Premier pays Matrix debt

| 24/04/2010

(CNS): Nineteen local sub-contractors that had been contracted by Matrix International Ltd (Matrix) in 2007 to assist with scrap-metal removal have been givenmoney by government as compensation for the debt they all say is owed to them as a result of the firm defaulting on a government contract. The Cayman Islands Government had no direct contractual arrangements with any of the sub-contractors but appropriated almost CI$300,000 in the 2009/10 budget to pay them as the premier had said there was a moral obligation to do so.

McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly that government wanted to pay the sub-contractors because the original contract had been made with government, which had led the local heavy equipment operators, truckers and labour brokers to trust Matrix and to believe the jobs would be paid.
Matrix was originally contracted by government to buy and remove scrap metal from the George Town land fill and pay government $1.2 million. However, the company ran into major problems with shipping and abandoned the work, defaulting on the contract. A number of local heavy equipment operators were employed by Matrix in order to carry out a number of shipments before it defaulted but the sub-contractors were never paid. In November 2007 government ceased working with Matrix but it had received around $300,000 from the contractors.
Government is not legally obligated to settle any of the company’s outstanding bills but said it had decided to settle the debt to prevent the loss of small-business owners. As a result representatives from the firms collected cheques totalling nearly CI$281,000 from Premier McKeeva Bush this week.
“Although times are financially tough, it is important that small businesses like you are paid,” Bush told the sub-contractors as they collected their cheques. “Even while we were the opposition I said that government had caused a contract to be made and I felt it was wrong that everyone except the small businesses involved walked away from the deal with money. We’re happy that you are paid what you’re owed,” he added.
Rentals Manager Tom Buckner said it felt great to finally collect this money, and Perry Ebanks of Perry’s Roofing and Backhoe added that it shows that “some governments work and take small businesses into consideration.”
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  1. Joe Bananas says:

    The headline should have read : Those of you who have paid your fees, duties, and permits have paid Matrixes debt. 

    If you think that’s bad just wait and wait and wait and wait until the financial report comes to light and you see what else you paid for and how much.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whats the big deal now?  McKeeva has done what he has always done and will always do and will continue to do without anyone stopping him.  Once you have paid your fees, dutys, permits the money is his to do with what he will. The problem with this is thinking that he would spend the money back on you.  Get real!  This Goverment is hell bent on spending every cent it can get its hands on before the report comes out on who stole what and how much.  This form of leadership will not survive.  It can’t live on lies only and it has spent all its money plus all it can borrow.  Think of Cayman as a big scrufy dog and you all are the fleas.  The best you can hope for is the dog dies soon and another comes along. Quit your bloody crying already.  He is YOUR premeir , your leader and your choice.  And you can’t do anything about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Look at this.  My daughter can’t get her one summer semester scholarship cheque so she can graduate on time now because of blatant vote purchases as this.

    Can CNS check into why summer scholarships are not being given?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me, but why dont you fulfill your obligation to your daughter by paying for her education yourself. The Government is broke although the Premier still spends money like a child in the candy store.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me but I do.  My child has worked hard all through school so she can earn a scholarship contract that stated 2 years ago that she would get 1 summer semester paid and she hasn’t.  How come government won’t come through on that contract?


        Government broke?  Read the headlines.  They just sent almost a million dollars worth of paving equipment to Cayman Brac.  Little Cayman has almost every road paved now.  I’m so glad we’re "broke" that we can afford to repave roads and buy more government vehicles.


        When I was growing up I had to find my own way to work.  It’s a shame that government has to do even that now.

        My daughter has to pay rent, book fees, food and everything else.  Maybe if Mac would have put the money to better use than paying a debt the government didn’t owe we would have properly educated people in the right jobs.


        In the main time, fulfill your obligation to yourself by getting your information before accusing someone of not fulfilling theirs. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Wasn’t building and improving roads something that McKeeva lambasted the previous govt. for saying that they were on a spending spree? How is it that we are still spending on these things when he says we are broke? Of course he’s got his lemmings running around saying how the PPM bankrupted the couuntry and we must therefore be happy about any policy that he puts forward now to ‘save’ us.  Can you people not really see throught this guy? Politricks at play! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Guess Mac has started his 2012 election campaign really really early! WOW!

