‘Gasboy’ still being abused

| 05/06/2012

alastair2.jpg(CNS): Full story — Government has done very little to mitigate the risk of abuse of its fuel card system, Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick has found in his latest report, despite the revelations in 2010 by his office about the potential loss of some $500,000 per year to the public purse. In the latest report on the GASBOY fuel card system, published Tuesday morning, many of the problems first identified by the internal audit unit and exposed by the former auditor general have not been addressed. Swarbrick said that although the five agencies included in the first audit have made progress, the recent examination of a further twelve government entities has found many of the same failures and mismanagement.

He said he had found 97 gas cards still assigned to ex-employees within ten of the departments audited, some 65 cards assigned to employees who have no business need to have them and 28 employees with more than one fuel card issued in their name.

“I am disappointed that appropriate action has not been taken across government in the last two years to develop better practices for the distribution of fuel,” said Swarbrick. “The opportunity for abuse of the system is still a significant risk today.”

The report found that the overall control of the environment has not improved, leaving the system vulnerable to abuse and fraud.

However, Swarbrick did point to some significant improvements in the first five agencies reviewed in the original report. These entities were the highest consumers of fuel and most had acted onthe recommendations of the previous auditor general, Dan Duguay, by addressing the surplus cards in circulation, documenting policies and procedures for fuel management and improving controls.

According to the work of the internal unit, the police, the Public Works Department, the Water Authority and the National Roads Authority all made efforts to address the problem. However, despite frequent requests for information, the Department of Environment Health failed to respond and the audit office was unable to establish if any measures had been implemented to stop the abuse, Swarbrick said.

The DoEH is the largest consumer of fuel of any government agency and although the department did not cooperate with the auditor general, according to its spending figures, since the last report it had reduced its fuel consumption by over $11,000. Between January 2008 and March 2009 the DoEH spent $48,714 on fuel, but between July 2009 and June 2010 that had dropped to $37,554.

The latest report shows that across government fuel spending has fallen by over $475,000. Although this was close to the figure which was estimated to be the amount being lost as a result of abuse and mismanagement in the original report, Swarbrick said the fall could also be as a result of other issues, such as fluctuating fuel costs as well as better controls by the top five users.

But Swarbrick pointed out that the same problems remained among the other agencies which were not previously assessed, even though many of themare in the same ministry as those in the original audit. Swarbrick said it was disappointing that the recommendations had been ignored by other government entities despite the widespread knowledge in the ministries of the recommendations.

“It is clear no one took responsibility in the rest of government to implement the recommendations,” Swarbrick said as he added that government had a duty to prevent abuse of public funds. “Action wasn’t taken across government, so there is still a significant risk.”

However, he said he was encouraged that the deputy governor has now made a commitment to take the lead on the issue and tasked all chief officers to implement the recommendations ahead of the introduction of a new system of fuel management expected to be in place by the end of next month.

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Comments (92)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Name, shame and put them in jail, where they belong! Stealing is stealing!

    • Anonymous says:

      Gotta catch them first, and it's not going to be easy cause dey have gas, my friend.

  2. Grateful Civil Servant says:

    I'm a civil servant who has been given a gas card. Not once have I ever abused the process of fueling up my government vehicle, never have I 'loaned' it to someone to fuel up their personal vehicle, I have never given someone my secret pin number for it – I have only ever used it for my government business and my daily duties serving my country. I should also add that I'm incredibly grateful for my CINICO privliges and show my thanks by putting on my uniform and doing my bit everyday. Not all civil servant are evil, wicked thieves.

  3. Anon says:

    Where I live almost all public authorities (and that includes police and the ambulance service) stopped using centralised fuel supply depots years ago because the cost and inconvenience outweighed any savings.

     As far as I can determine they now operate two options –

    1. A card system that uses selected filling stations. The card is for the vehicle and the transaction is monitored on CCTV with a civilian version of ANPR checking the licence plate details. In fact that system could have easily been installed at the fuel depot on Grand Cayman and linked to a database of official vehicles to prevent unauthorised use when the problems were first identified.

    2. Staff have to pay for fuel and recover the costs by producing a receipt along with a valid, itemised expenses claim.

    The other move most public authorities have made to cut costs is restricting the use of official vehicles to official business. I know in the Cayman Islands many official vehicles are regarded by their drivers as 24/7 transport and used extensively (exclusively?) in lieu of their own vehicles.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The facts for 6.6.12, 09:48

    List of the four worst offenders with employee demographics:

    DOEH $11,160.00 increase. Employs 97 Caymanians & 32 Non-Caymanians.

    NRA $11,216.00 increase. Employs 107 Caymanians & 7 Non-Caymanians.

