Whistleblower motion fails

| 10/04/2014

(CNS): The Progressives and C4C members voted down a motion to adopt the recommendations made by the complaints commissioner to protect whistleblowers in the civil service. North Side MLA Ezzard Miller brought the motion to the Legislative Assembly Wednesday on behalf of the committee with oversight of the complaints commissioner, of which he is chair, saying members were very concerned at the handling, by both senior servants and past political leadership, of previous reports that had dealt with whistleblowing. However, one member, Roy McTaggart, voted against his own committee’s motion and in-line with the rest of the MLAs on the government bench, with the exception of Alva Suckoo, another member of the oversight committee, who abstained.

Referring to the Clifford Report and the Luck Report, both of which had made recommendations regarding whistleblowers that had “not seen light of day”, Miller said that in order to prevent Complaint Commissioner Nicola Williams’ report, “Let the Whistle Blow”, from suffering a similar fate, the committee has instructed him to move the motion that government adopt and implement the recommendations contained in the report as policy and resolve that such implementation include the passage into law of whistleblowing legislation.

West Bay MLA Bernie Bush seconded the motion, which was supported across the opposition bench.

Addressing the Legislative Assembly, which is sitting this week at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre on Cayman Brac, Miller reminded members of the findings of the report: that public servants in the Cayman Islands are extremely reluctant to report wrongdoing for fear of reprisals, and that victimization and retaliation is common, with no protection for the whistleblower.

The commissioner’s recommendations, he said, called for stand-alone legislation, a positive duty to report wrongdoing, changing the culture of the civil service so that whistleblowers were seen as reporters of wrongdoing, and that those reported of wrongdoing were punished. She also recommended the drafting of a whistleblowing policy document, a confidential hotline, and ensuring confidentiality of the whistleblowers, as well as an education programme and creating a ministry portfolio for Public Service and Integrity.

Miller congratulated the commissioner on the professionalism, sensitivity and thoroughness of the report, a sentiment echoed by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who said that his office had considered it, “and while we do not agree with every recommendation, we do accept that this is is matter which we need to give urgent attention to,” he noted.

Manderson said that considerable work had been done already; the attorney general was already in the process of drafting whistleblower legislation, he said, adding that he has also set up a confidential email where staff could contact him. His office, he said, was taking the recommendations seriously and they were “progressing as quickly as we can”.

However, the motion failed when all government members except for Suckoo voted “no”.

Related article on CNS:

80% of whistleblowers sacked

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Category: Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REALLY ON ROY’S MINE

    He is on this committee that made the recommendations yet he vote against the motion. He can’t give the flimsy explanation regarding collective responsibility because as much as he wants to be a minister he is not and it now becomes my duty to inform Roy that he is not a minister nor do I ever think he will be me one. He may as well wear red and be a PPM. I can’t understand this bunch, they campaign on one thing and do another. REMEMBER my fiends they said that they were going to reduce the cost of living and they just increased duties which all of us will feel. They boast ofa surplus yet instead of reducing the fuel tax it remains and CUC continues to kill us. PPM enjoy this your last time and be. Prepared to dissolve after this term.
    Bye bye, tat tat

  2. Nicholas Robson says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase traditionally attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), which is literally translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?" Also sometimes rendered as "Who watches the watchmen?",

    The question that must be asked is 'Whose government is it'? We elect people to administer the affairs of the country on our behalf, and to do so in the most efficient and transparent manner. If they are not doing so it is an obligation on any other employee of the government to come forward and speak out.

    It is also an obligation of our colonial masters from the perspective of Good Governance to ensure that a Whistleblower Motion is implemented. Below there is a link to the Council of Europe and the legislation that they are drafting on the subject.

    HOW TO PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS? 
     
    The Council of Europe is currently drafting a legal instrument on protecting individuals who report or disclose information on acts and omissions in the workplace that represent a threat or harm to the public interest (‘whistleblowers’).
     
    In this context it brought together, at its headquarters in Strasbourg on 30 and 31 May 2013, key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors concerned with the issue. The aim of the meeting was to seek their views on various main elements to be addressed in the draft text of the legal instrument. The outcome of those discussions contributed to enriching and finalising the development of an innovative European standard on protecting whistleblowers.  
     
    The  European Committee on Legal Co‑Operation (CDCJ) approved the text of the Draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to Council of Europe member states on protecting whistleblowers at its 88th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 16-18 December 2013).
     
    The draft recommendation will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers with a view to its possible adoption end April 2014. <http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/cdcj/Whistleblowers/protecting_whistleblowers_en.asp&gt;
     
    Nicholas B Robson
     
     
  3. pmilburn says:

    And the beat goes on.What have you all got to hide?We will never get anything resolved fairly unless this law is put in place.Shame Shame.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Deplorable.  Shame on each of the PPM and C4C MLA's that voted this down.

