$69m unaccounted for after failed ministry audit

| 29/03/2011

(CNS): In the latest batch of backlogged financial reports tabled in the Legislative Assembly two from the tourism ministry reveal that well over $69 million of public money spent between 2007 and 2008 cannot be accountedfor as a result of the auditor general being unable to verify any aspect of the ministry’s financials. Charles Clifford, who was the minister with responsibility during the time, said that the issue of financial reporting before Cayman had a political minister of finance was an administrative function for which the civil service and ultimately the governor was responsible. These reports join a growing pile of other useless reports, while the public accounting for the latest financial year continues to fall behind.

Not one of the latest batch of more than a dozen reports tabled in the country’s parliament on 17 March, mostly from statutory authorities, were for the most recent financial year and most were either several years old or carried some form of qualification – or both — rendering them essentially meaningless.

The dated reports come in the wake of comments by Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick, who pointed out in his own report on the state of government financial accounting recently that spending time producing these old reports was a waste of time. He said that all of the ministries old accounts will get failing grades and core government backlogged reports are all “fundamentally unreliable” because of “significant deficiencies” in the supporting documentation and information.

Swarbrick advised government that it should give up on the old accounts and spend the scarce resources and time on producing the most recent and up to date financial reports, which will have more meaning for the public.

However, the government said it wanted to complete all of the accounts and was committed to complying with the Public Management and Finance Law. The Ministry of Finance, which is now responsible for government accounting, said it was not prepared to ignore the past financial statements. Ministry officials said that, although the accounts were late and wrong, they still had value.

“Despite the lack of timeliness and technical accuracy … these reports still have tremendous value to the wider public as they provide a record of the government’s finances during this period. Without them there would be no record of the government’s financial performance during this significant period – a truly unacceptable position,” the ministry stated.

When the premier tabled the financial reports for the former tourism, environment and commerce ministry he was at pains to emphasise that the financial years covered by the report were nothing to do with the current government.

Clifford, who was at the helm at the time, is suggesting that there is political manipulation going on, especially as staff who were at the ministry during his tenure were all removed, breaking the continuity of the financial work. Clifford said that when he was there his ministry officials assured him that they were making good progress in bringing the accounts up to date in preparation for audits.

“I was never given any indication that there was a record keeping issue that could potentially affect future audits,” he said, noting however that at the time it was an administrative function. “Of course part of the problem is that the majority of the senior officers in the ministry were removed from office immediately after the 2009 general elections, and that no doubt affected the continuity of the work on the financial statements and ultimately the audits. This change of personnel could have been intentional in order to set the stage to criticise the outgoing administration.”

Clifford said he believed staff had been removed quickly at the insistence of the premier, which would have prevented the necessary exchange of information. “I know that the current minister, who is also the premier, refused to move into his office until certain senior officers were removed from the ministry, so I doubt that there was any opportunity for a proper hand-over or transition with senior civil servants.”

The former minister also noted that while the accounts issue was an administrative function when he was in office, the new constitution heralded in the new political post of Minister of Finance, meaning that McKeeva Bush, who now holds that post, has political responsibility to ensure proper financial reporting.

“I believe that the premier’s rush to change ministry staff following the last general elections has negatively impacted the work that was being done on the financial statements and ultimately the audits,” Clifford stated. “The ministry became focused on other things while the important checks and balances, such as financial reporting, public accountability, transparency in government and other good governance policies, were simply seen as hindrances to the new government’s agenda.”

