Archive for March 21st, 2012

Travers rushes to Cayman’s defence after BBC slight

| 21/03/2012 | 0 Comments

travers34_0.JPG(CNS Business): The chair of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Anthony Travers, has once again rushed to the defence of the Cayman Islands financial services industry in the wake of comments by a leading BBC journalist describing the jurisdiction as a “secretive tax haven”. Travers accused the BBC’s Business Editor, Robert Peston, of making a common elementary mistake about the Cayman Islands as he reiterated his oft repeated position that there is nothing secret about Cayman's offshore services. Although no longer the spokesperson for Cayman Finance, the industry body tasked with protecting the sector's image, Travers has continued to respond to criticisms made by anyone publicly about the jurisdiction. Read more on CNS Business

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Civil servants to take part in anonymous survey

| 21/03/2012 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Public servants are going to be asked to complete a survey about their attitudes towards their employment to help civil service management identify the issues that affect government workers. According to the minutes released by the deputy governor from his Chief Officers’ Meeting last week Mark Harrison form the portfolio of the civil service has presented a proposal to his senior colleagues for the anonymous “employee attitude survey”. The goal is to solicit ways to improve the management of the service and chief officers were asked to review the proposal and make comments for the next meeting.

Among other issues discussed at the weekly public sector bosses meeting was the fourth phase of the public service review which will be divided into three sections to “ensure  that a comprehensive assessment can be completed,” the minutes state.

This includes a three a holistic perspective focusing on the public service as a whole, an analysis of existing reports, such as the Keith Luck Report and PSML/PMFL amendments, to determine the current relevance of the findings and identifying which recommendations have already been implemented as a result of the first three reviews and assessing the feasibility of the other recommendations not yet put into effect.

See latest minutes below

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WB primary school makes history with IBB approval

| 21/03/2012 | 24 Comments

50494_136956563033_7168_n.jpg(CNS): Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay has become the first government school, not only in the Cayman Islands, but in the entire Caribbean region, to receive their International Baccalaureate (IB) authorisation for the primary years programme. Government officials said Tuesday that this stamp of approval by one of the most respected education organisations in the world is truly a historical achievement. The education said he was committed to achieving a world-class education system in Cayman and this was “a true testament to the significant progress we are already making towards that goal.”

The school has achieved the criteria to be called an IB World School within the IB’s Primary Year’s Programme (PYP).  The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of systems, knowledge and experience from international schools “to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children,” the organisation states on its website.

The ministry’s chief officer described the authorization by the International Baccalaureate as a mark of quality assurance. “Achieving this IB World School status enables us to say that SJACPS has been measured up against schools across the world, and has met comparable standards. We look forward to more of our primary schools achieving this international recognition in the near future,” Mary Rodrigues said.

She explained that to become an IB World School, there is much more to the process than simply filling out forms and ticking boxes. The first stage involves the school applying for candidate status where they submit evidence of curriculum planning, staff development plans and commitment to international mindedness.  Once candidate status is awarded the school is given targets and a Link Consultant who helps them to meet the requirements to apply for authorisation.

Once the school feels that they have reached the targets and are ready to apply for authorization, IB visits to ascertain the schools preparedness to implement the IB programme.  This involves watching lessons, attending several meetings and interviewing the whole school community.
Through the visit to SJACPS, IB found matters arising which the school then had to address before authorisation could be achieved.

“The school did just that,” Rodrigues noted, “and through the hard work and dedication by the staff and students of SJACPS they achieved this most prestigious certification”.

Going forward, SJACPS will have an evaluation visit in three years, where the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) will ensure the quality of their programme. This again is a most rigorous process where the schools will have to achieve further requirements.

Principal of the school Joseph Wallace said the school was very proud of the achievement.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last three years to meet the standards set by the IBO,” he said as he thanked those involved and added that there would be challenges to maintain the status but to improve the learning experiences of students.

ShirleyWahler said the focused and dedicated leadership of the school under Wallace was key to the success.  “I encourage the entire community to celebrate this success as a sign of what we can achieve if we have the vision and the commitment to work for positive change,” she added.

Rolston Anglin said as both a member of the West Bay community and a past student of the school he was proud to recognise what had been achieved by the district primary school.
“I congratulate Mr. Joseph Wallace, his team and all the students and parents of Sir John A. Cumber Primary School on this outstanding accomplishment,” he added.

The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation which is focused on the student.  They offer three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 years which aim at developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalising world.  IB was founded in 1986 and currently works with 3,356 schools in 141 countries where their programmes reach over 1 million students.  For more information on IB please visit their official website: www.ibo.org.

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UK peer to visit Cayman

| 21/03/2012 | 56 Comments

_51613246_-7.jpg(CNS): The British Conservative peer who was appointed director of the Cayman Islands London office will be visiting the jurisdiction with three MPs from the all parliamentary party group for Cayman next month. Officials from the finance ministry said Lord Blencathra will be arriving next week and will have some 35 meetings while visiting the islands; the three MPs will be arriving the following week. The meetings cover both the private and public sectors, and span subjects such as business and commerce, biodiversity, tourism and culture, and Cayman’s political and legislative system. According to the tory peer, the visit will enable him to deliver a positive message about Cayman in the UK.

“By the end of our visit we should all be in a much better position to reinforce a very positive message about the successes of the Cayman Islands in the UK Parliament and media,” Lord Blencathra said.

Before being appointed to the UK’s House of Lords, David McLean represented Penrith and The Border for the Tory party from 1983. He was handed the peerage after he stepped down from his political seat due to ill health.

His appointment caused controversy both here and in the UK when opposition Labour MP Maria Eagle queried how a serving Conservative peer could have been appointed as the representative for Cayman, which is opposed to further regulation of what she called offshore tax havens, when there was a push in the UK for more regulation of such jurisdictions.  She also noted that in opposition the UK prime minister had raised concerns about the “potential scandal” relating to lobbyists.

Here in Cayman many questioned how a former UK politician could deliver Cayman’s message successfully.

The peer also criticised Caymanians, who he said were writing negative things online as he said they were undermining efforts to promote the jurisdiction’s financial services sector overseas. In December Lord Blencathra told CNS Business in an email interview that his aim was to keep selling the positive messages about Cayman, again and again and again.

“But it cannot be done if it is undermined by things said and written by Caymanians,” he said, adding that he was saddened by negative comments on the web as the internet is read not just by local people but by politicians and global financial players as well.

“What appears on the web and the reality are poles apart but observers sitting thousands of miles away might be fooled into think that life is awful in Cayman,” said the new director of the London office.

The three members of the Cayman Islands all party parliamentary group who will be joining McLean on his visit are thegroup chair, Conservative member Graham Brady, who is also chairman of the 1922 Committee, along with opposition Labour MP Brian Donohoe, Deputy Chairman of the APPG, and Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford.

APPG are informal, cross-party, interest groups that have no official status within the UK parliament and have no powers or funding from it. They act as a forum for contact and discussion with members of parliament and for action on behalf of the Cayman Islands.

See related articles:

Peer-hits-out-negative-posts

Lord-gets-top-uk-cayman-job

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