Jefferson hits back

| 29/06/2009

(CNS): Answering criticisms made in Legislative Assembly on Friday, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson said that if he had been derelict in any way it was by not defending himself and he would no longer remain silent when he was used as a scapegoat. He indicated that he had not yet answered the charges about the sudden changes in government finances because he had been overseas on official business addressing areas the previous administration had not done anything about.

Jefferson told the House that the deficit that the opposition was demanding explanation for may have a lot to do with a previous minster’s comments that it was the financial secretary’s job to find the revenue for ministers to spend. Jefferson said he would make a statement regarding the financial situation now he was back on island, but he said the answer to their questions may be in the comment made by a former government member.

“Perhaps the answer most people want comes from a comment made by a former minster of the previous government when I questioned the magnitude of expenditure,” Jefferson said. “I was told that the function of a minister was to incur expenditure and the role of the financial secretary to go out and find the revenue. So perhaps the answer is as simple as that.”

Jefferson said that for far too long the financial secretary was seen as the scapegoat and the one people were comfortable criticising as they did not think there would be a reply, but he said that would change. He denied the accusations of dereliction of duty and said it had been impossible for him to give a response to critics between the publication of the statement in the print media on 12 June and his return from travelling overseas the night before the House resumed on Friday. He said he found it ironic that the third elected member for George Town (Alden McLaughlin) would make that criticism when his own party took twelve days to respond. Jefferson said now he was back on island he would make a full statement on public finances in far less time.

Jefferson also noted that he would nothave been travelling on official business if matters regarding tax information exchange agreements had been handled differently over the last four years.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is a disgrace to that honorable position that the FS has made such a politically loaded statement.  In the time it took him to state this garbage he should have been able to state the reason for the difference in projections.  We want the facts from you sir, that is what you are paid for, not your rhetoric! 

  2. Anonymous says:

    For the record, the UDP is Mac or Mac is the UDP. This whole financial smoke and mirrors game is what Mac is best at, scaring the day lights out of the poor old beaten up and tired voter.

    And now he has dragged the Financial Secretary into politics! This mess, as sad as it is, is just the kind of strategy he uses for more brownie points and relationship building. The FS really do not need to respond to anyone. We understand how politics work.

  3. Show me de money FS!! says:

    I would like to see the Job Description of the FS and his staff.  I think if we can obtain this information we can all assess where the problem lies.

    It will be interesting to see how well the FOI works with this one.  Mrs. Dilbert I am on the way to get some information.  Trust me if I am blocked I will sue the Government for refusing togive me what I want.


    • Anonymous says:

      Now I understand why the UDP never pushed the issue of getting the financial reports done before election.

      Its all coming out now.

      • Anonymous says:


        The UDP knew that the squandering of Public Funds would become clear for all to see once the election was over.

        I saw paving going on in East End til almost election day 🙂

  4. Captain Crunch says:

    why is it that the UDP supporters are not conerned with the huge difference in numbers in a matter of weeks?….why don’t they understand that this is not a UDP/PPM issue?…..Mr. FS if you need help with the books, my 12 year old daughter can help, and we sit here a take this &$)*^#$ and act like its no big deal…I cant wait to hear his excuse.

  5. Popo says:

    We have a watch dog to look after the poor financial management of the country. The problem is whent the dog barks no one hears him. All we listen to is idiots saying the government is broke.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like this response was delayed because it needed the LOGB approval, ie coincides with Mac’s return to island? I guess everyone knows they can’t speak unless he says so and even then only what he says. Whathas happened to Elio? Haven’t heard a thing from him since his "finaancial press conference". Guess he has now been put in his place too. For someone who had so much to say before election, he seems to now be awfully quiet.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know what, I wished people would get your facts straight and stop Bitch%^* and complaining about the FS.  If it was not for our politicians (UDP/PPM) trying to run Cayman in the ground we would not be in this situation…… I have worked for over 20 years in the Finance Department under many FS and let me tell you it is not pretty… when you have politicians coming in trying to get more funds, instead of understanding that Cayman Cannot handle so much expenditure and borrowing.

