Bush applauds CS bosses

| 01/09/2011

(CNS): Although not normally considered an unusual achievement, finance bosses in the public sector were lauded by the premier this week for getting their financial statements to the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) by the 31 August deadline as prescribed in the Public Management and Finance Law. It was, however, unusual as it was the first time since the law was implemented some seven years ago that all of government ministries, portfolios, statutory authorities and companies actually managed to get documentation to the public audit office within two months of the financial year end.

The premier, who is now also the finance minister, stated, “This is a great accomplishment by public servants and it reflects the government’s drive and determination to achieve the expectations of the Law and those of the public. My government congratulates all public servants on this accomplishment.”

Bush said that the “accomplishment” was down to the hard work of chief officers, chief financial officers in central government and the wider public sector, as well as a co-ordination team which was established in June at the end of the financial year.

This was made up of Debra Welcome, the accountant general; Ian Fenton, who is the acting chief officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service; and the director of the budget management unit, Ronnie Dunn. An oversight committee was also established to oversee the coordination team, consisting of Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson and Deputy Financial Secretary Sonia McLaughlin.

However, Alastair Swarbrick, the auditor general, said yesterday that so far his office has not yet been able to examine the submissions closely to see if the 37 entities have all given sufficient information that could be regarded as a proper financial statements. He said he would be updating the public on that as soon as possible.

During his update on Wednesday regarding the current backlog of government's financial statemnts, however, Swarbrick confirmed that government had a goal of completing proper consolidated accounts for the last financial year 2010/11 and would, for the first time since the PMFL was introduced, be accountable to the public about how it actually spent tax payers dollars.

The deadline, according to the law, to produce the Entire Public Sector or ESP document is 31 October, which, Swarbrick said, would be a challenge for government to meet as most of the submissions made to his office to be audited all arrived on 31 August. He said that many are coming from entities that don’t have verified starting balances due to their failure to complete previous years' accounts and government’s effort to produce a proper set of audited accounts by October will be a tall order.

See Swarbrick’s latest report on where government entities are with financial reporting and which government reports, despite being ready, have still not become public documents.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If politician would stop interferring with the jobs of the CS the Cayman Islands would be a much better run islands.  The books would have ALL  been balanced long time ago, immigration would be efficient and law and order would rule supreme.  The problem is not the CS the problem is politicians. 

  2. Shock and Awe says:

    There's so much wrong with this piece of news it's hard to know where to begin. As many people here have said, the people being lauded have been paid to perform the task of keeping accounts, some of them, CFO's in particular, are highly paid.  The Auditor General, like the one before him stated, is also implying that without  the relevant information being included, the accounts will be of no or little value either to him nor to the public.  Blaming the lack of proper accounting since 2004 on previous governments makes no sense either as many of the people are career civil servants and have been there since day one.  In other words there haven't been any accounts provided worth evaluating by either AG up to and including the last fiscal year.  At one point outside help was brought in at additional cost.  And they couldn't help because the record keeping was so dismal.

    The big question is: Without a valid starting point, ie. lack of previous accounting:  how can these accounts now made available through this "hard work" by the same people, be construed as having any value to the AG or the public?

  3. oh ye of little faith says:

    Are they correct though…debits equal credits

  4. Anonymous says:

    And the ethnic cleansing of the civil service continues. 

  5. Ubelievedat says:

    Dear Mr. Swarbrick,

    We all know that the Premier is also the Minister of Finance.  Would you kindly ask him to explain to you, the Financial Statements, their purpose, what each figure represents and what each report means.

    I would greatly appreciate if you would look into this and advise our country on your findings.

    Looking forward to your reponse.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Silly politics aside….there is now for the first time in the country’s history a huge black hole on the countries finances during the period 2005 to 2009. The previous government must take all of the blame for this. Now when the current ministers say they havea 25 million surplus all we hear is silly politics about whether these figures are real or not

    The unaudited financials are the same ones that have always been used to describe the countries situation whether this was in 1998 or in 2003. So why are we questioning the unaudited results now just because we don’t like the current leader of government. We should not personalize issues, let’s look at them objectively and give credit where it is due. By all means criticize and vote the guy out if you think he has screwed up but let’s stop acting like a bunch of ignoramuses in a banana republic when there is an opportunity to discuss issues that are affecting our people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your post is full of "silly politics". Our accounting difficulties are not confined to 2005-2009.

      People are questioning the figures because they know the character involved.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm a civil servant. Ken an' Sonia as we call them did nothing to achieve this.They've been in charge for years with no results so why should they get anything done now. It's the others mentioned that did the work.

  8. cow itch says:

    zzzzz….and this is precisely why cows become ground beef

  9. Anonymous says:

    When CS do their job an do something that Bush can take credit for they are heroes.  When they do their job and it interferes with Bush's ppersonal plans it is now bureaucratic harassment.

    Got to love the Man???? He thinks we don't see through him!