  5. Cayman Pride says:

    Can Mac do anything right these days ? the man just took care of the "small businessman" once again and all of a sudden we are up in arms. Why cant we give the man a little credit for once? He is trying to right another PPM wrong! There was a moral obligation because the Government received funds from Matrix and quite rightly decided to "break-even" and pay the money back out to the subs, rather than keep it and use it for some other purpose. 

    good for you Mac – thansk for looking out for the small businessmen! the real heroes of our local economy.



  6. Anonymous says:

    Where do i go to get the forms to apply for a bailout?  Someone owes me money for something i did for them that was privately arranged between us.  I know it had nothing to do with the Government but if i can recoup some of what is owed to me because i was stupid and trusting, what’s wrong with that? 

    Makeeva isn’t to blame because no man is an island.  He has 8 or 9 other Confederates supporting his ideas in the house and the rest of us on here including myself complaining but doing nothing to change anything.



  7. Anonymous says:

    The obligation to pay the subcontractors should have been the responsibility of Matrix local Partners and the then Minister of Government who was responsible for this mess.

    Using taxpayers funds for this purpose makes the Premier just as liable as the others.

    • Anonymous says:

      The issue has nothing to do with the former Minister of Govt. This was a contract awarded through the normal protocols, not by the Minister.  I agree that the local partners should be responsible.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Waste not want not. 

  9. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Moral obligation? Really?  This is a first!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Scrap or Gold mine ???

             Instead of crushing all the cars ,whoever is  in charge ((GOVERNMENT) should  scrap the vehicles to the shell ,crush and export the shell, create  a junk yard  of spare parts and  start collecting precious revenue. Lets face the facts all the Japan imports on cayman roads and when you need a replacement part  majority of the time you have to import !!

    Don’t know if we would  be able to account for the funds collected for the sale of all these parts !!  If this was started years ago ? (J.M.O)   it would of  been a step in the right direction,  two birds with one stone.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be honest. The Matrix metal project did clear up some  of the garbage dump a little and gave it blue print for the future. But why do the government want to pay the subcontractors? Payback for support in the election!  

  12. Anonymous says:

    It does seem very unusual that government will *voluntarily* reimburse these subcontractors but at the same time, will not pursue reimbursement from their own civil servants that blatantly stole government fuel for personal use.

    Please publish a list of the recipients of these public funds and the amounts paid.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Let’s set the record straight. The Premiere did NOT pay the Matrix group. You and I and all the other hard working stiffs out there did.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I found out today that after weeks of someone i know submitting a bid to offer services to the new schools (once completed) his tender, although apparently being the best on the table, was not successful.  And the contract goes to……………………………………………………. you guessed it – an MLA and one of his companies.  Wow! what a surprise.  This place is getting ridiculous.

    • But says:

      It always has been ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just what is the point? The majority of Caymanians are not happy with the lack of performance by the present government. We get on here to CNS & complain about the UDP government & their very selfish behaviour, but what happens? They all ignore us. We can complain all we wish, & we can make comments about all the wrong they are doing, but it makes no difference! They continue on the same destructive path with little regard to what we say. The UDP government continues to spend, spend & spend, they (I mean ‘HE’) travels all over the world, spends millions on personal drivers, body-guards, a 8′ wall, chefs, housekeepers, paying millions to people to clean the roads (work that is done by public works dept.), & now paying sub-contractors. I am sure I heard the UDP & McBush telling the world that we are broke! "Actions speak louder than words" & I can tell you that they do not act as if we are broke. Are they not telling us the truth? But you know what? We can talk all we want, but who gives a damn? The UDP sure are not listening! I thought that the PPM were irresponsible in their spending, but by GOD they pale in comparrison to this lot! This bunch of idiots are not only irresponsible they are selfish also.

      • Beachboi says:

        I couldn’t have said it better!!!!  We can complain all we want but it is not going help.  I have suggested many times previously that McKeewa step down, but it looks like he is here to stay.  It is really a shame that this beautiful country must find itself in the grips of an egomaniacle manic such as McKeewa, but what can we do.  I dont think that until I can vote for the control to go to anyone given contender from any district that we will be able to break this strangel hold.  His brainwashed followers are too  many to out vote at the poles.