Clifford also stated that the Governor’s Office ought to ensure that the “apparent desire to politicise the civil service” is discouraged because it is unsustainable in a small country such as Cayman.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands government breeds inefficiency within its financial accounting Department. The problem is that the Ministers have no interest in Financial Statements of their portfolio being presented on a timely basis. This will highlight their wasteful spending and lack of proper financial management. The few Financial Officers who submit their accounts in time run the risk of exposing the financial wrongdoings within the ministries and embarrassing their Ministers. This can lead to their removal from office if they are on contract or work permit and replace by incompetency so that the financial statements are never submitted. Think of what would have happened had UCCI accounts not been submitted on a timely basis and exposed the financial irregularities. The accountant was under no compulsion to submit the Financial Statement for audit. He could have done like most other Government Department and not submit accounts for audit. He chose to expose these financial wrong doings which were supported by the BOG and got him dismissed. No accounts have been submitted by UCCI since. (2007). No Budget request should be included in the Island Budget for Ministry’s and Statutory Bodies whose audited accounts are over two years in arrears. Funds should be released on a justified request basis only. The auditor General’s suggestion that theold account be forgotten and start afresh is rubbish, as the AG still has to verify the opening (b/F) numbers. Where are these going to come from if the old accounts are not done? The government has to ensure they employ efficient, qualified, experienced financial officers and make them responsible for the delivering of the accounts for audit by the AG. or have them replaced.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Who were the accountants in each portfolio at the time? Why didn’t Ken Jefferson as FS play his role in ensuring the statements were done?

    • Michel Lemay says:

      Ah ! that is the mystery question that has been bothering me for quite some time. While PPM in charge before the election we had a surplus according to the FS; UDP take over and a short period later and we are told huge deficit, no money we are broke same FS. and he is still on the payrol and on a good salary as that. WHY????

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where is Alden’s financial statements ? They must look really pretty after the schools fiasco !!!

    And Arden’s, KT’s and Tune Tune’s ?……..what are they hiding them for ??? They not pretty trust me….I’ve seen them.

    Better yet where is McKeeva’s financial statements…..I’ve seen them too and they’re not only not pretty they are downright ugly……..nasty stuff…..ewwww

    Lets see them McKeeva…..don’t try to conceal them until after the 2013 elections !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here are a list of Chief Officers as stated on http://www.gov.ky

    If not accurate at least motivation will be provided to update their website.

    Portfolio of the Civil Service
    Chief Officer — Mr. Ian Fenton (acting)

    Ministry of Finance, Tourism & Development
    Financial Secretary — Mr Kenneth Jefferson, JP
    Chief Officer — Mrs Sonia McLaughlin CERT HON, JP
    Chief Officer — Dr. Dax Basdeo
    Chief Officer — Mr Carson Ebanks MBE, JP

    Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture
    Chief Officer — Mr Kearney S. Gomez MBE, JP

    Ministry of Education, Training and Employment
    Chief Officer — Ms Mary Rodrigues

    Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture
    Chief Officer — Ms Jennifer Ahearn

    Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing
    Chief Officer — Ms Dorine Whittaker

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the information through gross mismanagement or intentional deception is not available then the AG is correct that there is no point in pursuing a clean audit report.  We need a starting point (balance sheet audit) and implementation of controls and process management to ensure this does not happen again.  What has been allowed to occur is an embarrassment and more reflective of subjective tribal governance than a supposedly sophisticated country’s leadership. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    I actually went to gov website and pulled the 2007/2008 budget and the budget for Tourism was $36M. So not only did they not properly account for the amount spent they almost doubled the amount that was allotted.

    This is infuriating to me beyond words.

    Also for those justifying that they “didnt hire Chuckie to produce Financial Statements”. At the end of the day all Ministers should be responsible to account for all budgets under their remit. I am sure he was present budget day arguing for funds that I am sure he justified needing for his Ministry. Now that the money was spent he is no longer responsible. That’s garbage.

    For a disclaimer opinion to be given we are talking about basic accounting not being followed such as invoices and purchase orders for payments, receipts and bills for funds received. $69M to be spent without a trace is outrageous.

    In addition I am sure all of the other Ministries are exactly the same. If you look at the AG’s report pretty much ALL of the reports for the Ministries were given some form of qualified opinion.

