Bush broke law, says Tibbetts

| 01/11/2010

(CNS): Full story – The premier has contravened both the law and established practice in choosing the company which will be supplying government’s CI$155 million loan, the leader of the opposition has said. During a national broadcast on Monday night, Kurt Tibbetts raised concerns over the way the premier has, he said,unlawfully overridden the recommendation of advisers in his own ministry, as well as the Central Tenders Committee, when he handpicked the New York firm to provide the money. The PPM leader also asked if the deal really is in the best interests of the country, as claimed by McKeeva Bush, as the premier’s own technical team did not think so.

Calling for full and frank disclosure as to the details of the deal, the opposition leader raised concerns about why the premier had become so closely involved in the awarding of a government contract, especially as his own ministry officials recommended a different bid, which they and the Central Tenders Committee all agreed offered the best value for money.

“What is extremely concerning and highly irregular, is that the premier has contravened both the law and established practice in choosing the company which will provide this financing to the government,” Tibbetts told the country. “The premier has unlawfully overridden the recommendation of the advisers in his own ministry, the Ministry of Finance Technical Evaluating team, as well as the decision of the Central Tenders Committee and has handpicked a New York firm to provide this financing.”

Government recently announced that it had secured the financing for a loan of US$185 million to plug the budget gap with Cohen and Company, a firm based in New York. However, it was soon revealed that the company had not been recommended by the CTC and the premier himself had entered into the negotiations regarding the deal. The Public Management and Finance Law requires government to tender all public contracts over CI$250,000 but gives no authority to the premier or any minister to award contracts.

Tibbetts said that the premier had acted unlawfully when he ignored the recommendations from officials and the CTC to award the contract to a joint venture of two local banks, Royal Bank of Canada and FirstCaribbean. He said this was confirmed by the Chairman of the Central Tenders Committee, Ronnie Dunn, who had explained what had happened in an e-mail read out on the Rooster talk show.

“There is no provision in our legislation that I am aware of which allows for the overriding of the CTC decision. And I would invite anyone who knows different to quote that section of the law which allows that,” Dunn had said.

Tibbetts further questioned the premier’s claim that he had acted in the best interests of country and was saving many millions of dollars in interest costs with the selection of Cohen and Company since the interest rate for the deal remained a mystery. “Despite announcing the award of the financing contract to Cohen and Company, the premier has been unable or unwilling to say what the terms of the arrangement are,” Tibbetts stated. “Curiously, it would appear from what the premier has said that the crucially important issue of the interest rate that will be charged on this loan agreement has not yet been agreed and is still being negotiated even after the financing contract has been awarded.”

In addition to what he said was the unlawful nature of the award, Tibbetts raised concerns about whether this deal is really in the best interests of the Cayman Islands as well as the manner in which the firm was singled out for special treatment by the premier in his involvement with the tendering process.

“This is a grave and monumental step for the elected leader of the country to take,” he stated “The first obvious question therefore is, why? The premier says it was to save the country money. But he has not said how. Nor has he explained why he personally went to Cohen and Company’s offices in New York and invited them to make another proposal after the Central Tenders Committee had already decided to award the financing contract to Royal Bank and FirstCaribbean.”

The PPM leader also pointed out that the premier has not explained why other bidders were not invited to engage in negotiations or present other proposals as Cohen and Company had been. “Nor has he told the country why Cohen and Company was singled out for special treatment in this way,” Tibbetts added.

A lot was at stake, he said, as government was borrowing the single largest sum ever and it was critically important that the country gets the best possible deal. He said with so very little in terms of detail being provided about this deal, set against unconfirmed reports that one bid contained a proposal with a 3.5% interest fixed for 15 years with no associated fees, it was difficult to see how the people could be certain the premier’s choice would offer the best deal.

Tibbetts maintained that, despite the premier’s position that the process was less important than getting a good deal, the process was critically important.

“When due process is not followed it opens up the ominous prospect of corruption,” Tibbetts warned. “There are huge reputational implications for the Cayman Islands Government here. It should not be forgotten by the premier in his desire to have his financier of choice that it is the Cayman Islands Government’s reputation for probity and reliability that has made it relatively easy for it to secure financing, even in these hard economic times. The spectre of corruption has the capacity to undermine any government’s reputation, including ratings by Standard and Poors and Moodys.”

He noted that if potential bidders believe that the process of awarding contracts is not fair, predictable and transparent then the attractiveness of this jurisdiction is lost, with potentially dire consequences.