    WA $5,023.00 increase. Employs 123 Caymanians & 18 Non-Caymanians.

    PW $2,658.00 increase. Employs 108 Caymanians & 25 Non-Caymanians.

    That's a total of 435 Caymanians & 82 Non-Caymanians employed in the four worst offending departments, which means there's a 5:1 chance that an offender is Caymanian. That's not racism, it's statistics.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apologies —  for each department the word "increase" should read "decrease" otherwise the message is the same. 

  5. Paying for the waste n tired of it! says:

    Does the lack of a signed release regarding the allowed usage of the card mean the thieves get a pass?

    Really!!?? Do we need to inform people beforehand that taking what is not theirs is wrong?

    Is that what we’ve come to?

    Should A.L. Thompson’s be required to have a waiver for hammers saying don’t hit yourself in the head.

    Common sense is dead in Cayman, honour and honesty have been long buries.

    I cannot see how this is not blatant theft. And, similarly, do not understand hey the offenders are not being prosecuted. And those who allowed this shamed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some people just don't have a conscience!! A thief is a thief and I hope all those thieves will be forced to pay Government back and they may have many sleepless nights. Are they entering the Church doors now?? May GOD have mercy on them on JUDGEMENT DAY!!  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Country of christian thieves with no pride?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just further proof that in Grand Cayman laws are more like guidlines for "others" to follow.  You can't change culture without education.  Caymanian government has no intention of changing anything as long as they are in charge.  When the UK takes over a lot of Caymanians will then need to take responsibility for themselves. 

  9. Bethinking says:

    What a waste of government monies. Give every Tom, Dick and Harry or Sally a gas card and what would you expect to happen.

    Abolish the old system and create a new system that simply has a log book for each government owned vehicle and the gas cards get signed out on a need to use basis.

    Create something, anything that has some semblance of a check and balance. Quit wasting money and fire the rats that abused the system.  A little forensic accounting would ferrot out the thiefs quickly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Now I understand why there was no pressure on government to reduce fuel duty

  11. Anonymous says:

    I know for certain one person that was given a gasboy card as an added 'perk' she happily fills up her personal vehicle for her personal business.  In her mind she is doing nothing wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is very sad, that people don't even able to understand the difference between theft and a perk. What do they teach them every Sunday in churches?

    • Anonymous says:

      is she cute?

      • Anonymous says:

        She sure sounds cute to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        She isnt cute, but she has a VERY CLOSE relationship with the director and I mean VERY CLOSE    No one else in the department has been given a card except her.

        • in the know says:

          Not only does she have a very unusal relationship with the director she has even swayed hiring policies to make sure her 'friends' have been hired on to the department. I have also seen her at the gov fuel depot fueling her private vehicle without a care in the world. The director offers her perks to help cook the books in both of their favors. You can't make this s&*t up people.

    • in the know says:

      I'm pretty sure I work with that certain woman… She is over paid, under worked and think she deserves every cent. The corruption in my department is rampant and out of control

    • Anonymous says:

      Entitlement mentality, right?  This person obviously has no appreciation that she's stealing from her friends and neibours; or she does but she doesn't give a shit.  Either way she should be taken to task.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, the higher your position the higher your entitlement is the mentality most definitely.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry to have to say this: The truth is the overal life ethic of the majority of Caymanian civil servants is one of entitlement, provoked by the self-worth undermining policy of positive discrimination. If you're one of the civil servants stealing gas fianced by the public purse, and you honestly feel you're entitled to take it; that it's a perk of the job, YOU'VE LOST YOUR WAY IN LIFE.  Your life ethic is f*#*ed up and you need to take stock of your flawed ideology of what does and does not constitute theft.

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen Mr. Racist. The story reads Government workers/Civil servants – that includes foreign workers – with gas cards.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very few foreigners have these cards 9:48. It's all part of the "perks for us born Caymanians" scenario. Foreigners are excluded from these by Caymanian managers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let's wait and see who gets taken to task.  With 73% of the civil service being Caymanians, the odd are clear!

    • What's that sound? says:

      That's a frightening indictment. Unfortunately it's true politicians have been using "poor poor Caymanian" to be able to get into office so often that many folks believe it. Therefore in their minds once they get on the CIG gravy train whatever they can get away with is ok….it's their country therefore it must also be their money. It also makes it pretty clear there is no solution when politicians can be elected not through a democratic process but through a rewards system vote for me….I'll hire more civil servants. You might be the lucky winner next time!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Bring prosecutions.  It's the only way to stamp out this cronyism.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that the Attorney General’s Dept (1 card) and the Juducial Dept (5 cards) have availed themselves of this service. Do you think they’d care to explain who holds those cards and who benefited?

