Governor won’t release report

| 25/08/2014

(CNS): Leaving it until the last minute, the governor is seeking yet another costly judicial review in order to keep the report related to the controversial Operation Tempura secret following a refused FOI request. Helen Kilpatrick’s staff posted a statement on Facebook at around 1pm Monday about the decision. The office has already been through one JR, in which an outside judge was brought to Cayman at the local tax-payers’ expense to hear the case. But Sir Alan Moses referred the dispute back to the information commissioner after giving the governor a last chance to expand on just one part of the argument to keep the report under wraps. Some 45 days ago, the acting information commissioner dismissed the renewed arguments and again ordered the document's release.

The report in question relates to a complaint filed by the senior investigating officer on the ill-fated internal police probe which began in September 2007. Martin Bridger’s complaintwas dismissed by the former governor, Duncan Taylor, and although the Tempura boss has a copy of the reasons why this was so, he was only given the resulting report under a tight confidentiality clause.

An FOI request was made for that document however and so began what has become the longest and most protracted battle the information commissioner’s office has had with any government entity to release information.

Despite having 45 days to consider Jan Liebaers most recent decision, which was handed down in July, the governor’s office waited until the very last day in law before placing the announcement on the Facebook page and informing the commissioner’s office that an application for another Judicial Review has now been filed.

The statement posted to Facebook from Kilpatrick was exceptionally short and reads as follows:

“I have considered the Information Commissioner’s Ruling of 10 July which ordered the disclosure of a complaint made in relation to Operation Tempura and my predecessor’s response to this. There remain several allegations and cases related to Operation Tempura that are not concluded. I believe that release of the documents at this time could potentially prejudice the progress of these. I am also concerned that releasing the documents at this time could breach a court order, and is not in the public interest. I have, therefore, sought leave for Judicial Review of the Information Commissioner’s decision.”

However, with just one narrow area of law to examine, the governor’s office is pushing the limits of the Freedom of Information law. Liebaers, who will be forced to continue the fight for transparency, said in the wake of the revelations that as the issue is now back before the courts he was unable to comment directly on the governor’s decision.

The governor’s fight to keep the details of the report secret will add to the growing cost in relation to the fallout of the operation, which continues to be plagued by secrecy and controversy. Once again it will be the cash-strapped public purse that will foot the bill for the cost of another outside judge to come to Cayman to hear the arguments as well as the costs of both sets of attorneys to represent the governor’s office and the information commissioner.

Check back to CNS for more on the ongoing issues relating to Operation Tempura later this week.

Category: FOI

Comments (67)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And the new campaign slogan for the 2017 Elections will be….."DO NOT VOTE FOR WHO HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE".  I would prefer a fresh cup of coffee than this nasty bad tasting cup we have now.  VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT!  They are as much use as a wet toilet paper.

  2. Anonyanmous says:

    Don't blame the Governor in this she is just following instructions from the UK.  Those who want to believe otherwise can but the Governor is only doing her job which is to protect the interest of UK above all others. I would like to see the report published but if it means gaining independence over the report then they can throw it over the north wall and rest the case..  Far too many people in Cayman want independence and then what?  we won't be as fortunate as Jamaica, not as smart as Barbados or Bahamas yet so we had better hang on until we can run and as far as I can see we are not even to the toddler stage, we still crawling and reaching to pull up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fortunate as Jamaica….?  You gotta be joking, a corrupt and broken crime ridden place cannot be considered fortunate.

  3. Anonyanmous says:

    Bulldozed Cayman's oldest surviving structure, true but if it belongs to you, you have the right to do what you want to do with what belongs to you.  Go tell the same things to the person/entity that bulldozed Dr. Roy's house, remove the old tree from West Wind Building that is just as old as the Fort,the old structure that was the Viking Gallery, West Indian Club, Caribbean Club and the list goes on….. trust me JMB always got his way, if he was still around he would still be ruler of these islands and there would still be many happy Caymanians. His memory lives on forever he did more good for this country and his people than the few unfortunate events that happened because he did not walk on water.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes, 7:51, while Tom Russell did nothing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    She’s a part of English spying group that was summoned here!

    • Anonymous says:

      You take yourself far too seriously if you think that the UK would bother to spy when they already know all they need to.

