Archive for September 19th, 2008

Minister backs eco-beer

Minister backs eco-beer

| 19/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With its well established environmental business practices, the Minister with responsibility for the Environment  paid a call on the Cayman Islands Brewery (CIB) recently where the country’s beer Caybrew is made. The Ministry has supported Caybrew with incentives through the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau but Charles Clifford said his ministry will now be examining how it can assist the company’s expansion plans. 

"Caybrew is Cayman’s national  beer and a great source of  pride, so we are very committed to its growth and development,” said Clifford. Demonstrating that a successful businesses can embrace environment principals Caybrew’s General Manager Allen Chu Fook said the company currently has major plans to diversify operations, boost distribution, and enhance energy efficiency as well as intentions to nurture local agriculture.

Clifford toured the company’s plant on 25 August where he learned about the company’s expansion as well as its efforts to integrate environmental protection measures into its operations. Chu Fook explained tot he Minister that a waste water treatment plant at the brewery converts used water into clean water suitable for farming purposes. He also told him that local farmers can also benefit from using beer manufacturing grain by-products as animal feed.

However, Chu Fook noted the major component of Caybrew’s environmental focus entails the bottle recycling programme.   “Consumers can return used beer bottles and receive CI$2 per case,” he said.

That’s not all Chu Fook said that in the near future, the company will be exploring the possibility of using renewable sources of energy in its effort to reduce operating cost and boost energy efficiency.

Clifford commended Caybrew for integrating environmental best practices in its daily operations and for adopting modern technologies and practices to boost efficiency.  

The tour included several areas including the filtration plant, the lab, the brew house, the packaging and bottling plant area, and the water treatment plant.

Continue Reading

Seeking future captains of commerce

Seeking future captains of commerce

| 19/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The nominations process for The Young Caymanian Leadership Award YCLA 2009 is now open and the Foundation is looking for young Caymanians between the ages of 20 and 35 that demonstrate strong leadership qualities through their personal and professional accomplishments. Anyone may nominate a Caymanian of their choice, including parents, siblings, coworkers, fellow church members, friends or spouses. (Left 2008 winner Stephen Ryan).

The Awards ceremony is now a well-established annual event entering its tenth yea.r The 2009 YCLA will be presented during a gala evening and awards ceremony, which will be televised live on Cayman27 attended by hundreds of Cayman’s top community and business leaders. Determining factors in choosing the winner include character, professional achievements, community involvement and commitment to helping others, said the foundation. “Past academic performance and level of education may be considered but are not a prerequisite for the YCLA,” it said.

The YCLA is decided upon by an Honorary Board composed of 15 prominent Cayman leaders who were selected for participation based on their established positions in the community as well as their ability and willingness to serve as role models for the younger generation. “It is very important to note that the honourary board of directors relies entirely on the community to put forth names of young Caymanians for the YCLA,” said the foundation in a statement.

Previous recipients include Olivaire Watler in 2000, Dax Foster in 2001, Sara in Collins in 2002, Steve Blair in 2003, Cindy Scotland in 2004, Jonathan Tibbetts in 2006, Canover Watson in 2007 and Stephen Ryan in 2008.

YCLA information packages have been forwarded to the human resource departments of major companies. Nomination forms may also be obtained by calling Melissa Wolfe at 916-8335 or emailing or online at

Continue Reading

CIMA creates new top jobs

CIMA creates new top jobs

| 19/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The creation of three new senior positions at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has led to the promotion of Langston Sibblies, CIMA’s General Counsel since 2000, to the post of Deputy Managing Director (DMD) – General Counsel.  Making the announcement yesterday, (18 September) the Authority said that the appointment had actually become effective more than a month earlier on 1 August 2008. 

CIMA said as DMD Sibblies will have direct oversight responsibility for three divisions: Legal, Policy and Development, and Compliance. He will also assist the Managing Director with the supervision of matters pertaining to CIMA’s policies and general management.

The appointment follows a reorganisation that has resulted in the creation of three DMD posts, each responsible for a separate set of functions of the Authority although appointments to this new posts have to be made. These include DMD (Supervision) which will oversee the Banking, Fiduciary, Insurance, and Investments and Securities divisions and  DMD (Operations) responsible for the Currency Division and the Finance, Information Systems and Human Resources units.

Managing DirectorCindy Scotland said that given Sibblies contribution to CIMA he was a natural choice for this senior role. “I look forward to working with him within this new structure, which has been adopted to ensure that CIMA is able to continue to increase its efficiency and effectiveness as the financial industry that we regulate expands,” she added.

In his capacity as CIMA’s General Counsel Sibblies has been responsible for the provision of legal advice to,and assisting in litigation on behalf of, the Authority and the drafting of legal documentation for the Authority. He has represented the Cayman Islands and CIMA in various meetings with regulatory and standard setting bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and has delivered relevant papers on the regulation of the Cayman Islands’ financial industry at several local and international forums.