The opposition leader noted that an award to local banks would have also been more beneficial for the local economy, which was now lost.

Calling for full and frank disclosure by the premier of the details and circumstances surrounding the award, Tibbetts said the government needed to explain the reasons why Cohen and Company were singled out and the other bidders excluded. He asked for the disclosure of all documentation related or connected to the tendering process and a report by the attorney general regarding the legality of overriding the decision of the Central Tenders Committee to award the financing contract to Royal Bank of Canada and FirstCaribbean. Tibbetts also said there needed to be a special investigation by the auditor general into the circumstances surrounding the tendering process and the award to Cohen and Company.

Full statement by Kurt Tibbetts

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Besides for bringing this issue to light, the opposition can do very little here to stop McKeeva.  Their four votes in the house will go no where against the UDP’s number of votes and if the opposition motions are not even making it onto the order papers of the house, there is very little hope.  The UDP party on the other hand can change this situation very quickly.  The UDP ministers, MLAs and party members can take this man out of power very quickly.  The UDP MLA’s (and wing man, Ezzard) can bring enough votes to bring a no confidence vote against McKeeva (of course PPM could vote along with them but thier votes are not enough on thier own).  The UDP MLA’s are directly in control of this situation.  They can spring into action but are refusing to do so.

    Where is Mark? Mike? Juliana? Rolston? Elio? Dwayne? Eugene? Cline? They are the only ones that can stop McKeeva as quickly as we need to.  Where are they? They should be shame on themselves to let this madness continue.  How can they rest at night with a clear consience??








  2. Anonymous says:

    If I break the law, my backside will be arrested before i can blink.  Is the Premier above the law?  This is a disgrace.  when are those with the authority to do something to stop this man and his cronies from blatantly disregarding our laws going to earn their keep and do something.  Oh I forgot it will not be in their own best interests will it?  No one had the guts to stand up and say that the Bodden town two were not properly elected.  The BT residents who did have the courage to bring a law suit, were defeated because guess who did not have the courage to do the right thing.  Contrary to popular belief, this suit was not filed under the section of the elections law which gave 21 days in which to bring thesuit.  It was brought under the new constitution  – but wait, that had already been ignored before the election, so who in their right mind would expect this bunch of ………… to honour the constitution.   Then the BT two and others threatened to bankrupt them if their costs were not paid in 7 days.  What honourable admirable men these politicians are.   How can I possibly tell my child and nieces and nephews that these men are anything but spineless?  Someone in authority, please get off your ….. and arrest this man if he has broken the law!!!!  The rest of the world is watching and believe me,we are a laughing stock.   

  3. MER says:

    Why do we Caymanians act like the only persons capable of being leader of government business (sorry, I stand corrected, *clears throat* PREMIER) are Kurty and Big Mac????

    We have elevated both of these men way beyond what either deserve (and way beyond what their educational backgrounds would permit too!) In reality either of the two would probably still be in a lower managerial role within a bank or insurance company or something if they had a typical job! 

    Government needs a total clean-out, I hereby prescribe a laxative:


    We’ve been through about 10 Governors since they both started running! AND, make certain all candidates have a MINIMUM of a Master’s degree in a common area (not sure what the criteria for running in the election is, but from what I see, you pay a fee and you’re in!)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well I guess we all make mistakes but we can’t say that Mr. Clifford didn’t warn us about McKeeva. But the born again man fooled us once more……..McKeeva that was the final time…..I assure you…….Its over !!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    It annoys me the ignorance and simple-mindedness of my fellow caymanian people. You ppl use CNS as your outlet but when the time comes to really speak you same people are nowhere to be found. Anybody in their right mind can see that this party system is the cause of all these misunderstandings and finger pointing. If our people were ready for some REAL change we would do whatever possible to get all these OLD small minded politicians out of office and put new young fresh faces with actual functioning ideas in hopes to actually see progress in these islands. Both Bush & Tibbetts made decisions that has landed us in this horrible position that we are in….why do we continue to vote them in alternatively in hopes of fixing the damage the party before has done. How about bush and tibbetts both step down if they care so much for our country cause they BOTH do a great job at mismanaging our country. No we continue to juggle them and point fingers. The party system is 1 of the main destructive forces behind those same 3rd world countries we are trying so hard to not become like, so take heed people! Do you know the meaning of insanity? Doin the same thing over and over expecting a different result and I’ve come to the conclusion that most of my caymanian people are INSANE!