  6. Anonymous says:

    She is Duncan Taylor in women's clothing…nothing changes

  7. Anonymous says:

    Has Helen finished unpacking yet and setting out her swim wear to enjoy the beautiful Seven Mile beach? It doesn't seem so. 

    There are quite a few things that you need to get cracking at Helen:

    1. We haven't had a Commission for Standards in Public Life for about 6 months. We got a law – finally – and even if Cabinet were minded to start bringing it into effect, there's no Commission;

    2. We've known there was going to be a vacancy in the Information Commissioner's post for even longer and still haven't started a recruitment process; and 

    3. Now, we give a one-year contract because we haven't taken the time hopefully to sort out how we can amalgamate the Info Commissioner and Complaints Comm posts into one post!

    Helen, there's work to be done. Stop looking for places to hide Aina's report and get on with it please. We pay you a pretty decent salary, don't we?

    • Dread On Dread says:

      And the Guv sits on her beach chair overlooking the gorgeous 7 mile beach while listening to Marleys " Im a Tebel, Soul Rebel, Im a Conqueror sole Adventiter" who won't set the captives free. What a Ting, Brittania still rules.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why don't we have the new AG……ops, we have the same AG advising the last UDP then PPM then UDP now PPM……ALL during this fiasco, looks like he's the only one the UK/FCO plan to keep 

    • Anonymous says:

      If Gov decided this then the UK needs to pay for it.  Enough of the bull and this useless weak govt full of yes men.

    • Anonymous says:

      So right, the new Governor is again another new person to this mess and if the FCO is keeping the same Attorney General why shouldn't we put pressure on him as legal advisor to our government to do something?

      I'm not sure but wouldn't his ultimate orders come from the FCO or override those of the Cabinet? If so maybe he could shed light on whether anything to the spying issues, to us through our MLAs? food for thought…

  9. #TheTruthIsOutThere says:

    Ok folks,

                   Here's the crux of the whole matter, as everyone knows the UK has been and still is trying to discredit the Cayman Islands at any cost. Their reasoning behind this is their perception that these Islands steal their tax dollars. Theses tax dollars are what is needed in the UK to ensure that the aristocracy stays on top and they keep being able to live the lifestyles they want.

    To this end they have tried over and over again to force anyone who stands in their way to bend to their will (much like Hiltler was trying to do). 

    If they, the UK, were to release this report then it would prove who was doing what, why they were doing it and highlight ongoing operations that are still sensitive to UK interests occurring in the Cayman Islands.

    This report would in effect put the UK in a position of getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar and all the while they are telling everyone else that they are doing this and that wrong and aren't transparent enough, that everyone else is corrupt, human rights issues and so on and so on.

    For those who haven't seen the report I can assure you that it IS ONLINE, albeit under a different heading to keep the UK from shutting it down. 

    Soon everyone will see who the real hooligans are!!!!

    The Truth is out there! Just need someone with the wherewithal to step up! Or maybe somebody already has?

    • Anonymous says:

      14:47, since you are so privy to this report online, how about the link? Since you know so much, why don't you be the one to bring it to everyone's attention instead of passing it on for someone else to do?

    • Anonymous says:

      14.47, you severely overrate Caymans importance to the UK, they have much bigger fish to fry like IS, Ebola, terrorism just to keep your puny ass and others safe. What did you do in the war son? "Well, I sat right under my tree with a beer and spliff and bitched about everyone else whilst completely dillusional"

      • Anonymous says:

        Uhmmmm, point of order here. Preverbial stone hit the pig.

        You mean ISIS. Yeah, about the only thing Brits are doing is joining up with them by the hundreds. And sorry but unlike you I actually did something instead of telling everyone I did something (trying to convince yourself there buddy?). 

        And by the way we are in the Cayman Islands and not the UK. I am home, where are you, how did you get here and why did you come here?

        But that's ok, big chief say "everyone brave behind big internet screen, just don't come out from under your rock or you get-em scalped head".

        Or otherwise !!!!!! PUT A SOCK IN IT MATE !!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    May I ask who is representing the Governor? Is it the AG's office? Is she using the people's money to keep us in the dark? Hardly fair …

    • Anonymous says:

      At the previous JR the Governor was represented by Walkers and the ICO by Broadhurst LLC. The total bill for their services was over CI$380K – more than the report cost to produce in the first place. This is just getting silly.