Commenting on his new position Sibblies said he was pleased to be able to continue to serve the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in an enhanced role. “CIMA has in place a strong management team with a good mix of experience and expertise which augurs well for the future," he noted.

With over 30 years’ experience in the Caribbean and Canada Sibblies’ previous posts have included: Crown Counsel (Cayman Islands), Senior Crown Counsel (British Virgin Islands), Legislative Policy Counsel (Ontario), Director of Public Prosecutions (Grenada), and Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Government Portfolio of Finance and Development’s Secretariat, dealing with various international initiatives impacting on Cayman’s financial industry. He has worked as a law editor with a leading Canadian tax and business law publisher and as a private lawyer in Jamaica and in Toronto, Ontario. He is currently the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission of the Cayman Islands.

Meanwhile some young people have also been getting a taste for life at CIMA under its internship programme. One of them, Harvey Stephenson Jr. is now a second year student at Brown University, Rhode Island, majoring in applied mathematics – economics was under the supervision of Sibblies, Harvey where he acquired some experience in research related tasks. “Most of my work revolved around Mr. Sibblies’ research needs, both legal and policy-based topics,” Stephenson said. “Aside from the basics of where to look for the desired information, I gained a much better understanding of how to present the most relevant research in the most efficient way possible under time constraints. CIMA was the perfect place to learn.”

Five other local students from School and university spent summer with CIMA all looking to pursue different career objectives. Melesia Webster, who was with CIMA for the third summer running was placed as an Investment and Securities Analyst which s=he said helped enormously with her economics major. Another veteran intern is Arikka Ebanks who has worked at CIMA for the past four summers. She recently completed her International Baccalaureate and plans to earn her Bachelor’s in law and study forensic accounting. Her supervisor, Robert-James Berry, Head of the Compliance Division said she had  progressed and developed a lot.”She excels more and more in the tasks she performs every year,” he said.

 Tara Abdul-Jabbar, Assistant Human Resources Manager, who is in charge of the placement of students, sais the goal is to provide the students with exposure to their area of interest, give them an opportunity to interact with people from a variety of divisions and let them see how CIMA operates and for CIMA it is a chance to identify and groom potential future employees.

“Dealing with and solving work place problems is experience the students cannot gain at school. This is one of the biggest benefits of the internship programme,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “The hands-on experience the students get here at CIMA is useful to us and gives them a concrete understanding of the business environment, which they can relate to in the classroom. It is a good point of reference for them."


Continue Reading

A greener future for brand Cayman

A greener future for brand Cayman

| 19/09/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Updating the public on advancements in green issues, the National Tourism Management Plan, the Go East initiative, Cayman Airways and the pending arrival of a new dive attraction, the Minister for Tourism, Charles Clifford, opened the Annual Tourism Conference yesterday, 18 September. “This government has pursued a multi-faceted approach to tourism which incorporates priorities identified within our National Tourism Management Policy and provides a disciplined strategy for managing the industry over the next five years,” he said.

The minister told the audience that the preservation of the environment, specificallydesigned greening projects and our cultural heritage would be key elements in future policy. He also said that global competition and an economic downturn would see the Department of Tourism (DoT) adopting strategic marketing policies that would see Cayman sold as three unique islands in one destination.

The Minister announced that the New Tourism Management Policy 2008–2012 will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly during the week of 6 October.  He also delivered the news that while Cayman Airways was engaged in negotiations to acquire additional equipment for the expansion of its tourism routes into the United States as well as into Central America, the Embraer 170s had been eliminated for this winter season, although two other models are reportedly still being considered.  “CAL is currently engaged in developing a policy for medium- to long-term fleet planning,” he added.

Another major announcement concerned the arrival of the USS Kittiwake, a retired US Naval Vessel which will be sunk to create a new dive site. The Ministry of Tourism recently signed an MOU with Cayman Islands Tourism Association to operate, maintain and bear fiscal and environmental responsibility for the new wreck site. With the environment in mind, considerable efforts have been made to ensure there will be no marine damage during the sinking and that the vessel is completely cleaned of any potential to bring in invasive species. Once in place it will serve to relieve existing dive sites. “This site will benefit our marine ecology by providing artificial habitats for fish and much desired relief for some of our frequently visited dive sites,” said Clifford who added that such sites are very popular with divers.

Meanwhile, over at Boatswains Beach, the home of the Turtle Farm, the Minster confirmed that work was underway to replenish a section of reef affected by the attraction’s operations. The president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, Dr Thomas Goreau, is working closely with the facility, and he has said that once the farm has cleaned up the effluent it has been putting into the ocean, he is confident he can restore the reef. The farm is also exploring alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro power and has adjusted the water operating system to improve energy conservation. Estimates suggest that this has resulted in electricity savings of some $400,000 annually. “We welcome the continued progress at Boatswain’s Beach to tackle historical problems by improving current operational practices,” said the minister, who added, however, that the facility was not without its challenges.