    Another thing, why are the reports of the Ministries so awful in comparison to the Statutory Boards. Maybe CINICO,ERA & ICTA can provide training to the Ministries on how to comply with the PMFL.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don’t understand what you’re reading on thegovernment’s website please stay out of the discussion. The audit in question refers to the overall Ministry of Tourism’s budget. The $36M for the Department of Tourism is but one of the many departments that make up the overall Ministry of Tourism’s budget. There are also budgets for the Department of Environment, Investment Bureau, Liquor Licensing Unit, Public Transport Unit, Tourism Attraction Board, Subsidies for Cayman Airways, The Turtle Farm, Pedro Castle and The Botanic Park and of course the budget for the Ministry of Tourism itself included in the overall Ministry of Tourism’s budget because the Ministry is responsible for all of the above mentioned departments and entities. Do you understand now or should I elaborate further ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please take a look at the actual budget as I have. The total annual budget for the Ministry of Tourism,Environment, Investment & Commerce2007/2008 was $36.611M

        I have attached the statements for you for ease of reference



        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry pal but you still don’t get it. You are not looking at the ENTIRE Ministry of Tourism’s budget. Its not your fault I suppose as it is a rather cumbersome compilation of documents which consists of 4 or 5 different volumes. And you will not understand the TOTAL Ministry’s budget unless you read and understand the information contained in ALL 4 or 5 volumes which make up the budget. So you have much more reading to do my friend.

          • Anonymous says:

            If I am not looking at the right thing why don’t you tell me what the 2007/2008 budget for the ENTIRE Ministry is then?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The darts are flying towards The Chuckster as he steps on more and more toes.

    Step on um BoBo……..lets mash up this JLP/PNP party system that we have taking root here. Its BAD BAD for Cayman like you said Chuckster….trust me I have lived in that system and the only thing that delivered for me was 2 murdered family members, house burnt down all because I chose the wrong colour at the wrong time.

    Fight my brother…….the SMP (Silent Majority Party) is with you all the way !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who doesn’t have a political bias and who actually understand the constitution will know that financial reporting was the responsibility of the civil service which is controlled by His Excellency The Governor until November 2009 when the new constitution transferred that responsibility to the Minister of Finance. Mr. Clifford demitted office in May 2009 before that responsibility was transferred.

    So McKeeva you can blame Mr. Clifford all you want for something he wasn’t responsible for at the time. One thing is clear and that is that you can’t run from the responsibility because then new constitution is very clear about this matter and that is that the Minister of Finance is responsible for financial reporting now. Guess who currently holds that post – YOU MCKEEVA !

  9. Anonymous says:

    Two weeks ago McKeeva said he wasn’t responsible for financial reporting because it is a civil servive responsibility. While this statement would have been true before the new constitution came into effect someone needs to tell McKeeva that under the new constitution which came into effect in November 2009 thaat he, as the Minister of Finance, is in fact responsible for ensuring proper financial reporting.

    He will not admit that but is quick to say that Chuckie was responsible for financial reporting at a time when the constitution said NO – Ministers are not responsible for this…….the Financial Secretary and Administrative staff in the Ministry were responsible for it at the time.

    Are we going to hold the Financial Secretary, Chief Officer, Chief Financial Officer and all of the deputies repsonsible for this mess or are we going to continue to blame the wrong people while the civil servants sit by their desks on Facebook and Twitter smiling and laughing at the politicians and the public because the public is so damn lost about who is responsible for what.

    Study your constitution and PMFL before posting please. We all have a responsibility for educating ourselves about any subject that we choose to involve ourselves in a discussion about.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wish my Bank would go and “unaccount” my mortgage balance!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m a bit tired of politicians, that includes UDP, PPM, Independent, and/or whatever way they might be inclined, saying that theyhave no control over financial reporting of money spent by civil servants.

    The budgets are APPROVED by the Members of the Legislative Assembly, based on what the ELECTED Ministers say will be spent by their Ministry. I’m sure there must have been good documentation to justify the sums requested.

    If the Department of Tourism cannot for how $69 million of their budget was spent then REDUCE their budget by $69 million the following year.

    Now I realise that they would not be able to operate with this reduced budget, but once they have to keep coming back to Finance Committee for additional appropriations then the Auditor General would have the records of where the money was spent.

    It might sound crazy, but if this PMFl can’t be sorted out then I would give every Department a budget of $0 and make them come to Finance Committee on a regular basis to show exactly where the money is being spent.

