Dart $5m reported toACC

| 06/02/2012

dart shovels.JPG(CNS): A complaint has been filed with the country’s Anti-corruption Commission over the $5 million cash donation the Dart Group made to government in connection with the ForCayman Investment Alliance. North Side representative Ezzard Miller says it appears that the payment by the islands’ largest developer to government falls foul of section 15 of the anti-corruption law and needs to be investigated. The independent MLA told CNS that he has made an official complaint with the commission as he says the money seems to have been paid to influence an outcome and not as a transaction on the crown land it is seeking to swap.

Miller explained that if this cash donation is a part payment or deposit for the purchase of the West Bay Road land then the cash should be going into the general treasury coffers and not earmarked for a specific project, which seems to be the case.

The recent $5 million cash donation is understood to be part of a $20 million payment that the Dart Group intends to pay when or if government enters into a full agreement with the developer.

This first sum of money is part of a package known as the ‘West Bay corridor projects’, which involves land swaps, a road extension, the enhancement of the public beach and the closure of a disputed length of the West Bay Road in connection with the development of a five star resort on the former Courtyard Marriott site.

The money the Dart Group has given was earmarked for a “Save the Mortgage” initiative, which will see it used to help people facing the loss of their homes as a result of mortgage arrears. The rest of the cash, according to statements made by both government officials and Dart, will also be specifically earmarked for certain educational and community projects, as opposed to joining general revenue.

According to Miller, the fact that the developer has had input into where the cash will be spent and that the money has not gone through the treasury demonstrates that it is not being given as a payment for purchase but as a payment to influence a government decision. And, he added, if it is for a transaction then it is not being handled correctly and still needs investigation.

“What was this $5 milllion for, other than to influence a specific outcome?” Miller asked. “If it is for a deposit or a transaction then it is being misappropriated because the person making the payment should not be allowed to specify where the money is being spent as it should be going to general revenue and form part of the budgetary process.”

The North Side MLA added that, in this case, the people “making the contribution are involved in deciding how it is going to be spent,” he said. “I have asked the Anti-corruption Commission to investigate as I believe this contravenes section 15 of the law.

“I question the developer’s ethical commitment on this proposed deal with government to due process,” he said. “If the payment is made in order to negotiate a political advantage, that cannot be considered due process.”

Miller also stated that, despite public claims that the Dart Group will be transparent and follow the process regarding the various projects, it is already undermining that claim by using a section in the national roads law that will allow the developer to avoid having to submit valuations and bring the proposal to the Legislative Assembly over the West Bay Road swap.

Section 14 of the roads law allows government to simply add land from a closed road to an existing portion of land. “This avoids the process of valuing the land, debating the transaction in the Legislative Assembly or any input from the governor,” Miller stated.

Aware that his critics believe he is opposing without offering alternatives, Miller told CNS that his concern is the need for process and transparency in what is viewed as an unusual and controversial proposal.

He said that a major project such as the ForCayman Alliance should not involve the politicians at the technical level. The independent member said that if he were in government, such a proposal would be assessed and managed by government’s technical arm, and not the political arm, to ensure transparency and due process with an objective assessment of the pros and cons for the entire Cayman Islands.

Category: Politics

Comments (72)

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  1. nauticalone says:

    I agree here with Ezzard once again, completely!

    Thanks for consistently standing for Due Process, Transparency, Accountabilty!…Good Government.

    • Theo says:

      Miller said he did not believe there were any serious attempts by senior government workers to try and sabotage government’s efforts to boost the economy, nor were the processes preventing legitimate action.

      The quote above shows how disingenuos Mr. MIller is, he says there are no "serious" attempts, implying that there are attempts that have been made but should have been stepped up.  The Public at large knows that the proceses of Government are run by Civil Servants, the public also knows that  Civil servants as well are human beings and will have their preference of Government and there lies the conundrum. The civil service can have the appearance of being transparent, but loyalties exist.  Mr. MIller is afraid to castigate civil servants because it may not be in his best interest as he conceivably may not get any more "little bird " whispers as he has been known to posit on Rooster Talk show.  People beware of wolves in sheep clothing.