Elsewhere on all three islands green initiatives are slowly but surely coming to fruition. The Minister said that aside from working with other UK Overseas Territories on direct initiatives to minimise the impact of climate change, “we have passed and are continuing to implement enabling legislation for environmental protection". However, the long-awaited National Conservation Bill has still not been tabled in the Legislative Assembly. Earlier this year the Ministry said it would be tabled this summer but it failed to materialise, and recent comments from the minister have indicated it may appear during the next session, which starts on 6 October, though Clifford did not mention the bill in his speech.

He did, however, talk about CEPTS, a two-phase project which will see tourism operations establishing environmental management systems through the Green Globe Certification process.

“Environmental management involves comprehensively reviewing all elements of an organisation’s operations, looking at the efficient use of resources such as water and energy, the reduction of waste generation, and minimising the environmental impact of certain activities. It also entails creating policies to monitor operations and plan improvements,” Clifford explained, adding that seven pilot properties have undergone Environmental Management Training

“In the same arena, we are also pursuing destination certification for Little Cayman,” he said.

The minister also noted that the Go East initiative was part of the greening of tourism policy as it was a catalyst for new and more eco-friendly attractions in the eastern end of Grand Cayman, including the East End Dive Lodge, which is being redeveloped as an eco-friendly resort.

Clifford noted the success of the creation of Wildlife Interaction Zones. “Last year, we passed legislation to bring such zones into force for Stingray City and the Sandbar. This is working well and marine officers regularly patrol to ensure that interaction with the stingrays is regulated,” he said. “The legislation bans the removal from the water of stingrays or any other marine life within the protected zone and enhances visitor safety by providing guidelines for anchoring vessels in the zone.”

Alongside highlighting green issues, the minister commended the people policies such as PRIDE, which emphasises the importance of customer service for everyone who interacts with tourists, and the TATP, which is encouraging young Caymanians to pursue careers in the business.

The Minister also spoke about the strategies being adopted to mitigate world economic problems and reiterated the DoT’s commitment to promoting Cayman as a high-end destination for what have been described as recession-proof visitors. He also described a new campaign to highlight the identity of all three Cayman Islands.

“While our current identity is based primarily on Grand Cayman and its offerings, we believe that all three islands have unique attributes, distinguishing each from the others and contributing to this wonderful multi-faceted destination experience which is the Cayman Islands,” he said. “

A high-quality marketing campaign complete with creative work to characterize the special identities of all three islands is now being tested and utilized in the Canadian market.”

He explain that under the banner three islands, one idyllic destination, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are being marketed for their individual features offering clients greater diversity within one product.

Continue Reading

Labour Law applies to authorities

Labour Law applies to authorities

| 19/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Employees of the Health Services Authority (HSA) and other statutory authorities can take their employment-related complaints to the Department of Employment Relations (DER), following a ruling by Grand Court Judge Justice Alex Henderson. The Court found that the acting director of DER was wrong to consider that he did not have jurisdiction over such complaints.

The question of which department HSA employees could take their complaints to was contained in a submission to Grand Court by Complaints Commissioner Dr John Epp, who applied for an interpretation of the Complaints Commissioner Law to decide if he had jurisdiction to investigate complaints made against the HSA by employees or former employees.

Justice Henderson said in his reasoning that the answer depended upon interpretation of the Labour Law and the Public Service Management Law (PSML), and of the term “public service” in these two laws.

From time to time between 2002, when the Health Services Authority Law came into effect, and July 2006 when a revision of the PSML came into effect, employees of the HSA sought and obtained redress for employment-related grievances by complaining to the Director of Labour under the Labour Law.

However, the revised PSML Law (Section 2) defines the term “public service” to mean “the civil service and employees of statutory authorities and government companies” and the Labour law states that “this Lawshall not apply to the public service …”

“The Director of Labour, having received legal advice on the subject, has now taken the position that the quoted definition in the PSML ‘effectively prevents’ HSA employees from seeking redress under the Labour Law,” wrote Justice Henderson. There is an appeals process for employment complaints in the PSML but the process is available only to “a staff member or civil servant”, terms that are clearly defined in the PSML.

“These definitions indicate a clear intention of the Legislative Assembly to distinguish between public servants (a term which includes employees of a statutory authority) and civil servants (a term which does not). The appeals process under the PSML is unavailable to employees of statutory authorities and this was intended,” Justice Henderson wrote.

“If the Acting Directorof Employment Relations is correct in his current view of the Labour Law, employees of the HSA (and other statutory authorities) with employment-related grievances have nowhere to turn.”