  6. Anonymous says:

    UDP broke the law and PPM broke the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok Kurt,

      So Bush broke the law. Your PPM colleague is Alden McLaughlin, Esquire, An ATTORNEY!    doesn’t he at least know what to do when the premier or anyone else breaks the law as it affects obstructing your rightsto function as the opposition and ignoring the will of the people in all matters pursued by this cabinet and its leader?

      Shame on you if all you can deliver is a speech against the UDP, we have been waiting far too long for  LEGAL ACTION !

      Breaking the law calls for legal action filed against the lawbreaker, do I need to break that down to you too?

      Alden GET TO WORK! 

      Chuckster puts the both of you to shame everytime hes a man of action you and Alden are all mouth.


    • Anonymous says:

      Is this what you are going to do for the next 2 1/2 years – try excuse or cover up any UDP misdeeds by reminding us that the PPM overspent? The fact that PPM did overspend during their term has nothing whatever to do with this very serious issue which is currently before us.

    • Businessman says:

      While I would have given thumbs up to this till a few months ago I think is time to stop bashing the ppm as the only responsible for this financial mess, this Government has been in power for almost two years and have done absolutly nothing to aleviate the Country’s financial situation.

      Still think the PPM fiscal management was irresponsible, but this Government should carry as much responsibility as the previous one by now.

      I come from a real 3rd world country with no legal security, but let me tell you, even there politicians would not try something like this. It is really sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

      One does nothing and the other does something. Two grown men acting like children and fighting over a cookie..See what our children have to aspire too? And when our children are out there committing crimes and giving excuses..where do you think they get thier reasoning from. These two fine examples of leaders we have.

      Can’t punish the children if the grownups are doing it!

    • Broke? says:

      Wake up Star! (Anon 09:42)

      The Country been broke!

      From time your UDP Government made 30 odd MILLION disappear during the Boatswain Beach fiasco along with other shady deals, this Country been broke!

      Dont try shift no blame onto the PPM because everything the PPM spent public funds on (thanks to their raising of revenues and good management) can quite clearly be seen – The Roads, much needed Schools, OUR new Government Building just to new a few, but can we see what public funds have been spent on under the UDP!

      Oh yes, 1st class travel around the world/5star accomodation, home security, chaffeurs, private securities/body guards, chefs, housekeepers, Christmas lights just to name a few.

      Please tell us, the people of Cayman which of these 2 choices are in the best interest of Cayman and its people.

      Wake up out of your self induced slumber Star!

    • noname says:

      thats why we need direct rule asap….governor taylor where are you?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ha HA Ha HA Ha- good one

  8. Anonymous says:

    The people elected are to uphold the law and act with respect for their country.

    The reverse is happening.When will the new constitution be used to remove unlawful MLA’s??

    PPM when will you answer that question? After all the checks and balances are supposed to be in the constitution by law.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor has the constitutional authority to remove a Minister (actually happened to McKeeva once before in the First Cayman Bank scandal) and, if necessary, to dissolve the legislative assembly and call new elections.

      • Anonymous says:

        What if we have an election without Norman Bodden, Richard Arch, Eldon Rankine, and Dr. Edlin Merren telling us who to vote for?

        Surely we can’t have an election until they endorse the leadership?

      • Mark How says:

        Yes but he is a waste of time, never see him, never hear from him…..

      • Anon says:

        Where are you, Mr Governor?

  9. Iamnotapirate says:

    The Premier of Grand Cayman islands has broken the law!  But because the laws are now HIS laws and not yours the rest of the world will now watch and see how things are done in a third world country that holds many of the worlds financial institutions.  I am still waiting patiently for a job in the Civil Service (hopfully in the finacial accountability section).  I know the creed by heart and will go down with the ship.  AAAAARRRRRRGGGGG!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where was Tibbetts after the election about the possibly broken election law in Boddentown ?

    Now the country is literally aflame with crime again we hear nothing from Tibbetts.

    Now we hear him about a loan issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps he was somewhere double dipping, I don’t know.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the question should be "where have you been?".  Sound to me like Cloud 9 has been your resting place since the election!

  11. Anonymous says:


    The Premier has broken the law and should pay for this dearly with a vote of no confidence and should step down from office while an investigation proceeds. No details will ever be divulged and McKeeva’s road show around the island and in the press to sell this to the country is just a charade to cover his deception on this matter.

    Where is the Governor, the Police Commissioner, the ACC, the FCU and the Auditor General and the UK FCO in all of this which, is of national importance to the country.

