Jefferson answers critics

| 01/07/2009

(CNS): Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson revealed today that he had warned government about a potential major deficit back in October 2008. Giving a frank statement on the true state of government finances, he explained the reason for the apparent increase in the deficit between the end of March and the beginning of June. Jefferson said that on 9 February he had predicted a $68 million deficit, and while government made attempts to cut expenditure and generate new revenue, it had not achieved the desired results. Defending his record, he indicated that it was the failure of those policy decisions to have the desired impact — not his predictions — that has left the country with a deficit of $74 million.

In a 16 page statement to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning, laying out in full the true state of government’s financial affairs and the events leading up to the announcement of the $74 million deficit, Jefferson made it clear that a similar figure was on the cards much earlier in the year and the policy decisions made in an attempt at mitigation had essentially failed. He explained that had all the cuts made in the supplementary budget happened or the stimulus package worked then the deficit could have been reduced, as hoped in March, to $29 million, but as they did not the year-end deficit is closer to the figure of $68 million predicted by the portfolio on 9 February.

Jefferson explained that he had first warned of a potential operating deficit back in October 2008 when the economy began to contract. As a result, government had issued a policy directive to the civil service and government companies to restrict the hiring of new staff; reduce spending by 6% and initiated a review of capital projects.

However, the government was advised by his office that this would not be enough to address the problem, he said. “The Portfolio of Finance and Economics advised that the policy directive, by itself, would not be sufficient to guarantee that the expenditure reductions found by ministries and portfolios would remain throughout the year unless a Supplementary Budget – that contained negative appropriations which would have had the effect of reducing budgets — was taken to the Legislative Assembly to legally reduce the appropriations,” Jefferson said, adding that he had warned of the danger that the promised reductions would not happen unless they were made official.

“The advice of the Portfolio of Finance and Economics was not taken and government agencies were allowed to spend their original budgeted appropriations despite the policy directive,” he revealed.

Jefferson said that by January of 2009 the figures for the first part of the financial year (1 July to 30 November) revealed an actual deficit of $63.6 million. Nevertheless, as that was the slowest part of the year for revenue government decided to monitor the next three months’ earnings to see if any of the deficit was made up by the revenue collected in that quarter, he said. However, it became apparent by 9 February that this was unlikely to be the case when forecasts predicted a $68 million deficit for the year by 30 June.

“The 9 February forecast pointed out that there was a contraction in economic activities negatively impacting the financial and tourism sectors,” he said, adding that it was clear then that government would need to borrow to pay for operating expenses. “It was evident that the October policy directive to cut operating expenses by 6% did not materialise,” Jefferson noted.

Given the evidence of the significant deficit and the failure of the policy directive, Jefferson said,  “The elected ministers of Cabinet decided that the government was not prepared to go to the Legislative Assembly with a $68 million deficit and decided that drastic budget cuts had to be taken.”

Jefferson said that a long series of meetings than commenced with senior civilservants to inform them of the $68 million predicted deficit and that cuts had to be made. Jefferson said five meetings were held between 20 February and 12 March to bring down expenditure and bring up cash reserves to a respectable amount that could be presented to the Legislative Assembly.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Cabinet was informed by the Portfolio of Finance and Economics that a forecast for the year to 30 June … indicated a deficit position of $68 million,” Jefferson added.

He went on to explain that after the meetings the ministries offered a series of cuts that allowed the government to bring a supplementary budget to the House that showed a potential deficit of only $29 million instead of $68 million.

However, Jefferson explained that by 5 May a Cabinet note showed actual figures which made it clear the $29 million deficit was very unlikely. By then Jefferson said the actual operating deficit up to 31 March was $19 million making the $29 million prediction appear unrealistically low given the fact that the remaining three months of the year would not generate significant revenue.

“This again indicates that the $29 million forecast which was approved by the Cabinet and presented to the Legislative Assembly was understated,” he added. Jefferson explained that worse was still to come for government finances when the actuals were examined on 28 May as the statutory authorities showed even greater losses than anticipated and the government ‘stimulus package’ failed to generate any significant revenue.

“Actual revenue performance indicates that this increase to revenue figures will not materialize,” he said. “Ministers of the former government cannot distance themselves from this process and should not be surprised at the poor performance forecast for 2008/09”

Jefferson said that attempts in March to reduce the budget deficit failed, and while portfolios had “offered up” expenditure reductions, they were not sufficient. He said that as the leader of government business (Kurt Tibbetts) had not heeded his advice to “lock in” expenditure reductions in October, it proved very difficult to achieve any significant savings.

