$1Billion unaccounted for

| 21/10/2014

(CNS): Two ministries are, between them, unable to account for more than $1billion of public money asa result of the continued failure of the financial management systems, abuse and incompetence, says the office of the auditor general. Despite claims of improvement, government accounts remain in a mess when it comes to accounting for the almost ¾ of a billion dollars it costs to run government and its authorities each year. But the latest revelations show that the ministries of tourism and district administration, in particular, have an appalling record of mismanagement and potential abuse over the last seven years, failing to account for the whopping sum.

Check back to CNS later today for more on the government’s accounting situation and details of the auditor’s reports released today.

See related full story here

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Category: Politics

Comments (101)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Check Mac's Nation Building Fund and District Admin's Paloma Relief Fund. You either won't find anything or expenses billed for but buildings never rebuilt!! Either way ABUSE of Office and dereliction of DUTY!!

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Auditor General and Complaints Commissioner there are also matters at hand which require your to look deelper into for students locally and abroad furthering  their education that has  been suddenly cut-off and  denied  assistance through the previous YNBP and the Education Council's disapproval  handled by the  (New) Ministry of Education.  For the record funds that  provided  by the Previous Ministry of Education to assist is combined with the old YNBP (Ministry of Finance) is accounted for as a YNBP disbursement..  It is  misleading.  You will always have misrepresentation of  funds.   WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE???? When we have so many brilliant young Caymanians looking for their government to assist them in achieving a higher education to return to their country 

    Sir, you are commended on your findings. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Keep Calm

    It is 1 billion Jamaican $ 

     

  4. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Read this and read Ju Ju's comments to the CPA about transparency and accountability – brilliant.  Perhaps we should put her in charge of finding out what happened to the money.   

  5. noname says:

    Exactly what anyone should expect of the Caymanian run Government.  Now watch them run it into the ground.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A buy wotes wid it. Wa unna expec?

  7. Anonymous says:

    My father owned his own company (not here). And it did very, very well. But his ethics were like this – if he went overseas on business and phoned his family back home from the hotel, he would not even bill that call to the company – his own company. I have grown up with these ethics and it sickens me to see this misuse and unaccountability of funds – it is not just in Cayman, it is world wide. And governments just keep draining their working community for more fees/levies/taxes and then throw it away. Governments must remember that they are voted into place to serve it's people and not for the people to serve and the government. Times need to change.

  8. Anonyanmous says:

    Bernie Madoff style of accounting….. Prudent Caymanians past must be turning in their graves. We have become just another Banana Republic, past 3rd world now heading to no where.

  9. Anonyanmous says:

    What must the financial world think of us now? Our financial industry ranking must be an inch from the bottom now, we the people of the Cayman Islands need to wake up and hold those responsible accountable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Easier said than done.  How?  Details please.  How can I as a common unconnected Caymanian do anything about this mess.  whatever way I vote I am screwed by them.

      • anonymous says:

        You put them in, so equally you can get them out.

        If you do not feel that politically or ethically, there are any people up to the job here then start a referendum for the people to request the UK to administer this place.

  10. Anonyanmous says:

    The Turks and Caicos islanders must be scratching their heads at this one and asking out loud , 'then why did they come here?" this is past shameful.

  11. Wake Up! says:

    Check the Vegas Slot Machines!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I doubt only a creation few in a government could let this slide undetected. Sounds to me there will be a lot of hands in the soup when this blows up. No wonder this country is screwed,

  13. Creative accountant says:

    Cronies 150 million

    family Members 75 million

    political Lackeys for ministers 110 million

    Lodge Bro & buddies business interest 400 million

    Miss lean on us & waste 265 Million

    1 Billion accounted for Cayman

  14. Anonymous says:

    This isn't about Mac it's about the cfo's that were there. They should be held accountable for this. That is just two much money to be unaccounted. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have it

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it's starting to dawn on a few people WHY the UK was getting so twitchy about what was going on when Mac was at the helm. 

