Government gets nod to start GAB move

| 16/03/2011

(CNS): Government now has the keys to its new offices after the official handover took place on Monday, 14 March. Following a number of delays since the first move in date in January of this year, civil servants will finally begin the move into the new Government Administration Building in Elgin Avenue from the old Glass House and other rented accommodation across George Town. Now that the all-clear has been given, government can activate its relocation plan and the first of some 30 government entities will start moving in by the end of this month, government officials stated on Tuesday.

“This building was an enormous undertaking and we were excited to see the official handover take place,” commented Government Office Accommodation Project (GOAP) Chief Project Manager Jim Scott. Furniture and equipment are already in place and the phased relocation should be completed by July.

The GAB was started under the previous administration as a result of the many problems plaguing the Glass House and the fact that the number of public sector employees had outgrown the building many years ago. The building, which has been constructed and designed to be green and energy efficient, cost over $80 million but with government paying more than $10 million in rent annually it is expected to save public money in the long term.

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  1. Fed up says:

    Lord, please give patience to anyone who works on Elgin Avenue, as they will soon experience a traffic nightmare.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is going to be a lot of empty rental space in George Town. Let’s watch some more businesses and landlords shut down and abandon their premises so the civil service can continue to live high on the hog at all of our expense.

    • Sotong says:

      So what you are saying is the Governmment (who have a massive debt) should keep on paying a ton of money in rentto a few rich property owners, rather than move into the new accommodation and make significant cost savings?

      Who cares about the massive debt! As long as public money is flowing into the pockets of some rich landlords.


      • Anonymous says:

        Sotong, please have some common sense. If all of these businesses Landlords shut down and George Town becomes a ghost town, what happens to the Government in terms of collection of fees and to surrounding businesses such as restaurants and such that depend on these departments being near by.

        Government has no clue about how to save money. You can get the same price for rent as you will pay for the mortgage on the building if you negotiate with the landlords but leaving loads of shuttered buildings in George Town sends a very unfavorable signal to the business community. Money does not circulate if only the government has it. I suppose luckily for us we have one of the most bloated and expensive civil services in the world and hope that some of this money will trickle into other areas of the economy.

        It’s nice to see that the civil servants who cost the country the most money can have a nice new building to continue to waste our country’s resources while we stand outside with cup in hand begging for one of the nice cushy jobs that those lucky few were able to get for life filled with all the nice benefits of 12% pension fully paid by the government, free health care, and can live out the rest of their lives with no fear of ever being terminated no matter how bad a job they do.

        • Sotong says:

          George Town will not become a ghost town if most government departments relocate to GOAP. That is a preposterous assertion. Government simply does not take up that amount of real estate in GT.

          Your other point about negotiating better rent also seems like a red herring to me. Surely it is better for government to be paying off their own mortgage, rather than paying off the landlords mortgage. In the longer term they might actually pay off their mortgage, as opposed to continuing to pay rent.

          We live in a free market, and government is not the only potential tenant. I suggest that landlords maybe go out and find new tenants to fill their empty space. And maybe they will have to lower the rent to fill the properties – maybe that will stop developers from building yet MORE properties when there is already an overstock on island.

          I agree that the government is definitely profligate in some areas

          But expecting government to keep paying out money so some businesses can continue to make more profit has also contributed to the current debt.

        • Anonymous says:

          I work for government.  I didn’t plan the damned building and I didn’t build the damned building.  I just work hard to do the best job I can for your benefit.  Quit pissing on the civil service.

          If civil servants cannot be terminated, why are so many civil servants being terminated?  You speak with authority from a position of pure ignorance.


          • Anonymous says:

            I too am a civil servant. I have not heard of any civil servants being terminated. Can you provide some details? There are three in my department who have not hit a lick in about 20 years but the head of department is too scared to touch them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Out of the 900 plus people of which this new buiding has been designed for, how much people are actually moving in?

    Seems like CIMA can’t make up their mind as how to hide from scrutiny as one minute they are moving to Camana Bay and now they are staying put, is CIMA playing hide and seek or is their some other motive for not moving? If CIMA is to be kept separate from the rest of the Gov departments, why did they give consent to move into this building causing governemnt to spend millions to construct? $80 m divided by 5 floor is $16 million a floor – if CIMA was going to ocuppy half of the 3rd floor then government has now wasted $8 million dollars.

    Tail wagging the dog

    • QueQ says:

      I don’t think it’s that simple. The one big difference and other government departments is that it’s very visible to the whole world. As a regulator of the local finance industry it is being watched very closely to see how effective it is by financial industries outside of Cayman. There have been many upheavals in the global financial industry over the last few years so I wouldn’t be surprised if a decision was changed from say a few years ago when the new building was started.


  4. Thinking before speaking says:

    Irrespective of what really caused the current Government to continue with this very nice building, it is great that they saw fit to complete at least this one of the previous government’s much needed projects. Thank you PPM for beginning it and thank you UDP for not discarding it! A shame though that CIMA has decided not to move into their purpose built space – a rather last minute eleventh hour decision, strange indeed!

    Now if only the government would also do the right thing for Cayman’s children by getting back on track with the Frank Sound school/academies cum community centre/ HURRICANE SHELTER and also the John Gray High as originally envisioned and begun by the previous government. Despite the present government expounding otherwise, the only way that Cayman’s children will have a fighting chance to positively participate in and contribute to Cayman’s growth and prosperity, will be for them to have (in addition to top class knowledgeable and effective teachers) innovative and challenging physical environment/learning facilities which would be conducive to each student achieving the high standard of education necessary for them to succeed in this increasingly sophisticated and competitive real world of the 21st century.

    While not suggesting that the $9 million hurricane shelter in Cayman Brac should be scrapped, it should certainly be put on hold for the time being so that funds already budgeted for it and to be allocated in the coming year’s budget can be used instead to complete these two high schools/multi purpose projects.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Kurt

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea thank you Kurt for another expensive white elephant! What do you have to say to all of the people that are now left with empty buildings…Oh yea I forgot "Civil Service Number 1". Best paying jobs for life, 12% pension fully paid by CIG/us and free fully paid health care…

      Thanks Kurt….for nothing…