Addressing the leader of the opposition’s accusations, made on Friday in the LA, that the expenditure must have occurred after the PPM administration left office, Jefferson confirmed that he had not been given any instructions by the new UDP government regarding finances and that there had been no policy decisions taken regarding new spending, nor was he told to revise any earlier projections.

He noted that, contrary to the current misunderstanding in the public domain, the financial secretary does not have the authority to single-handedly determine how government resources are spent and said it is a collective Cabinet decision driven by the policy considerations of the elected ministers.

Facing the criticisms head on, Jefferson said the charge of incompetence leveled at him was invalid and the criticisms would translate into criticisms of the entire portfolio and the wider civil service on whom budget predictions all depend.

“I and the rest of the staff within the Portfolio of Finance and Economics have worked tirelessly and closely with Cabinet. We have always remained objective,’ he said.  “Over the past four years competence and integrity were never in question. I have presented the facts,” Jefferson said.

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  1. anonymous says:

    To Mercedezes: I wonder why you so quick to believe UDP and all what is being said about the PPM? Girl, get a grip….don’t be so FOOL FOOL to believe the crap ya hearing! It not going take four years of UDP rule for you to figure it out… calm yaself down and just you wait…..UDP have no history of telling truths to the people – they displayed fine example of that during the recent campaign and continue to do so now! So wisen up and pay attention…..PPM members not going anywhere…we just waiting to see the tables turn yet again cuz we know it going come! Yes to PPM, yes to Kurt, yes to Alden, yes yes yes PPM!

  2. Mercedezes says:

    What really surprises me is when the FS was off the Island Kurt and Alden had so much to say and was finger pointing at the FS, now that the FS has come back and has aired their dirty laundry, i don’t here peep from them.

    The Country needs to here from you in regards to the mess you all left behind. Your supporters especially needs to here the PPM side of the story, after all you owe it to them. Mr. Tibbetts i had alot of respect for you even tho i never voted for you, but i have lost all respect i had for you just because of the dishonest way inwhich You and  Your Administration handled the Country Financial affairs.  

    Please think about resigning before the next election, because I really feel that the people have seen and heard enough, and i don’t think they will be so FOOL FOOL this time around to vote for PPM, and just maybe they would if the PRICE IS RIGHT.

    All of you please go to church on Sunday and ask the Lord to forgive you all for what have done to the people of this Country.

    And to all the people who are still willing to defend what the PPM administration did SHAME SHAME SHAME on you. Remember it will be us who will end up paying the price in the long run.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oldpeople have a saying that goes "its not what you say, but how you say it". I’d like to put a spin on that and say "it’s not what you did, but how you did it".

    Everyone gave Arden accolades for building roads, he’s the action man from the east they say.

    Well, i’ll submit, any fool can have a road built if he’s given access to hundreds of millions and a huge workforce to do it. Surely Arden didn’t design the road, he didn’t lay the asphalt, he didn’t even supervise the men who laid the asphalt.

    How he did it was to take the country to the brink of bankruptcy laying down thepavenment in every corner he could find.

    Look at Vienna Circle in South Sound, note the quality of pavement that was put down on that road compared to the ones on your street (or lack thereof) while you’re looking at the pavement, look at the people who live on that same street and see if 1+1 start adding to 2. Next, ask any road engineer about the thickness of the asphalt that was placed on these roads and how long it is expected to last. 

    You see folks, often, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Just like some of these revelations now coming out about the PPM and their management, you’re going to find a lot more over the next weeks and months before the full extent of damages can be assessed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All PPM members should resign for leaving the country in such shambles!  I’ll bet those twins aren’t calling the talk shows now because PPM supporters are all now coming to grips with what the PPM was really doing.  I don’t blame the supporters though.  They just have it out for McKeeva and no matter if it was Hitler, they would support him as long as it wasn’t Mac.  You now had better hope Mac can get us out of the mess your PPM left us in and support him and his government instead of hindering him and we will all lose it all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A lot of government departments probably didn’t cut their budgets because they knew they would get the lesser budget the next year as well, having "proven" they can operate with the trimming. It is a fact of life that at the end of the financial year government departments spend spend spend what’s left of their budget to avoid this. I know for a fact this happens in the US as well. Asking for a 6% cut across the board goes against this hoarding, paranoid tendency.

