Government reveals cash deal on scrap metal

| 28/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news(CNS): The government says it has made $300,000 on a deal involving the sale of 6,000 tons of baled scrap metal from the dump following a contract awarded to Cardinal D Ltd through the Central Tenders Committee. The revelation came in the answers to a parliamentary question and subsequent supplementary questions in the Legislative Assembly last week. The minister with responsibility for public works, Juliana O’Connor Connolly, told the former minister for public works that government had also taken the money in advance and, unlike attempts made by the administration in which he served, no local sub-contractors were out of pocket as a result.

Probing the government’s front bench about the details of the contract, who the Caymanian partners were and whether or not the metal was baled, the questioning from the former minister, Arden McLean, provided the current minister with an opportunity to raise the problems of Matrix, the firm which had contracted with the previous government to remove metal and then defaulted on that contract, having taken only part of the metal.

O’Connor Connolly confirmed that Cardinal D Ltd was a locally incorporated company that was working with its alliance, Pan Caribbean Energy Limited, and that it had in turn contracted Hong Luen Metal Trading Company of Honk Kong.

Answering the East End representative’s questions regarding the contracts, she reminded McLean that Matrix had taken 8,000 tons and only paid CI government $300,000 of what was supposed to be a $1.2 million contract and also left the island before paying its bills to a number of local heavy equipment operators that had separately subcontracted to Matrix.

Since the election. however, the current administration has vowed to pay those contractors who are still owned money by Matrix from the partial payment the firm made to government before the principles involved left the Cayman Islands, never to return.

O’Connor Connolly said she was well aware that government was under no legal obligation to those operators and sub-contractors but the current government, which was a caring and compassionate one, agreed that they were under a moral obligation to those people. The minister said the reason why local people had contracted with Matrix in the first place was because it was involved in a government deal.

With regards to the most recent contract, O’Connor Connolly said everything was above board and that government had already received the $300,000 in advance and the remaining metals would also now be put out to contract. “We have followed all the laws in regards to these contracts and we will continue to do so,” she added.

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  1. Macman says:

    I am not saying there is something not right with the facts given but..

    Global economy in decline

    Car manufacturers closing down (for example extensive user of steel)

    Call for scrap steel has dropped considerably

    But the Govt. can still manage to make a"profit" as can local contractors out of transporting and selling low grade ( correct me if I’m wrong but it is generally raw scrap metal) scrap steel

    Something don’t smell right

  2. Annoymous says:

    I have a question: The Minister J. O’Connor Connolly stated that the $300,000 received from Matrix before they ran off the island and defaulted on their contractual rights.  Do we still have this $300,000 in the bank sitting right now so we can aid in paying some of the subcontractors?

    Or are we paying them from the new $300,000 that we just received from Cardinal D Ltd.?

    I am a little foggy on that CNS, can you confirm.

    I further have some questions and are seeking some answers to them: 

    1.Why are we the taxpayers bailing out these subcontractors?  Did they not have a contract with Matrix and can pursue them in a civil court as a collective body?

    I do not feel that we should bail these subcontractors out.  I am sorry they have been burned, but if Government keep doing these kind of bail outs then we will be in a further financial dump than we are in now.  I understand the Minister’s concerns when she comments that the Government is not obligated to do this, but is doing so out of a goodwill gesture.  Nonsense, then we have to bail everyone who has come before out of the messes involving defaulted Government Contracts.  Do we want to go down that road and start setting ‘bailout’ precedents?  I don’t think we can even consider this idea much less entertain it.  Suggestion: Let the sub-contractors fight their own battle, give them moral support, but this should not be an issue for the country to deal with, technically speaking the Government didn’t hire the sub-contractors, Matix did.


    2.  Why are we not pursuing the Matrix defaulted contract etc?  Isn’t that why we have a contract in the first place?  I think it’s time Government start suing some people for money losses.  It would certainly send a message to any new Company doing business with the Government to fulfill their contractual obligation or be sued.

    3. I would also want to know the Caymanian shareholders of this Company Cardinal D Ltd?  it is a fair question and the information should have been provided instantly when asked. 

    I also feel we need to come clean with the dump and let us know exactly what is going to happen with it, including the future plans, the upcoming contractual assigns and what duties must be performed, how much we are going to earn from either the sale/lease of the dump etc. if that is in the works.

    I don’t feel that the Minister is being open enough about her Ministry and what it is doing and as a constituent I would like to know what is in the works, being proposed or already agreed to. 

    Minister Julianna, please fill us in, and we are not interested in any vague responses.  The truthful facts is what we want to hear.



  3. Anonymous says:

    wow! who whould have thought that pile of junk was worth anything. Sounds like a great deal to the government. Good job to the elected government for dealing with this mess! no pun intended. keep up the good work.

  4. Anonymous says:


    I wonder what your critics are saying now

  5. Anonymous says:

    A bit of good news in the middle of all the chaos

    • Anonymous says:

      Why didn’t the Minister answer Arden McLeans’ question? He clearly asked her who the local shareholders are in the company that was awarded the contract! The Minister went on in typical UDP fashion to slander & make accusations about the former Minister but did not answer the question, except to say everything is above board! XXXXX

  6. Anonymous says:

    One down…now to sell the dump!

  7. ivan mclean says:

    "oh yeah, i remember this"…..

    people like u that have diarrhea of the mouth about most things, most places, most people (which will temporarly allow u 2 feel empowered & better than)….. & make futile claims of grandeur such as "my votes not for sale" (but still hide ANONYMOUSLY so that u cant be held to your word)… NEED 2 have the NUTS to say what u mean & mean what u say because its "RIGHT" & it’s what u stand 4 no matter what as oppose to the ANONYMOUS stories so often told by the like of u about he, she, it &/or the old lady…….

    remember that!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh yea, I remember this, it wason the news months ago. During one of the house meetings Alden questioned the purpose of those millions of dollars marked for Mac’s "slush " fund.  Mac’s answered him by saying "Matrix" was one of his campaign promises.

    Just for future reference, my votes not for sale.     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting. I was of theopinion that the metal was being converted into a more valuable commodity. However $50.00 per ton is not a bad price. If it is being shipped to Hong Kong I doubt the purchasers will make any sizeable profit from it. So all in all if Government has been paid up front then thats a good deal.

    • Al Khemi says:

      The PPM’s finances were based on the premise that this scrap was going to be turned into gold.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nice work…Only 72.8 million more to balance the budget.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM fanatics cant even recognize a positive UDP accomplishment without being sarcastic.

      You people are scary!!

    • Anonymous says:

      That is only 72.8 wealthy retirees and we are there.  Or adding 0.2% to the Caymanian population.