Jack exerts power over PAC

| 02/09/2009

(CNS): In the wake of announcements by Ezzard Miller, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, that he has proposed changes to the Standing Orders governing the release of the auditor general’s reports, Governor Stuart Jack has made it clear that those changes require his approval. Jack said that while he welcomed the work being done under Miller, he looked forward to receiving the PAC’s proposals for change. Meanwhile, Miller told CNS that he was “tickled” that the governor was now taking an interest in the work of the committee.

In his blog featured on the governor’s office website, Jack writes that the PAC and the auditor general’s reports provide important checks and balances, so their prompt and unfettered publication is fundamental to good governance. He writes that he welcomes efforts to tidy up the process of releasing the reports and the process by which PAC examines them in a timely fashion. The governor acknowledges that the Standing Orders of the LA over the issue do not seem clear and need reviewing. Jack also notes that under the Constitution, both old and new, any changes to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly require his approval. The governor went on to say that he had suffered some reservations about the possible changes.

“One aspect of this did, however, worry me a bit,” he blogged. “There were suggestions that AG reports no longer be published as soon as he delivers them to the LA, but only at the same time as the PAC issues its report on the same subject.”  Jack said the immediate publication of AG reports had been a major improvement in transparency and accountability of government, only adopted in 2006.

“I would not want any further change to suggest that transparency is being reduced and therefore give rise to any – hopefully baseless – fears on the part of the public that politicians might be tempted to delay a report for reasons of political convenience,” the governor stated. He added that while it was for the PAC to determine its own working methods, any major changes would require his say so. “Auditor general reports are fundamental pillars of good governance in the Cayman Islands, and therefore this is a legitimate matter for a Governor to take a close interest in,” he said.

On hearing about the governor’s blog, Miller explained to CNS that he had asked the elected government to consider his proposals to formalise the way reports are processed, which he noted did indeed require a change to standing orders and he was very pleased that the governor was keeping up with issues concerning the committee.

“The governor has the constitutional authority to accept or reject anything that I propose, in my opinion, to improve the situation with PAC. I am tickled that the governor has taken a new found interest in the functions of the Public Accounts Committee,” he added.

During his recent presentations to the Legislative Assembly about his proposed changes Miller had indicated that he had been threatened by the governor with regard to his authority on changes to Standing Orders. The PAC chair and independent MLA for North Side had in turn made it clear that he was less than impressed with the governor’s previous position on PAC. He noted Jack’s reluctance to force the previous PAC to address the serious delay in the production of government accounts, especially given how important the governor said that good governance was to the Cayman Islands.

The governor wrote on his blog that he looked forward to receiving the PAC’s proposals for the changes to the Standing Orders governing AG reports.

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  1. Anon1 says:

    Good Gonernance my big toe…..Let me get this right.

    The Gov Jacko sat on his fat blog and did absolutely nothing while the past PAC did absolutely nothing with the AG’s reports for 4 years ……….. and he is concerned about ‘good governance’?

    Jacko did absolutely nothing while operation Tempors raped this country and tried illegally to destroy our judges and judical system and the reputation of our citizens ………and he is concerned about ‘good governance’?

    The good Gov Jacko had nary a word to say while the past government completely pissed away the country’s financies which led to the mess we are in today…………and he is concerned about ‘good governance’?

    The Gov had nothing, absolutely nothing to say on his blog when the AG released his report on the Royal Watler Terminal Develoupment that did so much to tarnish the good names of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority and the local Caymanian companie………….and he is concerned about ‘good governance’s?

    Now that Ezzard Miller is doing the job that no one else wanted to do and doing it better than anyone before him ………. the Gov wants to talk about good governance.

    Mr. Jack, you, and the Auditor General need to listen and understand Mr. Millers proposals that will do nothing to unreasonably delay the publication of the AG reports but will allow other members of the Government to read the reports and be able to talk to the press intellegently about the report instead of the AG acting like he is King and releasing them straight to the press as if only his opinion matters. Indeed Mr. Millers proposals will streanline the process and put definite timelines on when the Government of the day has to discuss them and a time positive on the amount of time that the PAC has to consider them and make their report public……….. Do you Gov not sonsider that better governance?

