McField on ministry payroll

| 25/11/2011

_DWJ6412-2.jpg(CNS): A freedom of information request has revealed that local attorney Steve McField has been contracted by the premier’s ministry as a legal consultant to research a range of policy matters, from legal aid to national honours. According to the “scope of services” in the contract, McField is required to review and advise on government business, undertake legal research, assist with the development of a “country strategy” and nation building, as well as interpret opinions,case laws and other documents, advising the premier on appropriate action. McField is being paid CI$7,000 per month and the ministry confirmed that up to September he had received a total of $77,000 from the public purse.

The first contract for this consultancy position of “Senior Analyst, Legal Research and Development” was for a period of seven months and was signed on 1 November 2010. A second was then signed in June this year for a further seven month period ending 31 December 2011, the FOI request, which was made by a CNS reader, revealed.

The contract states: “The consultant is engaged in the business of conducting research and advise on legal issues and will provide advice on policy development, institutional development and historical development and has considerable skill, knowledge and experience in those said fields.”

The list of services in the first schedule on the contract is wide ranging and indicates that McField is being employed as an advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development, as well as to the office of the premier, and that he takes his instructions from and reports directly to the minister.

The schedule lists nine services with subcategories that require McField to “advise and research policy development, institutional development and historical development,” among other issues.

The requirements go well beyond the legal aid research that McField was originally assisting government with, when the premier removed the budget from the courts during his first year in office with the view to opening a public defender’s office. Since then, that funding has been returned to the chief justice and the legal aid programme is still being managed by judicial administration after the proposal for the office, which McField was earmarked to head up, was dropped in the wake of the review committee’s findings.

The contract still includes a requirement for McField to examine the reform of the legal aid system but it also contracts the local attorney to a much wider remit.  It calls on the lawyer to research and evaluate other government policies and proposals, including investment, the development of Caymanians and the priorities for government to achieve a sustainable economy. It also speaks about advising on nation building, as well as offering legal advice.

During the period of the contract McField has acted as a courtroom advocate for the UDP government backbench MLA Dwayne Seymour, who faced charges of perverting the course of justice relating to an incident outside a Seven Mile Beach Hotel in May 2010, but who was eventually acquitted.

The attorney is also acting on behalf of McKeeva Bush, who has filed a law suit against the owner of Cayman News Service, Nicky Watson and her reporter Wendy Ledger, as well as Randy Merren,the owner of the local radio station Rooster, and Daphne Orrett, a caller to the show.

It is not clear if the premier is paying McField separately from his own funds as his personal attorney in those cases or if the lawyer is undertaking that work as part of this government contract.

Category: FOI

Comments (82)

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  1. IT IS WHAT IT IS says:
    @15:05, this can't be your first go 'round reading the caustic and bitter comments that CNS publishes regarding how people feel about living here, because CNS has an up-to-the-minute pulse on life and politics in the Cayman Islands. Obviously, your inability to connect the dots dictates that I break it down for you.
    Posters 10:56 and 18:06 anonymously posted their conclusions that it was because Mr. McField was a black Caymanian and not a white foreigner why this was even an issue, to which 9:49 remarked how disgraceful it was to play "the race card".
    My response was informing 9:49 that racial tensions in the Cayman Islands was nothing new in 2011, because as far back as 1839, Mr. Malcolm complained to London that "The White population have a most inveterate hatered against the blacks" when he arrived here and our first school was opened.
    For you to post that "Cayman is not the same society it was in 1839" seems disingenuous, because obviously others living here are tired of the double standards of being treated worse than slaves in their own country and tired of continuing to be passed over for employment opportunities in favour of an ex-pat (mostly whites), so much so that the poster's felt compelled to vent their opinions on this CNS forum. I would venture further to add that if you read CNS long enough, you will be shocked as you read some of the most vicious, racist attacks particularly between the ex-pats and the native Caymanians that you will ever read anywhere in your life!
    In that sense, we are worse than the society in 1839, because not only is the "inveterate hatered" on a greater scale, but now our vitriolic exchanges against each other are splashed around for the whole world to read and shake their heads at us while dismissing the Cayman Islands as a potential tourist destination! Should anyone even be surprised that visitors who want to enjoy a lifelong vacation dream would have to encounter this bigotry that they witness and read about on a DAILY basis, especially this hate-speech that is not tolerated and even legislated by Hate Crime laws in most other countries?
     