  10. Anonymous says:

    No pleasing some of you people is there? If the headline read "Civil Servants fail to submit Annual Accounts again" it would have been another hellabaloo, now they do buckle down and get it done, and you're still not satisfied, it just speaks volumes about some of the posters on here.

    Some Governments produce annual accounts every year, yes, fine, point taken, but how many of them have the legislation and type of system the Cayman Islands have. Do any of you realize that the Cayman Islands Government financial management system is set at the highest standard in our hemisphere? do any of you even understand financial management? 

    I wish some of you would stop showing up your ignorance and comment constructively and in an informed manner on some of these news stories.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.


      Positive step 1: Start filing financial statements on time. DONE!



      Positive step 2: Start filing auditable financial statements on time. This will take another couple of years.


      Positive prediction: We will get there; however, it will be a slow, frustrating and painful journey.

  11. Strangers in The Night says:

    Bush applauds someone other than himself? Miracles will never cease! For once it seems that he is not being grumpy, vindictive, miserable & complaning about others! WOW! WHATTA WONDER!

    • Sniff, sniff says:

      Don't forget he's currently being nice to the CS – only last week offering them their cut back?  I smell a rat!

  12. Anonymous says:

     Ha ha ha.  Our "heroes" are the same yahoos that caused the problem in the first place.

    "Mmmmmm.   I want your vote.  Smoochy smoochy smoochy."


  13. South Sounder says:

    Why is it that the Premier feels the need to congratulate the Government, for doing what they are paid to do, but usually don't manage?

    First time in 7 years!!!

    In my book, that constitutes gross incompetence, which generally is not something most employers are willing to praise in the real world.

    Get a grip on reality man, you are captain of a top heavy vessel that’s floundering in heavy seas and whose crew are all asleep….WAKE UP, PULL YOUR FINGER OUT AND STOP MESSING ABOUT…you might not have noticed, but they are lazy and inefficient, that is not something you should be rewarding them for, by giving them the 3.5 % increase.

  14. Anonymous says:

    bush should be made do a public reading of the miller shaw report……..

  15. Anonymous says:

    CNS, a number of people worked long and hard to make this happen, wished you wouldn't have poisoned it by associating it with Bush, he had nothing to do with the work done.

    • Anonymous says:

      "A number of people worked long and hard…" – yes to do what they should have done years ago.  "A number of people worked long and hard…"  – how odd! That's what a number of people do in the private sector day in and day out.  Give me a bloody break poster 13:25

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell me something 17:51, do you believe the 6000+ people in the public service all came here from some strange planet in our solar systtem? … and somehow you're special because you have a job in the private sector?

        Let me englighten you, the same taxes you pay, public officers pay them too, the same schools you attend, public officers attended them too, these people are your neighbors, perhaps friends and even family members.

        So get off your holierthan thou soapbox buddy and get a life, if your only claim to fame is that you work for a private organization rather than in public service, you are a sorrowful pathetic excuse for an employee.

        Try to elevate yourself by doing something positive for your community and quit drying to pull others down with your crab mentality you little parasite.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, it is you who should get off your soapbox and get a life. We in the private sector do not need to be praised continually for doing the jobs we get paid for, especially not something we should have done years ago. Strangely, we in the private sector would been dismissed for neglecting our duties in such an appalling fashion.

          On another note, some of us may pay the same taxes as you, yet some of us do not have the same rights as you. Not all of us go to the same schools as you. Some of us are not allowed to put our children in the public school system, even though we pay the same taxes as you. Most importantly, some of us may not run for public office or even vote, even though we pay the same taxes as you. So, please do not come and preach to us about the CS working hard and the lame sh1t about giving them a break. I don’t care who they are – family, friend or neighbor – these people neglected to do their job and accounting to us, the tax payers, what they did with our money.

        • Anonymous says:

          So we should hold you in high esteem for 'eventually' doing what is expected of you?   We should be demanding those taxes back for all the years you FAILED to do what you were PAID to do!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ok then, finally some positive news, congratulations to all those involved.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Smell that? Smells awfully like BULL SH*T!

    Nonsense! It is your job to get this to the AG's office, which you have neglected to do for the past SEVEN years!

  18. Judge Not says:

    With Mckeeva Bush you get the best of both worlds…he does not play by the rules but somehow always manages to get the work done! for all intended purposes this is a promising and good for the country.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Seven years ??????

    By the way, in general within government it are the chiefs that are slowing down the process.

    Work is always done in time, but the chief finds reasons not to publish data. Mostly under pressure of politicians.


  20. Anonymous says:

    cig= one big rats nest of dodgy accounting…..

  21. Anonymous says:

    A great accomplishment??!! What – actually doing the job they are paid to do…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Now children, lets see what can accomplish tomorrow. 

  23. Fred says:

    Bush praises the Bush tribe.  For actually doing its job for the first time in how many years?

    Wow.  Yawn.