    It’s a pile of rubbish, and just plain laziness on the part of politicians when they say they have no control over Civil Servant spending.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know one thing I didn’t vote for Chuckie for him to prepare financial statements. I voted for him to deliver for our Bodden Town district and he certainly did that. He and his colleagues delivered more for Bodden Town than Bodden Town has ever received under any previous administration. Chuckie was specifically responsible for and delivered the expanded Coe Wood Public Beach, Nurse Josie’s Seniors home, Mission House, Harry McCoy Sr Public Park, Newlands Launching Ramp & Dock and the restoration of Pedro St. James National Historic Site. In addition along with his other two colleagues, Mr. Eden and Ossie Bodden, they also delivered the new Savannah Post Office, The East/West Arterial/Newlands Bypass Road, RCIPS Marine base facility in Newlands, acquired land and carried out site works for the new BT Civic Center and Emergency Services Center that will house the RCIP, Fire Service and Ambulance Service, approved engineering solutions and designs to address the Savannah Gully, Cumber Avenue and Belford Estates flooding issues, Upgraded and paved various district and main roads in the district, installed street lights and speed bumps througout the district and the list goes on. What are we the people of BT going to get under this UDP Government……..THE DUMP !!!

    The point here is that we elect our representatives to deliver projects and programmes for our district and in the case of our Ministers we elect them to deliver National Policies that are in the best interests of our country. We do not elect them to deliver financial statements. We have over 3,000 civil servants that are responsible for these types of administrative functions.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “I was never given any indication that there was a record keeping issue that could potentially affect future audits”

    Are you kidding me???? YOUR Ministry spends 69M in ONE year and you had no indication of an issue. How many financial reports did you review during this time. How utterly and completely fiscally irresponsible. If this is the attitude at the top spend spend spend with absolutely no accountability what the hell do we expect??

    Honestly, what recourse do we the people of these islands against all of these selfish greedy ingrates??? I am getting sick and tired of having to read about a total lack of accountability and consequence and ZERO governance from all of these buffoons both PPM and UDP.

    Anybody with any ideas because I am at a loss?? This is sooo vexing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let me explain how it is. We don’t elect politicians to keep and produce financial statements. We hire civil servants for that. Also the $69M isn’t missing it was spent in accordance with the budget. The issue is that the civil servants didn’t prepare proper financial statements for auditing. Now lets look at who is responsible for this.

    In this case there are several civil servants hired to carry out these functions, among others. There is a Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and 3 administrative staff members in the Finance Unit of the Ministry and they are supervised and report to a Chief Officer and two Deputy Chief Officers. And of course His Excellency the Governor is responsible for all of those civil servants mentioned above and it is the Governor who must hold them accountable for non-performance.

    Yes I know it is easy and attractive to attack the politicians but until we give the politicians responsibility for civil servants let us not blame them when civil servants don’t perform. Why are we so afraid to hold the civil servants responsible ?

    If you look at the operating financial statements of the government you will see that the money was spent in accordance with the budget. Like I said it is simply a matter of civil servants not performing and failing to deliver proper financial statements for auditing.

    Some are unfairly blaming Mr. Clifford for this and in a year or so we will be unfairly blaming McKeeva for the same thing because nothing will change if we continue to blame the wrong people.

    Why didn’t the press provide coverage of the other PPM Ministries ? They are all the same and most of them worse than the Tourism Ministry.

    I think we have to make a choice. We either give the politicians responsibility for the civil service so we can justifiably hold them accountable for civil servants non-performance or we place the blame where it is due and that is at the feet of the Chief Officer, Chief Financial Officer and all of their Deputies and Administrative staff in the Finance Unit and of course ultimately the Governor himself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well put…however how can someone govern without reliable/verifiable information showing results and financial status?  The government and governor should not have let years go by without this data.  This no doubt contributed to the country being close to financial ruin and having to beg for borrowing authorization.

  15. Anonymous says:

    People need to go to jail for the criminal abuse of public funds.  Until that happens, this or any future government has little financial credibility.  There is also the glaring requirement to overhaul CIG internal systems and controls to ensure this never happens again.  Money handlers of every level should be required to have business and accounting skills as a fundamental prerequisite to holding the position.  If it means night school, then so be it.  

