Customs top job troubles LA

| 22/10/2013

(CNS): Another recruitment difficultly for the civil service disrupted Finance Committee when it resumed Monday, with the issue of the customs department’s top job dominating the morning’s proceedings. Opposition Leader McKeeva questioned the deputy governor about someone from another civil service department without customs experience being given the top job, by-passing experienced staff in customs, because of the additional requirement to the collector of customs post of a master’s degree. Although her name was never mentioned, CNS has learned that Samantha Bennett is being seconded from immigration into the post.

Although Bennett is a Caymanian and the deputy chief immigration officer, she has no direct customs experience, and Bush expressed his concerns, while questioning the appropriations to the customs department in this year’s budget, that well-qualified long serving officers in customs were being by-passed as the job was, he said, manipulated to hand pick a particular person to fill the post.

Moving a motion that a member from the existing customs team be selected to head the department until a full time permanent Caymanian collector of customs is appointed, Bush clashed with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who pointed out that civil service recruitment is the remit of his office and not elected members.

Bush argued that since he was voting on a line item he had a right to move a motion, and while he was not telling the deputy governor who to recruit, he said there were at least four people in the department now capable of taking the job. He said morale was low already in the department, which is a critical revenue generator for government, as a result of the collector’s post being vacant for some two years, and Bush claimed that to bring in an outsider with no experience in that department would make things worse.

The UDP leader implied that the addition of a master’s degree for the post was another example of manipulation. He said there was some suggestion that the person selected was coming in to “clean things up”, when there had been no reports of anything untoward at the department.

“I am worried about posts being fixed again," he said in the wake of revelations earlier this week in Finance Committee. He said the Cayman customs department was one of the best in region and staff there should not be overlooked.

“If there was any kind of slackness there we would have heard about it," he said. “We have not had any great complaints about how they operate … If something was wrong then someone should have said, but I know from what I am hearing they have been doing their work."

Bush insisted that the criteria for the job had been stretched to fit a specific person, making a mockery of the open recruitment process. Admitting that he had no responsibility to hire people, Bush maintained that the problems still land with elected members, who have no ability to tell the deputy governor who to hire and fire.

“I can’t support this when people are not treated right,” he added referring to the vote for the appropriation to the department for its administrative costs. “We have people in customs that can do the job.”

However, Deputy Governor Manderson said that government had faced significant difficulties trying to fill the post because after three rounds of recruitment no one who applied had passed the assessment test.

As a result of the failed efforts, it was decided, he said, to increase the post to one equal to other enforcement heads, such as the police commissioner and the chief immigration officer. The increase in grade coupled with a better package had then in turn called for an increase in qualifications.

The post was then advertised again and a number of people applied but only one person met the qualifications. In order to have an open recruitment process, the deputy governor explained the need for at least two people to be interviewed. With only one suitably qualified candidate, however, Manderson said that a decision was made to offer that candidate a secondment.

Warning Bush that the motion infringed on his responsibilities, Manderson said it could not be right.

The opposition leader said that the deputy governor may feel he was being dictated to and he could “take it anyway he please” but he had a responsibility to try to make some intervention on behalf of his constituents.

“What I see being done is wrong because it’s fixing it for someone and this has gone on for too long.You have got good people who can do the work but there is too much building of their own hedges,” he said, referring to the civil service management.

There was a mixed response from the rest of the House, with several government members, including the premier, who had also voiced his concerns about the addition of a master’s degree requirement, abstaining from the vote. Bush’s motion was, however, defeated because, despite several abstentions, he could only muster up one other yes vote besides his own, as both the independent members, Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean, had shied away from getting into the fight and were absent from the Chamber when the vote was called.

What was clearly a sticky situation for members, with several (though not all) of them aware that it was Bennett who had been selected for the job.

Bush said it was being proposed that someone without experience was being placed in the job and happened to have a master’s degree but they did not have customs experience and none of the arguments he had heard held water. 

“Why people on that side can’t see through this, I don’t know,” he said as he questioned whether they didn’t support the motion just because it was him who had moved it.

Although it was defeated, Alden McLaughlin clearly had some sympathy with Bush’s point and he said there had been a number of discussions about this issue with the deputy governor. But the premier said his main concern was the need to fill the substantive post as a matter of urgency.

