CS suspensions costly

| 18/12/2014

(CNS): Government is spending what could be millions of dollars annually on salaries for staff who are on required leave. A freedom of information request made by CNS last month to core government managers for the number of staff suspended from work, the reasons, the time period and the salary bracket has been largely ignored by most information managers but the handful that have responded offer a snapshot into how bad the situation could be. At Immigration alone, in addition to the recent announcements about the chief immigration officer and the director of boards being suspended, four other members of staff are on enforced leave, one of whom has been suspended for almost five years on a salary of over $45,000.

The only other government agencies with staff on required leave that responded to the request was the customs department, where three people are being paid to stay at home, and the Ministry of Planning, Lands and Agriculture, where one member of staff was placed on leave just two months ago.

According to the information supplied, all eight of these government workers have criminal cases pending in the courts.

The longest suspension is at immigration, where a person has been under investigation regarding work permit board irregularities since January 2010, earning an annual salary of $45,384. A second person has been charged with breaches of the immigration law and has been on leave for more than two years, having been suspended on full annual pay of over$34,500 since August 2012. A third employee at immigration on the lowest salary of $32,880 was suspended in August of 2013 and faces charges of burglary. The fourth was suspended this July on a salary of over $42,500 while they await a court case relating to charges of assault and threats to kill.

The immigration bill alone for staff on required leave, even without the recent addition of the two larger salaries, is already well in excess of $350,000.

The customs department has three members of staff on leave who have been charged with undisclosed criminal offences. Two have been on full undisclosed pay for a period of between two and four years, while a third has been on leave for over one year. Given that customs officers earn around $40,000, the bill for the three members of staff there could easily exceed $200,000, not including their benefits. Meanwhile, just one member of staff at planning was placed on leave in October on full pay as a result of a criminal allegation but the salary amount was not disclosed.

Only five other entities have responded so far indicating that there were no employees from their offices who had been suspended. However, CNS is pursuing the request, which is now past the thirty day deadline and has asked the Information Commissioner’s Office to intervene to help extract the information.

It is understood that the prison service, the RCIPS and in particular the education department, among others, all have staff that are being paid not to come to work for a number of different reasons.

Check back to CNS for more on this story in the New Year as we attempt to piece together the government's salary bill for staff that are being paid to stay away for their jobs.

Category: Local News

Comments (54)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is with regret that we have to make these payments, it depends on the subject matter – Maybe we could try and get  a portion of the  $35 Million charged by US Govrnment for massive fraud between Cayman and Bahamas., and other juristictions that are making the big bucks – Cayman we need some of this financial world wind to assist us for our NAME (CAYMAN)  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Funny thing is — it's obvious that the previous Civil Service leaders conveniently created the existing cartel of "heroes" at the top – at the expense of those Caymanians who they "Sent home" since there was nothing wrong to justify firing them.

    History cannot be changed, and it takes more than cowboy boots to walk through bull!

  3. Anonymous1 says:

    They should be either fired or working. How hard would it be to include a paragraph in the CS standard employment contact to deal with this type of situation?

  4. Anonymous says:

    On leave pay for 2 years?!? It proof that government are lazy twit XXXX. They should able either fired or keep their job in a month of investigating. Also they don't care about taxpayers only their luxury lifestyle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that the Prison is looking in to all staff background …how about all government departments do the same because I don't understand how someone who stole large sums of money from a previous employer and was escorted out of said employers building in handcuffs can turn around and land a top job in Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        They must be easy to control though? If they got top job and that b**s*** hanging over them wouldn't that make easy for some serious leverage? and more corruption can slip though right? Expats not doing this my fellow Caymanians, our own doing this

    • Anonymous says:

      let me guess….incompetent police called in, agreed with firing but now evidence doesn't exicst or can't be collected from witnesses but probably does 'appear' to be some form of corruption and fired employees can now sue government… so either cig screwed and we stuck paying for people not to work because of poor investigation? come one admit that's bottom line *smh Mess, mess!!

  5. Mr. Ected says:

    "It says here Have you ever been convicted of a crime?  I've just been charged can I still get the job?"

    "Yes you can start next Monday. Would you like direct deposit?"

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not in the real world, but here in the land of incompetents, sure! Do you want to be a police officer, a teacher, a baby-sitter or an airline pilot. We have lots of options!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I suspect "suspemsions" are the tip of an iceberg.  Man more are moved around the system due to sheer i competence but appear untouchable.  Either way its a massive waste of public money.   This is a Welfare State by any other name!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is the best social services in the world!! Get arrested and get paid to stay at home!! Getting down to Georgetown police station now….

  8. Anonymous says:

    A total waste of money brought about by incompetence and inefficiency. No-one should have to wait that long to be investigated or prosecuted. This is our money that is being thrown around. Governor – is this good governance? If you are not in charge of this fiasco, please tell us who is. Who is accountable?

  9. resident says:

    This is ridiculous, with those monies Government should help homeless people, assist low income or jobless families with luch money for their kids and try to pave those madness road we have in cayman example: prospect road straight through Red bay primary the road is awful. 

    do something better with those monies Government. from the day that house gov. Employees did something wrong and they are under investigation should be suspended without salary so they can  suffer the consequences.

    is my opinion!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Makes me feel real good about paying $14,000.00 for a work permit. At least it goes to a good cause. 

  11. JTB says:

    The alarming thing here is how long people are waiting for their criminal cases to be resolved. It sounds like the most urgent step needed is a thorough overhaul of the prosecutors' office.

