SPS not compliant says Miller

| 08/12/2011

ezzard june_0.jpg(CNS): The government’s Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) does not meet the requirements of the financial framework agreement that the premier signed in London last month, the independent member for North Side has pointed out. Unsure about when the document takes effect as it has not yet been brought to the country’s parliament, Ezzard Miller said the new agreement sets out the details of what should be in an SPS, which he could not find in the one delivered by the premier in the Legislative Assembly last week.  He also wondered where the economic analysis was coming from for government’s predicted revenue increases because it appeared as if they were numbers just put in for numbers' sake.

Miller stated that it was not yet clear whether or not government had to follow the rules of the framework agreement but if it did there was a problem because the latest SPS did not comply with section fifteen.

Querying the figures as well, Miller was suspicious of the uniformity of the year on year increases and asked where the projections came from in the document. He said that the global uncertainty and the talk of austerity by the premier was contrasted by the predictions of increased revenue over the next three years.  While the premier spoke about the fall in revenue from key sources, such as work permits, he was still predicting an increase in government earnings. 

Miller noted that while the SPS spoke at length about controlling public spending, the projections told a different story.  He pointed out that the increase in this year alone of $21 million in public spending did not reflect government’s claims of cutting expenditure.  The independent member wondered if the elected arm of government needed to take greater control of the administrative arm as it clearly wasn’t delivering the cuts that the premier claimed he was aiming for.

The dependence of government on the long predicted development projects was also a concern for the North Side member as he referred to the uncertainty and controversy now surrounding most of them.

He pointed in particular to the government’s decision to negotiate with CHEC for the cruise port development in George Town. Miller said he was still puzzled as to how the Bejing based firm had ended up at the table since it was not one of the original bidders that answered the call for proposals. He pointed to the controversy surrounding the firm in other parts of the world and in particular the Caribbean.

“My concern is that we are dealing with the wrong people,” Miller said.

If the new FFA was now in effect however, there was hope as the whole project would, he believed, have to go through a much deeper period of analysis and even be re-tendered in order to meet the requirements of that UK agreement. He said the Dr Shetty project also seemed to be reduced and none of the others appeared to beprogressing.

In short, Miller said, there was no support for the premier’s predictions for revenue in this year’s SPS.

Category: Politics

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To: Anonymous on Thu, 12/08/2011 – 08:29. 

    Well Said!!!!!

    Take the criticism away Ezzard.

    This has been nothing but a long campaign process for you. 'Bring Down' everything that is proposed to help stimulte the econmy in hopes you will turn the voting populace against the current government in order to better your chances next election, not only for yourself but for the party you will form or join as well. It's just time that you will have to announce what most people aren't aware of as yet. But information has been obtained and the signs of collaboration are evident.

    The key words here are 'Strategic Policy' and 'Stimulus'.

    A planned reduction in expenses for government, and on the other hand projections that indicate an increase in revenue obtained from these proposed projects once started (which is what you are working so hard to prevent). This is the right approach giving the current state of the world and local economy, a planned reduction in expenses and a planned increase revenue.

    A good 'Strategic Policy' that contains many different aspects that will 'Stimulate' the economy in the short-term, leading into and through the mid to long term as similarly stated by Deloitte in the following article about one of these projects.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What's that old saying again?

    Oh, right.  "Figures can lie and liars can figure."

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dont knock poor old Mac, it isnt fair to accuse him of ignoring the rules. You see he just doesnt understand them.

    Take proper procurement rules for example, look, these rules just get in the way, we never used to bother with them and some people even got rich, so why bother now?

    Then theres the loans agreement, it would have taken forever to do all that paperwork which nobody would have read anyway, and who knows, someone maybe got rich then as well!

    And budgets and proper accounting and stuff, well that would mean all sorts of civil service staff got inconvenienced, and hell, the bills all come in eventually so what if we get a bit of a deficit, we dont do accruals accounting so what does it matter? And a few people might have got rich, who knows?