    At any rate, this exchange with you can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    In politics it is all about taking money and giving money to your friends.

    And if there isn't enough you just say we need to cut back and increase fees because of the economy, so you can keep taking money and giving money to friends.

    I am a cv and lost 200 per month because of the pay cut, I can barely make it now.   It hurts to see where my money went.   I am very demotivated, and trust me most of us are.

     

  3. T.L. Haranguer says:

    Steve Mcfield 7 grand for part time work, Hmmmm misuse of our money, yet another poor decision.

  4. SKEPTICAL says:

    McKeewa should bear in mind the great maxim of Spike Milligan – ” Money can’t buy you friends, but it CAN buy you a better class of enemies “.

  5. IT IS WHAT IT IS says:
    @9:49, you sound like an ex-pat or someone ignorant of Cayman's history. 
    The fact of race is nothing new in 2011, because it was being complained of as far back as May, 1839 when, after 9 months of arriving in Cayman to open our first school in Bodden Town, Andrew Malcolm vented in a letter to the Mico Trustees in London that "The White population have a most inveterate hatered against the blacks, they have told me that I must erect 2 Gallaries one for the white children and the other for the black children, that I must make a distinction in my school, but I have invariable [sic] told them I would not.  I have told my children that I would make no distinction between black and white, and that a good boy, is a good boy whether he be black or white, and that I would respect him because he was a good boy, and not because he was a white boy."
    …"The White population have a most inveterate hatered against the blacks"…
    And yet you dare malign the 18:06 poster for pointing this out?  Get your head out of the sand and recognise that over 170 years later, there is still a 'race card' issue (as you put it) alive and well in the Cayman Islands.
    • Anonymous says:

      Are you for real? You are going to pull out a letter reflecting racial attitudes in 1839 to try to prove that the reason people disapprove of this arrangement with McField is because of his race?! That is a ridiculous argument and you know it. Have you no shame? Is there no level too low foryou to stoop to defend your party? By constantly crying wolf what you do is undermine genuine cases of racial injustice.

      BTW I am a black generational Caymanian.  

    • Anonymous says:

      170 years ago, didn't people think the earth was flat?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not exactly surprising that such attitudes would have been found anywhere in 1839 – just a few years after after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It wasn't until 1954 that the U.S. Supreme Court found state laws which required segregated education to be unconstitutional.

      That is an interesting aside from history but what does it have to do with the current issue? Obviously Cayman is not the same society it was in 1839. The vast majority of us have varying degrees of racial mixture. It seems like a red herring.   

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn't it a conflict of interest for McField to represent the Ministry and also the premier personally at the same time?

    • Knot S Smart says:

      We do not have 'conflict of interest' in cayman!

      We are conflicted, and we do have an interest in anything that puts money in our pocket – but you are not allowed to use the words 'conflict of interest' together…

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about next election we all VOTE independant…. that would solve a lot of these problems! We for 1 would definately not have all the members of one Party covering up for each other, that's for sure!!

    • Libertarian says:

      I strongly believe, it is not going to work. Because both parties will feed the seed that Independents are really on the opposing party's side. I recall that that was the propaganda during last election. "If you didn't vote for a party but for an Independent, you were causing the other party to win. Hence, you should vote STRAIGHT to avoid that from happening!" And propaganda was very effective. UDP won by a landslide. Also, PPM did the same thing before UDP got power. It is a back-and-forth thing. My recommendation is – GET RID OF THE PARTY SYSTEM altogether and you wouldn't have politicians looking out for party interest over the people interest.   

