Shame only sanction for COs

| 15/09/2014

(CNS):The only consequence against civil service bosses who fail to meet their obligations under the Public Management and Finance Law is a red face, the financial secretary has stated. The Cayman Islands Government has been unable to produce a consolidated set of accounts and report on how public cash has been spent for more than ten years due to a catalogue of deficiencies in the government system and an inability of CS bosses to follow the PMFL and the Public Service Management Law. However, there are no real sanctions against those at the top who are responsible for the failures.

Appearing as a witness before the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month as they examined a series of auditor general reports on good governance, Kenneth Jefferson, who is now also the chief officer in the finance ministry, said that the consequences for not getting it right was the embarrassment top managers faced over such failures.

Winston Connolly, the C4C’s government backbencher for George Town and a member of the committee, asked what was the accountability or the penalties handed out for chief officers or financial officers who do not meet their obligations under the law. In response Jefferson said that to his knowledge there were no “specified penalties” for those who fail to do their jobs.

“I can’t say to the committee that at the moment that there is a defined penalty for non-compliance,” he said. “The penalty would come in the form of embarrassment to the minister, the chief officer when it is publicly known that there is non-compliance. That is the penalty.”

He added that the deputy governor, who is taking the leadership role when it comes to the performance of chief officers, “would take a stern look” and that questions would be asked regarding their performance, but he said there was no other consequences.

Connolly pressed the issue about poor performance, accountability and the waste of public money because of bad management and poor decisions. Michael Nixon, the deputy financial secretary, said people falling short in their jobs would be dealt with under the PSML, which governs the performance of civil servants, including those at the top as well as in the lower ranks of the public sector.

However, the former PAC chair, the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, said that there are sanctions under the Public Management and Finance Law. When he was head of the parliamentary oversight committee that is designed to probe public finances and government’s adherence to the law, he said he believed the law provided consequences.

Miller had approached the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the attorney general to press that law and seek to take legal action against those responsible for not meeting the requirements under the PMFL but he said his request was dismissed.

During the PAC meeting on 3 September, Jefferson said only one government entity missed the 31 August deadline to submit their annual reports to the Office ofthe Auditor General. While this claim has been made for several years, OAG reports indicate that the quality of those accounts still falls far short of international standards and prevents a full set of consolidate accounts to be produced.

Nevertheless, Jefferson stated that this was the year that government would produce not just financial statements but the annual report explaining how government spent the half billion dollars it collects from the community. Government has not produced an annual report since the PMFL was implemented in 2004.

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Comments (76)

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  1. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    "Your department has not submitted it's accounts in seven years!"

    "What is your comment?"

    "I'm embarrassed."

    "Thank you for being so candid."

    "Can I go now??"

    "Thank you, have a nice day."

  2. Anonymous says:

    In other words the ones at the top get a pass while the poor workers at the bottom incur the wrath of the public and get laid off.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Like the rest of us Civil Servants, a Chief Officer has an annual Performance Assessment. I assume the Deputy Governor is responsible for these evaluations? If so, the Deputy Governor is responsible for taking steps to fire Chief Officers for not doing their jobs. The Law doesn't spell out my job duties, but my Performance Agreement does. To say that Chief Officers cannot be fired for not submitted auditable financial statements is a plain lie. The man at the top doesn't have the balls to discipline anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:46, thank you for spelling out the situation so clearly. I doubt if it will change the mind of some of the retard posters on CNS but it is good to see the real facts set out, namely, under the PSML the entire civil service (individually of course) can be disciplined ……….but it takes what we do not have, the willpower to tell Caymanians they are not performing and must go.

    • Just note says:

      Lovable guy, but Franz IS the problem!!! The Dep Guv does not have teeth or ANY enforcement and is the worse of the lot for protecting Chief Officers who have no accountability, no financial statements, horrid hiring practices to favor friends, and is part of the machine that is broken.