        They would prefer to approve a budget for 1/2 of a car/truck or to pay for 1/2 a bucket of crush to complete part of a road. They have to get their act together and think about this country for the next generation(s) of CAYMANIANS coming up. I have nephews who are questioning me about what the Government of the day is doing and all they are doing is selling out Cayman.
  6. Caymaniam says:

    Mr Jefferson, You have time to make an overtly political statement, including quoting a former Minister on what was obviously a jocular comment, made in (what I presume to be) a confidential setting, but you don’t have time to address the issue at hand which is the variations in your previous and most recent estimates?  Perhaps the statement you made is " the answer that most people want", but that makes it neither the truth, not financially responsible. 

    I trust you enjoyed your overseas jaunt. Was it entirely about signing deals that have been put in place since the election? Just curious.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Mr. FS but you need get in line behing the rest of them that we want to see walking the plank….pathetic response! Time to investigate!!

  8. Sunstroke House says:

    Jefferson actually gets paid 180K annually. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is very clear that the PPM Government has been reckless with this Country’s finances. There are many many indications of that now. I believe that the FS should have been more aggressive in stopping this chaos but now at least I understand why the PPM’s new constitution removed the FS from Cabinet-he was getting in the way!

    It is now clear to the Caymanian people that leaving any Government loose with our finances is a pending disaster, even if corruption is not a factor like in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

    We need to put in place a public watchdog group to oversea ALL Governments including the UDP. I also believe we need to cut out the PPM/UDP rhetoric now and focus on keeping tabs on OUR Government.

    The UDP/PPM bashing is getting stale at this time however the PPM must understand that if they may have to own up to their past acts even if that means the resignation of Mr. Tibbetts and Mr. McLaughlin from the party and their loss at the next polls. That is how it is….pay the piper!

    • Anonymous says:

      "I understand why the PPM’s new constitution removed the FS from Cabinet-he was getting in the way!"

      The logic of that statement escapes me. Given your premise that the FS "should have been more agressive in stopping this chaos" exactly how was he "getting in the way"? It seems to me that he was and is part of the problem. This is compounded by the fact that he is now overtly political.  

      Under the new Constitution no govt. canblame the FS since a Minister of Finance will be answerable.   

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ok so each ministry is responsible…good one! so the employees of each ministry who’s job it is to collect revenue and present it, what were they doing for the past 4 years? This whole thing is pathetic bunch of people passing the buck. The whole lot of them. Government? Didn’t govern anything. This is a joke, I’d love to go to work tomorrow and tell my boss I’m writing a bunch of checks but haven’t been checking to see if the companies be receiving revenue. I would be fired! Maybe the same should apply to those whoes job it is to produce the statement of income. That’s a group that deserves to be in the upcoming 6 percent increase in unimployment and other qualified people deserving on the post and commited to do the job fill in these spots….heck looks like they been vacant all this time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The PPM administration was definately in the business of spending first and asking questions later.

    Anyone interested can do an FOI request and find out about the 10s of millions that they approved in Cabinet under the "exceptional circumstance" section of the public management and finance law. This allowed them to spend a tremendous amount of money without the Country and the LA knowing about it until months later.

    The question that people should be asking that is not being asked is this: Legally, the Government should not be able to spend without approval from the LA.

    The LA only gave the Government approval to spend X amount at the last meeting back in March (that amount being the amount of expenses for a 29 mil deficit).

    If we now have all these additional expenses, where did the authority come from to incur them and why isn’t the UDP running to the LA with a supplementary request explaining the situation to finance committee and getting propper approval to incur these additional costs that they are now forecasting?

    Are they simply going to ignore the law and spend what they think is convenient for them and then go for a rubber stamp after all is spent a done?


  12. The Drowning Dream says:

    To think that these jokers get paid between 150K and 177K annually!

  13. Time is not up!! says:

    The time he spent making this pathetic response maybe he should have answered the question where is the money Mr. FS… Just like Mr. Associate Degree Elio what a bunch we got representing the Cayman Islands…ppl who think education is not a necessity and ppl who brake the Country’s highest law and ppl who don’t think it’s important to uphold our laws very very sad…

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have never heard a more public political statement from a senior civil servant than this one. Clearly a breach of the rules. Now Ken Jefferson has very clearly laid down his UDP marker so it necessarily follows that any furture Government (Opposition to the UDP) will not be able to work with him and he is well aware of that so its in his best interest to do and say everything he can to keep the UDP in office; hence the reason why civil servants MUST maintain neutrality.

