Government pays TJI loan

| 30/09/2009

(CNS): The bridging loan accessed by Tom Jones International (TJI) in April this year would be fully repaid today (Wednesday 30 September), in accordance with the agreement between the previous administration, the bank and Tom Jones International, Education Minister Rolston Anglin said in a brief statement this morning. Following his half hour conversation yesterday on a radio talk show about the two school construction sites, his statement today said it appeared to be the general contractor’s intention to try this matter via the media, but claimed he had no desire or intention to do likewise.

“Without getting into the details, I reiterate the point that all payments due in respect of the Clifton Hunter and John Gray High School projects have been made and they are therefore current,” the minister said.

Ina full page paid advertisement in the Caymanian Compass yesterday, TJI secured a short-term line of credit of $12 million from a local bank to purchase equipment and materials from overseas as well as to fund change orders. The contractor said that the PPM administration had promised to allocate a previously scheduled $10.5 million “balloon payment” in July 2009 — when government entered its new fiscal year — to pay off the bridge loan and that so far they had drawn down approximately $5.3 million on its line of credit. (See yesterday’s CNS report School dispute escalates.)

The contractor states that government never made its promised “balloon payment”, but the new government encouraged TJI to negotiate further with its bank (Scotiabank) to extend the due date of the loan and increase the amount to fund both projects, giving all parties an opportunity to explore a public/private partnership (PPP) to restructure the financing of the projects.

On Rooster’s call-in show, Cayman Crosstalk, yesterday morning Anglin said that the dispute with TJI was not an issue of government’s ability to pay the contractor. “We have fundamental disagreement with the contractor as it relates to certain … payments and what is truly due on a pay certificate. So the government has refused to make payment on the basis that it disagreed (with TJI),” he said. The minister told listeners that government would move forward and do whatever it was contractually obligated to do to protect interest of the Cayman Islands.

During the show, Anglin confirmed yesterday that TJI was one of a number of entities that had expressed interest in entering into a PPP in regards to the schools projects. He said government was willing to look at any proposal and if it made good commercial sense they would pursue that path, but they had not received a formal proposal as yet. TJI, he said, had presented a rough draft of a term sheet, which was “a long way from formal proposal”.

However, he said that there would be great difficulties moving forward with a partnership with TJI, given what he had already experienced as minister of education and labour with regards to TJI’s management of these projects.

For much of the 30 minute conversation, Anglin emphasised his view that most of the blame for the situation lay with the previous government and the contracts that were drawn up with Tom Jones International, which, he said, did notprotect the Caymanian people.

“The previous administration and the education minister put the country in this situation through these contracts, so government is in position of weakness. The previous minister did nothing to protect the interest of Caymanians under these contracts,” the minister maintained. He said that the current administration would be using the Labour Law and the Immigration Law to do what they could, but said this was a “back door” approach, and he berated the PPM and the former minister of education for not including protective mechanisms in the contracts.

“At every point, it has been an absolute disaster,” Anglin said, and referred to the contracts as “a sweetheart deal”.

In the statement today he noted that, over the last few days there had been considerable discussion in the media regarding Tom Jones International and the new school projects situation. “While it appears to be the general contractor’s intention to try this matter via the media, I have no desire or intention to do likewise. However, it is unfortunate that the information shared with the public to date has been so selective, thus presenting an incomplete picture.”



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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you get any more miserable and negative?

  2. make decisions says:

    Rolstin ousted as Deputy leader maybe, well, thats a good start. If he keeps screwing around these schools will never be built or end up costing us more. Maybe he should admit defeat and hand over the education ministry to someone who can man up. 

  3. I heard a rumour says:

    Theres a rumour Dart’s going to come in and take over the govt projects. Haven’t we sold out enough to him already? Or should we just rename Cayman: Dart Island and be done with it.

    • Got Balls? says:

      Anyone willing to invest as heavily as Dart is in this economy has my vote – Dart Island or not…

      Face it – the rich get rich by being savvy – and sometimes that means they will be in a high profile position.

      But right now, without the Dart confidence, Cayman would be flapping around like a salmon who took a wrong turn – stuck on dry land… 

      (Mac knows this and works it to their mutual benefit- just as they do…  A fine dance…)

      So, while you will not admit it, it is jealousy driving your comments, the real businessmen amounst us (even if also jealous) know it… 

      But ask yourself, if you had as much money as Dart does, would YOU be putting it in a community that is consistantly knocking the expat, slapping the investor and trying to implement insanely unreasonable protectionalist strategies???

      I think not.

      Sure,Dart is doing it for the money – difference is, he is doing it for the long term…  Trying to build something, not just grab a buck and run (gentle nod to TJI,Meisner, et al – those that have nothing to tie them to their investment…)


  4. Anonymous says:

    You bunch of "Hypocrites" !!!

    It was not Mckeeva or Rolston who engaged Tom Jones International (TJL) in contracts to build three (3) schools for the Cayman Islands, at a time when all other countries were cutting back and being cautious about their spending.

    Kurt, Alden and the rest of the PPM cowboys were warned by the Hon. Financial Secretary and the Opposition to "STOP" the wild spendig spree but they just didn’t want to listen.

    They told Ken Jefferson, "it’s your job to make the money and it’s our job to spend it, shut up Ken"

    They told McKeeva, "You only want to stop our progress"

    They told Rolston, "Only God can stop me"

    Why do you fools choose to blame the UDP for this mess when the PPM didn’t even have a "Government Project Manager" on these job sites ???

