Mac says boards are political

| 27/07/2009

(CNS): Following the special sitting of the Legislative Assembly last Wednesday when government amended twolaws to alter the rules governing two major boards, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush has made it clear that as far as he is concerned the boards are political bodies and should be in tune with the administration of the day. Announcing changes at a press briefing to the HSA and CINICO board line ups, he said that boards were effectively the bodies that focused on the day to day running of the country.

“There has to be changes,” he said. “Why do you think the people put us in office?” he asked rhetorically at government press briefing held on Thursday morning, 23 July. He said that if government doesn’t make changes to the governing of the country, the people would be right to ask why, when given the opportunity by being elected to office, the government had then not made changes in governance.

“Boards do the day to day running of the country. We just make the laws,” Bush said. “Because of that board members are there at the will of government.” He added that it was essentially that those serving on boards are supportive of the government’s policies. Bush also noted that some people believe that once they are appointed to a board they are going to be there forever, but that was not the case.

The leader of government business said that in some cases boards had been changed even where members were UDP supporters, but they may be changed for other reasons. He said it was the government’s prerogative to choose board members for reasons that suited the government’s plans for running the country.

Bush announced that Canover Watson had accepted the position of HSA chairman. “With his financial background he is ideally suited to guide the HSA through these difficult times. Since his appointment as board member in September 2008 he has shown a tremendous commitment to the hospital and has been working diligently to reduce the authority’s deficit,” the LoGB said.

Listing the new directors, he said the following people would serve for a period of one year effective 1 September: Canover Watson as chair, and as deputy chairman, Peter Young. Members will be Tommy Ebanks, Wanda Ebanks, Raquel Solomon, Ryan Walrond and Nina Banks.”

He then said that, significantly, the government had not named the HSA Board Chairman to the CINICO Board, as was previously the practice. “We believe this move will avoid all possible conflicts of interest and will serve both institutions well,” the LoGB said. “Although there are considerable changes to the CINICO Board membership, we want to say that the national insurance company is doing a fine job and financially it is on a good footing. However, we deemed it sensible to bring in new board members that will be able to use their expertise to review CINICO’s organisational structure and service delivery model to further improve its product.”

He said that from 1 July this year Dale Crowley would serve as chair of CINICO with Seamus Tivnan as deputy chairman, and as members John Douglas (reappointed) Dr. Ruthlyn Pomares, Armando Ebanks, Carl Brown, Darlee Ebanks and as ex-officio member the chief officer of the Ministry of Health, Jennifer Ahearn, or her nominee.

These announcements come following legislative changes in the House on 22 July which saw the law amended to enable the number of members on both the ICTA and ERA boards to increase from 4-6 to 8-10 members, for the requisite specialist qualifications to be removed and for the members to be dismissed from the board at the will of government.

The issue of political influence from the previous administration was raised in the Legislative Assembly during the debate by the new UDP government which has made it clear that it wants people on boards who will implement its policies.

The timing of the changes to the ERA has brought criticism from the oppositio, and at Thursday’s press briefing Juliana O’Connor denied that the move was to enable the government to stack the board in order to enable political control over the forthcoming decision by the board, expected sometime this week, on a bid by Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) to become the first electricity generator to break CUC’s monopoly.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

     Mac help us in the Brac, too much small and narrow minded people on our boards. Please put some new and young blood.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So here’s another one. Patrick Bodden Chairman of the Business Staffing Board. His company, Bodden & Bodden Corporate Services, probably is responsible for 45% of the applications that come before that board. Oh but the great one has said its ok so I guess it is.

    What an example these so called "decent" people in Cayman are setting for our children and then they have the audacity to accuse our children of misbehaving and being out of order !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone should start a list of the obvious conflicts of intrest.

    • Anonymous says:

      I always heard a chip do fall far brom the block

    • Anonymous says:

      Given that Cayman is such a small place, its next to impossible to avoid the apparence of a conflict of interest (whether there is an actual conflict of interest is a wholly separate matter).

      So, maybe the Government should – as the PPM proposed – just put foreigners who have no connection whatsoever to the islands to be on boards. This suggestion will ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am a UDP supporter who was removed, along with many others, from a Board when the PPM government came into power. Just curious as to why this is just a problem now? I have always felt that there should be a fair mix of people on each Board, placed there for what you can contribute and not who you voted for BUT THIS HAS NEVER BEEN THE CASE under any administration!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Remember the property in the vicinity of CUC that was bought up just before the 2005 elections by MC Restoration so that they could bring in generators to provide competition for CUC.