    The cuts were a good idea, they were absolutely necessary; around the world private and public sectors are tightening up and losing the bells and whistles(not just the staff). But the cut should have been strictly enforced and explicit reassurance given that these cuts would not affect the next year’s budget. What were the actual requirements for this cut? How was it enforced? How could you get around it? Even with the new decentralised accounting there is someone in each department (or is this at the Ministry/Portfolio level?) who can say "no" to expenditure based on a clear mandate from Cabinet.

    So don’t knock the idea, knock the obvious lack of enforcement. Knock the individual government departments for not doing their absolute best to cut costs. Shame on those departments for not following these recommendations (especially those who could have done so easily). And while I’m on the thought of spending rules being enforced… there are a whole lot of ads in the newspaper for government jobs during a supposed moratorium on hiring… is anyone enforcing that policy? Are all of these positions really essential at this exact moment? Blame needs to be shared across government for this deficit, there is more to this than politicians.

  6. Mercedezes says:

    Kurt, Alden, Chuckie, Anthony and Arden, with all the spending you were doing you never once taught of the people of this country who were living in trailers from 2004 to present, what a SHAME! If i was ever disgusted of any Government I’m digusted with the PPM Government. You all knew where the money went and was just too shame to say, that’s why KURT come on TV and issue a statement about the FS mislead them. Mislead my bottom. You sat your FAT ASS in the LA for 4years doing nothing but cursing Mckeeva and his party, and you got the freaking nerves to talk about Mckeeva corrupt take a mirror and look into it.

    For all the people who don’t realize what has happen under the PPM power, please rewind and come again, you have been fast forward. Whether your PPM, UDP or Independant this affects us all, and regardless who you voted for the facts is the facts and the PPM needs to bury themselves in the deepest hole.

     I haven’t heard much from Mr. Action Man from the East, has cat got his tongue or is he seeking to resign from the PPM now that the shit has hit the fan, too late for that now. We have to face the facts Cayman we are in a whole deeper than we taught, lets pray that God will continue to guide us and keep Mr. Bush and his team focus to take this Country out of the mess it’s in.

    This is no mistake or neither were they mislead, they just didn’t care and they taught that they would be re-elected for another 4years to clean up the mess so the people of this country wouldn’t know what had taken place.

     Above us stands someone more powerful and when he isn’t pleased he just isn’t pleased. The time has come for the people to see what had taken place under the PPM Administration and God revealed it to us.

    Thank you Mr. Jefferson for your explanation on what took place in these Islands. And to the Kurt and the rest of his spend drift croonies RESIGN AND GET THE HELL OUT OF POLITICS!!!.


    • Anonymous says:

      To Mercedezes- Remember Four years is not a long time unless you are miserable, and I can assure that before this four years is up you will be begging Kurt, Alden, Chuckie, Anthony and the Action Man to please take the Country back from those Foreign Investors who will also be bringing in the foreign workers with them. At least PPM spent money but we can see where it went, I bet you that you won’t see where the funds will go for the next Four Years.

      Yes I agree that above us stands someone more powerful, but do you also know that he works in misterious ways his wonders to perform, he will make us go through hard times which we will for the next four years so that we can appreciate the good we have. Well if you don’t know this now you will know it by 2013.

      As to Mr. Jefferson I am still waiting for an explanation because what he has said is pure crap. And to Kurt and the rest I say hang in there, they will be glad to run back to you in 2013.


  7. Anonymous says:

    If every Caymanian donates about 2500 to the government will that help?

    A country with a native population of only about 30,000 should not be that far in the hole!


  8. Caymanians for truth in Government says:

    Please Resign!

    This is a call for Mr. Kurt, Mr. Alden, Mr. Tony and Mr. Arden to step down as representatives of the Caymanian people.

    You should all be ashamed of clearly misleading the Caymanian people, who you claim to represent, with the fictitious budget that you flogged publicly while you continued the massive spending by your Ministries. This is unbelievable. What would have happened if you all had remained in Cabinet?? Would we ever know about this??

    It is clear what FS said..1) Deficit identified last November 2) “fake” budget created in Feb ..3) spending continued by Ministers( obviously knowing fake budget would not work) and most importantly..4) Ministers would not report nor take their own Ministries figures to LA, violating laws and misleading country—then acted surprised!!