    But here’s the bigger question. Since our FS has clearly demonstrated that he is UDP how does he now expect us to believe that what he has presented as the country’s financial position is anything other that a political statement to serve the interests of the UDP.

    Governor Jack this is unacceptable and you are responsible !!! Now the only how we will know what the true position is is through having the situation audited by an independent accounting firm……and this is an urgent matter Mr. Governor !!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    It is the job of the GOVERNMENT…each MINISTRY to find revenues to help support the public sector as a whole! The reason we are in so much debt now is the fact that the previous government didn’t think it was their responsibility to earn revenue, but merely to SPEND it! And when you tell them there isn’t any money..stop spending and they don’t…whose fault is that again???

    This is why there was so much talk about inward investment, sports/medical/educational tourism, etc. throughout the UDP campaign………because the money has to come from somewhere in order to pay the bills!!!!!! We can’t just spend, spend, spend and expect the FS to create the money for us….it DOESN’T happen that way!!!

    The statement Mr. Jefferson was trying to make was the Mr. Clifford was basically saying he didn’t care what Mr. Jefferson had to say regarding finances…..he was going to spend and Mr. Jefferson better find the money to cover it! Sorry Chuck…welcome back to reality!

    For all those criticizing Mr. Jefferson, he is a man and has every right to defend himself in whatever way he feels like. He has a report coming that will explain everything and until then maybe you should all just bite your tongues! We are owed an explanation and we will get it!

  16. Time is not up!! says:

    what r you all thanking him for he didn’t offer a response that goes to show why the majority of ppl voted UDP becos the majority of ppl are ignorant and really silly .. it is not fair to PPM or the ppl of these can you make a statement and not back up what you say with proof… and maybe why PPM took 12 days to give a response is becos they wanna make sure they report the truth unlike some ppl who just offer lip service and like say things that are far from the truth… I agree FS and AG need to step down…


    Just curious


    29mil-74mill = 45mill

    40mill Mr. Bush "borrowed" for the stimulus package soon as he made office… just asking..

  17. Anonymous says:

    What a bogus response. Give us the facts instead of sounding like a UDP elected member. I’m tired of this back and forth, Mr. Jefferson as FS you should know where the revenue is coming from and that its properly recorded so when expenditures are to be made there is accurate information to support why the government should or should not make the expense. Please tell me just who’s job it is in government to find the revenue so we can’t turn to them for an answer unlike this ridiculous comeback…come back with professional respone one that those of us who are concerned with the countries finances want to hear instead of something to appease the party supporters. LA reminds me of a “I’m rubber and you’re glue” fighting match… So frustrating.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Question I would be grateful if someone in the legal industry can answer the following questions: 1. Is it lawfull for the tax payers to bring a suit against the former gov’t/or FS 2. if not, what recourse is there for the tax payers? I feel people are not taking this serious enough, this is going to have a trememdous affect on this country.

  19. Anonymous says:


  20. Pale Rider says:

    "Glad someone is standing up to the PPM and not letting them bully you anymore!"


    What????  It is the responsibility of ALL civil servants to do what is ethically and morally right!!!  IF Mr Jefferson knew what was going on and said nothing for fear of backlash then he has no business being the Financial Secretary!!!  Only now that he thinks he has no fear of losing his position does he speak up and say that the previous government was doing something wrong???   Sorry, chum, that doesn’t cut the muster!!  You are BOUND by law to be the overseer of the government (read:PUBLIC) coffers and as such should not have a fear of anything coming back on you by blowing the whistle when the fox is in the hen house!!   Even if you were ostracised and criticised then that is the price you pay for integrity!!  We ( the PUBLIC) NEED to know why this is only coming out now….and don’t use the excuse that it is because of the new governement…that horse has been beat to death!

  21. Frustrated Professional CFO says:

    Mr. Jefferson I’m so happy to hear that you will have a substantive reply! Please remember that you are an the expert in this area, the technocrat that the other members of Cabinet and we the public rely on to present the facts! please stop playing politics and present this country with the facts!