      The premier has jacked up the cost of doing business so much,” Alden McLaughlin told CNS. “If the government had taken office and just done nothing we would all have been better off now.”

      The above attributed to the Premier in waiting (haha) shows the lack of political maturity of he Leader of the Opposition.  How can he say "if the Government had done nothing we would all have been better off"; this comment in relation to increases in the cost of doing BUsiness.  Let the public remember that the previous Government did raise fees, and also let the public be reminded that with the raising of these fees came the spending rampage that created a spiraling down turn in the countrys coffers, particularly with an impending recession which has now taken place.  Divine intervention indeed took him out of office and we should be ever so grateful, as the imagination cannot conceive what would have happened to this country if his government had been reelected,.  Ii is evident that as you thinketh so you doeth, they would have taken office and done nothing and in their twisted logical thinking ability, we woul all be better off.  Strange but true.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Miller some years ago was building a hospital and handsome conflicts of interest with the supplier oops maybe not oops maybe with the contractors oops,

      • Anonymous says:

        Oops, we're looking for bones to dig up to make someone look better again, oops, not going to work anymore, oops, someone needs to go, oops.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done on effectively dissuading anyone else investing in Cayman.  Dart are the only ones who have put their hands in the pockets under Mac's reign.

  3. Anonymous says:

    YOU GO Ezz!! We behind you all the way ole boy, keep the pressure on tight! Like the saying goes "Pressure busts pipe" – something gotta give or come to light soon.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Public Private Partnerships (P3s) are complex financial instruments, new to the  gowerment of the Cayman Islands who seem to have ignored the published research on the pitfalls of these relationships.

    P3s have been used by politicians as a form of off-book accounting to make it appear as if public spending and deficits are lower than they actually were — but then public auditors forced governments to include these obligations on their books.  Are they on the books of the UDP?

    P3 proponents then claimed that their projects could be less expensive, more innovative, speedier, and more accountable than public service delivery — but a string of failures (in almost every country in the world), delays, little transparency, and secretive deals ("croney capitalism") proved these claims to be false.

    Most recently, P3 advocates have acknowledged that they cost more, but then try to justify these deals by claiming they transfer massive amounts of “risk” from the public sector to the private sector. By using highly questionable “value for money” accounting, they claim the higher costs of P3s, particularly on the financing side, are offset by transferring colossal amounts of risk to the private sector; but the responsibilties of governments can never be fully transferred in this way.

    Although independent experts have criticized the deceptive rationales and faulty accounting of P3s , these practices remain; but the financial crisis exposed the false economics of P3s in a number of ways:

    • The economic and financial crisis was caused by the same policies behind the push for public-private partnerships!
    • Private financing is more costly and risky than public financing.
    • The private sector is worse at managing risk than the public sector.
    • Risks can never be completely transferred through P3s, because governments will always be ultimately accountable for delivering public services and infrastructure.
    • Additional and complicated P3 requirements — if the due diligence is done corectly — lengthen the process and add to delays.

    The CIG appears to have been bamboozled by the false claims made by the preponents of P3s — in this case Mr. Dart and China Harbour Engineering, and have entered into complex buisness arrangements in which they have very little knoweldge and experience.  Evidence around the world has shown that although the bank accounts of private individuals swell, the public purse will be severely punished because of the deceptive rationales and flawed accounting behind P3s.

    • Anonymous says:

      P3's is actually the Enron business model, put as much debt as possible off balance sheet. This leave so much room for so many othe nice worthile scams and and shams. By the time most people realize where this government has taken us we will be so deep in the pockets of special interest groups we will need permits to use the beach!