      Franz  has a CI$220K salary to blow smoke up our skirts and we just gobble it up!? (such a nice smile eh?)  The people are simply starving and he is smiling?  Huh?

      Wake up and throw these bums OUT.  Fat cats and crony games…oh my.

  4. Peter Milburn says:

    This does not surprise me in the slightest as this is how our Govts past and present have been run and will continue to run UNTIL someone has the balls to step in and STOP this madness.Why do we put up with this?I will tell you why.Caymanians are too complacent and have been lulled into thinking that all this is fine and dandy and thats the way it is and will forever remain that way.This is a very sad time in our history as they(Govt)are only interested in being re-elected and the beat goes on Stay tuned.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How about the renewal of the contracts of COs who are expat without advertising their posts? Even though there are Caymanians qualified for the job? How about those expat COs who repeatedly show what bad managers they are but who keep their jobs because of high up friends? Check the ministries and portfolios with questionable COs who seem to get automtic renewals.

    • Anonymous says:

      22:08, could you give us the names of expatriate COs (chief officers) on contracts that you refer to so we can assess the value of your comment? I cannot think of even one but I may be wrong. Thanks for your help.

      • Anonymous says:

        Both the complaints commissioner and the auditor general are considered chief officers within the service and both are expats. I am not the original poster, just providing information

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice ironic post Tues 9:19. You obviously realise that 22:08 is one of these moronic, totally ignorant of the facts posters on CNS, many of whom actually get lots of thumbs up so long as they are anti expat or anti civil service or anti a specific civil servant or a mixture of all of these and come up with a magic solution that will make everything in Cayman and the Civil Service work perfectly and with only Caymanians involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not write the post but believe the person who did, may be thinking of 2 CO who have been residing here for years and who now have status or residency with the right to work. They are considered Caymanians.

        What we do have is a good few other higher level positions and some mid to lower level postions who are on contracts. Consideration for cut should immediately begin there else they will too get papers and that will be the end of that.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks 00:32. I think you are correct. Both have Status. One of these was married for years to a "real" Caymanian and they have children together. Another poster reminds us of the Complaints Commissioner and Auditor General but the original poster was not, I suspect, referring to either of these. So sad we have come to this sort of nit picking.

          • Anonymous says:

            I was just contemplating the beauty of my holiday destination for thirty years and came across CNS  for the first time.  At a time in life when I was thinking about making Cayman my permanent home, I must thank all the racists and those that talk about "real" caymanians, for making me decide that Cayman is great as a holiday destination but as a home definitely not. My eyes have been finally open to the hate that lies beneath your beauty.

            • Anonymous says:

              Wherever you are for you will realise this is a worldwide issue and not limited to the Cayman Islands.  Each country as immigration and protective issues Eg USA and the Latin American/Haitian influx, uk and the south East Asian influx, canada and the Middle East influx and these are just the larger countries. The smaller ones all have their own issues.  

            • Anonymous says:

              The term "real" Caymanian was used ironically hence the quote marks. It denotes the fact (and alas it IS a fact) that many posters on CNS believe in such a thing as a "real" Caymanian as opposed to a "paper" Caymanian. It does not represent the beliefs of the poster who originally used the term-me.

            • Anonymous says:

              This type of expat bashing occurs in most if not every single country. There is no running from it its human nature.

              Thanks for choosing Cayman as a vacation destination please come again.

          • Anonymous says:

            You mean 'nit picking' like using the term 'real Caymanian'.  What is that exactly because I thought that the law made no distinction.  Once you are a Caymanian you are a Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      All the COs are Caymanian………..the have been hired on for life…..unless as Mr. Millburn says someone steps up to the plate and makes them accountable.

      • Anonymous says:

        The complaints commissioner is british as is the auditor general and the court administrator. The solicitor general is trinidadian. They are all COs.

    • anonymous says:

      More xenophobic tripe that has just been shot down in flames.