    We the people demand a full investigation by all of the above and a room at Northwood should be prepared. At Least he would have his wall and the security he desires.


  12. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier broke the law then why dont challenge it in court? File a case in court and ask the court to issue an order to stop the deal with Cohen for the reason that it is against the law and did not go through the bidding process.

  13. John Evans says:

    Hope this isn’t history repeating itself.

    Remember the Boatswain’s Beach funding?

    As reported just over 4 years ago, "$600,000 was lost when an independent financing team put forward by Mr. Bush was contracted, then released, when the credibility of the team’s moneyman was cast in doubt."

    I seem to remember that deal also bypassed the normal tendering process.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you heard about closing cost or maybe you have not applied for a mortgage before?

      Banks do not just loan money they also reward their loan officers so there is no difference here. C.I. Government got a loan at a great interest rate, better than the banks would have given and in return had to pay some closing costs, which by the way was much less than what would have been paid to a bank.

  14. Anonymous says:

     This does not surprise me. Every time you elect bush you set yourself up for four years of untold misery. This man has proven that he is not safe to be in the house under any circumstances.

  15. Say it Aint So! says:

    Lets hear the facts first! The CTC in the past have made some serious mistakes in their selection process. Tom Jones and the East End Schools sound familiar. The CTC have a tendancy of tossing out the lowest bids. The name of game for financing is the lowest bid!!! You ever walk into the bank with the intention to paymore for a loan?

    • Iamnotapirate says:

      You mean the Tom Jones Company that is set to win big in court for being right in its court case against the CIG?  In ALL of these deals the one thing in common is the CIGs misconception that it is smarter than anyone because they are paid so much.  And by waiting for the facts you you must mean waiting as in waiting for the financial facts of CIGs spending for the last 6 years.  Have you ever listened to a fool just because he is a smarter fool then you?  The FACTS show Caymans voters all have.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I would like to place a plea for a courageous lawyer, in conjunction with a competent IT professional, to assist the public in petitioning the Governor to override the decision by the Premier in illegitimately and potentially illegally awarding the $185 million loan contract to Cohen and Company. My proposal is that a website and/or email address is created for the purpose of submitting our names (which can then be verified) in an attempt to either force a referendum on the issue, or more simply persuade the Governor to immediately act to contravene the recent actions by the Premier. Our courageous lawyer will be the public neutral arbiter/trustee of the website/email address, and will hold all names submitted in confidence until an adequate threshold is met to send to the Governor. By acting in this manner, it will allow for mass participation in the petition and also protect signees from fear of reprisal by others until enough support is garnered that by actual number of participants their protection is ensured. The two greatest difficulties in gathering a petition are the logistics and time to gather signatures and the security of signees’ information until such a time that fear will be removed via mass participation. By using the internet, we can remove in large part the difficulties of physically collecting signatures. By having the site/email controlled by a neutral lawyer, we can be assured of the protection of our identities until there are enough names to make a difference by overwhelming support.

    Obviously this is a rough idea, but I really think it holds merit and I would appreciate the refining of the idea by others, and with luck, the manifestation of such a petition in the very near future.

    Let’s undo the damage caused to our financial future and reputation by the illegitimate actions of the Premier and show that the values of democracy and accountability still prevail in Cayman!

    • Company Commander says:

      Your Suggestion is seconded with utmost anticipation.

      Can we have a consensus and action taken, our fellow citizens?

      We should have by now, arrived at this point in our minds to just say.. "I have had enough of the political abuse by the Premier and the consequential RUINATION of our country and MY FUTURE so I will put my battle-gear in hand and step to the front lines".

      When are we going to just DO IT ? When our country and life is no more?

      People, we MUST stand up NOW, to PRESERVE what is LEFT of our home-land.

      Company Commander


    • Anonymouse says:

      Two names come to mind. Theresa Pitcairn and Steve McField.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is there another Steve you are referring to?

        I only know of one Steve who I believe cried out about the two members breaking the law to be elected and later defended them in court.

        I would not support steve or his shadow TP.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Mr  Bush is only doing the same thing,that he does,every time he get’s voted in ! What’s new ??.


    • Anonymous says:

      The difference this time is that he’s found a new breed of rabble rousers in the Civil Service who will not simply do what he says and turn a blind eye and ear to corruption.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This just proves the incompetence of the technical team and the CTC when compared to the Premier. Clearly Mr. Bush’s financial analysis is far superior when compared to the various Certified Public Accountants, loan and financial Managers who made flawed recommendations.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what to say any more every thing the premier tried to do it is a problem you all want to bring him down this is not a joking matter i don’t know what cayman want any more. The talk show  in the morning is the first one who start. Please premier don’t give up god is by your side and he will see u all the way please do what best for the country is our god that put you there

    • Anonymous says:

      What flavour is that KoolAid and how much have you had?