    • noname says:

      You are so right; there is absolutely no risk in having the public sector take on large projects like the Royal Watler Terminal, the two high schools and the mosquito research facilities… oh, wait, bad examples.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure the ACC will put on their crime-fighting costumes and leap into action to save the day! Of course, by "leap into action" I mean take 5 years of working in secret and at great expense and then publish some bland report, and by "save the day" I mean stop shy of actually using the "C" word (no, the other "C" word) or finding anything more than procedural errors.,

    What's the point? As someone already pointed out, we have investigations coming out our ears and loads of damning "smoking gun" documents. If you asked the authorities in Cayman to find their own backside with both hands they'd start by forming a committee, promising great results and then promising to report back in a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone, in the history of Cayman, EVER been convicted of a white collar crime?  The investigation and defense of white collar crime is actually the 3rd leg of our economy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank Goodness for the one lil Independent MLA for the Cayman Islands! The rest of them need to pass GO and Go stratight home, WITHOUT PAY!

    Someone please tell us what the Dart spokesmen had to say about the difference in that 1200+ square feet of land that they 'forgot' to mention that they wanted to swap?

    All these people that are out there jumping up and praising this man for what he wants to do, tell me this. Yes, OK he plans on leaving a 'bike path' for people to have beach access but where the hell am I supposed to park my car to bring my family to the beach?

    I am so tired of hearing that the beach will still be there for public use. Yeah right. Might as well just take the whole thing, because I am sure that the public beach as we see it now and even in the past will not be what's going there in the future…

    • Anonymous says:

      'Twas a simple miscalculation mon! Jus Kool na man!

      Ah jus 1200 foot dat.. a nah noting dat

    • Duh! says:

      You could always try parking at the new public beach car park, rather than parking on the hard shoulder of the road.

  7. noname says:

    Finally, official utterance to a blatent tail wagging the dog trick. 

    The elected member from North-Side will be spinning his wheels as a wall paper in the middle of a swinging party as an independent though..  The same old story with the split vote in BT will resound in 2013 unless a base is built.. 

    Failing  one man one vote or fair distribution of the electorates where each district is evenly represented, George Town and West bay will always be able to send a dump east..

    The PPM stated they were going to start their campaign months ago, (Build their base) but  did not because the UDP said it would take away from the running of the country.. 

    Well! since the opposition has to be invited to the floor, and the indipendent is boycoting attendance. They have plenty of time on their hands to build something..

    The alternative to handing over the West-Bay road is to build the bypass as proposed and have the current road as secoundary senic route with reduced speed limits. 

    The alternative to the Dump to BT: Build a reclaim/recycling process around a mega grinder at the current dump site to remove the current hazards and to handle incomming refuse. Implement  Refuse  tax based on Dpt of planning building  designation..

  8. Dare to Dream says:

    WAY TO GO EZZARD.  Dart nor anyone else has any business deciding where money that should go into the treasury of this country should be spent.  Who does he think he is!!  As far as I am concerned he is just another man who happens to be wealthy.  Does that mean that we should sell our soul, does that mean that we should be so grateful that we should ignore all of the laws of this country to accommodate him.??  What have we become?  Can' t  we not see further than another plate of food?  We were cash poor before but I don't recall anyone dying from hunger in the 60 + years that I have been around this block!!  What were we doing before Dart landed on our shores, were we not taking care of our business!!   When is enough ENOUGH? 

    Ezzard you and your group should leave no stones unturned!!  Those of us who still possess INTEGRITY , SELF WORTH AND COMMON SENSE thank you for your efforts.  The rest  are just void of AMBITION  AND FORESIGHTand will always grab at the grumbs being dropped along the way instead of  striving to hold on to THESE BELOVED ISLES CAYMAN and make our own path.

    It is so pathetic.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You cant make a comparison between Dart and our useless XXXX politicians. If someone invests untold millions into our economy by building a Camana Bay and there is a dump next to it killing land values then that entity should be able to use all means necessary to increase its land value and move (or fix) it. Just do it properly.

    If we could all go and stand on a cruise ship and look at what the tourists see you would be ashamed and embarrased. This is a win win.

    The money Dart gave Government is not a bribe if the money is tracked and put to some good use, if it goes to "nation building" or just disappears then we can call it a bribe.

