New government auditor’s start date revealed

| 04/07/2010

(CNS): Cayman’s new auditor general, Alastair Swarbrick will start work on 12 July, the Governor’s Office said on Friday. Swarbrick is coming to the Cayman Islands from Scotland, where he was former assistant director of audit at Audit Scotland. He replaces Dan Duguay, who served in the office for over six years but whose contract was not renewed following public criticism and condemnation by the premier. The Governor’s Office denied that the criticisms had played a part in Duguay’s departure and said Swarbrick was given the post following an open application process in which Duguay had also participated.

According to government officials, Swarbrick will spend his first week on a familiarisation programme, which will include meeting with Governor Duncan Taylor, Premier McKeeva Bush, Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson and Ezzard Miller, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, to which Swarbrick will report.
The new AG is also expected to meet other senior government officials in the Ministry of Finance and audit colleagues in Internal Audit and Human Resources Audit, as well as staff from the Portfolio of the Civil Service, who will brief him on the personnel and financial reforms and the relevant laws and regulations.
Since Duguay stepped down from the post in May there have been no reports published by the office investigating government spending. CNS understands, however, that there were a number of issues and projects which Duguay had suggested needed to be examined before he left. It will be up to the new AG to decide whether he will pursue any of those investigations.
One of the biggest criticisms made about the previous auditor was his open door policy with the media. Duguay defended that position before he departed and told CNS that he had no regrets about his decision to answer questions from the press when asked and used the media as a forum to educate the wider public about the reports from his office. But he said he believed his relationship with the media was one of the reasons why his contract was not renewed.
“The media was my only real tool to disseminate the information,” he said. “Most people will live with what the auditor general says but they don’t like him for talking about it.”
Duguay said the openness was something new in Cayman and officials had a hard time coming to grips with it. “Cayman is still in an era where civil servants are not supposed to talk to the press,” he added, but pointed out that the AG’s post is not a regular civil service post. It is normal in other jurisdictions for an AG to use the media to publicise the office’s reports and answer questions about them, he noted.
CNS contacted Swarbrick following his appointment for his thoughts regarding his new job but he declined to comment other than to say he was looking forward to taking up the post.  
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Beachboi says:

    The premier didn’t like the "transparency" offered by the previous AG so he got rid of him.  I know it and most others do as well  in spite of his rantings to the contrary.  XXXXX  I am sure that he is very intelligent or he would not have attained such a position in the UK, but assuredly he will not be able to bring that intelligence to bear here in Cayman as he will be nothing more than a highly paid puppet.

    I know there is no "official gambling" in Cayman but is anyone taking odds on how long this guy will stay once he gets here and finds out that he can only "see" what he is "shown" and "say" what he is "told"?????  I say less than a year unofficially of course. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    It would be great to be a fly on the wall listening to the meetings with the Governor and the Premier. 

    I bet that he will be told to he must not try to fill the big honest shoes left by Dan Duguay – rather he must throw them out and humbly listen to the orders of the Premier – Do not ask too many questions, allow me a free hand!


  3. Ally Gator says:

    TIP #1 : Don’t give out your home phone number to certain MLA’s.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to Mr. Swarbrick. Hope you like the beach and the sun because you’re going to hate your job..

  5. Dred says:

    I’m going out on a limb here but I believe him to be hand picked replacement for a rather tough look into everything past auditor general. Now you read into that how you will.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how long it will be, if it has not happened already, before he is denied access to information as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      I HOPE THAT IT WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO LOOK INTO THE PALOMA FUNDS and let the Cayman Brac Public know how much was spent, also why some as heard was given as much as $120,000, then others was not assisted at all. Hurricane shutters are also being given to some as well. Hurricane contracts should be given to reliable builders as well. Before the Hurricanes approach us this year, I HOPE THAT THE POWERS TO BE WILL ORGANIZE RELIABLE CONTRACTORS TO DO THESE JOBS THAT WHEN THE TIME COMES WE WILL HAVE THE BEST AND MOST RELIABLE.

  7. Chris Johnson says:

    I hope that the familiarization programme of the first week is extended to meeting also those who are outside of Government so he can get up to speed on what the public is concerned about. Cayman has had several good AGs and I, for one, hope the openness  approach of Dan Duguay continues.

    Mr Swarbrick welcome to Cayman and good luck in your endeavours.