    And that banking director stuff (First Cayman) well he certainly didnt understand that, and so some people lost their savings, some others got rich so it evened out!

    No, cut him a bit of slack, just because he gets rich doesnt mean he's all bad, he just doesnt understand the rules!

  4. SKEPTICAL says:

    RE: MR. MILLER, THE SPS STANDS…
    Horseshit – projections of Revenue increases, and Expenditure reductions, have to be supported by SPECIFICS. It is, yet again, the story of the Tailor telling the Emperor how wonderful will be his new suit of clothes, only for a small innocent boy to publicly expose his nakedness.

    • Anonymous says:

      So if a politician walks in and tells a civil servant "my plans and policies over the next three years is to introduce a tax package to yield X dollars and simultaneously reduce core Goverment cost while increasing social programs" is the civil servant suppose to say F you, I don't believe you, I am going to put in what I think it will be?

      You people need to get an understanding of how Government works before you get on here and make ignorant comments. The Government plans and policies are what they are, no civil servant or opposing politicians can tell the Government what their plans should be, the SPS is a document about the Government's plans, and just like how no one is talking about the 2010/11 SPS and asking about year 2, no one will be talking about year 2 of this SPS when a brand new one gets presented December next year.

      Perhaps you can go to the LA, get a copy of the PMFL and read!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    this government & governor is non-compliant……………………..

  6. REALLY??? says:

    "He also wondered where the economic analysis was coming from for government’s predicted revenue increases because it appeared as if they were numbers just put in for numbers' sake."

     

    You mean like the "$25 million surplus" we were supposed to have that turned out to be BULLoney only to find out that we haven't paid our bills to the pensions???

     

    I might have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night!

  7. Dred says:

    Thank you Lord for Mr Miller. Someone out there is thinking and speaking on our behalf.

    PPM you have officially been served. Stand up and be counted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Man come on Ezzard, you just leave Mac alone, don't you know that a dictator does as he wants & does not like to be questioned? So what if "SPS is not compliant"? A dictator will do what a dictator wants to do & who are you to question him?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, I can only refer you to what my grandmother used to say: "You can't expect anything from a pig other than a grunt".

    I will now quote from the policy statement for 2009/10:

    "This is why we are launching the National Planning Initiative. It will evolve interventions to tackle existing ills, and strategies to minimise exposure to future pitfalls. To assist with this, the Government is happy to welcome the bold appointment of two Senior Strategic Advisers for National Planning to assist the Cabinet, working through the Chief Officer of my Ministry of Tourism and Development, Mr. Carson Ebanks. Those two strategic advisors are Mr. Kenneth Ebanks and Mr. Leonard Dilbert. [They will assist] with advice on matters of social and cultural, and physical development planning in particular, with special attention to environmental stewardship. These officers will also assist with implementation of decisions made."

    Have we heard anything about this since it was "launched"?

    Here is something from the policy statement for 2010/11:

    "Since its creation, the Stimulus Implementation Group has compiled and filtered over 250 suggestions and initiatives submitted by numerous committees and associations. They are now in the process of prioritising a list of measures which are targeted for implementation in the remainder of this fiscal year.

    At the end of the proposed 90 days that I spoke about some weeks ago, I will be unveiling this stimulus programme, thereby charting the way through the recession and back on a path to economic prosperity."

    I think we can all remember the infamous 90-days to turn the economy around countdown that was held right here on CNS.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      12;35: Carson Ebanks has retired (nobody has noticed) and Kenneth Ebanks and Leonard Dilbert ("the bold appointment of two Senior Strategic Advisors") are…erm…still boldly advising in a strategic and senior (and silent) way.

      • Anonymous says:

        A Senior Strategic Advisor (to the Premier!) probably earns $125K per year. After two years the people have paid half-a-million dollars, and for what?