    It is also unfortunate that the leader of Government is under investigation for corruption and so when given large amounts of money and does not feel accountable to the people as regards its use then the issue spirals.

    Dart, improve your investmet in anyway you can. Just do it properly

    Mckeeva, resign, I feel like I am looking at you from a cruise ship, embarrased and ashamed

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dear Lord,  All you PPM'ers have nothing else to do? Get a life.  Do something to help the problems in Cayman.  Get over it. PPM is dead and will never be resurrected. We are going back to good old colonial rule.  RULE BRITTANIA – Cayman needs you.

  11. R.U. Kidden says:

    Hey kids, can you spell "payola"?  If that's too difficult, try "bribe".

  12. Anonymous says:

    We have investigation coming out of our ()*#$ and nothing ever comes of it. This will not change unless the people of these Islands realize that it is time to vote some new blood in when the next elections rolls around. Only then is there any hope………

    • Dreadlock Holmes says:

      I agree.  Sort of.  We wait til the next election?  We ALWAYS wait for the next election.  By that time the damage is done.  The guilty parties in the meantime have lined their pockets, made sweetheart deals and nodoubt, have secured their futures.  We then vote them out. With promises from someone other poltical party to clean up the mess, be more open, etc. etc.  This is not the way it should work.

      Until politicians are held personally responsible for their actions – financially – it will continue.  We are all held responsible for our actions both personally and in business.  Especially in business. Where bad decisions have results.  Politics is something special in this regard and politicians have elevated themselves to the point where nothing they do has a result on their own lives.  We pay the costs and we pay them at the same time to make blunders. 

      This could all be alleviated by the public demanding accountability constantly and not by merely sitting around waiting for our "opportunity" at the next election.  Interim financial reports – Quarterly Reports – independately audited – are a must – and should be a part of this process. In other words we have absolutely no access to information until an election is called and even then it is rarely available or cooked.  This is OUR business. The running of OUR country.  We hire THEM to conduct it.  We tell them what we want.

      This government, and McKeeva Bush in particullar, has obviously lost track of that concept. Or had no idea about it in the first place.  If he and his sidekicks can't balance the budget and instead run a deeper deficit which we're all going to pay for it should come out of their pockets.  Otherwise who can blame them?  Or any other politician?  For not giving a $hit??

  13. Anonymous says:

     

    Thank goodness someones not totally asleep at the wheel.  Never was there a more open relationship of  …..

    1) I want my way

    (a) my 5 star hotel to have direct access to the beach, despite Ritz and Hyatt and other developers before being denied this request as it was obviously not in the interest of Cayman, as is again the case – even putting aside the softer cultural arguments, this is not a sound traffic mangement plan! and

    (b) The dump out of my backyard, although it was there when I bought the land and developed it (and there was never a promise made of moving it) and although all expert reports advise against moving the dump to another location and instead advocate onsite remediation and none advise relocation to BT and the Central Tenders Committee also rated this proposal the lowest)-

     

     

    2) And I have lots of money to throw at you to get my way 

     

    I would have far less of an issue with the Dart Alliance (as would everyone else on the island!) if the favours/grants were not being offered in an obvious attempt to influence the government to make decisions it knows are not in the best interest of the cayman islands!!!!

     

    GOVERNOR, FCO, PPM Opposition  – where the heck are you?! All asleep at the wheel?!

     

     

    • Profound Reality! says:

      It's called a vulture fund. He provides relief at a price, usually monetary ,but in this case he will take the Island and its "garbage". Not sure if I mean that literally or figuratively.

       

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Ok…You need a little Captain Obvious to set you straight.

      Ever been to the Hyatt or Ritz before?  What's that you see on the beach side of the road.  Oh my gosh, it's condominiums!  Yes, Hyatt and Ritz built a walkway over West Bay Road, but that was their choice because they wanted to maximize the beach use to build condos, where the real money is.   There is not enough depth at the Courtyard Marriott to build condos on the beach side. Building a hotel on the inland side really isn't such a good business decision, which is why the Holiday Inn became the Courtyard Marriott which became a dilapidated building sitting there for more than three years doing no one any good.