    Mr. Tibbetts and friends, please LEAVE now before more “stuff” shows up, which I am sure will happen- given these revelations.

    • Anonymous says:


      Is this type of disgusting behaviour by the PPM what they call "progress".

      $74,000,000 in debt, plus spending our country’s emergency funds to establish a route for Cayman Airways and build an old people’s home in East End.

      Today the People of the Cayman Islands could be using that $3,000,000 the PPM wasted on as a part of a stimulous package.

      Shame on Kurt & Alden – Shame on them! – Please resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the FS knowingly presented a "fake" budget to the LA then HE should resign.  

      • fuzzy says:

        Looks like Mr Jefferson is setting himself up to be the Cayman Is. first Minister of Finance i.e he has become very political all of a sudden and maybe ,just maybe he is going to follow in the footsteps of another Jefferson who was FS and left the civil service for a career in politics.So dont be surprised if Mr.Jefferson resigns before the new constitution comes into effect in July 2010(my prediction) and runs on the UDP platform to fill one of the three additional seats called for in the new Constitution.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Surely the FS’s explanation is not good enough.  Any properly prepared predictions provide for the probabilities of the expected.  ie a degree of stress testing.  Was the FS not required to provide a degree of stress testing so that the then Government could properly develop contingencies for the various probabilities?

  10. Caymanian to the bone says:

    The Honourable Ken Jefferson is not incompetent, not a liar and was not wrong in his predictions that the Cayman Islands Government was going to be facing huge financial deficits approaching the $70 million mark by the end of the financial year 30/6/09.

    Put plain and simple, he told the PPM cabinet of this projection but they continued spending large amounts of funds on capital projects which helped rack up this hudge financial deficit. Government departments left un-checked as usual, continued re-hiring when told to cease/desist from doing so, from far back as ten months ago. Additionally, the PPM government due to the approaching elections, continued their overspending, believing that this would get them re-elected. As for governments departments themselves, in their last 3 months before the ending of the financial year, went out on exhorbant spending sprees and cleaned out their remaining funds in their budget before the new financial year arrives.      

    This was a recipe for disaster and we now have, only 17 million in reserves and a $74 million projected deficit. Ken Jefferson is not to blame for this mess, it’s the PPM government and the usual government departments wastage, year in and year out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the response Mr. Jefferson, finally! I still have some questions for you:

    How often during these very tenuous econonomic times are your forecasts updated (I suggest it should have been daily or at least weekly)? Do you have access to realtime relevant data from the Ministries and Portfolios? How many budgets and projections have you worked with where there was NO attempt to reduce intial numbers recieved? Was it not the responsible thing for Cabinet to attempt to reduce the forecast of $68M?  Is it not your responsibility to ensure Chief Officers carry out Cabinets instructions?

    If you truly wish to remain objective and ethical then refrain from insinuating what the Government’s intent was? Your job should be to ensure that Cabinet receives timely and accurate financial information AND to ensure the Cabinet directives with respect to such financial information is carried out.

    As far as I am concern this situation arose because you do not have timely data and you and the Chief Officers did not ensure that savings and revenue enhancements were achieved based on Cabinet directives (of which you are a member)! Get professional help to fix this problem or step aside!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Thanks for the response Mr"

      Exactly! There is no capability to give him or anyone else up to date figures because the people responsible all the way up to Chief officer know that nothing will be done to them if they don’t comply. And of course they can always blame the new financial system that they never went to training workshops to learn because they were so high and mighty they didn’ need this kind of training and certainly not accountability for all the money they spend.

      Do you all understand that these Chief Officers are spending $50 million and more of YOUR money every year and they think no one should question them about it? And that’s been going on for MANY MANY years before the new financial system. They don’t like it because in the past no one asked them how the money was spent because no one knew. Now the new system asks for them to say how they spent the money and of course "the system is all wrong blah blah". I can’t do my work because I’m having to report how I spend the public’s money. Priceless.

      The problem with the new system is that we have a culture in the civil service that allows lazy/and/or incompetent people to get off with non compliance with laws because………………………………they are Caymanians who can’t be fired. It wouldn’t/doesn’t happen in the private sector which is why we get every now and again these supposedly brilliant Caymanians having to leave law firms (with big pay offs) because they just can’t hack it (although of course it’s glass ceilings, racism, neo colonialism etc etc).