  5. Michel says:

    I am disapointed. It’s like sending a message ” Not to tell “. We had a chance to finally make persons accountable for their wrong doings and abuse of office. Instead we continue to encourage to look the other way. Am I missing something here ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. You are missing that the govt. has said that it will indeed prepare stand-alone legislation to protect whistle-blowers but did not accept some particular recommendations of the Complaints Commissioner in respect of such legislation.

      CNS: Read all the way down to the penultimate paragraph. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sigh. Shakes head with grim look on face. Sighs again. Asks self when the people will find and send selfless individuals to the MLA, with Cayman at heart, not their own empires.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go back to simple custos guarding a county! We only need a 50 accountants and 20 admin to run this country – not 17 puffed up politicians and 5000 civil servants! This is shameless Caribbean pocket filling at its worse

  7. Anonymous says:

    Speaks volumes of the PPM and the C4C. They are now collectively and individually indistinguishable from the UDP !!! The country was warned about the party system. Change of faces but no policy or ideological differences. If Mac don't go to prison in September he will be the next Premier. It OVA DEN !!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Al Suckoo and opposition – well done!! Big thumbs down to PPM and C4C – you guys have lost the plot.

  9. Anonymous says:

    WHY?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Of course our MLAs don't support a whistleblower law. Whistleblowing exposes corruption at the highest level, meaning with them. Duh!

  11. Anon says:

    Could it be, possibly, that they didn't like the motion in its present form and want to refine it before voting it through? That is the answer isn't it? Roy how about going on a public medium and explaining the no vote.

  12. Anonymous says:

    No surprise here…CIG talks the talk, but are clearly not interested in walking the walk!

    Lot's of sound bites….but very little action to effect "Good Governance".

  13. Just Commentin' says:

    Only those with something to hide would fear this legislation.

    I and everyone I have spoken with about it are absolutely shocked and unhappy at Alden's government's decision to vote against the bill. The government's stand is not only disappointing, it rightfully leads to suspicion as to why they voted the bill down.

    With PPM promises of "transparency"  during their campaign we should think that it would have been a priority of the government and not the back bench to bring this type of legislation to the table in the first place. If the administration objected to certain provisions in the bill, they should now carry the ball and draft some legislation with teeth that will promote exposing corruption and irregularity in government. Is it that Alden and his government simply do not want to give up the power of oppression?

    I certainly agree with those who are disappointed at Alden's government's position on this and can certainly see why they now deeply regret casting their vote for the PPM and Progressive MLS involved. Perhaps Alden and his minions know that irregularities in government are so rampant that should the bill have passed and all the dirt be exposed that it would foster absolute outrage among voters and put his government under very intense pressure to do what they should be doing what they were elected to do in the first place and that is to ensure governance that is good, transparent, and just.

    For the sake of all that is good and just, and for the sake of the Cayman Islands, we the people must not let this rest and must now hold Alden's feet closer to the fire until it is resolved!

    • Anonymous says:

      Just for clarification – it's not a bill that was voted down, it was a motion to implement all of the recommendations that the Complaints Commissioner made, only one of which was enacting legislation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firstly, it was a motion NOT a bill.

      Secondly, read the Deputy Governors comments again. Then one more time.

      He siad that a real bill/law is on the way.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Ok..understood.  Bill/motion…whatever.  Whatever Ezzard proposed is a good thing. Can you tell me why it is not a good thing?

        A bill is on the way…being drafted now.  The motion, had it passed, would have a positive impact on drafting the bill. Right? So what is so wrong with ensuring that the bill being drafted provides for: enacting stand-alone legislation that promotes a positive duty to report wrongdoing, changing the culture of the civil service so that whistleblowers were seen as reporters of wrongdoing, punishing those guilty of wrongdoing, the drafting of a whistleblowing policy document, providing for a confidential hotline, and ensuring confidentiality of the whistleblowers, creating an education programme, and creating a ministry portfolio for Public Service and Integrity? Even if it was the intention of government to include every single one of these points in the eventual bill, it could not have hurt for Alden and his government to affirm their committment to the issues addressed in Ezzard's motion.

        I see nothing reported here that in any way indicates that the motion should not have been wholeheartedly embraced by Alden and his government. Perhaps it is because in their playing polytricks, Alden's government just cannot bear to allow anything "Ezzard" to pass.  While Ezzard is sometimes an irritant, in this case he was bringing something positive to the House and I can see no other motivation besides less-than-honourable polytricks as a reason not to have passed the motion.  Am I missing something? Details please.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can I ask why if the C4C memebrs claim they are not members of the C4C then why are they not wearing "red" ties as they same to be very much PPM.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can't saythat what Tara does is unexpected but Roy and Winston….got two words for both of you…NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    It seems as though some of us refuse to read carfeully. The article states that the Deputy Gov. said that there is already 'whistleblower' legislation well on the way under the guidance of the A.G. That is, it is being drafted and will therefore come forward to be debated and hopefully passed. This legislation is as a result of the same reports brought up by Miller.

    Therefore why would any Government support another motion which asks them to support a separate but similar actions. This would be like admitting that the coming legislation is not going to be good.