     Not like it was been in the past that the AG’s opinion is in the publis domain for years while the PAC and the Government did didley about officially commenting on it ……. how did that work for you as good governance?

    Here is my idea of good governance ……….. get out of the way and off your fat blog and let Ezzard do his job. From his work to date he seems to know better than you how the PAC should function. Both the Governor and the Auditor General needs to support Mr. Miller’s efforts instead of inserting themselves along the road just so that they can take credit for all the results Ezzard and the PAC are now producing. 

    Nowget on your blog and rebut the London newspaper article that wrongfully atates that teh Cayman Islands is bankrupt, explain to them the difference between a shortage of cashflow and the situation where your liabilities are greater than your assets commonly known as bankrupsy ……… or would that be "bad governance to stand for the Cayman Islands for a change?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lets start planning Jack’s farewell……thousands of people at the airport waving their "go far and stay long" and "No status for Jacko" flags !!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      seems "his" (or the UK’s) agenda is to try to destablize this country any way they can.


      …And it appears that they have damn near killed us.


      Thanks Mom!

      • Anonymous says:

        So you are one of those who want to go back to the days when you knew nothing about the working of government?

        Be careful what you are asking for, you just might get it.

        Did the FCO mess up, big time and for years.

        Did Mr. Jack intentionally do what he did to harm us?  I some how do not think so.


    • Anonymous says:

      Let me see:

      The Governor did nothing when Stuart Kernohan refused to return to the Cayman Islands – despite his being in charge of the Police Force, and having the FCO at his disposal;

      The Governor did nothing when the UK – without consultation – declared that the end to ‘tax havens such as the Cayman Islands’ had come;

      The Governor did nothing when the Civil Service- the one he is constitutionally responsible for – refused / failed / neglected to produce financial reports for 4 years;

      BUT now the Governor jumps to act when he – misinformed no doubt- believes that the Standing Orders will be amended to delay release of reports by the Auditor General.

      Talk about skewed priorities, or maybe it shows crystal clear the priorities of the UK.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The sooner Mr Jack leaves the better for Cayman. Power without competence is dangerous. His "leadership" and "judgement" have contributed more to Cayman’s current situation than can be stomached.

    When is the report on SPIT’s "progress" do? Are they waiting to see how much more money they can suck out of Cayman? When is the AG’s report on the "value for money" produced by SPIT do? 

  4. If you aint got no money get your broke ass home says:

    I hereby offer my services, for a price of course, to help this guy pack up his calculator watch collection and get on the next slow boat out of here. When is his scheduled departure again?

    But I do tend to agree with him on this point. Can’t wait to see the full reports on Operation Tempura and it’s offspring

    • Anonymous says:

      What I inferred from what Mr. Miller has been saying is that the LA would be tidying up the Standing Orders so that it allowed disclosure of the report in a timely way (that is before PAC deliberations).

      The issue seemed to me that the Standing Orders were behind the times.

      Interesting that the Governor is asserting his authority in what is essentially now a storm in a tea cup.

      I also wonder if, although he might have the power, whether this type of incursion of the executive into the legislative would fly in more developed democrasies.  Seems strange for that high-handedness of one arm of government over the other — when separation of powers is one of the hallmarks of democracy.

      In any case, when it comes to transparency, he himself seems insulated — for example, how many times has he turned the press away whenthey tried to get figures and other information on the ill-fated Operation Tempura?

      So I am not impressed by the Governor’s new-found championship of transparency, in a matter that is in the process of being resolved, when he himself has been guilty from time to time of withholding information.

      What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  5. PAC man says:

    Good.  Miller’s proposals were a worrying development.  We should next look at how someone can get elected into the LA with only 253 votes. The district system is a joke.