      • Anonymous says:

        Lib, actually is exactly what happened. Some PPM supporters split their votes with Independents and even some UDP naively thinking that this would lead to power-sharing, and MB and the UDP waltzed into office (but not really by a landslide). I would support a credible new party but otherwise a vote for an Independent is a wasted vote. At this point you cannot turn back the clock: parties are here to stay. Just make sure we get better ones.     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yet another reason why the Premier hates FOI!  Wonder how many more 'consultants' are now on the payroll?

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is an outrage.  I thought we had a legal department to offer league advise to government.

    Check with all the NGOs which provide  needed services to the people of our islands, that had their grants dramatically cut for the second year in a row.  And we find Mac finding ways to pad his friends pockets and his favorite churches receiving millions.

    This is not Fiscal Responsibility that the UK is after.  Nor should we the people of Cayman put up with it.

    I repeat.  An outrage!!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    You need to be the true citizen of your country that you have always been and WALK AWAY from this Mr. McField. Money is not everything, although the love of it is most certainly the root of all evil, as the people of Cayman are witnessing on a daily basis.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So now we, the people, pay for the Premier’s own lawyer. What’s next, pay for a driver and a cook? Oh I forgot, we already pay for that! Can’t wait for the next elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      if ppm wins next election, it will be the same thing. the perks were initially intended for a ppm premier, but udp won and took the spot light. welcome to the two party system

      • Anonymous says:

        Yet another pitiful, desperate stab in the back, Mr Bush. I hope one day it will finally dawn on you that a hell of a lot more than 'perks' has gone wrong under the UDP 'administration'. At least you had the decency to use lower case letters for 'udp'. I am also very happy to confirm that they most certainly are in the spot light, an dey na lookin too good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Even if the ppm intended the "perks" for a ppm premier, it does not make it right and we would be just as outraged! You seemed to have missed the point of our comments re: taxpayers paying for cook/helper, driver(s), x-mas decor, wall(s), elec bill for these "people", when the majority of us are hurting financially, some to the brink of losing our home(s).

         

        When the shoe is on the other foot I WISH i could hear a peep out of Bush and the Bush-ites!!!!!!!!!

        • Libertarian says:

          The commenter does have a point. How I see it, two wrongs don't make a right. The question is – The real question is, If PPM got in would they do the same?  Remember this is the same party along with UDP that were unwilling to leave the LA with their salaries cut by at least 10 percent, but left cutting the entire Civil Service instead 3.2%  If PPM was in, what makes you think that they would have not done the same like Bush??

          • Anonymous says:

            Correction: The PPM was the party that brought a motion to reduce MLA salaries by 20% and Bush and the UDP refused.

            Say what you like about the PPM but there is no evidence that they used their term of office to line their own pockets. There were no scandals about financial improprieties. None of them own million dollar condos. McKeeva's attempt to stir up a scandal about the schools fell flat on its face.  

            • Anonymous says:

              Thank you. These people are making totally blind and unwarranted insinuations and accusations against the PPM to what end I have absolutely no idea. Do yourselves and your country a HUGE favor and vote the PPM back in so we can all see that they are not swine feeding at the trough like we all know who. 

              • Anonymous says:

                SO THERE CAN BE MORE REPEATS???   NEVER!  GIVE ME A BOX OF SQUID!

                • Anonymous says:

                  A box of squid. A definite improvement over what we currently have. I mean, how much can a box of squid possibly COST us in four years?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Constitution does not call for any perks. McKeeva just decided he wanted to grab all  he can.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I suppose if Steve was of another nationality then there would be no issues!

    • Anonymous says:

      10:56

      You are so right, and don't forget another race. I think we have two class of people here PPM ..Crab in the barrell.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a disgraceful statement. Pulling the race card to cover up cronyism. AG needs to a value for money audit.   

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cushy jobs don't last forever.  Those jobs terminate when a new administration takes over after the next election and all that money being paid for those positions becomes available to help pay down debt.  That is assuming, of course, that there is a change in administrations and that the newly elected officials are less XXXX than is alleged to be the case with the current administration. 

     

    So all you "friends of" job holders, save your money.  You'll be forced by the voters to earn an honest living come election time!