  17. RP says:

    What happened in the last few years since the last audit is simply despicable and people need to be held accountable.  

    However, what is important now is that this situation is rectified ASAP.  Ppm will be in power for the entire 2014/2015 fiscal year.  Come on Marco fix this non sense once and for all by producing a consolidated set of accounts for this fiscal year which is auditable.  As a business owner I am sick of writing these large cheques to government not knowing where it is spent!

    i am willing to forget the past if this situation is rectified in the current year.  However I am terrified that in two years I will read the same article except that the amount is 2 billion instead as 1 billion.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha. Welcome to the Carribbean. Hope you all enjoy your new home. 

  19. Anonyanmous says:

    " ¾ of a billion dollars it costs to run government and its authorities each year" time to trim the government by 50% starting today then by 25% in two years and by 15% thereafter.  This country was very effecient and effective when the CS was smaller.  

    Why is the government so afraid to downsize while the public sector do it every day without regret or remorse.  Time to stop feeding this beast and do what is necessary cut jobs in the CS start with non Caymanians and then work your way up.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The politicians don't want to downsize the Civil Service because the PUBLIC keep asking for more services. Remember a few onths ago whent eh PRemier was trumpeting hiring more civil servants in resoponse to peole wantng more of something done?

      • Anonymous says:

        More like not wanting theeir family members to loose jobs or their constituents.

  20. Anonyanmous says:

    This one billion dollars can be divided up amongst every native Caymanian and it could give them all a good life for the next 100 years.

  21. Anonyanmous says:

    One billion dollars????? this could never by true, many people dropped the ball many times, this is why we are now kicking the can.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I guess that might put paid to GIC posting a massive profit as expected…no surprise then.

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie where you at?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just to assist one of the regular anit-british posters, in population terms that would leave 1.3 trillion unaccounted for if this was the UK.

  25. Dr. Do - Little - Too -Late says:

    Hey buddy what's going on? Not good! Why? Haven't you heard, We're missing another billion dollars, and no-one seems to know where it went!  I can't believe it!  Yeah right! That'll be the day when you have a mil, I mean a billion dollars. If you had that much money you wouldn't be standing here talking to me! [thinking] [I don't believe this guy] Why do I even waste time talking to you? It's no wonder the Island is going to hell in a hand basket. Really? What the hell is going on down there, that people going there with hand baskets, Does the Devil have a special sale or something? Wow! Yeah! Give them a call and find out. Don't you ever read the paper man? You mean the news paper? No you idiot. The one you use in the bath room! Really? Is that a new kind of toilet tissue? Does it have cartoons and stuff on it  . No you moron!  [Thinking] [I had no idea this guy was so dense. But then it doesn't surprise me. There are so many who drank that cool-aid their minds have completely stopped functioning] See you later I gotta go!

    AND THE BEAT GOES ON!

    I think I'll write a book  and I'll call it "The Corruption Islands"

  26. Anonymous says:

    When credit cards are given out right left and center for vacation snd gambling and no accountability, what do you expect. 

  27. Anonymous says:

    this means nothing without the date range of the unaccounted funds.

    • ausweis 29750 says:

      Well, if you do the research, 1.5 billion was "unaccounted" for in 2008, now in 2014, 1 billion is now missing from only two government departments. So, on a 22 mile long island, with no more than 600 government workers, over the last six years, 2.5 billion has been "misplaced"!

      It has to be here somewhere, everyone check down the back of the sofa.

      Is that enough information for you or do younow throw your hands up in the air and stand amazed at the ineptitude, shining brightly for allto see?

  28. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if George McCarthy is regretting his decision to decentralize government accounting? Seriously, I would really like to hear what he has to say. The people need to know the truth and one day, it will be known.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Whart I find most offensive about this story is the certainty that those people responsible have no guily or shame.

  30. Anonymous says:

    When will the figures come out for the Nation Building Funds too? Remember he dont keep receipts…LOL!  This should be fun!!