    So who was involved with MC Restoration again ? Hmmmm…………The UDP and specifically Mac, Mark Scotland and CG. You were warned Cayman and you voted for them anyway.

    Now watch their Jamaican company come in and take over then we will be like many other Caribbean Islands. Enjoy the blackouts Cayman….and they can last for days with these people.

    The last time the UDP was in office they introduced competition in telecommunications and they’re still promoting that as the best thing since sliced bread. Yet the service from the two providers, LIME and Digicel, is third world poor……so you see monopolies are not always a bad thing as we have found out with telecommunications and as we are about to find out with electricity generation.

    I predict a REAL Commission of Enquiry into corruption in on the horizon.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mac can buy his own new clothes that fit!  Can you say "Cambridge…Ritz"?

    We know the difference between the spelling of McKeeva and McKeewa.  The key is how they are both pronounced.

    This man in his baggy suits was representing the Cayman Islands in Europe.  Those folks are a whole lot more unforgiving.

    Wake up!


  6. Anonymous says:

    With the new CAL board will air freightbecome a thing of the past? How many more conflicts of intrest are there? If ministers can replace board members at will what becomes of the members fiduciary duty? Will they be charged with the best intrest of authority on whose board they sit or will it be the best political intrest of the MLA/Minister? Same old deal cronyism is alive and well in the Cayman Islands. Has CNS or any other media house taken an objective look at the boards past and present as it may relate to conflicts of intrest of members?

    • Anonymous says:

      Conflict of Interest?

      A Director of a Company can be appointed and removed by the shareholders of that Company, but no sensible person would suggest that this makes the Director have a conflict of interest because the Director has to act in the best interest of the shareholders.

      The shareholder of Cayman Airways is the Cayman Islands Government, which is controlled by the Caymanian people (see electoral register for names), with day to day management being handled by elected representatives (Managers).


      • Anonymous says:

        The conflict of intrest could arise if the director has to choose between what is best for that company and the politician. Also many of the new members of several board have direct conflicts of intrest with the companies/authorities on whoose boards then now sit.

  7. Anonymous says:

    To Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/27/2009 – 13:58.


    It may not have been applicable in your specific situation but it clearly happend and not just on the one off occaision either but on a regular basis. I will not call the names of people who were removed but you and I both know UDP supporters were removed from various boards once PPM came into power… So I repeat lets not play hypocrites


  8. AJ says:

    Can anybody else get onto the JEP website?  I was trying to find out more about this company that is supposed to make a bid to be a power supplier but I kept getting that the website is under construction.  I do see that it provides energy from burning fosil fuels but does it have any plans for providing energy through more environmental friendly means? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Did Alden put his cousin as Chairman of CIMA?

      Who is the Caymanian behind Tom Jones, and what is their relationship to the leadership of PPM?

      I could go on, but I sincerely hope the PPM isn’t suggesting that their family didn’t benefit under their short spell in office.

  9. Anonymous says:

    UDPers are so paranoid about PPMers that the are blind to the foul ups the LGB is doing. 

    Forget who makes the statements, all that matters is is the statement true.

    How sad for all of us.

    Thanks again CNS for good reporting – the CNN and CC are always playing catchup in your dust.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder why no article has been written on the "gold plating" that was reported by the Auditor General on CUC?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush here is a suggestion to avoid conflict with any board.

    Abolish all boards then you can rule as you wish.


    Leave the boards in place but fire all of the members of the boards then appoint yourself as Chairman of all of the boards – then you will be sure that the boards will do exaxtly as you command.

    Heil Bush!!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don’t you know that Mr. Dick Arch is also related to Mr. Bush by marriage?

    Keep the power in the family.

    Mr. Bush sure knows how to pick the board members that will only do as he dictates.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why are we being hypocrites??? This happens every four years and will continue to do so under party politics..PPM may have been less blatant and in your face but the end result was the same- they removed people from their boards who were UDP affiliated..This is what happens with the party system–politics as usual folks.

    I just don’t understand why there was such an overwhelming support for the party system because reading half of the insane comments on this site it shows just how divisive party politics can be…Also the complete blind loyalty expressed on both sides is nauseating and it seems to erode common sense and objectivity.

    Let’s be independent thinkers whose only agenda is the truth and what’s best for the COUNTRY!!!!


    • Anonymous says:


      In response to Why are we being:

      I beg to differ with you, I am currently on a board that has  has UDP supporters that were not changed in 2005 by the PPM administrator.  To point is  not correct, sorry.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “We believe this move will avoid all possible conflicts of interest and will serve both institutions well,” the LoGB said.