  12. Anonymous says:

    The previous FS who introduced and promoted the new and in my view disastrous system which has so clearly failed us, has now left the civil service.

    That former FS is now about to step into the Chair at CIMA.  What havoc will he wreak there???

  13. Anonymous says:

    the FS did not ensure the Cabinet directive was followed to cut spending.

    Under the current and highly ineffective system, the FS has neither the authority nor the responsibilitly to ensure that Cabinet Directives are carried out. That role was taken from the FS some years ago and now falls to the chief officers in each Ministry/ Portfolio. In the real world these chief officers are highly influenced by the individual Cabinet ministers which run each Ministry/Portfolio. A Cabinet Directive is not worth the paper that it is written on when each Cabinet member believes that the spending cuts which he or she agreed to in Cabinet should not apply to his or her pet projects.

    The "new" system of decentralised (which unfortunately means non-existent) control of spending is ridiculously expensive to operate and simply does not work. Most departments have not even figured out how to produce the new style of accounts – hence the 4 years and counting delays in filing accounts as we are reminded of from time to time.

    The "old" system of centralised cash accounting had some limitations but it was highly effective at preventing the type of mess we are now in. Further, a large part of the deficit could be removed by a return to the old system and humane distribution to the private sector of the miriad people who now, through no falt of their own in most cases, achieve nothing useful for the Cayman people.  

    The previous FS who introduced and promoted the new and in my view disastrous system which has so clearly failed us, has now left the civil service. Could we please nowreturn to a system that worked for the people of Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      There are some odd things about this statement. The fundamental question is where did the $29m forecasted deficit come from? At no point does Jefferson acknowledge that this was his forecast. He merely says it was approved by Cabinet and states that it was the failure of the policydecisions to have the desired impact – not his predictions that has left the country with a deficit of $74m. Did he not revise his forecasts of the deficit to $29m based on what he anticipated would be the impact of the policy decisions? He says that by January, 2009 the figures for the first part of the financial year (up to 30th Nov, 2008) revealed an actual deficit of $63.6m but then goes on to say the actual operating deficit up to 31st March was $19m. So it appears he is saying that the deficit situation actually improved dramatically between 30th November, 2008 and 31st March, 2009 from $63.3m to $19m. Since he states that the policies failed how was this dramatic reduction achieved? Did this affect his forecasts going forward? The $29m deficit was presented to the legislative in March, 2009. Did Jefferson knowingly mislead the Legislative Assembly as to the true forecasts? Jeffersons does not actually deny telling the previous govt. in May, 2009 that there was no substantial change in his deficit forecast. Did he or did he not tell them that?

      I am afraid Jefferson’s statement raises more questions than answers and by no means lets him off the hook.     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Three problems are highlighted here, all of which relate to the system rather than particular political parties.

    First, Cabinet solidarity overrides transparency and objective financial information in all budget statements. Even when a Financial Secretary is completely objective and provides full information in what he tells the Cabinet inside the Cabinet Room, that objectivity and transparency can be nullified at the whim of Cabinet. 

    The position that the FS takes when he presents a budget or a budget statement to the LA represents the collective and politically influenced "view" taken by Cabinet and not the professional accounting opinion of the FS. Cabinet in dominated by the elected members on a sheer numbers basis and often on a personality basis as well. It is therefore relatively easy for political aspirations to bias the materials that are presented by Cabinet irrespective of who is in the government.

    The materialthat is presented for public consumption tends to be stripped of all of the otherwise appropriate "health warnings" and user information which ought to be found in accounting reports such as a professionally audited set of accounts. Consistent with this understanding, the LA and thus the people heard before the election about the relatively small but significant, and it turns out hugely optimistic forcast deficit. Neither the LA nor the people were presented with the full picture including all of the assumptions that needed to come true for that projected number to have been met. There was no footnote or similar disclosure to indicate that there was not a snowball’s chance in hell that all of the things that needed to happen, would happen. There is simply no requirement for objective, nor is there transparency, in the current set up and that is a problem.

    The second problem is reflected in the fact that the budget reductions which were supposed to be part of the "fix" were apparently ignored by the Ministries of the elected Cabinet officials. That suggests that the entire process of setting budgets for government departments is a farce or that political interference (no firings) may have kept the civil service from meeting the mandated objectives that Ministers were supposed to be adhering to. Either way, there is a serious problem.