      And by the way… I  live in George Town and I'd really like all the people of West Bay, Bodden Town, East End and North Side to stop dumping in my backyard and since there's more of us George Towners than there are all of you other put together, I think it's very selfish of you to insist that the dump remain right next to us and to the island's financial centre and two most precious tourism assets, 7 Mile Beach and the North Sound.  Got that,  Mr. Selfish?

      • Anonymous says:

        You said "West Bay, Bodden Town, East End and North Side to stop dumping in my backyard and since there's more of us George Towners than there are all of you other put together, I think it's very selfish of you to insist that the dump remain right next to us".

        You seem to have a problem with logic. You say there are more George Towners than all other districts combined and so it is obvious thatGT produces more garbage than the rest of the Island combined so you would be dumping in their backyard if the site were moved to BT.

        Why contaminate a second site?   

  14. Anonymous says:

    Good Job Mr. Miller you are the only one in the LA that will stand up for the people of this country keep it up. You will soon have all the snake running from under their rocks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    EZZARD PREMIER 2013

  16. Anonymous says:

    So true Ezzard. UK Better step in. This place has become just like the Turks & Caicos! With BigMac at its core and head.  Dart owns the beloved islands.  But rest assured nothing, good or bad lasts forever. Man is like a blade of grass, it withereth and dies away or is cut down.

    Alden and Arden you need to go, along with Ezzard, Alice Mae and whoever else that are going to oppose the rape of this country. All opposition should go, including Anthony Eden out of whom there has not been a peep. Save the day and keep Austin home though in the media- where his best skills are reporting what is going on and keeping the fight alive on this front.

    • Chrisjohnson says:

      It is not quite like the Turks and Caicos Islands. They have the SIPT team comprising 30 police and lawyers. Yesterday another politician was arrested with two other persons bringing the total to over 20 of which I believe 8 are politicians. I would suggest that our politicians look over their shoulder at all times.

  17. local says:

    ONLY MILLER IS THE TRUE GOVERNMENT OPPOSITION – no one else!

  18. EYE ON ISALND says:

    Ezzard Miller, a man who knows how to stand up.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dart and the gowerment are engaged in outright and open croney capitalism.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Were it not for Ezzard, there would be no opposition at all.

    Alden is Kurt by another name……same sheep !!!

    Charles Clifford left the ranks of the PPM now its time for Arden and Moses to join him before they are painted with the same PPM "IndecisiveBrush" too.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr Miller!!

     

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, of course you are probably right, but you seem to be acting as if we are a country of laws. Have you not learned that our Cayman has become rotten to the core, and anyway, is no longer ours?

    • Anonymous says:

      It would seem that the moral rot stems from certain home-grown politicians, recurrently appointed to the levers of power by native sons.  I don't understand how you can imply that there should be no Cayman ownership of these choices?  It's our collective problem; of our own making, and ours to remedy!

  23. A Guilty Pleasure says:

    It is about time that someone investigates ALL the payments by Dart to "government," & ALL the friendly deals between Dart & McChavez/government.

    • Anonymous says:

      If there is a thorough investigation into Dart's friendly deals, one would find that these deals existed prior to UDP getting into power.

    • anonymous says:

      You should include the import duties, company registrations, stamp duties etc that kept this country afloat from 2006-2010 as well. People please don’t be stupid just for party politics. It has ruined almost every Caribbean country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortuntately I don't think anything will come of it, like everything else…good try Mr. Miller

      • Anonymous says:

        What is done in the dark must and will always come to light. ALL of it. they can do it as much as they like but not for as long as they like. There is STILL a just God. Trust me.  

    • Anonymous says:

      now that would be a hell of a project.  The smoke from the burning documents would change the climate here.  hey, I like that metaphor!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard do you help pay Caymanians or give them food for there children?

    • Anonymous says:

      In other words as long as we can get some benefit who cares about corruption". What a sick mentality. Must be a UDP supporter.