“Morale and operations are suffering as there has been no leadership for nigh on two years and we ought not to defer the appointment any longer. The position we have taken is not necessarily to insist the person holds a master’s degree but what we need is experience and competence and we ought not to rule out people with no masters but meet the rest of the criteria,” McLaughlin said.

Acutely conscious of the fact that the appointment of a public servant is not a matter for elected officials, he said he could only express concerns about the way this matter has proceeded. He did not want to see a constitutional crisis, he said, but the people of Cayman needed to be informed about what was really happening.

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  1. Anny Omis says:

    Maybe she is the most qualified applicant. I am sure she can read through the revelant laws and job requirements/etc and bring herself upto speed in her new area of responsibility. I really don’t see why the uproar. She is an educated Caymanian, she should advance in her career. Crabs in a bucket if you ask me. My background was unrelated to my present position. I was hired due to my work ethic, business abilities, education and employer dedication, not industry specific skills.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I worked with Samanatha in the past  and she is smart woman! I 

  3. Anonymous says:

    She was responsible for the budget and revenue  at immigration which is huge, HR, training  to name a few areas managing over 60 staff in her sections. A few more people will be a piece of cake if she has  good deputies.  I understand none of the deputies to the collector wanted the job or applied screams are coming from the next tier down assist collectors   Who clearly have no strategic  experience. And leadership skills.  Sad  really……….. Shame on Carlon for not prepping his staff for succession  planning. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Samantha before working in the the immigration dept working for the ministry of finance as the Chief HR person for many years.  I understand majority of her time  was taken up with a Customs matters. So she is not new to the dept.  She can learn the law In a few months  she doesn't have to dooperational Customs work.  If she can make the improvements similar to what's she has done at Immigration she will do well.   

  5. Anonymous says:

    So who will fill her post there in immigration?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Morale is very low within the Customs department and has been for a long time. The previous Collector was a very well-liked man but he also lacked the leadership skills to head such a vital department that protects our boarders. He left no succession plan in place ( a deputy collector's position sit vacant as well).                                                                                                         

    The appointment of the Collector of Customs needs to be carefully and thoughtfully selected. This department needs to be headed up by someone with experience in border control, there are way too many guns and illegal drugs coming to our shores. It's time this department focuses on the real issues at hand so that crime can be reduced and not only thought of as a department that earns revenue for the coffers. All the $$$ collected in duty won't help if the guns and drugs continue to infest our island.                                                                                                   

    Deputy Govenor please rethink your decision Ms. Bennetts secondment is not the answer.                                                                                           

  7. Anonymous says:

    Time will tell if this was the best decision.We should all wish her well and look for what is best for Cayman and put politics aside. If she is not the right person it will quickly be proven. The truth is there is no one within the department to take that department forward, otherwise it wouldn't be in the state it is. All effort was made to fill the post and we have to accept that tenure does not cut it anymore.  She has a lot to prove.  Time will tell. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes when their is perception of poor quality or corruption in a body the best top end recruitment is from outside.  The new broom sweeps clean.  Sometimes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Am I correct in saying  that Ms. Bennett has not also pass the test? I understand the test is new to government and the persons who mark the test would not know the correct answers if it bit them, Maybe persons have not passed the test because they were not supposed to.  Did Franz  not also come from Immigation? Watch for other Senior Immigration Officers with mediocre qual ification, they will soon be promote too.  The fair process would be to invite everyone back for a new test including Ms. Bennett WHO HAS NOT PASS THE TEST TOO and get new qualified persons to mark the test or hold an interview process. I am sure more persons would apply if they new the person was not going to be CHERRY PICKED without going through the same process as everyone else. People knew  about Ms. Bennett appointment for months. Remember there are no secrets in the NEW GAOB its is too open and everyone new Ms. Bennett was being appointed circumventing the process?  Interesting how no one from the private sector over saw/was a part of this process like other senior level  recruitments? Why Mr. Manderson?                                                                               

  10. Anonymous says:

    Samantha Bennett is a very strong and independent lady and I think she will fulfill the job in a great way. It is good that they want to hire a Caymanian and not an ex-pat because that would be the last thing I want to see happen. She fulfills the many requirements of the job such as leadership, management and HR just to name a few. Funny to say that this post was advertised 4 times in the last 18 months and no one could qualify; even people within customs! So what does that tell you? I personally think immigration will not be where it is today if it wasn't for Ms. Bennett. It sucks that she has to go through this for no reason because either way, she will still be getting the job.  I also want to acknowledge. Mr. Manderson for standing his ground  in the role of this job.  