  11. Anonymous says:

    In a normal case the courts would strike out this second Judicial Review application by HE as an abuse of the court process. Lets see what happens here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Possibly true but the lawyers are still going to earn an easy CI$250K for preparing the paperwork.

      There's something seriously wrong with a system that allows two publicly-funded entities to battle this out in court using private lawyers with no apparent cap on the costs. It turns FOI into little more than a p***ing contest.   

       

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a bore-if there is anything bad, get it out in the open, deal iwth it and move on-endless speculation is far worse than the disease or the cure.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Would you if your job was on the line? Tow the line, don't rock the boat, keep calm and drink the koolaid.

  14. Pit Bull says:

    I do not see the basis upon which the Information Commissioner has any authority over the Governor.  Surely on the UK Courts have authority over the sovereign's representative.  Governor, fight on this petty interference and stand firm!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor does not have authority over the courts! She already lost and the courts already directed the matter back to Information commissioner to render its decision and it has done so.  For the Governor to abuse the Court process by going back to the Courts again because she wasnt happy, yet again, with the outcome is alarming.  It shows that she fully intends to tie this process up in the Courts to defeat justice, and to do so at any cost (to us). Very disappointing that the UK would so blatantly abuse the court process in this manner and it makes the UK lose credibility, it makes the Governor lose credibility and it makes you wonder what on earth they have to hide so badly that they are prepared to behave in such a desperate manner.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe it were  our financial Institutions they were trying to destroy.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't see this as abuse of the court process because she hasn't actually refused to release the documents. What she (or her bosses at the FCO) have said is that complying with the ICO's order might cause issues with on-going litigation. OK, it is probably just a delaying tactic but if she released the records and screwed up the court cases, which include an attempt by the AG to recover £200K in costs, wouldn't you also describe that as an abuse of, or interference in, the court process?

        The way I read this is that it is full acceptance of the ICO ruling subject to a Judge's ruling on certain points that are not FOI-related.  

        • Anonymous says:

          No, she is using the same argument and is JRing the IC 's ruling again. Amazing!

    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, because its the law, signed off to by the FCO's previous governor? These are Cayman records after all.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Cayman records"?  Where does the statute say it extends to the Governor?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dontcha just love Pit Bull? Why do people respond to him/her? He/she is just a troll. No sensible response to him/her is required.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pit Bull is probably right on this one – the law does not apply to this request, but the Governor has not taken the point so far.  Does not mean the Governor cannot take the point in due course.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Russell did whatever Jim Bodden told him to. That's why people like him.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you mean the English expats were disappointed that they could not steer him wherever the liked and assumed he must be listending to Jim Bodden instead. I endorse the comments that Mr. Russell was a friend to Cayman and Caymanians. We have not seen his equal since.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Jim Bodden was a Caymanian..At least one governor that listened to one Caymanian..

      • Hancock says:

        Is that the same Jim Bodden that got his own money mixed up with creditor monies? What a hero!  

        • anon says:

          and bulldozed one of Cayman's oldest surviving structures when he could not get his own way.

          • Anonymous says:

            True, 7:51, but that was two years before Russell got here as Governor although I always felt he was intimidated by Jim and let him do what he wanted – like run CAL as his private airline.

            • Anonymous says:

              JMB should still be around to intimidate some people and help a few to the steps of his private aircraft call CAL. JMB and Gov. Russell presided over Cayman when it was the envy of the world and it was oh so good to say Grand Cayman because everything was Grand back then.

        • Anonymous says:

          To poster 17:43

          This is the same Jim Bodden that the creditor thought that he could control and saw that he could not, money mixed up? I think not! he tried to be a player and got played, he did not know that the fox is much more clever than the greedy wolf bet he learnt his lesson fast.  Jim Bodden should still be around today to turn the tide on some of these greedy wolves that are finding themselves here in Cayman.

  16. Westminister says:

    This government here better watch that in response the FCO doesn't caused to be published more nagative things about Cayman's Financial industry.

  17. Anonymous Qudo Vadis says:

    A Rinky Dink Government an a Rinky Dink Governor poor Cayman! What mess we are in?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Another UK puppet..Expected better, her being a woman and all…All a$$ kissers! that can't stand on their own two feet.

