Consultants cost $2.2M

| 10/12/2012

executives_money.jpg(CNS): The finance ministry spent more than CI$2.2 million of public money on consultants in the period from November 2009 to September 2011, according to the response to an FOI request made by a CNS reader. The applicant requested information on consultant and travel costs in the premier’s ministry. Although the response refers only to the financial part of McKeeva Bush’s areas of responsibility, it reveals that the Financial Services Secretariat alone spent more than $2 million on expert advice and around $175,000 was spent by the UK office, the Financial Services Administration and the Department of Commerce.  It also shows that the financial departments in the ministry spent over $500k during the same period on travel.

The request does not detail who the consultants were or what they were advising on but it is understood that the majority of the sum represents the contract government has with Sidley Austin, a legal firm that lobbies on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government on the political scene and in the corridors of power in both the United States and Europe.

The section referring to travel does not offer any details about who was traveling, where they went or for what reason but it indicates that between November 2009 and September 2011 the General Registry, the Department of Commerce and Investment, the Tax Information Authority, the Financial Services Secretariat, the UK office and the Financial Services Administration racked up a travel bill of more than half a million dollars. The largest sum was over $277,000, which was spent by the Financial Services Secretariat.

The request also shows that during the same period the ministry spent just $17,000 on its overseas connections via the Department of Commerce in its Hong Kong office, while it spent some $135,000 on the London office.

CNS is still waiting on the results of an FOI request, which it made to the premier’s ministry on 5 October. Although the response is more than two months late and the Information Commissioner’s Office has now intervened, the ministry has still not been able to answer the CNS request, which asked where the premier had travelled to on official business over the twelve months to October of this year, with whom, why and how much it has cost the public purse. 

The public recently made its concerns abundantly clear on the CNS comments board regarding the CI$213,000 spent on official travel by the deputy premier since she was elected to office. A story based on an FOI request that revealed the details and costs of Juliana O’Connor Connolly’s travel since June 2009 generated well over 90 comments, very few of whichwere supportive.

The revelations that the fnance ministry alone racked up more than twice that amount in just two years suggests that once the cost of the premier’s travel on behalf of his tourism portfolio is added to trips made in his role of premier, the bill will be quite significant.

Related articles on CNS:

DP racks up 200k travel bill

No sign of Mac travel FOI

See details of the freedom of information request below.

Category: FOI

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This pales in comparison to other recent developments.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This does not appear to be outside the range one would expect.

  3. Beachboi says:

    I firmly believe that Mac Madness had to hire consultants in order to run his office since he knows nothing about finance.  Having said this I also firmly believe that the amount paid to consultants, as they relate to knowledge gained in order for him to do his job, should be deducted from his salary.  Why should we have to pay him and then have him turn around and pay out more of our money for advice on how to do his job.

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    Lawd please hep us get dis hal-ba-tross from roun hour neks…

    • Anonymous says:

      Done..

    • Knot S Smart says:

      And to think I just prayed about this last night and the Lawd sent the police to wake Mac up this morning.

      Anybody else need me to pray about anything?

      • Anonymous says:

        Can we get a decent jury that does not buy into Sacred Vessel-esque defences?