    • anonymous says:

      Yes i hope Mac is Happy because his Man from West Bay went home on full Pay, and NRA man MR Tomlinson went Home Sick. and he say he has God, i dont want the God Mac have.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Isnt Mac conflicted from saying anything in this matter as the vacancy was caused by his involvement in the first place?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done Franz, I totally agree with your decision to place someone who has the qualifications in the  position. For far too long persons have been allowed to fill critical positions in Government strictly on the basis of their tenure, and not their ability to do the job. Get over it Cayman this is no longer acceptable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is qualifications the only requisite for such an important job.  Customs department is the largest revenue earner for C I Government and it should be arefully supervised.

       Personnel in every Ministry or department should be under studying persons who are about to , at least a year before their departure, thereby affording persons the right to apply or be   for the avaiilable/vacant positions (succession planning).  We are always ready to turn a blind eye on our very own, while focusing externally on those who we do not know, nor we will never know the details of.   Stop opening our arms and open our hearts to the indigenous caymanians.

       

  13. Anonymous says:

    Give an expat a top position because she was the best qualified and best at interview one week and the world and his wife is up in arms….

    Give a Caymanian a top job who was the best qualified and in a senior position in Govt and the world and his wife is up in arms…….

    Only in the weird world of Cayman….

    • Anonymous says:

      We just like to moan – doesn't matter what the subject is – or who the subject is – if its wrong or if its right – whatever it is we will moan. Thats what we do best!

    • Anonymous says:

      How can someone who has never done the job be the best qualified? That is the point Bush was trying to make but the readers of this forum like the LA can't get it. Someone help us.

      • Anonymous says:

        And idiots like you don't get that by your measure nobody is qualified to do any job unless they have done it before. That would definitely count out all politicians XXX

        Taking your moronic reasoning further, all jobs on Cayman should be done by expats unless a Caymanian can prove that they have experience and the skill set to do a particular job. That should go down well with your genius MLA from NorthSide and reduce unemployment.

        You see, you can't have it both ways.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Isn't is good news that they have aksed a Caymanianto take control of the department instead of finding an ex-pat?

    In some countries the border force is responsible for both immigration control and customs- maybe with Samantha Bennett's experience there could be some combining of the two departments?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Someone read Bruce Smith's BIO;

     

    Deputy Chief Immigration Officer (Border Control)

    Bruce D. Smith joined the Immigration Department after spending 20 years with HM Customs where he attained the rank of Assistant Collector and is responsible for all border control matters including airport, seaport operations and visas. He therefore has key responsibilities to identify threats to border security whether by sea or air and introduce comprehensive strategies that effectively minimises or where possible eradicate the threats. As a result of his wide scope of responsibilities, he also supervises more than 70 staff members and provides solutions to operational and administrative problems. Additionally, Mr Smith has oversight of the Department operations in the Sister Islands.

    He received extensive training in Border Security having attended and successfully completed courses in the US, Canada and the Caribbean.

     

    HE WAS ASSISTANT COLLECTOR..why not him??

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey, she had no experience with immigration matters when she was promoted to Depty Chief there!! Now she gets one of Caymans biggest jobs.. I say good luck to her ( i regret no applying for the post, but know i was not qualified, however i know i could do the job), I am sure Mr. Maderson feels she can do the job, so lets give her a chance, Maybe the problem these politions have with her possibly taking the post, is that they will not be able to call up and have items cleared by customs without proper licenses..

  17. Anonymous says:

    It isn't necessarily the best idea to put the oldest, longest employed persons as the chief.  It also doesn't always pay off to promote from within the department.  Many employees have trouble making the transition to higher management. 

    Bush is making noise and grasping at straws because he can't find any real reason to criticize the new government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Quiz Mr Bush and I am sure he can give you the book.