    The third problem is that revenue earning authorities and departments do not appear to be able to produce credible revenue forcasts which Finance could use to identify the probability that targets would be met.  This also makes the "projections" produced in budgets worthless in times of economic turbulence.

    Sadly, none of these problems are going to be fixed simply by removing the FS from Cabinet and having an elected Minister of Finance. It will be even more likely that politicians will simply blame civil servants for their future messes, particularly if and when we have a Minister of Finance with political savvy but no understanding of the requirements of public sector accounting.     

  15. Anonymous says:


    All I attended Parliament today and was present when the FS spoke to the operating deficit. My conclusion was that in february our Government was informed there was to be a operating deficit of $68 million. Our leader took action to reduce this with a series of meetings where cost cutting measures and revenue enhancement strategies were agreed with senior civil servants resulting in a operating deficit of $29 million. Our leader gave further instructions to seek additional cost cutting measures and a directive was issued to the Civil Service. The Civil Service continued to spend as per the original budget resulting in our current deficit of $75 million. I also suspect that UDP expenditure between June 1-30 may have further inflated this deficit.

    The bottom line is that the $29 million publicly reported by the PPM was correct and the FS did not ensure the Cabinet directive was followed to cut spending.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. FS, Do you think that this lets you off the hook?  You have just admitted to the world that the financial position of these great islands can now be manipulated by politics.  You are the professional accountant in cabinet! It is your professional responsibility to put forth realistic projections to the L.A. and the people of these islands.  If you did not believe at the time that the policy savings could have been realized, they should never have been put forth as "Cabinet’s" projections.  Do not dare believe that you can collect your hefty salary each month and then when the Government’s earnings are $50 million off target, you try to claim, "I told you so!"  The same way that you came out and confirmed your agreement with the new LOGB’s statement of a $74 million deficit, you could have made a statement in May expressing your "grave concerns" about the $29 million.  That is your professional duty sir.  Do you know where Enron’s CFO is sitting right now for falsifying reports? In prison, along with the CEO. 

    However, if these were not falsified reports but in fact projections made in good faith and the civil service failed to act upon the policy directions then please say this as well, sir.  Also, you have failed to produce audited financial statements for these great islands for almost your entire tenure as FS, how can you now be so sure that the $74 million is even correct???  How much of the additional deficit occurred between May 21st and June 30th?? This period of expenditure would have been firmly under your control or that of the UDP Government.  In short, you can no longer be relied upon to be "objective", please step aside!


  17. Anonymous says:

    WOW!! Now you have it Cayman; the FS did his job very effectively; the deficit  is not  a fault of his but  that of  the previous PPM Government.  It’s just like the Premeire Designate said, thePPM recklessly  spent like there was no  tomorrow and now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of a $70M deficit.  Lock in those expenditures the  FS told the then LOG who ignored his call. 

     All those who slandered the FS name should come forward and offer an apology.  The buck stops with the PPM. And so it is.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ok CNS, now you will recall i posted several days ago that Kurt knew about the deficit from back in February and met with senior members of the Civil Service, told them about it and asked for cuts to be made.

    You did not publish that post along with the other one that spoke about the irregularities going on in that particular Stautory Authority … kinda makes you say hmmmm

    CNS: No, I would make the same decision again. What if the next anonymous poster decides to just make up a bunch of figures and present it as fact? Hmmm?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am happy that Mr. Ken Jefferson made this clarification, as the allegations reflecting on his competence were inconsistent with my view of him.

    Unfortunately, one editorial essentially jumped the gun without digging for the truth — and that is regrettable.  It seems at times that when editors take a position, they become overeager to collect "facts" to fit their view; it was very convenient , in this istance, to lump Mr. Jefferson into the evidence it had to support its broader position.

    Those of us who know Mr. Jefferson can attest to his integrity and ability. We should not make him a scapegoat.

    I want to assure Mr. Jefferson that there are still some in the public who exercise a healthy dose of skeptism when it comes to political or media pronouncements.

    And, by the way, I have no axe to grind here — I am neither close acquantance not relative of Mr. Jefferson.  I am just someone who is still able to gauge character and dislike seeing a good person unfairly judged around.


  20. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see what the PPM spin doctors are going to say about this revelation.

    Granted the FS is a civil servant, but if this is true can anyone blame this man for speaking so strongly and defending himself?