  16. Anonymous says:

    RE: Hold on a minute. Who was the accountant in Chuckie’s Ministry? That is who needs to be named and blamed.

    Excellent Question!!

     –  It is my understanding that individual was promoted last year to SENIOR CFO and is current on study leave pursuing her Masters Degree.

    Who was the Deputy CFO in Chucky’s Ministry?

      –  Why that person is the CURRENT CFO!!

    Important  question to be answered: If they were doing such a poor job why were they BOTH promoted?



    • Anonymous says:

      So very very true, Wed 8:45, but you see they are Caymanians so no accountability, just promotions. That’s the way we do it in the civil service. I thought everyone knew that.

  17. Real World says:

    This not only smacks of incompetence, it stinks of corruption. Is Cayman foolish enough not to learn the lesson of Turks and Caicos before it’s too late?

  18. Anonymous says:

    The defeatist attitude of “nothing will ever change” has to stop. We must all now demand accountability. Govt. needs to be run like the public sector. A complete review of those responsible for producing accounts needs to be done. It is very likely that many of them are not accountants, have no accounting or bookkeeping training and are in those positions because they are friends of those in power. This must stop. Only qualified, experienced people should be in those positions. Just because you are qualified as a social worker, does not give you the skills you need to be responsible for finances. I have heard that the Public Finance Law is ridiculously complicated and this should also be reviewed. If its not working change it. Start from scratch. WE cannot sit back and allow our hard earned money to be wasted any more. Collectively we can make a differnce and if we want our kids to have a good future, it is our duty.

  19. Anonymous says:

    the permanent secy after chuckie testified for him in chuckiegate. then after udp took over she was in fact removed from that position of co of tourism…. but, her removal was not  as iy seems, as she was transferred to a better position as the current  head of human resources reporring to the gov…… sure sounds like a promotion by mac ….

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hold on a minute. Who was the accountant in Chuckie’s Ministry? That is who needs to be named and blamed. Now that that has been exposed, can the Auditor General now advise us what the current financial position is with the now Ministry of Tourism. Are they producing financial statements on time? Who is their accountant? Also, what is the Financial Secretary’s role? Surely he has some accountability in all of this too. It’s rediculous!

    I can certainly tell you this bastardized version of the West Minister system is not a good way of governing Cayman, especially when we have a bunch of lost politicians who don’t have any vision for the future, not even if they had a nightmare the night before. It makes us no better off than a dog chasing his tail. If I were playing pictionary and had to draw what came to mind for our government, I’d quickly draw a Jackass and everyone would guess the answer immediately.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will ever be done by anyone so why waste your breath. So long as there’s a culture of “getting what’s mine”, successive ministers and all of their hangers-on will continue to benefit personally, at the expense of the majority of the population.

    For those of you who can vote, and if you are getting no personal benefit, speak to your MLAs and tell them to get some stones. A man stealing $100 from a store might get caught & face justice. Those who can’t or won’t account for the missing millions get off without even being charged, and get an expensive lifestyle as their reward. How right is that ? And by your inaction, you share the blame.

  22. Scrooge McDuck says:

    This is like trying to get a straight answer from children. "Who spilled the milk?"  "He did."  "No!! They did!!"

    These types of shenanigans go on with all governments all the time "We thoughtthere was more money. But they took it. And now we don’t know where it is."

    I think I’ve said this before, but the answer to this type of playing around is simple:

    – Before an election is called – A full accounting of government expenditures must be made. And – it must be coherent and up to date.

    And – made public information.

    Then – and only then – can voters make any kind of informed decision.

    Whomever takes over the workings of government does so with full knowledge of the accounts.

    More importantly – the public is party to the exact same information and as stockholders in the future of the country they are entitled to know:

    How much money is there??

    Where is it being used??

    Prove it. Let’s see the numbers.  Oh yes Audited if youplease.

    Why is this so hard to enact?  Because we could do it. Force this issue on existing governments. Or any political party wishing to run for office. Why don’t they ask this question?  Think about it.

