No more cash say ministers

| 10/10/2008

(CNS): More than $1.6 million that has already been spent on the special police investigation into alleged corruption within the RCIPS is to be approved in this session of Finance Committee, which reconvened on Thursday. However, Minister Charles Clifford (left) has said he won’t be voting to allocate any more money until questions start to be answered.

“When this matter first came up…we had to employ a certain amount of trust in what we were being told,” said Clifford. “At this point I have some significant questions about the entire situation and…I don’t know what types of additional requests may come forward in relation to funding or any other issues to do with the investigation but I have to tell you that this is one minister that is not going to be supporting any additional funding unless we have more answers. So people are going to have to be held to account, otherwise the Governor is going to have to exercise his reserve powers to get the funding.”

Currently the elected government is responsible for approving the funds but if they decide not to allow the money the Governor has the power to simply overrule the elected government and take the money. Alden McLaughlin explained at the televised post-Cabinet media briefing on 9 October that when Finance Committee convened later that day the funds that have already been spent on the investigation would be coming up for approval.

“When Finance Committee starts today one of the matters for consideration is the$1.668 million supplementary appropriation. The reality is that money is already spent…we are going through an exercise. But I expect there will be robust questioning of whoever is sent there to deal with that matter and perhaps we will get some information that has been unknown.”

The minister said that there was also an undisclosed amount allocated to the investigation in the current budget for this year, a sum he was not sure of, but the money which Finance Committee was expecting to approve in this session was in addition to the already budgeted funds. None of the ministers were able to confirm the exact amount of spending so far on the overall investigation, and Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts asked the media to be cautious of asking the government questions or asking them to speculate about the investigation.

Minister McLaughlin was less reticent, however, and said that he was really concerned about the impact the investigation was having on the jurisdiction and the confidence people had in it, and that he still saw the whole thing as disproportionate based on what he knew. However, the minister noted that it didn’t matter how much the elected government demanded more information, getting adequate answers from the Governor was another matter. McLaughlin said that what we are seeing with regard to the management of the issues was a symptom of a much bigger problem — namely the overall relationship with the UK and the constitutional framework inwhich the country operates.

“Here we are again, the elected government, sitting facing the media, answering questions as best we can, often the subject of criticism for not being able to answer questions or being held to account for matters for which we have no constitutional responsibility or authority or even information,” he said. “If we are to have truly responsible or accountable government all of the organs of government have got to be held to the same level of accountability. Hence our press for greater sharing of responsibility between elected government and Governor.”

He said that the decisions of the Governor’s office needed to be subject to review by the courts and open to scrutiny of the press in the same way as those who hold elected office. He said if these issues weren’t addressed, things would get worse as these are real governance issues.

“If this country does not wind up with a constitution that redefines the relationship between the Cayman Islands and the UK along the lines that this government has pressed for, we are in for even more difficult times as a jurisdiction,” Minister McLaughlin added.

 

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Comments (5)

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  1. Annoymous says:

    I agree with you Minister Mclaughlin the impact of this so-called investigation of which we all know who will end up holding the bag – the Caymanians, whilst the foreign officers get away.  The fact that Kernohan refuses to return to the island to answer questions in itself should tell you we are being controlled by a power whose only ambition is to crushus and put us into deeper debt until the Government has no more resources to cover the expenditure. 

    Time to plug the leak.  No more funding, if the Governor wants answers well he can pay for it from his UK coffers.  I am sure he gets one of those every year.

    Such a national disgrace we have all of this happening to us and we the people who pay the bills to keep the Government running is being placed in this precarious postion.

    Ministers stand up and stop the bleeding of this country.  Say NO until the Police give you answers and solutions.  Stop paying Kernohan and everyone else associated with this stupid case and lets move.

     

  2. Jedi Dread says:

    Please use the cash already paid out to employ these Scottland Yard investigators to assist in the solving of the Murder of Estelle Scott-Roberts.

    No more unsolved cases please.

    Dare I say, Talk is cheap. Except in Cayman….

     

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Enough is enough!

    A complete waste of funds.  Nothing solid found on anyone.  The best they could come up with is the trespass/breaking case against Lyndon Martin.  Even that seems feeble, especially considering that they let another gentleman go free for the same thing.  What’s the point?  As for the false accusations, let me say this; I don’t care what I have seen, or think that I have seen, it will never be reported to anyone, once corruption is involved.  So much for being a good citizen and trying toexpose corruption.  Who will pay Lyndon Martin for his information?  Worth just as much as the other Martin has exposed for 1.6million.

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Politricks , politricks, politriks……..   election coming soon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well said, Minister McLaughlin!