    Please explain the changes between your projections made based on March 31, 2009 actuals and the projections you are now making! What assumptions for expected revenues or expenditures changed? what information do you have now that you did not know then? what are you including now that you did not include then? Did materials errors occur in your projections? You owe the country an explanations Sir! 

    Please do not cloud this very important matter with more "he said" and "they said" as we have heard plenty of that from both political sides!! Give us the facts or step aside and let someone else perform this most important job.


    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Jefferson I think you should step down along with the AG…….

      • Anonymous says:


        To mr. Jefferson I think you- I agree with you Mr. Jefferson, the AG, the Gov. they all need to step down. We need to start investigations on these too.

        Folks this is not about UDP/PPM this is about the financial status of the Island, if Mr. Jefferson can only give figures based on what Political Party is in then we need to get rid of him, if this is the case then anyone can be the FS. The Island is looking very poor in the sight of the rest of the world. I don’t know how we expect to get of the GRAY LIST with these kind of things going on.

        It would appear to me had the PPM got in the deficient would have been $29M but since they didnot and the FS wants to keep his job then he must make PPM look bad and the UDP look good therefore the deficit must go up. He cannot make a statement until he is told exactly what to say by the LOGB.

        God help our little Island.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is another sign that we the people should be electing highly qualified financial persons on a ballot at each Election as well as Attorneys to hold the AG seats. Too long we been depending on people that think they are there for life this is not a government department head it is the Financial Minster in all aspects. We the people should decide who get to handle our money. An we the people is who he should be explaining himself to not to others. I know projections can be off but "laud" this bad

    This is so far off even he would have to say you know what I mismanaged the peoples money.

    Here he is blaming former ministers and members andhe still has not giving audited reports on what the heck we spent all this money on. Who cares if it’s PPM or UDP governments that he thinks he needs to report to because it our money the people’s MONEY! They should Replace him and get someone who will tell you the true numbers. He seem to become very political so why not put that on the ballot Financial Secetary am sure we have lots of capable candidates that would surely take his job.

  23. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Are civil servants allowed to make the statements that the FS made in this article?

    • Anonymous says:

      The  FS is not your typical civil servant.  He is a member of Cabinet and in his position, often makes statements to the House on a variety of subjects.  Further, he is charge of the government’s finances.  As such, he is well with his remit to make this statement to the House to inform them of his views on comments made to date.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The  FS is not your typical civil servant.  He is a member of Cabinet and in his position, often makes statements to the House on a variety of subjects.  Further, he is charge of the government’s finances". 

        You are quite right. That is why he must be held accountable.

        What a pathetic retort! It sounded very unprofessional.   

  24. PPM = Failure says:


    You have just confirmed what I have suspected all along. The PPM has never and will never take responsibility for any wrong doing that they committed during their tenure in office. 

    No Financial Statements – That’s the fault of the civil servants

    No Helicopter – Commissioner Kernohan ‘misled’ us

    History making operating deficit – We’re experiencing a global recession…. no I mean we have a derelict financial secretary

    The Financial Secretary isn’t derelict, the PPM is! They spent, spent and spent some more and they ran our country in to the ground while doing so.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly is PPM=Failure thanking Mr. Jefferson for? What has he confirmed? Did I miss something? All I read was something about a former Minister telling him his job was to find the revenue. What does that have to do the dramatic change in his projections? Is he suggesting that he was forced into misrepresenting the true financial position of the country?  Since FS has not yet offered any kind of explanation it would seem premature to come to the conclusion that he he wasn’t derelict. It seems his character and integrity may be an issue.    

  25. Anonymous says:

    "I was told that the function of a minster was to incur expenditure and the role of the financial secretary to go out and find the revenue. So perhaps the answer is as simple as that."

    That’s it?! He interpreted go find the revenue to mean "make up a figure and pretend we have it in your projections?". If this is the gist of the full statement to come, then it is time to find a new FS.    

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good for you Mr. Jefferson!!! Glad someone is standing up to the PPM and not letting them bully you anymore! It’s time to really understand what has been going on over the past four years!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Ken,


    Don’t let the PPM trash you, these people have no shame.