    Because it gives them an excuse. For later.

    Why must we put up with this childishness forever?  The job of any government is to handle the finances of the nation. I would say without this information all elections are invalid or exercises in futility for the public. Further if they can’t provide the information to us – what exactly are they doing in these types of positions? It’s our money!!! What have you done with it??  And, as far as this discussion goes – where is approximately 69 million of it?  No childish excuses. Go to your room. You will never be allowed to be the government again. You can’t go out and play with our money.


  23. The Original Anon says:

    Island Accounting 101: If you don’t know where the money is it’s not the same as being lost. Properly audited account? That would imply accountability or something. Afraid that’s not to be found here, oh condescending one.

  24. Lenrick says:

    N am N am da why so many big shots up yah in de Brac lost so much weight.

  25. Anon says:

    This whole mess and the details the auditors reveal about the ministry’s inability to provide simple information (like who the employees are and what their salaries are) just goes to show that although the PMFL may need the modifications it apparently is going to get, the real problem is the abysmal incompetence of the finance staff in the ministry, their chief officer and also the Financial Secretary and Chief Officer of the Finance Portfolio (later, ministry). The other dire aspect of this is the total lack of accountability -they are ALL Caymanians and will NEVER be held to account let alone punished. Can’t be done. Let the poor taxpayers (including many non Caymanians with no security, let alone vote, of course) pay for their disgraceful performance and flouting of the Law.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Realistically. Is the minister in charge of the financial accounting for his portfolio? I thought I just read here a few days ago that the Premier is not responsible for the accounting of his portfolios, but that the responsibility rests with the civil service? Or is it the chief financial officer, or is it the Governor?

    Did the minister during this period of missing records hire the record keepers? Could he have fired them for non performance of their duties?

    Certainly we are in deep problems if politicians are expected to keep track of spending. Winning votes does not convert someone into an accountant.

    So I think we are mostly being unfair here. From some of the postings I got the impression that Chuckie created the mess. But that is not really true is it?

    Seems to me like a lot of political smoke is blowing here. The same kind of smoke that has distracted us in the past , while some new scheme is rammed down our throats…





    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Clifford like any other Minister can indeed demand performance from his/her Chief Officer (and through him/her, other staff). If it is not forthcoming, the matter can be referred to the Deputy Governor for action to remedy the faiure to perform.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, that’ll do it! LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha good luck with going that route. They say that civil servants are like headless nails…….you can get them in but it is not an easy job to get them out !!!

  27. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Unfortunately 17:33 its $69,000,000.00. Not just petty cash. The track record for our elected money spenders has shown incompetence and misuse with records and money matters. Show me how the money was spent and on what. The country has been burned so many times, this is not a clerical error. I will bet you 2 polished queen conch shells we never ever will know where the money went.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie must be reading these comments and watching his political future going up in smoke.

    Chuckie organize a march against wasteful spending and improper accounting, oops, you can’t march against yourself.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Chuckie used to be the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism before he became an MLA? Surely this would have given him particular insight into the workings of the Ministry…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Clifford come clean and let us the people of this country know what happen regardless who has to be taken down because it is unfair to us to continue trying to strive to make a living having salaries cut because of negligence of you all that has taken advantage of us the people enough is enough the the 6 mil that Ritz owes and now this something needs to be done and done fast.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this what the RCIPS have a Financial Crimes Unit for Mr Baines?


  32. Anonymous says:

    Why do we keep dragging the politicians into these stories about financial statements ?

    This is the responsibility of the civil service…..why oh why is the Governor so quiet on these matters. He is the one that is responsible for our civil service !

    Do you all really think that we elect politicians to sit in the Glass House to produce financial statements ??????

  33. Cat says:

    Lol….Just check behind Chucky & McKeeva’s book shelves and I’m sure you’ll find some of it there.