    • The REAL Truth says:

      Why are you lying?  Is it because the facts don't work for you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorance and racism is bliss

    • Anonymous says:

      Surprised the hear there are COs who are expat.  Still trying to figure out which ones they are. The 'expats' I can identify  have status. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    CaymanSpeak…….it's trickle down Accountability

    I wish, TRUELY WISH, I didn't have to point out the obvious.

     

     

  7. Anonymous says:

    The basic problem is this:  If the politician change the laws making the COs accountable the result will be audited accounts. If that happens the Politicians now  become accountable because the public will have solid information on how they spend our monies. Our elected officials do not want that! 
     It is unlikely that the Politicians will make those changes to the law.  This is why it is necessary that we stay on our reps to follow through with OMOV.  They need to be accountable to us the electorate not their power hungry parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't be so naive to think that if the law is changed behavior will change. How many other laws do we ahve that are not enforced?

    • Anonymous says:

      If the UK keep loaning Cayman money, they expect an audit, have you heard of the AG?

      He seems to be doing just that at the moment hence the hatred expressed by a few MLA's.

      But he is just gettin started, and this place is looking like a mirror image of Turks & Caicos.

      Wait for it, they coming.

      Have you not figured that out yet?

       
      • Anonymous says:

        Since when has the UK loaned the Cayman Islands money?

        They have okayed the Cayman Islands to go to banks to borrow money based on the idea that we can repay and not endanger the financial stability of the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        The UK has not loaned Cayman any money.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It really is no surprise then why the UK stepped in to place financial restraints on what could easily be described as a corrupt system, run by corrupt individuals.

     

    How disgusting this has been allowed to continue by each and every elected candidate.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Accountability…can you spell that, please?

  10. Knot S Smart says:

    I have analyzed this situation and my conclusion is that they have in fact been 'ashamed-of-their in-efficiency'  for some time, and this 'ashamed-ness' caused  them to do a lot of 'over-eating' and resulted in an 'obesity-epidemic'…

    • Anonymous says:

       14:01.This comment is to be expected from someone with such an awe inspiring name.To be discriminating against overweight persons in this way says a lot about who and what you are .Unfortunately what it says  is all negative. You are very rude and crude and you should  make a conscious effort to improve your outlook going forward.

      • Knot S Smart says:

        So you promise to make a conscious effort to exercise, eat less, and lose some of the fat?…

  11. Anon says:

    Well, isn't that just LOVELY?

    Just goes to show that one doesn't actualy HAVE TO work for one's salary in the CIG.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Change the rules NOW! For God's sake!

    • Anonymous says:

      Changing the rules will not make a difference. 

       

      In the past and present, the powers that be in Cayman routinely ignore the rules and the consequences; just look at the pension mess.

       

      Change the culture (if possible); now that would make a difference.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The pot calling the kettle black

  14. Anonymous says:

    The PSML and PFML are severlyflawed and it has been suggested that there should be amendments to such to better suit the Cayman reality. Remember this was a system imported from New Zealand which NZ has not abandoned as it proved not to work well. Yet Cayman has held on and now holds people accountable to standaardsthat are impractical.The auditor general also suggested amendments to make it better suited. The negative bashing of civil servants will not accomplish anything, fix what is really wrong and implement standards that are suitable and then you can hold people accountable.

    • Anonymousand says:

      Correction: NZ has NOW abandoned it… As Cayman should do, along with those who brought it here.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:42 how does your attack on these laws have anything to do with the problem?. I would love to see your suggestion as to how we would come up with something that "suits the Cayman reality". I love this, bobo, "fix what is really wrong and implement standards that are suitable and then you can hold peopleaccountable".There is NO accountabilty under ANY system for Caymanians in government posts. Never has been, never will be.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why isn't this gross misconduct?

  16. Bean Counter says:

    Disgraceful that the lives of so many others in the service are subject to the incompetence of a few at the very top of the pyramid. This has been happening for decades where the privileged senior civil servant is protected and when possible promoted instead of doing the right thing dismissing them for poor performance and cause.