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a disgrace. Lord have mercy.

  15. Ubelievedat says:

    NO WONDER HIS MOUTH IS NO LONGER HEARD ON THE ROOSTER!!!!!!!!!!!

    So tell me then, if he is being paid to give legal advice to the Bush, why then are we also paying the recently qualified legal expert currently employed in the Ministry??  Huh??

    WHY should we pay 2 people to get ONE job done???  Huh??

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, let's look at this.  

    Either:

    (a) he has given the Premier horrible advice which the Premier has taken, thus resulting in the current woeful state of affairs

    OR

    (b) he has given the Premier good advice which the Premier has not taken, thus resulting in the current woeful state of affairs

     

    Does either variable justify the expense?   If I could earn 1/4 of that monthly salary, my current financial problems would evaporate.    Maybe this office should be offered for bid.   I'm pretty certain I can undercut that $7,000/month by quite a bit, and it's hard to imagine my advice would be worse.    win-win!

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    HOLY $H!T!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

  18. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    "You scratch my Back…." It is what it is. Government at work. Spending your money.

    On each other.  It's called NATION BUILDING.

  19. Anonymous says:

    That's a real Chewbacca salary!

  20. Anonymous says:

    CNS ..did you request this FOI?  Nothing wrong with it if you did as it informs the public but based on your current legal toubles with this man as he lawyer for the Premier, it would seem that ulterior motives played a role.

    For the record, I am not a UDP Or PPM supporter, as I know many will be quick to accuse me. I am simply pointing out that whilst Freedom of Information is the best thing that ever happened to Cayman, it can be used in many different ways, some we may like and some we won't.

    I don't see much wrong with the Government getting outside legal help as they did with Priestly's and other law firms, seems pretty cheap too based on what lawyers charge but my big question is why not just announce the appointment rather than have the public waste time goingthrough FOI to get it. This island is too small to keep anything secret for any length of time.

    Anyways CNS, good luck with your fight, but fight the battle fairly. Your battle is with the Premier not Steve McField and I don't think the battle was about bringing either down but protecting your freedom of speech. For that I will continue to support you but let's stick to conventional warfare before lowering yourself to the same level as some other media have done in the past. Hold your head high and you will prevail.

    CNS: No one employed by or associated with CNS made this FOI request. The response was sent to us and we handled it in exactly the same way that we would have done if there was no law suit against us. The response raises other issues.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like many UDP supporters, you seem unable to grasp the fact that the Premier's highly questionable actions in many areas are hugely unpopular.  Many people want to know and have a right to know how government (especially public finances) is being handled and not everyone is so terrified of retribution that they will be swayed from filing a Freedom of Information request.  Your complaint that FOI requestsexposing the truth are somehow unconventional or warfare is the whine of someone who sees their gravy train grinding to an ultimately humiliating stop.

      Yes.  I know you said you were not a UDP supporter and yet it seems you are.

  21. D. says:

    Steve Mcfield, a deep person, but working on the wrong side. I hope he joins our side and see that money isn't everything. Peace and Love from a good friend 

    • Anonymous says:

      Erm, ok D. How deep?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like Anakin Skywalker, he found the lureof the "Dark Side of the Force" to great, and became Darth Vader!

      • anonymous says:

        interesting. i thought i would never live to see his face, but doesn't the vader carry a ppm red sword?

  22. soumynona says:

    brilliant. jobs for the boys. at last Mac has found him a job to supplement his income. Good to see the public can pay

  23. uk spotlight says:

    Governor NOW, or take the next plane home (oh no, you can't because you will spend 12 hours tyring to get through Heathrow!!!!)

     

  24. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    Why didn’t Bush’s “Legal Eagle” , rather than Priestleys, provide an opinion on the GFL contract and the risks to Government if they broke off the relationship with GFL.

  25. Lion Fish says:

    Well…. beat me with a five foot long cow-cod!!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I respect Mr McField, and I know he is good at what he does, but I am also aware of a person whom I understand the premier asked Mr Mark Scotland to assist with getting a job and she was not assisted.   So it goes to show you that all of these friggin politicians are alike.  They help who they want to help. 