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 15.12, I can see from my desk certain people who think they deserve to be MD because they been here 30 years, however their only qualifications seem to be talking a lot about how clever they are without actually doing anything, making scandals and eating at least 5 times a day in the kitchen. If only it were that easy, we would all be MD's.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I understand that maybe Mr. Bush has constituents who applied for the job and he feels he has to stand up for them.  But he can't really be telling the Deputy Governor to lower standards in the Civil Service, can he?  Even he must be able to see how ridiculous that position is.

    If I had to choose between Franz Manderson making the hring choices and McKeeva Bush making the hriing choices, I stand behind Franz 100%

    • Anonymous says:

      14.50, why not..he managed to do it whilst Premier? He does not know any better…

  19. Anonymous says:

    "People are not being treated right"? Wow, his definition of that is very different from mine. What about the people he couldn't "wuk wid"? Now, there's an example of people not being "treated right".

    • Anonymous says:

      Suddenly he wants people treated right. Remember the three ladies who went home after he became Premier?

    • Anonymous says:

      how about they increase the hours, to get a parcel now you have to go between the hours of 11-2.

      which in real life is 11.30 as they are always late to 12pm as their off for lunch from 12-2.

      So you now have only 30 mins to pick up a parcel. Add to that they seem to only process 1 customer every 30 mins, and only one parcel gets claimed a day.

      I just had a parcel noification teeling me my parcel arrived in July 2012, and they have only just sent notification 15 months later.

      You have to love the civil service

  20. Anonymous says:

    That is why Cayman is assured of failure! Apiring to mediocrity, where talent and readiness are subverted for idiocy,  and defended by spite!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Shame Mac wasn't as interested in leaving Brian Tomlinson in his job which he was well qualified for and had a contract for which was terminated and we paid someone else to do the job as well as Mr. Tomlinson. Perhaps it created an "explosive" situation, I don't know. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Here's what I gathered from this article:

    1. The people the Leader of the Opposition thinks are qualified and should be selected either haven't applied during any of the three open recruitment processes or all failed the assessment test. If they failed the assessment test, that doesn't reassure me that they can actually do the job and do it well.

    2. The Leader of the Opposition and others – including the Premier – have a problem with a Master's degree being required for someone to head a department of approximately 130 employees (according to the 2009/10 HR report) that has responsibility for border protection and security and is one of the largest revenue generators for the Government. This despite the fact that we have all known for years that the need for educational qualifications is increasing and on-the-job experience is no longer cutting it, and despite the fact that a Masters degree can be earned part-time (while working full time) in four or five years for a reasonable amount of money. There are MBA programmes in particular that are tailored for people with years of work experience and are not as hard to adjust to in terms of "going back to school".

    3. To make the best of a bad situation (i.e. no one meets all of the requirements), the Deputy Governor is seconding someone with the qualifications but without direct Customs experience to see how it goes until they can fill the post with the type of person they really want. (Which may eventually be that seconded person since, arguably, Immigration experience has many commonalities as far as border protection, size of department, complexity of operations, etc are concerned; Samantha Bennett has been Deputy Chief Immigration Officer in charge of administration for a number of years, which would garner management and administration experience necessary to run a government department; and once she has been seconded for some time we will know if she can hack it and then fully commit if she does well.)

    In short, I agree with the Deputy Governor and not with the Leader of the Opposition and Premier. This seems like an eminently sensible approach and I am a big supporter of the increase in scrutiny of recruitment processes for top posts, including the introduction of assessment tests. No more promotions based purely on seniority.

    Government suffers too much when we move people up just because they're there when they can't do the job on the next rung of the ladder. If the employees who are in middle management positions at Customs aren't ready to be Collector of Customs they might still be damn good at their current jobs, so that is where they should be utilised. And at the same time they could be developed through training and educational support to be even better, and maybe eventually capable of taking over that Collector of Customs post when it opens up again.

    (The very important caveat here would be that the Government needs to be better at succession planning, performance management and training and development plans… but that's a post for another day.)

    • Anonymous says:

      All good. Except for putting so much faith in the assessment test. I admit I've only heard rumours about it so CNS it would make a good news story if you could get a copy of the test, or even of the type of test, and post it up so readers can see for themselves what is being tested and judge whether it should serve as a pass/fail test for the job of Collector of Customs, as its being used (per the article – no one passed, so no one was hired).