    When will the madness end and how much more proof do we need that the system is broken because we put the wolves to watch the hen house?

  17. Anonymous says:

    How about "this is your job. Do it or get fired" ? You know, like in the real world!

  18. Anonymous says:

    …they are shamed( and laughing) all the way to bank…while they lead by example…by leading from behind…

  19. The Parliamentarian says:

    What?  No specified penalties?   And you wonder why there is graft, theft, misplaced funds, waste, etc. etc?.   If there really is a Public Service Management law, has it ever been used?   Are our officials hesitant to make effective laws because they don't want to caught?  Just askin'.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PSML allows for disciplinary action to be taken. The will to do that is not there. Does that sound familiar? Tinted windows on cars? Wild dogs roaming and attacking? Litter thrown out of cars into peoples yards? People parking in handicapped parking spaces? Etc etc.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is why in order to save us from ourselves we need to privatize some of the Government Authorities and other entities.  For some strange reason our leaders have refused to eliminate the dead wood/corrupt and incompetent individuals heading up these dis-organisations year after year.  If the incompetent/corrupt/dead wood heads were jailed/fined/fired and replaced with competent and capable individuals who were made to perform with regular checks and balances and with serious punishments for non compliance , corruption would be almost impossible and we would not have this problem.      

  21. Anonymous says:

    "Government has not produced a annual report since the public management fiancé law was implemented". Can anyone say if the person or persons who created this law were punished?  I know for sure they must be hanging their heads in shame now, but that is not punishment enough.  Name and shame, yes but where is the accountability. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The Public Management Fiance Law-seriously? you even have the French acute accent on it!!!  Fiance????.Why would you penalise the "person or persons" who came up with it (it was passed into law by Parliament) rather than those who do not abide by it? XXXXX CNS has some people of challenged ability posting here.

      • Savannah Resident says:

        The PMFL is a major failure of the CIG government.  The PMFL was originally created by New Zealand which has subsequently quashed the law as the remit of decentralization is too costly. When this law was implemented, the annual cost of the civil service sky rocketed overnight.  Why we continue to implement a law that was scraped by the country who created it is beyond me.  CIG needs to provide open and transparent records without the need to decentralize essential services such as HR and accounts (CFO's) back into acentralized department to reduce cost and meet annual deadlines.

         The PMFL is the elephant in the room that no one is willing to address.  Instead of continuing to patch the problem via revamped regulations, the law should be scrapped.  Furthermore, there will be no need to hire a consultant to find a new system to implement; rather efforts should be made to review how other countries operate, reducing the need to recreate the wheel.  However, blindly implementing another countries methodology without tailoring the unique needs of CIG will also lead to disaster.  This matter should be examined now. 

        My two cents.

         

  22. Archie says:

    Utterly laughable. And totally expected. Did anyone really think there was accountability?

  23. Anonymous says:

    The culture of secrets in Cayman must be overcome. Forget shame as being a mitigating factor in the behavior of these people, responsiblity and consequences are the answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Accountability and transparency in the Cayman Islands will never happen because there are too many vested interests.  Even those who expose wrong doing usually only do so to further their own political ends.  One party is as bad as the next.  I am very disappointed with what is going on following the last election but will have no better choice when the next election comes around.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is where the rubber meets the road on CS accountability.  If Franz is not holding CO's accountable for unacceptable results then it should be no surprise that they are not holding their subordinates to account. 

    Any CEO/CFO in the private sector that failed to produce accounts or to acheive a clean and timely audit would be sacked.

    Even in the CS la la land it should be made clear it is not acceptable via disciplinary action (i.e. a written warning that if it happens again, they will be dismissed).

    Fail me once, shame on you.  Fail me twice…

     

  25. Anonymous says:

    Quite a different story in comparison to the private sector. No wonder these individuals have life expectancies  in these positions along with the easy money.