  27. Jumbles says:

    I find this unsettling.  Someone on the government pay roll is defending on a privately paid basis members of that government.  What about threats to the obligations of an advocate to the Court?  Is that not at risk of compromise when the advocate owes part of his livelihood to that government?  Something about this whole little scheme is not really feeling OK.

  28. Anonymous says:

    So 7 x 7000 = 49,000, the threshold for competitive bidding in the public sector is 50,000. See Mac, if you think about it long enough, you can still do what you want to do without breaking the law.

    I don't think the spirit or intent of the rules was for you to circumvent them by breaking up contracts into noncompetitive portions, but until they close that loophole, I guess you found a way to slip a few things through.

  29. Anonymous says:

    There currently is no such thing as conflict of interest in the Cayman Islands. Or, to put it another way, as long as it's in McKeeva's interest, there can be no conflict. Oh, there also is no corruption, no croneyism, no favouritism, and as the tourism slogan goes… no problem, mahn.

  30. Hey nonny nonny mouse says:

    Last time I checked McField's office window it indicated he was able to operate as a barrister in London and yet he is not included in the list of practising members of the Bar.  Am I missing something?

  31. Yo Mama says:

    Ridiculous.

     

    The Cayman Islands government has a legal department. What is the need for McField? 

     

    Bush should explain exactly what McField's value is above and beyond the lawyers already working for goverment. And "he supported my campaign" is not a good enough answer.

  32. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    $7000.00 a month is a lot of the tax payers money. Silly, just another cronie job and Bush taking advantage of the public check book.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely unbelievable. As a former McKeeva supporter, I say he has to go. BTW is Theresa on the payroll too?

  34. Anonymous says:

    How is the defense fund going CNS. At least we will be led to believe that this is how the Premiers Legal Bills are being funded. With so many Caymanian Lawyers out of  a job, maybe the Premier can find some help for them too.

     

    CNS: There's a link to the defence fund article right under the 1st headline (and here). I'll add a full update over the weekend. 

  35. Anonymous says:

    IF this is a Government  job, surely it would've been advertised? Why was his mate given the job. AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH What is going on with this place? just when you thought it couldn't get any worse!!!!

  36. Anonymous says:

    SMH

  37. Anonymous says:

    More follow up questions:

    (1) is Pearlina still on the UDP payroll too?

    (2) Does Julianna still have her, ahum, "bodyguard"? If so, why? Clearly no one is after her (except angry voters)

    (3) what ever happened with the Cayman Brac churches and private businesses getting their properties paved by PWD/NRA?

     

  38. anonymous says:

    At only CI$7,000 per month I believe the country is getting a super deal. A local law firm would charge CI$350 to $400 per hour minimum, billing over $45,000 per month for his time. Even Legal Aid we would be charged a minimum of CI$23,000/month.

    The Legal Department would take too long to get reasonable response- they seem to still be working on the Shetty's Regulations one year after the law passed. Heaven know what else is there.

    For once, and I am no fan of Mckeeva, I think this is good 'value for money'. I am glad for Steve but he should get atleast CI$10,000 if he is full time.

     

     

  39. Anonymous says:

    who's surprised???……. they have no shame…..

  40. Anonymous says:

    SMFH.  Will this bs never end?

     

  41. Blue Parrot says:

    Obviously, there is a campaign against Steve Mcfield because we know who he is representing. Opposition leaders and all anti-sacred vessels commenters, will be ranting and raving, as the Premier pays him to have legal actions taken against CNS. And no doubt for their defense, she would publish this article. 

  42. Anonymous says:

    He must be a sacred vessel.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if he provided a case analysis of the Priestly letter to the Port Authority Board.

  44. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding me?  Has anyone looked at the Anti-Corruption Law recently?????

  45. Anonymous says:

    Ummm…….Why do we have a Government Legal Department??????

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is so we can get rid ofsome of those unwanted Gowerment funds.

  46. Knot S Smart says:

    Umph…