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course they won’t! All they’ll do is accuse us of undermining confidence in the administration of justice.

  15. Panem et circenses says:

    Anyone noticed how the department which has failed to implement even one of the recommendations from the first review is also the one that has by far and away the largest expendiure on fuel per card in issue – over 4 times the typical amount spent by other departments. 

    • Anonymous says:

      They do have to fill up the massive thirsty rubbish trucks, so hardly surprising

  16. Anonymous says:

    Robery at Government gas station. Oh sorry it was carried out by Goverment employees so that’s Ok!!!!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like somebody's collecting wotes again.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I dont think it will be miuch longer before the British will put thier foot down, and rightfully so.

  19. Anonymous says:

    There is no excuse for this type of ongoing theft, but it is almost understandable given that civil servants see the abuse of our country by politicians only concerned with self-enrichment, politicians who continue their plunder with apparent impunity.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is not our way!

  21. Anonymous says:

    It's the dangling of a carrot in front of a Mule. Free fuel is just too good an opportunity to pass up, by all concerned from the management, bosses & all the other participants in the scheme. A free gallon of petrol stolen from your employer is worth 2 gallons you would buy at the pump, it is just GOLDEN. The big SUV, the 2nd pick-up truck and ma's car..all running on free fuel. While we are at it , lets get a card for the kids car & possibly one of their friends too.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Why are the young people called "thugs" by the Commissioner of Police, but the gas thieves get away with their theft.

    Do not wonder why we have gangs.

  23. JoyForLife says:

    Whoever has these cards needs to start a gas station "Gasboy Petrol Station" and sell the gas for like $2 a gallon. Consider it government subsidized gas. Good for them for stealing from the Government. That's the Cayman way!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Anybody know where I can pick me up one a dem gasboy cards?

  25. Uncivil Servant says:

    In lieu of a salary increment, the last of which I received 15 years ago, you damn right I taking the gas.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an uncivil liar, uncivil servant. You have received several salary "uplifts" and COLAs (cost of living allowances) in the last 15 years. Stop your damned nonsense, we are tired of you moaning civil servants with your platinum plated pension and medical benefits. And on top of that you guys are never fired no matter how useless you are.

      • Anonymous says:

        You do mean "your platinum plated (under-funded) pension and (basic) medical benefits" dont you?

        • Anonymous says:

          Despite the pension fund being underfunded, civil servants will always get their pensions even if it comes out of general revenue. And whoever said the medical cover is "basic"?. Sure, you have to use the HSA which civil servants hate, but once approved, CINICO pays virtually everything a civil servant incurs as a cost, even when they are sent overseas. And by the way, how many people in the private sector with private health insurance cover have an "extended sick leave" provision which provides six months sick leave on full pay followed by six months on half pay if you get a serious illness like cancer, stroke, heart attack etc.. That sounds like a wonderful "basic" health benefit to me. Any other private sector worker like to comment if they have such a benefit in their insurance scheme?

          • Anonymous says:

            If the private sector benefits are so bad, and Govt workers got it so good, why are you still in private sector?

            • Anonymous says:

              Because, 9:12, I value working for and with people who have excellent work attitudes and I enjoy the highly professional environment in which I am allowed to demonstrate my worth as an employee.

      • Sticks and stones may break my bones says:

        “Platinum plated pension and medical benefits”? Surely you jest. As a result of gross incompetence we will likely never see a penny of that pension money. Laughed at when one shows their CINICO card in the real world. That’s your idea of a platinum package? Give it a go hotshot, can’t wait to hear how it works out for you.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, I do not jest. You obviously are totally ignorantabout the true worth of your medical cover under CINICO and the PSML ("give it a go hotshot" and see what you learn) and are only obsessed by the fact that you have to use the Hospital and can't flash your CINICO card  like a credit card………or a Gasboy card.

        • SKEPTICAL says:

          Well get a real job then – but understand that you may have to prove that your work input really justifies your salary.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is sooooo sad and the ROOT cause of all our problems entitlement, mediocrity and no work ethic!

    • Anonymous says:

      "…you damn right I taking the gas?" 

       

      I am surprised on so many levels that you actually have a job.

  26. Agree says:

    Bring back the Custos.  We cannot govern ourselves.  Spoied little children now taught is okay to "steal"?

    Fire every single gas card holder. (theives)

  27. Anonymous says:

    "Thou shalt not steal"

     

    Hmmmmm, I thought that Cayman was a Christian culture.

  28. Theft?? says:

    Hellooooooo?   This is theft pure and simple.  ARREST SOMEONE!