    How much more "stupid, dumb and silly" can one be ??? 


    • Anonymous says:

      Rolston took the job, noone forced him.

      You inherit bad decisions, you gotta deal with it, and move forward instead of looking back or pointing the finger.

      Just build the schools.


  5. Anonymous says:

    16:14  you are correct, Rolston knew what he was getting himself into and I told you guys that this would happen many months ago. 

    I said "Rolston I voted for you because of who you are and I expect better of you making Big Mac do as he like"

    I will respect whatever you do, but do the right thing and what your heart is telling you.

    Remember you are a leader too and you can lead too.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else notice that Rolstin is cracking? Rumours or not, i think his deputy leadership is out the window…

  7. Anonymous says:

    listen to the spin on this one my friends. Rolstins bagging out the past government and blaming the contractor.

    I read Tom jones article. Didn’t seem to be bagging out the govt, just explaining the situation for us joe bloe’s to understand.

    The govt are just putting off the inevitable in my mind: they owe the contractor money, whether its is today or last week. And last week they didn’t pay.

  8. Anonymous says:

    so Rolstin has spent the last week making statements to the press but is peeved at Tom jones for ‘try this through the media’

    Pot calling the kettle black maybe??????

  9. Anonymous says:

    I find it hilarious that Rolstin is still trying to put the blame on the contractor when they got out a loan to save the govts ass.

    Sweetheart deal? Wasn’t Tom jones bid 25 mill less than the next contractor?


    Give me a break.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I love how Rolstin claims that Tom Jones brought this up in the media first. Didn’t his statement on the schools come out on Friday and we didn’t hear from tom jones until tuesday? TJ came out in response to the Gov’s statement!!


  11. Anonymous says:


    I have 2 urgent request of you-

    Please have Police get busy in our schools,  (including UCCI).  Let students wear their IDs around their neck and anyone just hanging must be questioned and if they cannot give a good reason sent of the compound.  They must not just be able to say "i am a student"I have good reasons to believe that drugs are being sold on the school compounds and where there is drugs there will be violence(now adays usual include guns). Please do not wait for some thing more serious to happen on our SCHOOL COMPOUNDS where innocent children may die.

    Please have our libraries open (like many other countries) at night so that we can study in a quiet area & do research if needs be.




    • tired says:

      wait a minute the ucci  libray isn’t open at night? wow! this is an easy fix pay students( cheap) to man it and open it at least until 12:am! as is only natural!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Rolston would know about ‘sweetheart deals’ – I believe the UDP is famous for signing up many of these! Just wait to see the new ones they must have in the making! Wonder when they (UDP) will come out and take responsibility for all of the mismanagement of government funds that they are to blame for during their previous ‘reign of terror’ over us! Rollie and Mac, just get on with the business of running the Country please – you know you are just as responsible as anyone else for where we are today!

    • Anonymous says:

      you are so right! keevie, rollie & the rest of the udp lackies are the epitome of "sweetheart deals!" No one perfected sweetheart & under the table deals better than the experts themselves! It is hillarious hearing the udp talk about "sweetheart deals"!!! The problem with the deals that the udp are involved with is that they are not "sweet," they tend to be extremely sour for the Cayman people. 

      Just get on with running the country & building the schools instead of living in the past & blaming others! If you cannot take the heat in the kitchen then get out! PPM inherited alot of heat from the udp, such as Boatswain Beach, the port, shady lands sales, questionable payments to friends & family, affordable housing, did I mention the millions on Boatswain Beach (oh yes, millions overspent), the 3000 status give-aways, the ritz carlton special deals, the $30 million insurance fiasco, & the list goes on & on, but did you hear the PPM continually complaining for 4 years about the utter financial mess this country was in? No! It is time for the udp to stop the blame game, everybody knows their plans & the reasons why they are doing it, but it ain’t going to work, the people see thru it & are getting tired of it! It seems that even rollie is getting tired of it, because he has exausted himself so much blaming McLaughlin that he is now stepping down, or was he forced out? (Do not tell me that the udp in house fighting has started already? I was going to give them at least a year! adams fed up, rollie tired, who is next?)  

  13. Anonymous says:

    "Rolston Anglin ousted as deputy leader", i wonder why?

    CNS: This is rumour only at this point. The UDP have not announced any changes.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I wonder?

    I wonder why the PPM Government would have agreed to this?

    Does their having done so go against the Public Management Finance Law?

  15. TruthBtold says:

    Does this mean the workers who were laid off will get their jobs back now? I for one sincerely hope so.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, although sounds like the govt are trying to make us forget that the John Gray school is shut down, and they havne’t paid the bill for that one.


      they’ve only just paid their loan from tom jones off.


      Hopefully they will come up with the rest of the money and the workers can get back on the job

    • Anonymous says:

      Couldn’t the government just pay the TJI sub-contractors out of the money they have placed in this year’s budget to pay for the Matrix sub-contractors’ losses?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yeah such a shame that this has been played out in the public’s view. I mean its just a few million dollars of public money and it’s only going to build new schools so what’s the fuss all about? And only a few dozen household incomes have been threatend so Rolston’s right, such a shame we only have heard one side of this story since he’s too busy to pick up one of his three phones that the public pays for. Lets just hope nothing like this gets spoken of again in the public arena. God forbid power of the press come to Cayman.