    Instead, let us encourage the legislators to get the pending legislation finished, debated and passed. Then the Complaints Commissioner & public servants will have what is required.

    If more comments were made during this LA process it would have been good for those to have been reported so we would have a better understanding.

    CNS: No other statements were made.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It seems every miserable person wants to be a crime fighter and strive for their perceived justice.  Why not encourage the opposite behavior: offer a cash prize incentive/bonus to those that generate implementable ideas that improve their department's efficiency and optimize the conservation of public funds.  I'd like the names of any MLA that would vote that down.

  18. Anonymous says:

    For the Progressives, who have championed transparency and good governance, to vote against this causes me great concern.  "Why?" I ask, "Why?"

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article not just the headline.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they said what they needed to get elected but ain't doing it when it matters.  That is why the PPM only has one term administrations.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It's obvious that a culture of accountability is being stymied from the top down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like under the UDP.  We were fooled at election time.  They lied about OMOV what else?

  20. The Thinker says:

    In a fair game when a foul is seen, any action should taken against the player, not the referee.

  21. Otherview says:

    Really,…………I'm not surprised about this at all………are you????

  22. Anonymous says:

    ouch, that is like admiting the government has a policy of punishing whistleblowers.

  23. Anonymous says:

    80 % of whistleblowers sacked. Sounds alarming, but how was this determined? Were there specific instances cited? If this report is to be credible then it must be backed up by details, and I would like to know where to look to see the cases stated and hear both sides of the story.  I might believe I was victimized because of whistle blowing, my boss might tell you otherwise.

  24. Saddened says:

    What a disappointment the C4C are every last one of them, they certainly fooled us. I really thought better of Roy McTaggart, but he is turning out to be even worst than Mike Adam.  Totally SPINELESS. Enjoy you one term guys & gal.

    • Anonymous says:

      well well   now we see the "real " c 4 c and ppm

      I told that this wuld happen !!

      should have gone with UDP

    • Anonymous says:

      HAHA, all they need is ONE term and they got their pension for LIFE. tink dey worried?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Government are comfortable with the status quo. None really want change just to talk about it.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why would they vote ? Will these issues be addressed directly or just go to waste? WTH am I missing here?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Poor C4C Tara Roy Winston looking like one term mla's. No independent thinking at all

  28. Anonymous says:

    Politricks in action. Plus cà change……

  29. Anonymous says:

    Until Ezzard learns how to work with the other members of the LA he will remain a non force in national politics always searching for a microphone and a camera somewhere but getting nothing accomplished.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you decide to focus on your small minede opinion of the one who brought this important motion, but ignore the importants of it being voted down?!

      Your tain of thought is the problem in this country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you understand how the LA works?  Ezzard can play hero all day long and nothing will get done until he learns to work together with the other members of the LA.

        OMOV is a perfect example of an issue if Ezzard could check is ego at the door could be accomplished by working with the members that voted across the party line.

        And you can blame and whine all day long but until people learn to work together beyond the tribal mentality on this little rock nothing will improve.

    • Anonymous says:

            In other words – 06:30 unless Ezzard does as the ruling party wants him to do ,he will not get their support.In other words even if Ezzard believes they are doing something wrong ,he should just roll with the flow in order to gain their support.It appears that you do not want Ezzard to have a mind of his own ,but rather to just be a follower or extension cord. In other words ,you want Ezzard to be dishonest;is that what you really want from a representative? Don't we already have enough extension cords in the PPM led alliance ?Just remember what happened when McKeeva was able to stay in power ,during the last term with the aid of so many extension cords.To Ezzard I say ;stand firm on what you know is the right thing ,even if it costs you political points.At least you will be able to lookin the mirror and not hate the man looking back at you,and you should sleep better at night.

  30. Anonymous says:

    THIS IS BECOMING A JOKE

    PPM, WTF are you all trying to do and what kind of message are you sending to person who see wrong doings and fail to report it. Is it because you all are so corrupt that you don’t want the whistle to be blown on you. As for ROY MCTAGGART I never had any hopes in you anyway so not disappointed there.

    ALDEN YOU ALL SHOULD BE SHAME OF YOUR BEHAVIOR.

    • Anonymous says:

      when are you all going to get it through your heads that Alden does not give a hoot about te little middleclass worker, what part of that do you not understand, Lbor is not one of Alden McLaughlin's skills expertise, strength nor interest!

  31. Anonymous says:

    This motion was bound to fail, as whistle bloweres dismissed from their jobs as a  result of exposing of many present government members wrongdoings. Why would they support this motion. Congrats Mr. Miller for bringing this motion. Cotinue yor good wok.

  32. Anonymous says:

    "Public servants in the Cayman Islands are extremely reluctant to report wrongdoing for fear of reprisals." This government sound like the Gestapo.

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue is not about "this" govt. in particular. It is about govt. in general over the years. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right, and when we do report wrong doings not a damn thing is done.

      They don't even investigate it, IT IS EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Must keep the bad stuff hidden.  Talk "transparency", act "opacity".