Civvies appointed to new government boards

| 18/12/2009

Cayman Islands News, Cayman Islands local news(CNS): Nine members of the public have been appointed to sit as the civil representatives on three of the new boards created under the new constitution. Dan Scott and Brigitte Kirkconnell-Shaughness will serve on the National Security Council, and Carl Dundas, Norman Bodden, and Adriannie Webb will serve on the electoral boundary commission. Four appointments have also been made to the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy: Beulah McField, Pastor Stanwyk Myles, Pastor Davelee Tibbetts, and Arek Joseph.

Acting Governor Donovan Ebanks made the announcements publicly on Friday, 18 December, of the people who would serve on the various bodies which were provided for in the 2009 Cayman Islands Constitution. The National Security Council (NSC) is a completely new body established under Section 58 and the civilian appointees will join the permanent members of the NSC, who are the governor (chairman), the premier, two other ministers appointed in accordance with the advice of the premier, the leader of the dpposition or his designate, and three ex-officio members: the deputy governor, the attorney general, and the commissioner of police, who will provide regular briefings to the NSC.            

In a statement from the governor’s office it was said that the purpose of the National Security Council is to advise the governor on all issues concerning internal security. These issues may include matters relating to the police force but will exclude operational or staffing issues or matters that would prejudice current police operations. “The two representatives of civil society will enable the National Security Council to tap directly into the public’s views. The appointments of Scott and Kirkconnell-Shaughness are for two years and are renewable,” officials said.

The three-person Electoral Boundary Commission is established under Section 88 of the Constitution and requires that the governor appoint the Chairman of the EBC in his own discretion. The other two commissioners are appointed separately: one on the advice of the Premier, and one the advice leader of the opposition. Dundas is a distinguished expert in the field of elections and was the first director of elections in Jamaica in 1979-80. Since then has worked in more than 30 countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific on election management, electoral reform, and on numerous ways to strengthen the vital links between democracy and free and fair elections. Dundas is no stranger to the Cayman Islands having chaired the 2003 Electoral Boundary Commission, during which Webb served with him as an electoral boundary commissioner.

The governor’s office statement said the EBC will review the boundaries of the existing electoral districts and to make recommendations to the governor and the Legislative Assembly regarding any changes to the number of electoral districts in the Cayman Islands and the boundaries of such districts. Since the 2003 EBC report, the number of registered voters in the Cayman Islands has increased by some 33%, from 11, 483 to 15,330.

Dundas is currently completing an assignment with the International Foundation for Election Systems in Ethiopia. He is looking forward to working with Bodden and Webb in the near future. Appointments to the EBC are for the duration of the commission until it submits its report to the governor and the Legislative Assembly. It is anticipated that the commission’s work may take from 3 to 6 months, subject to public consultations required by the Constitution, deliberations on advice it may obtain, and the collation of all relevant data.

The Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy is a new body established by sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution. Its function is to advise the governor on extraordinary decisions he may make in Her Majesty’s name with regards to the pardon or remission of prisoners. There are three other ex-officio members of the committee: the governor (chairman), the attorney general, and the chief medical officer. A “governor’s power of pardon” did exist under the previous constitution but it did not involve any input by the public. The four appointed members under the new Constitution ensure that the public’s views are taken into account when special decisions of this nature are being contemplated. 

Appointments to this body will be for renewable terms of between two to four years, with members serving for different periods, so that new appointments or re-appointments can take place in a staggered fashion.

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  1. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    What a refreshing change to NOT have appointments fall along party lines.  That’s all I got say about this.

    Back to my maxwell house with sugar and cream.

  2. Krann Mendoza says:

    Don’t worry yourself, they are on our payroll and our agenda always wins out. Go back to sleep.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is distressing to see multiple appointees from religious groups.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is quite easy to see who is running the Country, by the appointments to the boards. Ever heard the saying before? EVERY LENGTH OF ROPE HAS AN ENDING TO IT. I now leave you with that.