    The only decent Governor we ever had was Thomas Russell…that was a man with principle, guts and a true love of the Cayman Islands and its people..

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The governor is appointed by the UK to do the UK bidding.  That is the govenors job.  Why would you expect differently.  You don't have to like the fact but that is how it has always been and will be.  To think differently is to be be blind to the facts.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are things called principles and ethics and no government or person could lead me to compromise either. i would rather quit my job than lower my standards or reduce myself to the unethical behavior of certain members of the UK government.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Good.

  20. Catcha Fire says:

    Never in the History of the Cayman Islands has it been run so badly but by this sitting government and its last two governors and what do they have in common everything is a big secret including their HYPOCRISY. Good Governance, transparency and accountability has never been so far out of reach as it is now?

    When you see  persons who give someone else's corruption someone  else's prejudices as a reason for not taking action themselves, you see a cog in the machine that governs us!

    • Westminister says:

      That's because "you" the people are out of the equation of rule and governance. Don't tell me you didn't know that!  You and your pipe-up dream of democracy is nothing!  TYour Constitution is nothing and has no power on you behalf!  Hence, you complaints are IMMATERIAL to both Her Majesty, Local Politicians, and Special Interest. That's just the system my friend. Learn to live with it. You can march the streets all you want, the cctv camaras will be watching, and you have no power to change it.  LOL … take a swim and take your mind off of this crap … enjoy life !

      • Anonymous says:

        To Westminister;

        I bet the  people in Syria were told the same bull shit that you spewed! Just give it a little time and you will see what we the people can and will do about it. You might have to take a flight earlier than you think.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This appears to be another example of legality trumping justice.

     

    It looks like the powers that be really do have something to hide.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is becoming a farce!

    I can only guess that the reluctance to publish is because it is embarrassing to the FCO, and that is probably because it will be shown that Governor Jack was aware and involved, and ignored informed advice, something he has denied.

    If there is fault, then it is wrong to continue to hide it, and in doing so to bring greater cost to the Cayman public.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This seems crazy.  

  24. Anonymous says:

    Another Smurf and Duncan Donuts in the making… Where does the UK come up with these people. Can't they send us some one that can speak their own mind and have a conscience..

    Oh yeah I forgot…there are none left in England..

    • Anonymous says:

      yes, so tell me, just who in the MLA is sorting ut these issues…oh, thats right, no-one…to busy lining their own pockets…look in your own back yard bobo

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is a tactic. Keep delaying and racking up costs, in an attempt to frustrate us to the point that we give up. Unfortunately they will win this one.

  26. Someone says:

    Save money.  Release the &%#@ documents!

  27. Cayman Lawyer says:

    Very good move Madam Governor. People must trust their government- this is why we have elected them in the first place. Folks need to stop behaving like kids trying to peek behind the curtain of government. Especially when there are overriding issues at stake. Bottom line trust your government and let's move on folks. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a scary comment to read! Good governance means the operations of governement should be open and accountable. Blindly following people running the country without questioning them is open to all kinds of corruption.

      “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”_ Benjamin Franklin

    • Anonymous says:

      The People are supposed to be the government.  Transperancy should be the only thing! Wake Up!

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      This has nothing to do with the elected Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Trust your Government".

      Do you actually live in Cayman?

      Is that you Mac?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Colonialism at its best.

     

    There are protected groups of people in the Cayman Islands that will always be above the law and we need to understand that there is a price to pay if we want to maintain our relationship with the U.K.

     

  29. Anonymous says:

    THE Alan Moses?

  30. Anonymous says:

    And all totally avoidable. Last year Duncan Taylor said that if Martin Bridger released the original complaint it would force him to make the Aina report public. Bridger refused to do that and the bill for that decision is so far about CI$400K.

    Why doesn't Bridger just email the original complaint to CNS and put a stop to all this before we end up handing over another CI$300+ to local law firms? 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Because from the Governor's statement it looks like the original 2010 complaint was prepared using documents that last year Bridger unsuccessfully tried to claim were simply retained as evidence to defend Kernohan's claim.

      If the complaint had been made public last March when Taylor made the offer it might have revealed a slightly different version of events when the dispute over ownership of the records went to court.