        With relation to the aritcleabove  I have to wonder why he felt that the gov’t. had to pay out these subcontractors.  Isn’t there a judicial process in place for these people to recover any funds owing to them.  This is just another instance of buying off potential votes!!

        Do what is best for us McKeewa and get gone quick!!!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok lets see……in the 1980’s we had the 5% man……in the 1990’s we had a different 5% man and in the 2000’s we have the 10% man. Da jus na right ……but Chuckie warned una.

    What happened to our broke government ? The found treasure in dem caves awa ???

    Yes a country gets the government it deserves… tek it !!!

    Try so give some to the poor people now nah !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a little early to be buying votes! And to think that this is the same person who has been proclaiming (is he really a Christian?) that Cayman is bankrupt! Everywhere, & I mean everywhere I go I hear the people complaining about this government. I have never heard such discontent & such disgust with a government as I now hear, but the UDP is what the people stupidly voted for so don’t complain now. The people made their bed, now they have to sleep it it. The people thought that Bush had changed but "a leopard cannot change its spots" & they are now realising that sad fact! 

      The country is broke, the people are bawling, & the UDP still spending & giving away money like it going out of style! How irresponsible can you get? 

      • Anonymous says:

         Never too early to buy votes especially when the government is so unpopular.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, the last paragraph – you did actually mean to say UDP, didn’t you? Just that it had something familiar about it. Like the Kurt/Alden  insane "spendfest" from 2005 – 2009 perhaps? Friend, burn your PPM membership card, the fumes might even clear your mind and enable you to think rationally. So glad I’m not a slave to any party!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you keep up with the facts before you write such foolishness?   Did you not listen to the budget debate several months ago?  If you had, you would have heard  the Premier at that time saying that he was budgetting funds to pay the persons who worked with  Matrix that was never paid by the PPM.   

        The Premier and his government is still Spring cleaning because of the mess left by the past government, so listen, read and understand before comment on this media or any other forum.   

        If you doubt this you can request a copy of the Premier’s contribution to the last budget address from the LA .


        • Anonymous says:

           Why don’t you keep up with the facts before you write such foolishness?  The budget debate of several months ago should have little or no bearing on the discussions of today since by the Premier’s own admission this country gone from a $20million budget deficit to a $80million budget deficit and is effectively (and I use his word) broke.

          This is not a moral obligation and I’m not saying the contractors don’t deserve to get paid, they do.  But to do so at this time seems clearly a matter of influencing future votes rather than meeting some vague and imagined moral obligation.


        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, we know that $300,000 was budgeted to pay these subcontractors, but that is not what the previous poster is referring to. Why don’t you keep up with the facts? The government didn’t owe the subcontractors a dime. MATRIX screwed them over. McKeeva feels that since their work was done under a *government* contract they should be compensated by *government* after losing out, but Matrix is actually the defaulting party here. This was not an issue of PPM not paying bills that were due, and the UDP is not spring cleaning.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I heard that there was a facilitator involved who got a HUGE commission on this deal. In the spirit of full disclosure are we entitled to know how much was ultimately paid by the actual refining company that bought the scrap that was sold by the people of Cayman and who had their fingers in the pot along the way? Was this a tender deal or was it done behind closed doors?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I assume that Government was presented with legitimate invoices – with proof of services rendered and not just told how much each subcontractor stated was outstanding.  I hope they kept the invoices as I for one will be asking the new Auditor General to be looking into who was paid, how much and if these were legitimate documented expenses and also ask him how we got value-for-money for this expense and why the 60% Caymanian partner wasn’t pursued for at least a portion of these expenses.

  18. Earl Jones says:

    This is a prime example of a "Pork Barrell" project!! 