      • Anonymous says:

        My six year old could pass the one that I took but maybe it's changed since then.  I worked the sums on paper but most of the people there had calculators.  I didn't get the job even though I had the highest score because they were moving someone from another department rather than firing the said person for their conduct.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yours was obviously not the one Franz sets for senior civil servants 12:50. I wonder why posters here are always "top of the list" or "highest score" but notappointed. Very suspicious.

          • Anonymous says:

            Simple.  They choose people before they even put out the advertisements.  The other two positions that I applied for were the same.  I knew who was getting the job before I even went to take the test/interview.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, 10:06. A post from someone who clearly knows what they are talking about and expresses points in concise civil service manner in numbered paragraphs. There are not a lot of even senior civil servants can express themselves that well.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well done to Franz Manderson to stand up to the politicians.  Sounds to me like one of Mr Bush's constituents works in customs and didn't get the job.  He/she had their chance to apply, and obviously wasn't successful.  So what is Mr Manderson to do – spend another couple of months running another recruitment campaign (that has no guarantees of success), or second someone with broad experience to start tidying up things and giving Customs some leadership?

     

  24. Anonymous says:

    A manager csn msnsge anything.

    Customs , immigration, fire, police (UK police heads no longer have to go through the start as constables).

    Whilst I don't know Samanatha if she has the skills she can run it.

    As for cleaning up customs, it is long overdue.

  25. Anonymous says:

    "no one who applied had passed the assessment test". Those of us who have to deal frequently with these senior customs officers are in the least surprised at this statement.

    • Anonymous says:

      By the look of most Customs staff, they can't pass a pattie stall let alone an intelligence examination. They are, without doubt, the most shambolic looking bunch who often fail to grasp the most basic information offered to them by residents and visitors alike.

      If Cayman wants to project a professional face to the world, they are sure going about it the wrong way.

  26. Anonymous says:

    …."the job was, he said, being manipulated to handpick a particular person to fill the post". Mr Bush would never do that, of course. Except when he handpicked Leonard Dilbert to "wuk wid him" in a bogus high up post (which no longer exists because it was never needed) and handpicked Deborah Drummond, Angela Martins and Diane Montoya NOT to "wuk wid him".

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't forget Brian Tomlinson being replaced by a major  UDP supporter after the explosives incident. Only in Mac's world could "downsizing" mean paying two people to do the same job. 

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why is a man with pending criminal matters having any say on customs recruitment?

    • Anonymous says:

      Innocent until proven guilty. Sorry Bobo

      • Anonymous says:

        "Innocent until proven guilty" is merely a shorthand for a few presumptions in Court proceedings and nothing more.  There is nothing to stop steps being taken to protect a perceived public interest while charges are pending in either the public or private sphere.

      • SSM345 says:

        10:04, you like so many other Bush supporters seem to always forget about things your illustrious Leader says, so let me refresh your memory and everyone elses on Bush's stance to the old adage "innocent until proven guilty":

        There was a story on CNS not so long ago, although it seems long enough for you to conveniently forget, so let me refresh your memory;

        http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2010/03/05/mac-sees-red-legal-aid

        In this story, Bush makes clear that he was uncomfortable with spending public money to defend criminals and gave little credence to the principle that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. He loudly declared his disgust andcriticised the opposition member for his speeches about rights……..

        He stated this in the Legislative Assembly so if want full details and his exact words, go look it up. And secondly, XXXX the embarassment this man has caused this country is enough for you not to go and do the same thing to yourself.

         

  28. Anonymous says:

    This type of interference by MLA's must stop. They need to stop trying to bully their supporters into key jobs. We have seen the ugly side of this for too long. Thankfully, we have a strong Deputy Governor who will stand up for Civil; Servants. The question that must be asked is  why has anyone is Customs upskilled themselves. Noooooo instead they relied on Bush to get them a job. Guys those days are OVER.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Wasn't the vacancy caused by Bush and his crazy dynamite letter in the first place?

