Management and Finance Law but the civil servants (especially some very senior ones) bitched about how much work it took accounting for money spent and reporting on it so now the British have stepped in and told us to do it anyway. And did any of these civil servants face any consequences? Of course not. In fact at least one was allowed to work on after retirement and double dipped at the trough and the others are still there doing nothing because they took all the teeth out of the Law.

  14. gilluds money says:

    Well all, you cronies and political parasites please get your bagage and head to the door  no more freebees and handouts for you ya bunch of vultures. Oh dear what is going to happen to poor old little bo peep living large in Las vegas the dollas na run $$$$ now

  15. Dred says:

    What we do not welcome Mr. Bellingham is TAXES which you want us to employ so badly so as to destroy our financial sector and then shortly thereafter the Cayman Islands.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Let's be realistic here.  You are paying taxes already.  Whether directly or indirectly.  Do you realize the cost of living?  The cost of basic services and commodities?  Trust me, you may not be "paying taxes", but you are most definately "paying taxes".  It's just all about the way things are worded that make you feel good about the situation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its also about the modality. Its politicaly harder to raise taxes on a gallon of milk than on a paycheck. – All those neferious people saving their money and not giving it to the Government you now.

    • Anonymous says:

      MB has always wanted to introduce taxes, now he has someone to blame for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Cayman was well run, Mr. Bellingham would not need to mention taxes.

    • Anon says:

      Really?  Did he said that?  or, Are you guessing like you always do?  Where is the article about taxing us?  I would love to share it with my colleagues and wheel clampers… really

      • The Tax Man Cometh says:

        Read the FFA document and tell me what you make of the line "realignment of the revenue base"??

        He said that…and Cayman signed it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mac can/will sign anything he wants because documents and promises don't matter toMac as he will do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and ignore any rules that preclude him from doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it.

    Read the book "Animal Farm". Check out Napoelon. If Napoleon isn't Mac's mentor then I must have misread it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ok McKeeva that also mean that the PPM Financials needs to be Audited, so that the people of these Islands can actually see the true picture of the accounts, before you took over this term. All we have been hearing is that the PPM put us in this position.  Show us the proof!  Thanks to the UK for stopping this runaway train.

    • anonymous says:

      HaHa…. Attorney General already said he cannot audit Chuckie's accounts because of poor record keeping…..has no idea what happened to the $70-80M missing in action there. hmmm.

      Be careful what you wish for, PPM !!!   Even if you were to win the next elections your hands will be tied in the same way- no more outrageous schools, unpaid roads and expensive buildings without proving you can pay for them.  UK stopped that as well with this one clever move.

      FCO-1, Cayman-0

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Er…the Attorney General is not in the business of audting anyone's books.

        Obviously you don't have to keep building govt. admin bldgs, roads and schools if you already have them. I think this is really more about preventing so-called public-private funding where the real beneficiaries are the cronies of the politicians doing the deal than preventing the building of essential infrastructure and not the people of the Cayman Islands.   

        I look at this as a win for Cayman.   

  18. Anonymous says:

    I don't want to seem disrespectful but do you think the Premier actually read this before he signed?

    Most of it seems unattainable unless you drastically reduce public spending, slash the numbers of useless public servants on the payroll and stamp out corruption in government.

    • Anonymous says:

      He may well have read it but did he understand it?

      • Bean Eater (don't sue me) says:

        Those first 6 words presume a lot (i.e. ability). On the other hand, most of it was written for readers at a grade 6 comprehension level, so if he tried… Naaaa he didn’t try. It was just more bureacratic harassment.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A very sad day for the Cayman Islands under the leadership of anyone but McKeeva.  This young professional Caymanian is definitely not going to get involved in politics if this is what it means.  I have no objection to there needing to be a business case for everything CIG does, that is basic, but having to type one up every time for some toffee-nose in London to approve is the height of indignity.  

     

    Let this be McKeeva's last scar.  Please, fellow Caymanians.  If you voted for him, you should hang your heads in shame tonight.  You should go without dinner.  

    • Anonymous says:

      you sound young and partisan, but you don't sound professional at all. sorry