        Could it be that they do not understand what the Premier means by "special attention to environmental stewardship"?

        In the same speech that he announced their appointment, he also said that it would be necessary to dredge a series of channels in the North Sound.

        Exactly how far will they get into "National Planning" before asking the people what they would like see?

        Has the Premier ever taken them to Singapore so that they can see what he wants Cayman to look like?

        I'm getting a bit tired of sending FOI requests to McKeeva, but someone should ask to see at least an outline of what this National Planning Initiative has produced so far.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the marl road is buzzing that the real reason for the UK insisting that the Government get an independent business case study done on the CHEC deal, is that CHEC did not properly come through in meeting the terms of their MMOU by November and failed to present a satisfactory proposal to the Port Board.   Thus the MMOU had no choice but to expire as some Port Board members refused to sign off / approve what was put in front of them and this was the reason at least 1 of the new members resigned and one of the longer-serving ones left, as they refused to compromise their professional standards and be party to what was being proposed.  The Government is now apparently using the UK's FFA as the primary reason for the delay in signing an agreement with CHEC, and not the real reason i.e. CHEC did not present a satisfying proposal in time to the Board.   If this is anything to go by, then it does not bode well for CHEC's ability to come through in a timely manner, as they would seem to be off to a very late start.  If all goes well end of March, only an FA would be signed then (similar to the previous developer) and then after more months of waiting, an actual contract.  At this rate, it does not appear that construction would even begin till the end of 2012.   If the marl road has it right and the above is true, then what a complete mess up.   At least 1 of the piers would have been functional by the latter part of 2012 if the UDP had not suddenly decided that they know more than the experts and cancelled the previous deal.   Meanwhile, the Caymanian merchants and other businesses downtown continue to flounder with no apparent regard from Government for their predicament and continued loss of income due to steadily reducing numbers of cruise calls.  Thanks UDP, we truly appreciate it, from the bottom of our hearts.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Puppet Mac cannot give any details about anything until he receives his instructions from the people that control him.    One thing is for certain, all of the Made-in-China appliances cannot get him back in power.

  11. cayman star says:

    Ezzard makes a way better Opposition Leader than Alden.  I have to wonder, how Alden with as much support as he gets from Kurt and crew, can't see these things comin!  Ezzard has really critique this government and continues to do so

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Businesses are hanging on by the skin of their teeth waiting to see the back of Mac. The day Ezzard Miller becomes Premier is the day they all pack up and leave, never to return.

       

       

      • Knot S Smart says:

        Ezzard does not intend to become Premier!

        In the meantime I have booked your first class ticket!. I hope you dont mind that the only other first class ticket available has already been issued to your hero – Mac…

        • Dred says:

          You forgot to say….and they are BOTH ONE WAY….

          PS we are revoking your Caymanian papers (even if you are) and making you a special visa applicant status for people sell out our country. NO VISA APPROVALS EVER.

    • Dred says:

      Really wish Ezzard would put together a team of some sort. He is truly a one man band and has PPm following him instead of the other way around.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ezzard is a silent member of the PPM

        • Anonymous says:

          The last thing anyone can accuse Ezzard of is being "silent".

          Ezzard speaks his mind and votes accordingly. On many occasions he has been just plain wrong, but there has never been any doubt about where he stands on an issue.

          Ezzard initially supported the UDP, but it was they who deviated from their promises.

          Regardless of what you may think of Ezzard, as I have said I disagree with him often, he is a shining example of what it means to be independent. He votes for something if he is in agreement and votes against it if he isn't, without consideration of whether it was UDP or PPM who brought it to the table.

          Despite the difficulty it brings to any government, we need a few more people who are willing to think and vote independently on the issues rather than sit like a bobble-head and vote aye or any according to what the Premier says.