  30. Anonymous says:

    If they were going to Immigration to recruit then they should have taken Bruce Smith, at least he has Custom's experience!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well, well, well! For once I find myself supporting McKeeva Bush. I commend Mr. Bush for questioning Franz Manderson on the manner in which this post is being filled as well as the additional masters degree requirement. It is my understanding that the selected person's degree is in human resource management, earned through a UK university that conducts the course here several times a year. How in God's name does this degree relate to Customs work? No wonder there are rumours about "cleaning up".  I agree with Bush wholeheartedly to question this as it appears that here of late questions about over inflated qualifications for positions within the civil service has become the norm. Franz or whomever can claim that it is their responsibility to make these appointments, free of interference by the elected members, however, he and others like him need to remember that it is the elected members who vote the funds to pay the overinflated salaries! Someone needs to be the watchdog and question and I am glad that McKeeva did, unlike the other so called independents who didnt have the backbone to stand up and vote their conscience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there a difinitive masters in Customs and Excise, not sure there is, anymore than is one for Immigration or MLA?

      But a masters isn't necessarily the qualification to do a job, it represents the ability and aptitude of an individual to absorb and apply information. Basically, it illustrates how smart someone is. I would suggest that for a position that is on the front line of national security and revenue collection, you would want the smartest person for the job. Although that doesn't seem to matter in all other Customs posts.

      But that doesn't seem to carry much weight around here, you'd rather have someone who has been in a job and failed to progress, than have a new set of eyes to sort out a department in crisis. And that is why employers want expat's, because they don't come with baggage or blind followers who can't understand how the big wide world really works.

      Bush and his friends wouldn't know that, as they haven't ever had to apply for a position that requires intelligence, only an ability to take money.

      • Anonymous says:

        But first you have to prove the Department is in crisis and in need of cleaning up. This is the problem. Without laying your groundwork – prove the Department is in crisis and none of the staff who have been training for the post for years are up to snuff – no one believes you're not cherry-picking. Because thats what's been done in the past.

        And remember, no one has leaped to teh defense of the hiring practice by saying 'Customs needs a new broom'. Thats your assumption, but apprently not theirs. So what is their justification?

        • Anonymous says:

          Really, just take a look at news reports over the past few years. If that's not a department in crisis, I don't know what is.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cherry picking is how recruitment works in the real world.

  32. Dennis Smith says:

    Salesmen usually don't make good business managers. The Peter Principal states that in an organizational hierarchy, a employee will rise or get promoted to his or her level of incompetence and then stay there, eventually populating the entire organization with incompetence. Workers usually don't make good managers. It a different thinking and different job entirely. Like expecting a Nurse to become a doctor. Something is missing.  Promoting from the ranks might work but if the organization hasn't identified its potential future managers and developed them it wont work. The simple request for an Masters degree might still be on the light side. If the CS doesn't build talent and ability for future management it will always need to import experience. Not much different then in the private sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except that this particular organisation had identified and built up staff to prepare them for the top job. 'I have several who can do the job' said the last Collector as he left IIRC. But now the 'requirements' have been changed. The goal-posts habeen moved as you enter the red-zone. Is that fair?

      • Anonymous says:

        "I have several who can do the job". Maybe. Maybe not. But Mr Powery, a decent, pleasant man, is hardly a neutral commentator since he was referring to members of his family.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Why do these MLAs pretend to be surprised? Nepotism has and always will be rife in these islands. What they really need to address is when favored people are placed in "Acting" positions for over a year. These hand picked people have unfair advantage when the Civil Service actually advertises the respective jobs. The questions asked of applicants can only be answered by someone experienced in the position and PRESTO guess who always gets the job? The person who "Acted" for over a year. These posts should be advertises immediately as they become vacant or the positions should be closed.

  34. Anonymous says:

    The Deputy Governor and some Chief officers only hold a Bachelor degree. Why does a HOD need to be more qualfied that the Deputy Governor and some Chief Officers? The requirements are also higher. The test that Mr. Manderson introduce for Deputy Chief Officers and Chief Officers are now being used for HODS. Some of the persons who mark the test would not know the right answer if it bit them. XXXX

    • noname says:

      This interesting point raised is a good thing in my view.

      A good and confident leader ought always to hire the best qualified person, even if that person isbetter qualified than himself, because he is looking for succession, not scared that the new person might overtake him.

