Good governance is wise spending, says governor

| 08/10/2013

(CNS): In her first throne speech the new governor told the Legislative Assembly that, to her, good governance involved careful and planned management of resources and spending wisely, as she commended the public service for reducing expenditure and moving towards more strategic ways of working. As Helen Kilpatrick delivered her presentation ahead of the budget address, she proposed funding intelligence-gathering, planning, consultation, standard-setting, international collaboration, monitoring and evaluation, as well as stricter enforcement. As she listed the various government initiatives, she said a recurring theme was the use of technology to achieve goals in a cost efficient way. 

As a public finance expert, Kilpatrick has been expected to focus on Cayman’s purse strings and she said it was "incumbent on this honourable House to ensure that the proposals submitted by government for the coming financial year offer the people of the Cayman Islands value for money,” noting that it was  a weighty task.

“The civil service is also to be commended for the reduction that it has achieved in personnel and operating costs.  Their savings to the country have come at a cost to many. However, ensuring the sustainability of these Islands is a noble and worthy cause,” the governor said in her relatively short speech, giving a very brief overview of government’s plans, which were later expanded upon by the premier in his much longer address.

From the auditor general’s plans to enhance its independence by working towards a new law, to efforts by the judiciary to find a way to pay for a much needed new court house, the governor focused on the portfolios and independent arms of government. She revealed that the director of public prosecutions is working with the criminal justicedepartment and law enforcement agencies to develop a formal witness protection programme and that the legal department was working on an anti-money laundering unit under the aegis of the Attorney General’s Chambers.

She spoke about the work of the deputy governor’s office to review public entities with the aim of rationalizing the various departments, assessing those that are obsolete, in need of transfer, or in need of separation or amalgamation.

“Consideration will also be given to opportunities for privatisation or outsourcing where this is feasible,” she said.

Noting changes to the police law to establish a commission to offer civilian oversight of the RCIPS, she said that in the coming year the police would continue to target serious crime through a variety of strategies, including a pro-active task force to patrol vulnerable locations. She said the Cayman Islands Prison Service would also be working to mitigate issues identified by the United Kingdom and local prison inspectors. 

“The prison will also address long-term estate needs while making emergency repairs on existing facilities,” she revealed. 

Giving a brief review of the work of the various ministries, Kilpatrick said the Customs Department will reform and modernize its compliance management, intelligence and risk management in order to enhance border security and revenue collection.

The governor also said that in response to the need for a further 36 megawatts of electricity on Grand Cayman, the Electricity Regulatory Authority would conduct another competitive solicitation for the development and operation of a new power generation plant. During the coming fiscal year the National Energy Policy Committee’s mission to establish a National Energy Policy would also receive support from government.

Kilparick revealed that the Mosquito Research and Control Unit will once again explore field trials for a proposed Oxitec project as a comprehensive and effective strategy for dengue fever prevention. The previous trials carried about by the UK-based research company raised considerable concern when the public discovered that the firm had released genetically modified male mosquitoes into the district of East End.

See full throne speech below.

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Category: Politics

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Or is wise spending good governance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope the subtext to "good governance involves careful and planned management of resources and spending wisely" is understood. Despite the fact that we have an elected Minister of Finance, under the Constitution "good governance" falls under the Governor's remit.  

  3. Lord Belly-Cloth DSO says:

    Well I daresay that much of this is unsound in theory and likely to be perilous in practice…..

  4. Know it all says:

    I am happy that she appreciates the excellent work done by the civil service.