  19. Live Free.... says:

     More and more each day I believe the financial report that PPM received from Kenneth Jefferson before the elections was the true position of the Cayman Islands. And I’m still trying to figure out what exactly happen to the report and why it and the financial figures was change from what was told to the Cayman Islands by the PPM back in March or April last year, it was like 22 Million in deficit and then suddenly after the election it swell to whopping 80 Million in deficit, I don’t believe any financial statement coming from the UDP, because all they want to do is to make PPM look bad and to put into people’s head that PPM is the reason for this financial crisis. I been preaching this a long time now that the people of Cayman made a mistake by electing this none performing Goverment that just loves to blame and make radical decisions that only in turn hurts Cayman more and more.

    Now according to the Premier earlier last year, that  the Cayman Islands was broke, but isn’t" it  funny though that he wants to start new projects but the Cayman Islands already have outstanding Capital Projects that needs to be completed. And now he goes and pay out money to Matrix known well that the Government is not legally obligated to settle any of the company’s outstanding bills, so he takes up is tail and paid out some $281,000 this week. No wonder the Cayman Islands can’t go no further because the people here do not know the true financial status of the Cayman Islands and even the UK received fake figures as well. You all know what," it’s time for a direct rule, it sad to see Caymanians having to put up with a XXXX Governmernt, especially when trying to pull out of a recession, because fake financial figures can’t help get Cayman out of it, it would only drive Cayman in deeper to the point of a financial depression and you people here don’t deserve that.

    And to the Premier, you talk about the PPM spending plenty money, atleast they spent it on things that was necessary, for you didn’t had to pay Matrix debt, I call that wasting and unnecessary. And the reason why you paid the dept doesn’t really hold water, even though you paid out to small businesses, it still was not the right time to do any pay outs of any sort, that is the bottom line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Live free you sound stressed out,i jus hope you not smoking anything too strong,but the whole truth is that PPM is to be blamed for most of whats taking place now,the matrix deal has PPM incompetence written all over it,don’t worry too much old buddy,you just have to live with it!!

      • Anonymous says:

        What you smoking Anon 19:06? That seems like some real good stuff! High grade

      • Live Free.... says:

        Anon 19:06, I’m not smoking anything, it’s bad for the health and you song very stressed out from what your UDP members are doing, but u are so afraid to jump ship, so my advice to you old buddy is to stay on board that ship and sink with it too and stop smoking the high stuff. And next  time before you post a comment or a reply, get your facts right and try to read with understanding in which you don’t have, a typical UDP follower, just looking at the pictures and not reading the articles. Shame!!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    My  admiration to the Premier for feeling obliged to make this payment even tho there was no contract to do so.  Now know  he will also see that all the government bills are paid, and that they honour their contractual agreement to pay salaries. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    Good move Hon. Premier to pay the small Caymanian business owners, now is the time to slap a 2.5%  per day on the amount owing and put some charge on property or monies of any of the partners of Matrix until the fork up the money to government.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is a farce.

    Unfortunately, part of doing business is that sometimes bad debts are incurred. Some deals don’t work out. Govt should have not paid out these small business owners.

    The right way to deal with this would be for the small business owners that were subcontracted to come together and take Matrix to court.

    Now a precedent has been set. I expect Mac to pay all other small businesses that are indirectly or directly affected by soured contracts involving Government work.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is ludacris.  How about Government paying the hundreds of creditors it owes money to before cleaning up the Matrix mess.

    Lets start a petition of all those companies on island that are owed money for services provided to government.  Once complete we can march down to the LA and demand payment.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is just another case of McKeeva Bush buying votes with government money.  Nothing new here. 

  25. noname says:

    Love stinks just like this Payout at a time when Gov’t asking civil service to take a pay cut we sorting out debts. I agree people should be paid and government needs to honor its obligations NOT AT THIS TIME………

  26. Anonymous says:

    So what happened to Matrix International’s 60% Cayman Partner? Shouldn’t "they" be paying this debt?

    • Khan Dhu says:

      The whole concept of limited liability companies has escaped you, has it?

  27. Anonymous says:

    more alice in wonderland stuff from mackeeva…….

    how can the gov make payments to local businesses when there there is contractual obligation to do so?

  28. Anonymous says:


  29. Anonymous says:

    Having paid out my money, I hope Government will seek to recover it from the 60% owner and director of Matrix who lives right here amongst us.