Archive for March 6th, 2014

‘FFR is not a constraint’

| 06/03/2014 | 30 Comments

(CNS): The overseas territories director has said that the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility is not a stumbling block to the resolution of the George Town landfill but by following the process the government is more likely to get the solution right and provide value for money. During his two day visit to Cayman this week Dr Peter Hayes from the Foreign and commonwealth Office told CNS that the UK can and will supply the technical assistance necessary to help deal with the issue but he said the problem of decades of mismanagement could not be resolved overnight, and given the fact that the Cayman Islands public will pay in the end, government had to ensure it got things right.

The environmental health minister has stated that he anticipates it will be two years before government has a full workable solution in place as a result of the need to follow the process set out in the FFR agreement with the UK, which is now part of the local Public Management and Finance Law, a timeframe that the public is struggling to accept.

However, Hayes indicated clearly that the process could not be circumvented and that it would cost the tax payer much more in the end if government got it wrong by not setting out the policy, the business case and then setting about with an open and transparent procurement process.

“I would not say that the FFR is a constraint,” he said. “But with any significant amount of expenditure the government has to get it right now or pay for that later. The CIG needs to make sure it gets the best deal for the Cayman people or it will cost far more in the long run. “

He said that if nothing else the public was much more aware about waste-management, and with the country talking about the issue, it presented an opportunity for everyone to reconsider how much waste they generate and methods of mitigation and minimizing the waste going to the landfill through community initiatives. As an example, he spoke about glass crushing in BVI, which is now using its crushed glass as fill.

Although attempts were made in Cayman several years ago in the private sector, the lack of support from government and developers for that saw the efforts disappear. While some bars still have glass crushers purchased at the time, the crushed glass is still ending up in the landfill and not being utilized as fill by any developers, who are continuing to quarry and dredge instead.

Nevertheless, Hayes said Cayman was presented with an opportunity to think about how it wants to deal with waste management and reduction, recycling and reuse.

While some believe that the timeframe to get to the solution is too long because so much research and analysis on the potential solutions have already been done, others have raised concerns that because there is no current waste-management policy in place, the government is a long way from actually being able to produce a business case on how it wants to deal with "Mount Trashmore".

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