    Further more, I’m still flabergasted by the fact that so much money and time is being spent to drive McKeeva around, when he has his own truck. I mean the whole situation is pathetic. We have a "Primier" and a Governor, both being driven around on a tiny island only 75 square miles in size, with a little over 50,000 people. It’s stupid. We don’t need a primier, and the new budget to go along with it. The leader of Government  Business title was enough I believe. No need for the extra ego booster. I mean you won the election, you’re already in theleader role, be grateful.What ever happened to being humble about your blessings? Do you seriously need a police escort after nearly 25 years or more in Government,a few of those terms as leader, when no one tried to hurt you then,why do you need one now?  When the next election comes around, I would like to know just how much money, was spent in total all due to his new position.

  34. ALL SEEING says:

    Why is everyone jumping on Charles. Let’s see where the stuff lands. Charles is no bad guy and stop making him look like one. Ignorace is so catching.

  35. The spin Cycle says:

    We spent a great deal of time and money to make the reports accurate. While the reports are not accurate we feel the public has a right to know just how inaccurate they are. In the spirit of open and honest government.

  36. MER says:

    WOW!!! Imagine how many jobs could be created and salaries paid with 69 million dollars???

    We have primary children learning in “containers”, rusty school bus floors, torn text books, understaffed, ill-equipped hospitals (especially in Cayman Brac!) but yet we can afford to have LOST 69 MILLION DOLLARS!!!

    Trust me, I would go into cardiac arrest if I lost $69 right now much less!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The money isn’t lost Dufus…..it was spent. This issue here is the lack of proper audited accounts not missing money.

      Lack of knowledge why our people perish ! You all should really understand the issue before you attempt to discuss it.

  37. Billy Hill says:

    New Law:

    Members of the LA who blames another MLA or political partyfor public fiscal mismanagement without sufficient evidence commits an offence and is liable to one year in prison and or $50,000 fine.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Lol…….The PPM and the UDP “joining forces for the right reasons” Lets keep The Chuckster out they say.

    I say we re-elect him “for love of country” !

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm…..why single out Mr. Clifford’s Ministry ? Look at all the others. They are all in the same mess…..many 10 times worse.

    I guess Charles is having too much to say about the dire political situation in Cayman.

    You’re up against big money Mr. Clifford but we the people support you.

    Also I agree with a previous poster. This is an administrative function which civil servants are paid to undertake.

    If we are going to blame former and current politicians for civil servants non-performance then lets take the responsibility for the civil service from the Governor and give it to the politicians so they can hire competent people to carry out important functions like financial reporting and terminate the non-performers.

  40. Michel Lemay says:

    No surprise here. Never your fault “Mr. Chuckie” is it ? No wonder the PPM distanced themselves from you even though you will make it sound like it was you that did first. You had a good mentor prior to you challenging your former Boss and has the courts mentioned using your past position for self Political gain. I only regret your affiliation to the PPM afterwards and I hope and pray a lesson was learned there. It’s hard for me to understand why some still support you sir.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ok Pat……stop neglecting your work and get back to it…….thats enough from you now. You can’t stop the Chuckster !

  42. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie some members of the PPM Executive, ie Alden’s Executive within an Executive, and some UDPers are very busy on the laptops.

    The word is out…….lets use this to stop The Chuckster before he disrupts our party system.

    What a job they have on their hands !

  43. UDP Supporter says:

    At least the UDP can account for how they are spending money. First class air travel, expensive meals, trips for boy toys and girl toys, etc. etc. etc.

  44. Jane C says:

    Perfect photo
    Pretty much says it all

    • Anonymous says:

      Trying to figure out the picture is it showing a 96 or the other way round. Beats me. HeeeeHeeeeHaaaHeee.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Una Remember the length that Chuckie went to , to exposed McKeva when he wanted to win the election: The saying goes, When you did one hole for me, you did another for yourself.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The good old Chuckster trying hard to side step that one…hehehe!!! Story should come in handy around next election time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Another commission of enquiry may be in order. Did these senior civil servants leave with the files?

  47. Anonymous says:

    So tell me again how we have a surplus!  what a joke this government is.


  48. Anonymous says:

    Come on now Charles!!! I am no UDP supporter but it seems you are clutching at straws here. Own up to your mess! All of your points about politicising the CS are valid, but I expect you to not follow the example being set by the UDP and own up to your past failures!