He explained that the PMSL is unavailable to them, and the Acting Director of DER considers that he no longer has jurisdiction. “It is in this context that the Complaints Commissioner asks if he may exercise his jurisdiction with respect to such a complaint.”

However, Justice Henderson found nothing in the PSML of 2006 to suggest an intention on the part of the Legislative Assembly to remove from HSA employees the right of appeal under the Labour Law, which they had enjoyed up to that point. Nor was there any reason to think that the LA, while providing carefully for the right of appeal for civil servants, intended their counterparts working for statutory authorities to have no such rights.

The Court found that employees of the HSA are not engaged in “the public service” within the meaning of the Labour Law and can, therefore, use the complaints procedure within that Law.

“The Office of the Complaints Commissioner is a place of last resort,” stated Dr Epp. “Residents must first try remedies available to them within the internal complaints processes of each government entity before the OCC can investigate the entity.”

Dr Epp is confident that the new Director of Employment Relations, Mr. Lonnie Tibbetts, will embrace the chance to assist employees of statutory authorities.

The OCC is located on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, phone number (345) 943 2220. The website is

Continue Reading

Jack can’t force top cop back

Jack can’t force top cop back

| 19/09/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): It appears that the neither the Governor nor the Senior Investigating Officer currently leading the independent enquiry into police corruption in the Cayman Islands has the power to force the return of the Police Commissioner to face questioning.  According to an e-mailed response from Bridger’s office, to CNS questions, the Governor as the “appointing officer cannot force” Stuart Kernohan to return to Cayman as part of the disciplinary process but “the process does not necessitate a face to face interview.”

Questions regarding the current whereabouts, status and salary of the Police Commissioner, who is on "required leave" with full pay have persisted since he was given permission to leave the island by HE the Governor, Stuart Jack, on compassionate grounds.  Earlier this month Governor Jack announced that disciplinary proceedings were being instigated against the commissioner after his failure to respond to official requests to return to the country. Although Kernohan’s precise location is unknown, he is believed to be in Scotland as he was granted compassionate leave because of the illness and subsequent passing of his father.

Asked on numerous occasions if the investigating team and the Governor are aware of the commissioner’s exact location, officials have repeatedly responded that investigating officers are in contact with Kernohan’s lawyer. On 10 September the Governor made a public announcement that Kernohan had reportedly ignored three requests to come back to Cayman

On 11 September, speaking through his local liaison, Kernohan said that he was more than willing to return to Cayman whenit was necessary in terms of the investigation, but so far the senior investigating officer in charge of the enquiry, Martin Bridger, had stated that Kernohan’s return was not essential.

“I have always made myself available when required by the investigating team led by Mr. Bridger. In fact, I have taken the initiative on several occasions to assure Mr. Bridger that I would welcome an interview with him at the earliest convenience,” Kernohan said.  “However, in a communication last month, Mr. Bridger did notify me that my presence was not required at this stage as part of any ongoing investigation. Governor Jack himself confirmed this in his statement.”

Bridger also re-confirmed to CNS that it is has always been his intention “to interview all people connected with those matters for which they are under investigation". He has also said publicly that he will go to the UK to speak to Kernohan if necessary.

Following the Governor’s public declaration, Kernohan, who up until that point had not communicated with the media, said he was disappointed that the Governor had aired the "dispute" over the terms of his employment in public and insisted that the Governor had no right to dictate where he should or should not reside during the investigation.

The investigation was first made public in March of this year when the Governor announced that a team of investigators had been working undercover in the Cayman Islands since September as a result of accusations of corruption made against Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and local publisher Desmond Seales, by Seales’ former employee Lyndon Martin. Although Kernohan has never publicly commented on the circumstances of the investigation and his role, he was reportedly the one who went to the Governor with concerns and requested the independent enquiry in the first instance.

Once started, Bridger has said, the undercover investigation quickly cleared Ennis and Seales but threw up other questions surrounding senior officers and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service as a whole.

Since the existence of the now year-long investigation was revealed, very few details have emerged. Aside from Kernohan, Chief Inspector John Jones and Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon have also been placed on "required leave" with full pay.

Rudolph Dixon has since been charged with offences relating to Perverting the course of justice and Misconduct in a public office. No charges have been made against either Jones or Kernohan, but the investigation regarding the two senior officers centres on their role in and the circumstances relating to the reported break-in into Seales’s newspaper office by Lyndon Martin in the wake of his accusations against Ennis. Martin, former UDP MLA for the Sister Islands, has also been charged with offences relating  to false reports and burglary.

Continue Reading

Water out around Denham Thompson Way

Water out around Denham Thompson Way

| 19/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With yet another broken main more Water Authority customers are facing another dry morning. At 6:15 am this morning the Authority announced that it had a broken main on Denham Thompson Way and customers will be without water for another 2 1/2 hours as repairs take place. The motoring public are also asked to avoid this area where possible.



Continue Reading