  31. Whodatis says:

    Although "unaccounted for" is a broad term, this is still very disappointing. It does not necessarily mean stolen, misspent or wasted however, there are clearly shortcomings in regards to record-keeping.

    Someone referred to the former (recently departed and now in the private sector) Director of Tourism and he may have one or two questions to answer.

    However, I have complete faith in the individual holding down the position at the moment. It is very unlikely she would allow such slackness to fly.

    Here's to a brighter and better "accounted for" tomorrow.

    *That being said, let us not forget that our tourism numbers and industry has been excellent as of late and Cayman have topped many visitor surveys as well as won quite a few accolades within this period of time.

    As for the ministry of district administration … (humph).

    • Diogenes says:

      "Very disappointing" is something you might expect to see on a kid's report card.  Surely that finding out that 2 government departments cannot prove what they did with $1 billion of taxpayers money, and for all that we know that substantial sums may have been misappropriated or wasted, merits a slightly stronger response than that?  Seem to recall you are far more vocal in your criticisms of other areas of government adminstration.  When the police cannot catch armed robbers it is a disgrace perpetrated or condoned by the UK – when the government blows through a billion and cannot say where it went or why its simply very disappointing, but not to worry because there will be a better and brighter tomorrow?  Matthew 7;1-5

    • Fool me once... says:

      I forget the rest but you're sounding a lot like a PR hack who do you work for Whodatis?

    • Anonymous says:

      Once again Whodatis baffles me with his take on what missing means. "It does not necessarily mean stolen, misspent or wasted however…"

      Just what does missing mean if there is nothing of value to the country or its people from 1,000 times $1,000,000.00 that is gone?

      That $1,000,000,000.00 loss represents more than the annual governmental spending budget for 2014/2015 and you suggest 1 or 2 questions might resolve the issue.

      I always thought that you were out of touch in the U.K. but you are much farther away than that.

      When the Auditor General reports such a level of governmental mismangement that could be grounds for the U.K. to take over the country's finances.

      If you don't realize the level of incompetence this displays to the world then you simply do not understand.

       

    • anonymous says:

      Tony Blair wouldn't have lost it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the Government should climb on the reparations bandwagon and claim off the UK for enslaving our ancestors.A round $1billion should do it and that would cancel out all that incompetence so nobody will suffer.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I had a business partner once, he was the finance guy, I was the sales. It took me two years to figure out something was wrong with our numbers and another two very unpleasant years trying to discover what. By the time I found out it was too late, end of company. And neither I, nor our accounting firm ever worked out the hyroglyphics he produced as supposed financial record keeping. It was done deliberately so, so he could hide how he embezzled the money.  It was not here, but for me a big lesson, if you cant produce proper records, it is because there is something to hide.

  34. Anon says:

    Seven years spans both UDP and PPM administrations. Why a colossal mess! 

  35. Anonymous says:

    CNS, is it allowable to name the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries/Chief Officers of these ministries over the last seven years if we want to post a comment?

    CNS: they have been named in the updated article here

  36. Anonymous says:

    It is so sad how powerless people feel in Cayman.  You are singularly unable to hold your elected representatives to account and the utilization of public money for private purposes is legally sanctioned unless there is a policy in place. It matters not which party is in power, you have to face up to the fact that things are never going to change as long as the top ten families hold power.  I am afraid, without collective action, your country is doomed.  So stop blaming expats for all that is wrong with Cayman and instead look at your own and how they exploit their positions of power.

    • Anonyanmous says:

      14:03 21/10/2014 I agree with most of what you say but I disagree with the satement that "things are never going to change as long as the top ten families hold power".  For where I stand now looking in I can guarantee you that the top ten families that hold power in Cayman not a single one is a third, second, or first generation Caymanian we would be extremely lucky if that is the case.  Sorry to burst your theory bubble on the not expat to be blamed for the corruption situation sorry but not true.  Again I agree that Caymanians are at fault for most if not all of what is happening in this country today because they opened themselves to bribes, corruption and greed now "we" must all pay for the transgressions of the few.  Cayman now reminds me of what happened to one of our neighbouring country.  Their leaders became corrupt and began accepting bribes, made the people become dependant on them for survival and we all know the history of what happened.  When things got so bad they fled that country like rats from a sinking ship and ended up all over the world  and changed the face of every country that would allow it and tolerated their presence and behaviour, one look around Cayman and we see the evidence.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Now everybody is going to want to be a Politrician!