    • Anonymous says:


      When you are talking about the devil you spell (God) with a common (g) and when you talking about the God that die on the cross for your sin you spell it with a capital (G)

      God Bless,

      • CSI says:

        With all that is wrong in the original post, this is the one thing you found?  You’re wrong, by the way.  One of the few things the previous poster did grammatically correct was to use the common ‘g’ in the correct context.  In referring to "our god", the writer is specifying one god of many.  If the writer had said, "…it was God who put you there…" or something similar, then the capital ‘G’ would be correct. 

    • Macman says:

      Again thumbs up for sarcasim!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Time to look for a brown envelope

    • South Sounder says:

      Does anyone know what the commission is on arranging a loan of this size and more interestingly, who are the recipients?……………If they are really smart, they coulddeny my FOI request before I even submit it!



    • Anonymous says:

      Ah! someone knows whattime it is.

  21. Tim Ridley says:

    There are various institutions that have come into existence here recently and that are designed to encourage greater transparency and accountability. One is relatively benign and relatively toothless right now, the Commission for Standards in Public Life; the other is potentially a lot less benign, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). However, the ACC (under the chairmanship of the Police Commissioner) is so far only noteworthy by its total silence and ghostly presence.

    The serious flaws in the ACC structure have been pointed out to the previous and to the current Government. Neither has seen fit to acknowledge these flaws, let alone take any action to correct them. Thus, one can only conclude that neither the PPM nor the UDP has much, if any, interest in a fully operational and effective ACC.

    Presumably, the UK is too busy struggling to implement its own Bribery Law to worry about the ACC. But sooner or later, this failing will be picked up by the relevant international bodies that review and comment on such matters. Perhaps then we shall see some action.



    • Anonymous for Cause says:

      And your point is…? If you want to blame this on the previous Government and the PPM then you should at least acknowledge that this sort of interference in due process did not occur under the previous Government. Whether intentional or not, your post serves to misdirect.  Bush and UDP  are the ones doing this and there is no excuse for their actions regardless of how high you wish to place the bar on the constitution and public bodies.  And where is the Governor in all of this? His job is Governor of the Cayman Islands and his attention should be here and we should not be hearing  excuses about the UK being too busy.

      Where there is a will there is a way and where there are greedy leaders the people have to pay, unless you have other courageous people of high integrity and absolute disregard for self-interest to take a stand against greed.

      • Anonymouse says:

        The Governor is giving Mackeeva enough rope to hang himself then he will pull the lever.

        And when that happens we will immediately start paying income and property taxes to Finance the British Squadron who will be imported to sort out all the problems our recent politicians has created for us.

        Oh how I miss the days when we had no political parties and our politicians only entered politics for the sake of this country.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hey Tibbetts

    Stop head butting Bush!! Who run huge debts first place that almost bankrupt Cayman Islands??? The previous Tibbetts’s government.

  23. Bushwhacker by trade, realist by necessity says:

    Kurt, frankly, I am not a real supporter of you and or your Party, however you must address the issue of Insider Trading and Officious intermeddling.

    McKeeva has in essence admitted to these breaches by own released statement and articulations. Probe and demand the following:

    1). who was the company and or point person that made contact with Cohen and Company (hereinafter called "Cohen"). The names of both must be clearly identified!!!!

    2). Was this person and or entity the same all the way through from initial contact to completion?

    3). Was this person paid a finder’s fee and how much?

    4). When will the finder’s fee be paid and by what method of payment?

    5). Was this person and or entity an advisor to the UDP, the Premier, and or Government at any time whatsoever?

    Please remember the Boatswain beach financing exercise that netted McKeeva’s good buddies and Business partners (Real Estate Agents by Profession) in excess of CI $1 mil. for less than two months of work.

    This modus operandi is not new to the UDP ipso facto McKeeva and hopefully more will be done and said than what transpired with the Boatswain beach "issue" insofar as the Auditor General only being able to state "that it was not good value for money" but the new AG will bring forth charges of abuse of Power and conflict of Interest and the aforementioned first stated herein.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you dont like Kurt but now you want him to pull your nuts out of the fire. Da what ya get.