           

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard seems to be the only thinking politician these days, everyone else seems to just accept whatever nonsense they are told without doing a proper analysis if there is any merit in what is said.   No specifics were mentioned in this SPS, to explain where they got these figures from.   The country's finances are in a mess, and until a proper budget, with clear, transparent cost-cutting exercises are implemented, and a proper, clear explanation of where exactly the increased revenues are projected to come from given that the economy is still struggling and deteriorating, there will be no improvement in the state of affairs.  More smoke and mirrors. 

  13. Absurdistani says:

    Not compliant?? Shocking…

    RCIPS, how's that investigation into alleged financial irregularities coming along?

  14. so anonymous says:

    Too funny, watching the same people who got you into this mess by trying to keep from making a mess.  The fact that they have no idea how to really get anything done in a competent manner and have a aversion to listening to proffesional advice just makes it more comical.  Does anyone not Caymnanian expect them to figure it out?    Thumbs up if you think they won't which means thumbs down if you think they are up to the task.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I sense another tantrum erupting in the LA sometime soon. Mr. Miller it seems is pretty much "doing what he can for the country" and not seeking "what the country can do for him" – mucho respek. . 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller, the SPS stands for Strategic Policy Statement in other words, it is a statement about the policies of the Government and what it intends to achieve over the next 3 years. It is not meant to be a prediction, it simply provides the Government's strategies to achieve its 19 broad outcome goals over the medium term, what the Government think it will cost to achieve those broad outcomes and the funding they believe will be available to pay for it.

    I do agree it is not compliant with the Fiscal Framework Agreement signed, however, I think it is important that you see the document for what it is. It is a political document and not a technical document. The Government could say that expenses are going to be declining 5% each year over the next three years and that revenues would be going up 10%, it is difficult for you to challenge it as it is simply a policy statement. Can it be done? yes. Will it be done? very unlikely.

    The point is, take the criticism away from whether these projections for revenue and expenses are accurate and focus more on what strategies and policies the Government plan to implement in order to achieve what they say they intend to achieve in the document. Just my take for what its worth.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:29: You clearly know your PMFL and related matters! This is one of the few sensible posts that I've seen on the whole SPS matter. Of course the thumbs will go down for this post as they will for yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take the criticism away Ezzard.

       

      This has been nothing but a long campaign process for you. Shoot down everything the current government proposes in hopes you will turn the voting populace against them to better your chances next election, not only for yourself but for the party you will form or join as well. It's just time that you will have to announce what most people aren't aware of as yet. But information has been obtained and the signs of collaboration are evident.

       

      The key words here are 'Strategic Policy' and 'Stimulus'.

       

      A planned reduction in expenses for government, and on the other hand projections that indicate an increase in revenue obtained from these proposed projects once started (which is what you are working so hard to prevent). This is the right approach giving the current state of the world and the local economy, reduce your expenses and increase your revenue.

       

      A good 'Strategic Policy' that contains many different aspects that will 'Stimulate' the economy in the short-term, leading into and through the mid to long term as similarly stated by Deloitte in today’s compass about one of the projects.

    • Dred says:

      Your critique of Mr Miller is stupid also.

      The policy statements are guidance documents. They lead your future documents. If the base is so full of BS what is to come next may well drown us all.

      Ezzard is simply stating that if this is where they planning to go with future numbers they may as well forget it because nothing is logical in the world we are currently living in. Revenues will not go up simply because you say so. Expenses are going to continue to rise because you do nothing to stop it. Saying that this is a bogus document only meant to make people THINK he is heading in the right direction while the ACTUAL numbers alway head in the other.

      I believe it was smart and right for Mr Miller to call their bluff and let them know upfront he will call them fools for presenting such stupidity before the people of the Cayman Islands.

      They spend so much time playing with numbers to make them look good. Take the 25 Mil. We never had a surplus of 25 Mil. We were probably under by10 mil. The books were in my opinion cooked to look better so the few followers he had left could stay and the few that were on the fence might sway his way.

      UDP is BS. Their numbers immitate them.