    This conflict of interests argument is used very selectively by Mac and only when it suits him and his agenda !!!

    Perhaps, McKeeva, you will explain to our country how conflicts of interests doesn’t arise in your appointment of Mr. Dick Arch and Mr. Frankie Flowers Sr to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority Board.

    These men are tennants and service providers at the Owen Roberts International Airport.  Mr. Dick Arch is the owner and Chairman of Air Agencies Ltd (an aircraft ground handling agency) and Mr. Frankie Flowers Sr is the owner and Chairman of FADS (a security and screening service provider). How can these men sit on a board that is charged with regulating the very businesses that they operate at the Airport. Now that is perhaps the most pronounced conflict of interests there is but yet its ok in this case as far as the UDP is concerned.

    If we are not careful the Owen Roberts International Airport will lose its Category 1 status over this cronyism.

    This country is doomed under this UDP administration. Lets just hope for a BT By Election where the successful PPM candidates will offer a real parliamentary opposition and keep Mac in check.

  14. anonymous says:

    Agree 100% with the first posting. Typical Mac & UDP style…..can only hope we get through their term in power without them actually sinking us to a point of no return!

    • Anonymous says:

      These postings show the level of intelligence within the PPM that resulted in them being booted out of office.

      Try to contribute sensibly; not trying to insult people about the clothes they wear. Please grow up before its too late.


    • Anonymous says:

      If the UDP can get us out of the $76M debt the PPM gave us – then they deserve another 10 terms in office.

      Send Bozo the clown and crew to pasture.

  15. D says:

    Cayman deserves the best the island has to offer and not political cronies, this has been one of the huge mistakes of the past. I had hoped we had change direction obviously not. Did you even notice how government thrives on failure.

  16. Anonymous says:

    He’s right under his government it is.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Would someone please tell McKeewa to buy some new clothes that actually fit?

    • Mercedezes says:

      To the poster: Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/27/2009 – 07:41. with this stupid and foolish comment " Would someone please tell McKeewa to buy some new clothes that actually fit?""

      If your so concerned about Mckeeva’s clothing why don’t you buy his some????? Can’t you stupid people find something else to post besides all this bull crap.

      You seems to be someone who don’t have alot of sense, Is it his clothes that is bothering you or is it that your jealous that you will never fit in his clothes, much less to be the person he his, A man with Pride, Decency, and someone who cares and loves his country that he is willing risk anything for the well being of the people of this country.

      Your ungrateful and should be a shamed of yourself. You seems to be a PPM love struck supporter. Get over their lost by now nah!! God help those PPM supporters, this was the hardest hit in history for them. POOR PEOPLE MONEY (PPM)

      On the other hand please learn to spell before you make posting about others.

      • Makam says:

        In reply to Mercedezes…perhaps you should check your own spelling before criticizing others!

    • clearviewer says:

      Tell me, what do McKeeva’s clothes have to do with this or any other issue?

      For the life of me I do not get it, you are either ignorant or an angry PPM supporter. I know and the rest of the world knows that any new government do have the privilledge to change any board that they want, as it has to do with trust and who they beleive will support the government of the day. It is high time that you PPM loosers get over it, the election is over and we have a country that was left in terrible state whether you beleive it or not, so we need some one that will take the inititive to move us forward. His clothes has nothing to do with it.   I want to see the best for all of us and I cant wait to see the change that will come, BUT I will say that with nay sayers like you all, he or any other good politican wont stand a chance.

      All boards are made up of those that the government of the day can trust,  now it is Macs government, so get of it and maybe if the PPM had listened to the people and not be so pompous they would still be in power too, thank God they are OUT.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Power corrupts and the corrupt seek to remove transparency and the checks and balances which stand in their way.

    Cayman’s legislation provides for the appointment of suitable persons to statutory boards by Cabinet. These appointments tend to be for fixed terms and are frequently staggered so that there is continuity of boards. Our legislation also frequently provides for Cabinet to issue formal written directives to a board when it wishes the board to follow a specific course of action among the available legal options. These directives, which boards are obliged to follow, are published in the official Gazette so that there is transparency.
    The degree of politicization of boards which this article suggests is the new objective of the government provides no greater ability for the government to issue transparent directives to boards. What it opens the door to is cronyism and the non-transparent manipulation of boards and the contracts which they have control over. I wonder why they would want to do that?