    It almost seems like you are cut from the same cloth ??!

  49. Anonymous says:

    LOVEthe cartoon. very fitting for the article

  50. Better2 B. Pointless says:

    When preparing for "election time" just like preparing for "work permit renewal" time, anyone with proper work ethics and morals would be expected to have accurate and up to date records >>>already on file<<<.

    That’s BEFORE a decision is made – not after the fact! They should have been prepared for either a win or a loss. 

    Perhaps the rush to get previous staff out the door was to prevent them from being tempted or coerced into trying to "cover up tracks" of whatever monies went missing during their tenure (I sure hope the figure of $69 million unaccounted for is grossly inflated)

    Always remember that when you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing right back at you!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Charles Clifford, I believe it was a dark day in Hell when you allowed certain people in the PPM then government to cause you to undermine certain facts.  It has been jumping up to bite you in the face.  I believe the people of Bodden Town would give you another chance, but truly you have to stop being manipulated, and stop fighting with MacKeva Bush  because there is not going to be one man team of UDP or PPM in Bodden Town, there is going to be a colorful bench of seats which will be both UDP PPM and Independent.  You all better bury the hachet now and work together.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Are you suggesting that Chuckie is passing the blame and not taking responsibility for proper accounting while minister of tourism?

    I am shocked.

  53. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     That is approximately $5750.00 unaccounted for by every voter in Cayman. It is the responsibility of the "spenders" to account for the peoples money. Until then we can only assume waste, incompetence and the possibly of fraud can only be assumed. 

  54. Anonymous says:

    Always somebody’s else’s fault..eh Chuckie??

  55. Anonymous says:

    surely when a bag full of money goes missing i wanna see some answers as to hwy and i wanna see this right away!!! Are heads gonna roll this time ?? who is responsible for this missing sum of money and where is it ?? We need education,strong legislation and accounting practices in government or else we’ll keep getting more of this year in year out !!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Sixty nine million unaccounted for and the person responsible is quick to try to pass the Buck. What a mess. Who do the public believe and trust from here on.

    I will certainly be choosing who gets my vote very wisely come the nextelection.

    I certainly hope that the Governor is not going to let this get swept under the carpet as the AG seems to be suggesting.

  57. Jonathan says:

    What in the hell is going on around here? Truly ludicrous and indicative for a complete and utter sweeping clean of the detritus which is the administration of the Cayman Islands. The only bit of humour here is that the perpetraitors of this idiocy seem to have indulged monetarily in the same way of the sexual position “69”. Sorry to be crude but if these people were not so damn useless (or most probably something much more sinister than incompetence) the need would not arise. Accountability is not a joke though and there is a dire need here for heads to roll. 69 million of the country’s coffers gone into thin air, what a blasted joke with a rotten aftertaste. You responsible for this all suck.

  58. Anonymous says:

    “Charles Clifford who was the minister with responsibility during the time said that the issue of financial reporting, before Cayman had a political minister of finance, was an administrative function which the civil service and ultimately the governor was responsible.”

    Man up instead of blaming other people for your incompetencies. Do you think we’re all stupid Mr Clifford?

  59. Anonymous says:

    good old chuckie…. just proving he his just like the rest of them …always trying to blame others and take responsbility for nothing…..

  60. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it interesting how they targeted The Chuckster’s Ministry when all of the other Ministries are in exactly the same position and much worse in several cases.

    Chuckster we know this is Alden’s and McKeeva’s (CG’s) plan to try to discredit you because you dare to challenge the party system that we have adopted in Cayman and challenge their little two party sandbox race. Don’t worry we are paying keen attention.

    We see right through it Chuckster…..have no fear the people are here !!!

    The Governor and Deputy Governor are always happy to remind everyone that the civil service and civil servants are their responsibility so since financial statements and record keeping is the job of the civil servants why aren’t we holding the Governor and Deputy Governor responsible for the failings of their employees ???

    If we want to blame the politicians for the failings of the civil servants then I say give the politicians responsibility for the civil servants so they can fire those that are not performing !!!