      Too many well qualified Caymanians have not been hired by their leaders just because those leaders aren't confident in their own ability, and so hold down, or keep out, those that threaten them with their better qualifications.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think if you check you will find that the Deputy Govenor has not just a Bachelor sdegree but also a Law Degree

    • Anonymous says:

      The Deputy Governor is a fully qualified lawyer.

  35. Chris Johnson says:

    I am as usual bemused by what Mr Bush has to offer. On this occasion he queries what qualifications an applicant has for the role of Collector of Customs. Pray Mr Bush, what qualifications did you have to be the Minister of Finance? Did you have a Masters Degree? No. Did you have an accounting qualification? No. Just what did you have to make you worthy of signing our currency notes? A couple of years as a director of a bank that subsequently went into liquidation? Yes.

    Surely this is a perfect example of the kettle calling the pot black.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ Chris Johnson – that is the whole point! Bush had no degree so he doesn't see the point in having one for this post.

      • SSM345 says:

        Bush has a degree, oh wait, he almost had one but the wire transaction was suspicious……..

      • Chris Johnson says:

        No degree for thepost! Then what is required? A brown nose? I confess that customs does need someone who knows the law on importation of dynamite.

    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      Surely you jest. You have an Accountant degree , but there are people in this world who are billionaires who never finished High School. Shame on you for always trying to berate Mr. Bush "If" you  have a personal gripe I suggest you keep it to yourself or deal with it one and one with the man. Your tirades about Bush have gotten realty tired. 

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Mr Salasi. I regret I have no degree which puts me in a similar position to mr bush. Pity you did not do some ground work before pressing the keyboard. Notwithstanding that I studied for five years to become a member and later Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Aacountants in England and Wales. This is certainly no ‘ accounting degree ‘. It is accepted as being amongst the most difficult of accounting qualifications to obtain. However good application is all it requires.

        Thank you for pointing out the billionaires who did not attend high school. May I presume you are not one of them.

        For your edification my comments are not always directed at mr bush and i refer you to my remarks in the pension article. My responses merely report facts as I understand them, the objective of which is to share them with the public. As to yourself may I suggest that you do not read them, which will cause you less stress.

        The last time I spoke to mr bush he was so rude I saw no good reason to continue the conversation. I guess any conversation with your goodself would be equally constructive. However I bear no malice and you may phone me at 9469820 to discuss the subject of your choice.

      • CPA says:

        Your problem is that are unable to put a sentence together. Comments from Mr Johnson are generally spot on. There is an old saying ‘ if you cannot stand the heat keep out of the kitchen’.
        Chris keep on blogging.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Where the others???

  37. Anonymous says:

    This has to be a blow to the morale of senior staff in any government department who aspire to the top post in their department.

    • Alan Roffey says:

      Alternatively, doesn't it also demonstrate that a high flyer who works hard in one department, where promotion may not be available in the short term, can still obtain promotion through a transfer to a different department. This praiseworthy move by the Deputy Governor ought to raise moral across the Civil Service.

      • Anonymous says:

        The trouble with your post, Alan, is that it is far too reasonable, sensible and…gasp…true. In order to set this site alight and get thumbs up, you have to talk about lazy civil servants, corrupt hiring practices, the service is only really 30% "born" Caymanians, the rest from Mac's "gold rush" whose families 'from an island not a 1000 miles from here" are on Social Services benefits list or causing most of the violent crime we are experiencing, the UK totally controls everything, thank God for Ezzard and Arden for exposing the truth about…er….everything.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Historically hasn't there been 1 family that has been very involved in the control & management of customs?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? I cannot believe I actually agree with Mac. Mac and Whodatis in the same week!

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva never seeks to amaze me.   Now the collector’s post became vacant from 1st June 2012 while he was Premier and Minister for Finance with responsibility for Customs.   He sat by or jetted around the world and did nothing to fill the post with a Caymanian as he now shouts about.   Why did he not deal with this matter before he left office?  He was there 6 months following the Collector’s retirement, not to mention that he also new about this as the Collector gave 6 months notice prior to his departure.    That gave Mckeeva one whole year to do something, but of course in his normal fashion he waits until it is out of his reach and makes noise to secure his next re-election.

      I hope that all concerned take note and don’t be fooled by his rhetoric – he is the creator of the monster that this issue has become.    It’s very unfortunate that we now have to train someone for such a very important job whilst our crime situation spirals out of control.