Clearing the air

| 26/11/2010

Please allow me the opportunity to clarify some points related to my tenure on the work permit board; recently there has been information put in the press that may have been misinterpreted. News outlets on the island should do more investigating before writing articles that paint the wrong picture.

I wish words like “conflicts of interest” wouldn’t be used so loosely in the public domain, leaving news articles open to interpretation by the reader is wrongand this style of journalism gives the general public the wrong impression and it’s the main reasonI’ve decided to publicly clear the air on my departure from the work permits board.

It’s not my MO to point fingers and accuse and I won’t do it in this forum, but I would have hoped the government officials who reported I was no longer on the board would have used words less contentious when making this announcement – reasonable notice would have also been appreciated, I was advised of my departure on November 18, one (1) day before the news officially broke on November 19.

The conflict I was advised was that my attendance was being hindered by my fulltime job, I accepted that my other work commitments just didn’t allow me to continue to attend as before, so please don’t be misled with comments like “members not towing the line” & “certain individuals appointed not following the wishes of the administration”, we towed the line and like any new board we experienced numerous setbacks that didn’t allow us to do our work in the most efficient way.

Anyhow we managed to overcome those stumbling blocks and carried out the wishes of the Caymanian people to the best of our abilities collectively, in the process we created a new chapter. Our actions and the present internal changes in the work permits process speak volumes to our achievements.

Following the law as set out was our way of doing business, its unfortunate some of the public choose to draw conclusions based on a few lines written in the press, these comments are simply not the case and are far from the truth.

One local paper on Monday, November 22 suggested that the board "struggled to clear the backlog"; this again isn’t true as the board took “unprecedented steps” during my time there to clear the backlog which was in the thousands.

The new board has a strong foundation to stand on that hasn’t been seen in years and I hope and pray it continues to keep everyone accountable in immigration from the bottom straight to the top.

I will close now by saying to the people of the Cayman Islands, it was indeed a pleasure to have served over the last fifteen months, and my time on the board was a priceless experience.
It’s now my hope and I publicly challenge the new board to continue the fruitful works that has begun so immigration becomes a government institution we all can be proud of.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just a little point, the expression is "to toe the line" not "to tow the line."

  2. Anon says:

    The real reason you were removed is because there is a need to have employers who employ cheap labour, at $3.00 an hour, put on the board to rush through case. By the way more cheap foreign labour suits this government. If Caymanians want to survive then they have to go to the UDP government and ask for a hand out,  not ask for a job. And once you get addicted to hand outs you will always be indebted to them, and the next election. 

    • Adam Smith says:

      If labour was not imported at rates below which the local population were unwilling (not unable) to work, then the effect on the economy would be highly inflationary, both in terms of direct increased costs and probably worse still the negative impact on prices of full employment.

  3. Mike Hennessy says:

    Mr. McLaughlin seems to have a valid complaint about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Work Permit Board.  Before I go any further, I would like to say that anyone who takes on such a hard and thankless job deserves respect.  Whether the law is good or bad or just in need of improvement, someone has to enforce it and I don’t doubt that Mr. McLaughlin and his colleagues did their level best to administer the work permit process fairly.

    That said, it seems that Mr. McLaughlin is blaming the wrong parties for what he labels bad journalism.  He does not say that anyone misreported the government’s reason for his dismissal.  It also seems to be stretching a point to claim that there is something wrong with saying that the board struggled to clear a massive backlog.  I’m sure he doesn’t mean to say that clearing the backlog was easy.  I certainly don’t take it as an insult to anyone’s diligence or competence to characterize that job as a struggle. 

    It is very easy to criticize the members of the Work Permit Board, and any other of the various boards and panels that enforce various Caymanian laws.  In some cases, those criticisms are justified. In some cases they are no doubt exaggerated or misdirected. 

    One lesson that I hope everyone should take from Mr. McLaughlin’s experience is that being on such a board is going to be a hard job.  It should also be expected that one will have to cultivate a thick skin, for criticism from any number of directions goes with the job.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I believe you. I know people who sit on various boards and it all is just not as easy as it sounds. Most people who sit on boards do this in addition to their full time jobs and often have to make back the time they miss at their paying job for the absence in respect to sitting on a board.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am also aware that there are some individuals who gladly sit on the boards to use those connections and exposures to serve their own agenda – not the one that is in the best interest of the Islands.

    There are also people who let themselves be appointed to boards, knowing that they won’t be able to attend meetings regularly as they are quite frequently off Island, traveling for business and personal pleasure. Those people, in my opinion, just take up space on the boards, making it very hard for other board members to have a quorum. Again, in many cases this is for selfish reasons and not because it is in the best interest of these Islands.

    Finally, the laws are crap! I don’t know how else to put it, but what does one expect the outcome will be if the laws are vague and full of loop holes.

    At the end, this is laughable as well all know that the person who has so blatantly made the remarks regarding "conflict of interest" is the most conflicted person himself.


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and I hope that Mr. McLaughlin understands that the press merely reported was was said and therefore his criticism of the media might be somewhat misdirected.