  38. The buck stops where says:

    They had a blank check. What do you expect? If the former premier treated government money as his own personal piggy bank it set a dangerous precedent for all other civil servants.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with 13:39.   The courts and the jury have added their support to the wasting of public funds. How in the world can someone waste the country's money and be praised for lying.

    • anonymous says:

      Luckily, I wasn't banking on the pension being there at the end so I started to make my own contingencies. Shocking to think that I may be right and saw this coming.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am thinking prison for 10 years for the ones responsible.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I am thinking that money has just been borrowed therefore no crime has been committed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone has to pay! Because Cayman Society has paid enough. Look around you, the place is falling apart, and it started from the top.

    • Anonymous says:

      For what.  It has already been established that government money can be used for personal stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the Cayman Islands, they are more likely to get pay rises or else shipped out and told to stay home onfull salary and benefits until they reach retirement. 

  40. tootie says:

    I am stunned! Wow. THAT is a lot of money! Anyone in Government in the  period of time that the money was used, shoud all be held accountable!

    Let them prove a on how they spent the money.  Show receipts

    Makes me sick!!!

     

     
    • Anonymous says:

      Receipts!  Are you serious?

    • Anonymous says:

      rewhats?

    • Anonymous says:
      Thereis zero accountability in government especially at the top. Not just accountability in regards to fiscal records but in the larger sense of the word in relation to CS performance, delivering value for money, appreciating the concept of value for money when disbursing and spending public funds, and general work ethics. In all of these attributes the CS, by and large, is bankrupt!! Ethical persons in the CS are the minority and are swimming against the stream. 
       
       
    • Anonymous says:

      Do also realize that Mr Gomez's ministry was by far the largest so a lot of money would have passed through that particular ministry. So the amount should not surprise too much.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Only $1Billion? I thought it would have been much more. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now.

    • Anonymous says:

      yaow, we can't take this for no joke, man. That's what wrong with this place ya now. 

    • anonymous says:

      Hang on … There have only been two departments examined so far. Don't get disappointed just yet.

  42. Anonymous says:

    The domino effect – It seems like every sector in government is suddenly being called out for poor management skills.  Why has it taken so long for this to be noticed, when those who are not even auditing these accounts can clearly see that this has been happening for quite some time.  This really is getting old.  We don't need a public speaker we can speak for ourselves what we need is a leader! Someone we clearly haven't had as a country for quite some time.  We need those in charge who is going to do what needs to be done…the obvious, hard work that people will dislike you for.  Leaders are not put there to make friends they are there to lead the weak.  Yes! Dare i say those who still from the publics pocket is weak and they need to answer to someone!  If these positions are given so freely with no restraints and repercussions then of Acourse any fool will take advantage of the few cracks in the foundation that these leaders have so called laid down in this island.

    • Anonymous says:
      Well it's about time the country discuss the elephant in the room.
       
      The management of the civil service is a joke and the level of nepotism and cover ups is sickening. If people  only knew how bad it is they heads would spin. Franz Manderson has his puppets in place all over and none are held accountable because they all kiss ass and cover for each other. The old boys club and lodge control the CS always have and until incompetent people are fired they always will.
       
       
    • Anonymous says:

      Why has it happened.  Bottom line the public purse belonged to the previous administration to do with as it pleased.  Anyone in a lowly position who contemplated whistle blowing would have known what the consequences formthem would be.  Let me say it again the systen has policies in place but with no enforcement it is a joke.

    • anonymous says:

      The domino effect  hasn't even started yet. Couple this with other recent incidents in the news and then talk to someone involved in the International business community. It is aptly described as a butterfly effect.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I think they have Mr. Bush beat…..