     

    Anyone who has been waiting 5 years for their case to come to trial is almost certainly going to get acquitted anyway, on the grounds of a fair trial no longer being possible due to delay.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now THIS is something to rant and rave and cuss bad words about.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So, What happens when the government as a whole does something wrong to a civil servant/civil service?

    Those that were in a power of authority get a huge promotion?

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS.  This is alarming!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey CNS why don't you talk to Mr. James Watler President of CICSA – he should be able to name off ver quickly the 15 o 16 that were suspended under the previous administration.  I believe that you forgot to mention the suspended Labour Officer on the Brac.

      CNS: Note that the Labour Office is one of the entities that has not yet replied to the FOI request.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps the Anti Corruption Commission could be asked to find out vwhat is going on!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Alarming"? I'm still llaughing. If that's the strongest word applicable it's little wonder we've got a problem!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The concepts of accountability and disciplinary action, as they pertain to professional negligence in the civil service, does not seem to exist.  The public is expected to pay in every instance for errors made and learning experiences created, without question, and without any employee or dept supervisor being subject to disciplinary review, resignation, or termination of employment.

  16. Anonymous says:

    When a suspension turns into paid leave….please choose me next!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Blimey, when I think of all those years I put in with government, going to work every day, rain or shine, sick some days. I feel like I've been exploited or something. I'm calling my lawyer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Imagine working at the Immigration Department and leaving after 22 years  with no pension, no gratuity not evena thank you;  While there are  others with no work and receiving a salary. The years provided no established position – changing at their own pleasure until the final days scrambling to find ways and means to present their incompetent rulings.  Good honest people never die when they have worked in vain.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Aside from usual sensationalism CNS what exactly is your point? We live in a jurisdiction where the rule of law prevails, and a person is innocent until proven guilty. We know that almost everyone in the private sector wants to compare the public and private sectors but the laws are different and thank God they are.

    The private sector labour practices are atrocious and there is no one to protect the rights of people. Suggest you find another bandwagon to jump on.

    • The Thinker says:

      How long have you been on paid leave, Anonymous 09:10?

    • Anonymous says:

      Innocent until proven guilty. So I'm assuming you would agree that if found guilty, all salaries should be paid back?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are tou an idiot?  You think its ok for public money to be paid to people for NO T doing their jobs.?  Surely the question should be asked relates to why these cases (and there are many) are handled so badly or is it that a wrong doing by a Caymanian cannot be addressed through the HR process.  

      • Anonymous says:

           11:42. Why is it that you only write of wrong doing by Caymanians? Were you trying to show your bias against Caymanians,well you did.

        • Anonymous says:

          You could not be more wrong.

           

        • Anonymous says:

          The suspended staff are Caymanians. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Because expats are usually on contract and if they do something wrong, or if they upset someone their contract is terminated.  They can be dealt with easily.  Its nothing against Caymanians but you have to admit its almost impossible to sack a Caymanian.  Why do you consider it bias to state the obvious.  Its the truth and the elephant in the room needs to be identified.

          • Anonymous says:

            And that is the why the expat murderer-policeman was on fully paid leave for 2 years… 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the point is that whoever is responsible to investigate and bring charges is not doing there job. It is also not fair to the employees some of who may not be guilty.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government needs to have a means to take disciplinary action of a civil nature, such as suspension without pay,or termination, without any necessity of waiting for a criminal conviction, and with a lower standard of proof than in criminal cases. There are many good reasons for being fired besides crimes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Then fire the person. For whatever they did. But its blatently unfair to fire someone just because they've been accused of something. Or don't you believe in due process? (As someone else pointed out what is lacking is fast process. Like the process of building a new courthouse as thats part of the reason for the backlog.)

        • Anonymous says:

          Try reading the comment. "Due process" can be a civil discipliniary hearing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, but rule of law includes prompt disposition.  Investigate and either clear, fire, or charge the accused as the facts require.

  19. Anonymous says:

    WOW! Murderers, sex offenders, alleged burglars and white-collar offenders. These are the types of persons employed by our law enforcement agencies??!! Now I know what successive Governments have been doing about crime and unemployment – hiring criminal types!!

    This appalling waste of OUR MONEY must STOP NOW!!! 

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sad. Customs and Immigration, the two departments that like to boast of their 100% Caymanian workforce.

    • No accountability says:

      Um, Customs has a nice little expat contracts from overseas.  Renewed and renewed again even if very qualified locals apply.

      Why don't you ask some LOCAL qualified professionals that applied this year?  Miss Samantha, when are you going to implement succession planning for your contract expat employees???

      Immigration is another story.  The leadership there is pathetic.  The boards ignore all local applications and should be ashamed of themselves.  No enforcement of our laws for work permits or border control.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and there-in lies the problem….

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the DG is doing such a great job. Please dont even try telling the private sector how to manage even an ant nest.

  21. Knot S Smart says:

    Ok – time to amend all government employee contracts to suspend all benefits except health insurance – when a government employee is suspended.

    If they are re-instated then government should reimburse them no more than 50% of the lost salaries…

     

  22. Cookie Crumble says:

    Cost?  I wonder how much it will cost us if the Governor was to suspend Baines?

  23. shifting the subject says:

    Anything to distract from Baines putting a criminal of leave / It is still wrong and no article will be a cover up for that. Ms. Governor, we suspend our civil servants when they are investigated for a wrong done. 

    • Anonymous says:

      8:37. Baines is soon getting his knighthood approved by the governor.  What s..t w are expected to put up with?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes on full pay for years and years.  Great Caymanian custom and this while people in our comminity are going hungry.