      • Anonymous says:

        What corruption? Sounds like people are making up stories without facts. None of the agreement benefits anyone other than the country. Wake up Caymanians!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry but you're really going to have to buy your own fridge next time.

        • Anonymous says:

          i.e. for you what the rest of us call corruption is business as usual.You wait until the SIPT moves from TCI to Cayman. You had better wake up.

    • Knot S Smart says:

      It is that kind of 'expect a handout mentality' that is destroying Cayman.

      It is worst when the top people in Govt have adopted the same attitude!

      And of course Ezzard is not feeding your children – that is what parents are for!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is the money earmarked for people who have let themselves fall behind with their mortgages. Looks like this is another quick fix payment plan to get votes for the next election, but doesn't solve anything and soon those same people will be behind in their mortgages again. Is this really why the land was sold and so much is paid in fees to the government. If the payment is legit (or even if it isn't) there is so much more the government could be doing with these funds to held the Island.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Like the old song says, "Tell it like it is".  They won't pull anything over on Ezzard Miller.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and his smoke and mirrors strikes again. He loves to play lawyer and if called on it makes the disclaimer that he isn't a lawyer. Dart is paying the money where the government chooses it to be paid is what it is.

    When does he leave for England and who is paying for the trip?

  27. Anonymous says:

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  28. Dred says:

    Hold on a second.

    Alden should you be the head of the opposition? Its starting to look like you are in fact NO DIFFERENT than Kurt was so what about you should excite me for PPM?

    You don't want to go to the UK to represent the PPM party and/or the Opposition to lend a voice of reason knowing full well that your WEIGHT at the meeting is significantly more than that of Ezzard. This almost sounds like the BT elections fiasco all over again. PPM fails to step up to the plate because they are scared people think this or that. How much different are you then than UDP Cronies? They are afraid to step up against their leader and so are you. Yet you would sit there and tell their followers they should STAND UP when you yourself FAIL MISERABLY at STANING UP!!!

    This is the #1 reason why no one has faith in you. You may not be CORRUPT but being Naive and GUTLESS is no better. Ezzard is twice the man your whole team is. Even poor old Chuckie has more guts than the team does. Where does this end Alden? Where does this end? If there ever was a time to stand up and be counted it is NOW. Nothing is final on the Cruise Berthing or the ForDart Alliance. NOW is the time not when stuff goes final.

    I simply want to know is WHY IS PPM SO GUTLESS?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  I won't vote UDP and can't vote PPM given their complacency.  I wish there was someone better than the Hawaiian shirt guy from north side!  It's not an intimidating field.  Please ask the box of squid to go to elections website and download the Form 18 Nomination Form, and Form 14 Registration of New Political Party.        

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem very biased and don't seem to remember all the things PPM including Alden have done to stand up to Mac. The vote of no confidence, trying to stop the "nation building" line item being put in the budget, the MARCH – were you there? I was and was bitterly disappointed by how few people had the GUTS to turn up. Alden was there. Most of you people are all full of mouth and then when the time comes to stand up and be counted you are nowhere to be seen.

      By the way, will you pay for the PPM to go to London? They don't have huge financial backers like the UDP does. It's always easy to criticise when you are not standing in the other persons shoes.

    • caymanian-on-guard says:

      You are quite right.. Not even  read or heard a rebuttal to any of the UDP statements..

      And I am afraid that an independent is too much like a swing vote for my liking.. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Chuckie always did have more guts than the rest of the PPM leadership. Thats why he was never a good fit with them…….they're way too slow for the Chuckster !!!

    • Dell says:

      Don’t you feel that creating a crisis makes you as dogmatic as the Premier. All of this is to become the leader in another form independent puppies who have to give something up to get in. So why not parties.ha ha

  29. Anonymous says:

    Milller is absolutely  correct. It seems like the Governmenrt is trying to make this transaction legit. But it is a payment to influence an outome.!

  30. Anonymous says:

    We love you Ezzard.