    • backstroke says:

      So what you are saying poster 5.50 is that the voters in north side did not put Mr .Miller in and you  want to contest that too? as far as we know and saw he got the majority of the votes  whether it was 253 as you claim  and WE,  north siders are pleased with it, {except a few nay sayers}. We need more people that will go face to face with the likes of the governor or anyone else that interferes with the running of these islands, we as Caymanians have to stand up and be counted or we will loose control of what little we have. So I say give em hell Miller

    • 1Norsider says:

      Thank god for the district system. It is only because of this system that North Side and East End is not over over develouped like Seven Mile Beach. They both have beaches that are every bit as beautiful as Seven Mile Beach but because of the direct connection between natives and their representatives they have been able to stifle the over develoupment that is causing this country so much money in terms of infastructure needed to service this over develoupment. In thesetwo districts, pissing off 10 constitutants can mean the difference between getting elected and being voted out so they have to listen to everyone.

      But to get to your point about how someone can get elected to the LA with only 253 votes. It is called democracy ….. remember learning about it in school …… the majority rules. Mr Miller and Mr McLean are two of the only people in the LA that got elected by a majority vote. I for one am glad that you were not one of these majorities. You obviously prefer the situation where you vote in a district (if you even have a vote in the Cayman Islands) where a minority that you are a part of and can manipulate to your advantage, dictate to the majority who never voted for your candidate but have to be governed by them. 

      The districe system that you dispise is directly responsible for the conservation of our natural enviornment that is the envy of the rest of the over develouped parts of the Island. If we went to a national election, North Side and east End would look like the rest of th eIsland.

      • anonymous says:

        Thank God north siders  voted intelligently and not party system, we can see what we would be getting,  just think if we had the PPM / UDP canidates, what wrangling it would be, BUT we have an independant man to represent us and the whole island at that so where you get off with your draconian ideas that 253 votes are not  decent enough to have him sit in the LA, it  is an offence to the good  voting  people of north side, if you are a north sider may I suggest that you pack up and leave, go to your UDP/ PPM  friends, we do not need your anti  good represrntative,  angry attitude in such a beautiful district.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Governor Stuart Jack is correct on this issue.  The releases of these reports have increased the transparency, or at least the perceived transparency, of Government.  Any move to make them less accessible or slow down there release to the public will be a step backward. 
    To do so would be interpreted as Government either; not having faith in the intelligence of the populace, or trying to hide things for them.
    It would be an insult to the people of Cayman for Government to take a step backward on this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Transparency is essential and so is Mr. Dan Duguay’s input…

      Think of all the money that would have been saved if all these money losing hairbrained schemes cooked up by our politicians – such as the botched sale or the damaged cars or the Turtle Farm project that cost a fortune and loses $8.5 million a year – had been submitted to him for comment and advice on how not to screw things up…

      I’d say, every project over $1 million should be passed by Dan Duguay, the Auditor General,  BEFORE, NOT AFTER the damage is done when all he can do is try and pick up the pieces to do a post-mortem…

      If politicians continue on the path of not cutting the expenses of the Civil Service, off-balance sheet debt with the proposed PFI’s with friends and associates and doing away with transparency, then expect a Turks and Caicos event soon in Cayman, where UK administrators will take over running this country…

      We just have to learn to live within our means like every other country in times of Deflation and deep Recession…





  7. Anonymous says:

    It is good governance to release all reports upon production. 

    Reports are the people’s property, we paid for them, give us the people what we paid for immediately. In fact the production process of reports should be an open process like the Aggregate Report was in the 1990’s when even the draft reports were available for the world to see on the website.

    People also include the MLA’s, even if some have forgotten that they are still people too. J

    We must not go back one inch into the past secret ways of Government, let the public get what they have paid for and get it quick.  Continue to open up Government, give the people the meat, not the strained pabulum utterances!

    Not all PAC Chairmen will be as diligent as Mr. Miller. 

    Unfortunately the old nor “new” constitution requires the PAC to process the reports promptly, they do it in their own sweet time nor not at all as we saw in recent times, this is bad constitutional drafting and is poor governance.

    Now let is see which of the politicians will vote to close the window.

  8. bungalow says:

    If you do the math on his batting average, let the Govna get his paws on this and somehow it will end up costing our government about $5 million (give or take a mill)


  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t let the Governer be involved! How much the Cayman Islands will have to pay this time???

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank goodness the Governor IS involved!

      Caymanians don’t worry you got the Government you wanted, now you will get rid of the UK appointed Governor as well.

      Be careful that you can handle all that you wish for!