Reshuffle blamed for delays

| 16/12/2010

(CNS): The changes to government ministerial responsibilities were blamed for the delay some ministries have had in submitting their accounts to the auditor general the Public Accounts Committee heard on Tuesday. Asked by the chair why they had not met their obligation under the law management from a number of ministries pointed to an increase in the number of departments they were now responsible for without getting extra accountants as a result of the new line ups. In particular the premier and the deputy premier’s chief officers complained that their ministries had grown significantly but their human resources had remained the same.

Carson Ebanks, the chief officer in the Ministry of Finance Tourism and Development (the premier’s ministry), told the committee he now had twelve departments within the ministry but only three accountants, and while he wanted to recruit more people because of the freeze, he wasn’t allowed to take on any more staff. He said he was working on seconding someone from another government department to his ministry but it was proving very difficult to get the number of people he needed.

Chief Financial Officer in the Ministry for District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture, Nadisha Walters, said that ministry had grown from six departments to seventeen but their accounting staff had remained the same, which was making it difficult for them to complete the workload.

Members of the PAC queried why staff had not moved with the departments and pointed out that it was the responsibility of chief officers to speak up at the time of the reshuffles to ensure the right people were being transferred. The question of what had happened to the staff when the transfer occurred was also raised and the chair said the committee would need to call the management from the Portfolio of Civil Service to find out how accountants were being distributed.

It was assumed by some committee members that the smaller ministries that were getting on top of their accounts may well have done so now as a result of a surplus of accountants at the expense of the new larger ones.

Auditor General Alasdair Swarbrick said it was an important issue as it had directly impacted the ability of ministries to catch up and keep up with their accounts.

Check back to CNS later today for full details on the release of the auditor general’s report.

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  1. Annoymous says:

    This is the best example known to date of why you have a smurf under a mushroom playing the WORLD’s SMALLEST VIOLIN!!!

    The Premier during his campaign hammered the previous Govt. of which he was apart of, as he was the opposition, claiming NO ACCOUNTS were produced.  But yet this same Premier now the leader of the pack, can’t seem to get his stories lined up straight.

    I am tired of hearing all the senseless rebuttals coming from the Govt.  You are all getting paid handsomely, more than what you are producing.

    It is time for the UK to step in and take this ship from the hands of the leaders that have struck the reef and just waiting for the hull to be smashed in.

    Alas, Caymanians are such cowards they don’t want to stand up to their Govt., because they will be looked at as ‘trouble makers’.  Get your heads out of the sand people you are bigger idiots if you think this Govt. is going to do a darn thing to save this country.

    The Premier claims the country will be turned around in 90 days, CNS has on this blog a counter, just go check and see how many days remain?

    Caymanians you are cowards, you have no balls, no stamina, no guts, nothing of any use and you deserve everything that you are getting from this Govt. because you all voted them back in and stop blaming Jamaicans for doing it.

    Take your licks like big women and men and go shut your mouths you brought it on yourselves and you are COWARDS!!

    I know we are, I am a Caymanian and I am a COWARD too!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    It shouldn’t matter who the bodies are if there are systems, controls and oversight.  Any department head who still lacks the ability or inclination to effect their own procedures or supervise their staff, YEARS after being required to do so, should be summarily SACKED and PROSECUTED (if warranted).  It is really that simple.  The culture of misconduct and negligence is not acceptable anymore.   

  3. Anonymous says:

    headline should be: Civil Service grasping at straws….

  4. Libertarian says:


    Don’t mean to change the topic. I notice you have a category for POLLS and CONTACT US, but you have no category for INFORMATION RECEIVED or REPORTS.

    Just today, whilst driving pass the Airport, I noticed they cut down the "swamp grass" by the start of the run-way, that was home and haven to certain birds, ducks, turtles, and wildlife. I don’t know why they did that… To me the "swamp grass" didn’t caused any obstacle to the airlines landing, and it beautified the place.

    Could you investigate this, because I feel it was unnecessary and just proves how ANTI-ENVIRONMENT this government is. So disappointed to see this happen.


    CNS: Hi Libertarian – you can always start a forum topic. There’s a link to the forum on the menu bar.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t that a pathetic excuse.  Talk about a lack of management, professionalism, expertise and credibility.  The way they probably see it is that it’s just a bull riding competetion and let’s see who can hang on the longest.  Some of them must have epoxy glue on their pants seats, cause crazy glue would have cracked off long time!

  6. Anonymouse says:

    Put them all in Northward and make completing the reports a condition of their release.

    Bet the accounts would be finished in a New York minute.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is very true what these people have said. One of the biggest problems in government is the constant shuffling of people at every election.

    This means that there is constant chaos in government especially in the first two years. Senior people handpick staff, then there is one year of some sort of stability, and guess what it is election year again when the politicians have to complete their pet projects and if there is a change of government the cycle starts again. In the private sector this kind of thing only happens when there is a merger or acquisition so they are immune to it and cannot of course appreciate.

    Other developed countries such as the USA do not do this type of musical chairs at the lower levels. So if this madness does not stop the future does not look bright.

    • Pending says:

      So musical chairs every 4yrs allows the Government to avoid / ignore the submission of their annual accounts / financial statements.

      I have heard it all now.

      How does one expect to run a business without properly accounting how their money is spent? And we wonder why we are up the creek without a paddle.

      Private Co.’s do appreciate the concept of auditing their accounts, thats how they remain afloat and function on a yearly basis.

    • Anonymous says:

       "if there is a change of government the cycle starts again".

      What do you mean "if"? The government changes every election because after 4 years of FOOLISHNESS, the people are so fed up that they will vote for anything different. The problem is, it always ends up being the same old thing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    would this incompetence be excepted in the private sector?..of course not!

    the civil serivice is like an anchor around caymans neck…. time to re-read the miller shaw report and start to IMPLEMENT its recommendations

  9. Anonymous says:

    …that ministry had grown from six departments to seventeen but their accounting staff had remained the same…

    So why are there no financial statements for the years when the ministry had only six departments?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Excuses Excuses … sigh!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hiring freezes, people laid off, salary cuts.  And the excuse for not following the law is that their ministries have "grown significantly".

    Don’t make my cry.