    • Anonymous says:

      You forget who'se ministries these were? Money is only lost when you don't want to know what happened to it. Remember, your job is to do what your boss says.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bush was Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development

      before he was ousted

    • Anonymous says:

      You Sir are terribly confused.

    • Anonymous says:

      They?? Who do you think was Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development for 3 1/2 years?

  44. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful news!!  Let us start casting statues of the ministers (and their predecessors) and nominate them as National Heroes for 2015.  Mac ain't even tryin'!!

  45. Anonymous says:

    So after applauding the results of the person who recently left the post of Director of Tourism, we now see that we have no idea how the ministry has actually done.  The bar seems pretty low for performance evaluation.

    • Anony-me says:

      Department / Ministry. Two different entities. Departments normally hold themselves to different standards than Minsitries which are held to their Minister's standards.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Can we recall who appointed himself Minister of Tourism?  

  47. Anonymous says:

    Trash, trash, trash, what do you expect from trash, get these over-religious trash outta government and put in professionals with all accounting transaction made public. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You said it right, real estate values going down because of trash nieghbors and crime, government pocketing money becuase trash religious folk say its ok by stealing thier millions from MAC, higher education schools have trash talking incompetenet managment that talk down to thier faculty, and to top it off…. an actual mountain of trash that is starting to become the symbol of the Cayman Islands.

      Not enough flowers, ocean scenary, and proud cayman brogadoccio  to cover this up, some heads better roll or I am going to renounce my british citizenship and move to the US…britain, the ball is in your court because we can not trust the current government.

    • anonymous says:

      Time to ask for direct rule from the UK?

      Let's swallow our pride, admit that people have consistently not been able to cope with the appointments given and it has all gone drastically wrong. 

      Sometimes you just have to face facts and admit defeat.

  48. Anonymous says:

    "An appalling record of mismanagement and potential abuse over the last seven years."  This is why it cost soooooo much to live in Cayman islands.  I guess some one in the government said its alright,  we know they do it and its OK because I told them to keep doing it.  So they are good.  No ones needs to lose their job or go to jail until a law is passed forbiding them to steal…. sorry mismanage the publics money.

    • Anonymous says:

      bingo! you said it, "No ones needs to lose their job or go to jail until a law is passed forbiding them to steal."  -no morals

      "there was no process in place… blah, blah, blah" -pure thieves.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Anybody else believe in the bogus surplus presented by PPM after this announcement?

    • Anonymous says:

      There's difference between the current account and historical ineptitude/ graft and corruption. I am more inclined to believe this lot than the last sorry incumbent, who couldn't even add 2 + 2 and get 4, or get the figures in the same order from one speech to another (remember $61 million becoming $16 million?)

  50. Anonymous says:

    Evidence that maybe the Chamber of Commerce are right about the lack of accountability at the highest levels of public service. In the real world heads would roll, people would get fired for this level of unprofessionalism.

    Obviously shaming civil servants is not working and more serious sanctions are necessary immediately.

    • Anony-me says:

      Hey, you voted the bosses in. We just did what they wanted. COC wasn't complaining then.

  51. Maiden Plum says:

    is there any hope for this island???

    • Anonymous says:

      not if you keep voting these two parties into power. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Only if someone has the stones to drag a few of these civil servants into court and make the charges really stick. Otherwise forget it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe, but there ain't no hope for any government pensions. No wonder there was an eagerness to pass laws to draw it early or use it for mortgage pay offs! Smh.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Partly explains our national debt 

    • Anonymous says:
      Most Chief Officers, deputies and CFO's could never get a similar position or keepit if they were in private sector and this is proves it. I can hear all the excuses coming now blah blah blah blah
       
       
  53. Anonymous says:

    Dept of Tourism involved in abuse and mismanagement of finances – well isn't that a surprise!!!!

  54. MEM says:

    Did Big Mac have another credit card we didn't know about?