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ken seems completely out of it as regards non performance issues, judging from his feeble comments reported here. At least Michael Nixon got it right. But there is no willpower to hold anyone responsible in the civil service unless they are on contracts which can simply be non renewed.

  27. Anonymous says:

    As a civil servant of some 15+ years I have never had a performance appraisal. The problem is those at the top. Over paid and not doing what they are paid to do.  And as this article says there is no accountability orpenalties so they continue until severe sanctions are put in place for this

  28. Anonymous says:

    What about losing their jobs? That would be the penalty in any other industry, and is surely within the powers of the DG.

    It seems like the poor accounting goes beyond mere incompetence and points to a concerted effort to keep spending information away from the public. We can only speculate why they would be so determined to do that…

  29. The only way to privatise garbage and collect fees says:

    Well done Winston!  Thank you for finding your voice and pushing for accountability.  For too long, we have let Chief Officers and CS Senior Managers run little fiefdoms without answering to anyone. 

    They hire cronies and school pals instead of the best qualified candidates, they spend budgets without reason, and never submit sound financial audits. 

    HOW are they punished?  They are rewarded with fat salaries and a loyal set of "yes men" and loyal minions. 

    This is no way to run a business and this type of poor leadership must stop.  The ranks will never respect the top management since they see only favourtism instead of fairness.

    Winston you come from the business world and we are grateful you will now push for best practices (instead of best friends?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Kind of late.  To many lame ducks collected fat salaries and just crawled out before this came to light.

  30. Anonymous says:

    All at the top must go now!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn't it be rational practice, at a minimum, to disqualify/ban the most egregious offenders from positions within future public service and/or public office?  If you ran a private business and someone in a position of trust was stealing/embezzling from you – for a decade or more – you wouldn't just shake your index finger for a few seconds and hire them back, would you?!?  No.  You would have security escort them to the door, to be met by law enforcement.  Ken Jefferson, in what world is theft from the public not worthy of criminal follow up?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Finally the truth from Ken Jefferson there is no accountability within the civil service.

    Instead of cutting low income earners in government who need jobs. Now is time to fire the non-performing Chief Officers and deputies who have failed us for years. That is how you set the example and encourage better performance but DG Manderson will not do it because he hand picked this collection of yes men and friends who are accountable to no one.

    • Anonymous says:

      And if we fire the non performing Chief officers and others in the civil service, who do we replace them with-British? Jamaican" Canadian?

  33. Anonymous says:

    I hope Cayman's media take the initiative to dig into this and profile the extent of the non-compliance as well as outright and chronic abuses of public funds with full names, dates and details.  Maximum shame = you're never going to work in this town again.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Great idea.  It's all public info so it should be quite easy to collate a list of ministries that are non-compliant and the names of the CO's and CFO's of each one.  

      If public shame is the only sanction so be it.  But there needs to actually be some and most people are not going to take the time to dig themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

            – 08:48.I hope this name and shame thing also extends to the private sector.Too many times a company will quietly let go and offending employee and give a clean reference, so as not to reflect badly on the company,and hide the fact that someone higher up failed to do their duty This sometimes results in the guilty party being hired by someone else and often re -offending.(If the employee is an expat then the result is even more expensive,since there is the additional cost of a work permit to consider,and as you say "Maximum shame = you're never going to work in this town again.")

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and please start with those losing so much money and on top of that getting subsidies from government like MACI.  

      • Anonymous says:

        17:29, Rubbish and lies – MACI actually subsidises central government but providing free services to it!

  34. Anonymous says:

    But they are shameless.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What to say about this sad state of affairs? At this point i'm so disillusioned that I just don't know what to say…or do!

    So many highly paid powers that be….yet no meaningful sanctions for the top dogs? Wonder why?

    But, let a teenager experiment with a joint of marijuana…and the full force of sanctions will be dealt. And we wonder why so many of our youth are at odds with politics…and the "rule of law"?

    • Anonymous says:

      The buck stops with Franz Manderson as head of the service who by his inaction is failing us all