    If you are not authorized to use this gas in the course of your job, you are STEALING!

    Entitlement?  I say BS….The same people who are crowding into church on Sunday are filling their gas tanks on Monday?  

  29. Anonymous says:

    "Shocked????"

     

    You are very naive.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is infuriating!!!  Why must we tolerate living amonst fraudsters and theives?  I implore someone to call 911 and report a robbery being committed at right now at the Government Fueling station.  In fact we should all call 911 for this, for Paved Driveway-Gate, XXXX and for whatever the $%!@ else you and I are all fed up with within the Cayman Islands and continue to do so until people are brought to justice once and for all.

  31. Bling man says:

    Some dictator use da same tactics bout 70 year ago.in europe.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Think Rollie is going to have to up those fines on pensions (again) to pay for this one…

    Pure incompetence!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Who was the Chief Officer back in 2010 and what did they do (or didnt do) to put proper procedures in place?

    • Anonymous says:

      14;27, our old friend Mr Gomez was chief officer but he was probably too busy monitoring the situation of paving driveways and parking lots in Cayman Brac.

  34. Anonymous says:

    AGs office – please continue the work following up on these issues — and Caymanian public call your MLAs: we have a bad habit of being upset for a moment then getting sidetracked with a new controvery and never following thru on the first thing, so nothing gets done. This is a simple straightforward issue that can be resolved if the civil service take simple steps: its a no-brainer so execution should not be a problem — lets keep on them to do better than this.  Next blasted thing they coming with more frigging cost increases again to cover their financial mismanagent…DO BETTER WITH WHAT YOU GETTING NOW CUZ MONEY DONT GROW ON BLASTED TREES and Im sick of paying you to do do foolishness!

  35. Naya Boy says:

    Like the RCIPS when they refused to dismantle, remove, fire, dismiss the same element that keeps causing the same problems with corruption because they belong to a certain political clique or the old boy network and they rehire and promote them to even more powerful position. What do you honestly expect Cayman? Its is a Conspiracy, a conspiracy and a program against honesty and integrity and we the people who pay bills. The revelations and publishing of the details is merely to make us numb and simply accept it as reality. What's that old say "da how it go Bwoy"!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable! Or is it?

    Who's going to be held accountable? Anyone?

     

    • Beachboi says:

      Good question, but has anyone ever been held accountable for anything where the situation has anything to do with a government department??  This is outright theft and since they can identify the people misusing the system they should be arrested, charged and made to pay back every cent that they have stolen.  Then maybe someone will demand the person/s in charge be held accountable.

  37. Far Canal says:

    Disgraceful, but somewhat hardly surprising.

  38. Libertarian says:

    It's like filling a bucket with water that leaks. So much talk about retention of revenues, yet so little word about change.  

  39. Another Anon says:

    Why am I not surprised? Another great day in paradise.

  40. Anonymous says:

    It is interesting to note that the Radio Cayman (owner = Government) 12 noon news item on this very same story had a completely different spin on it and made it seem as if Government had saved nearly $500,000 on fuel costs since the last report. It did aknowledge that some improvements in control still needed to be made but made it sound that satisfactory progress in this area had been registered.

    • dont sell your hair to a wig shop says:

      propaganda on the airwaves.

      • Anonymous says:

        NOT PROPAGANDS – LIES, LIES AND MORE DAM GOVERNMENT LIES.

        Thanks again Mr. Dan Dougay, you alone started this exposure of wastful and down right crooked loss of tax payers money.   Too bad for us the UK Government did not like the work you did and would not renew your contract.

        Mr. Swarbric please continue your good work.

        The crooks will try as they will to disredit your work but we know that you are doing a good job.

      • Anonymous says:

        'my radio station'…. quote from mckevva bush….

        shame on everybody associated with 'talk today'

  41. Anonymous says:

    The coruption on our island is reaching the point where we soon we be just like all the rest of the Caribbean. Not worth living at. Very depressing and definately not worth investing.

    • Beachboi says:

      I am Caymanian, not that it should matter, but I for one cannot wait until the UK Government takes over and kicks all of these thieves out of office and starts from scratch.  I recall the article in the Compass when Governor Taylor arrived and McKeever welcomed him but said in but a few words "you are the Governor, but what McKeeva says goes"!!!  He hadnt even made it off the tarmac and King Mac had already laid down the "law"!

      • Anonymous says:

        It has to be done, those who have lived here a long time know about the friends of friends.

        Friends in immigration who help pass permits, stamp passports and waive fees.

        Friends who can help at vehicle services so you do not have to comply with anything to get your car passed.

        Friends at the airport who let you pass without paying duty on your purchases, stamp you passport for nice long stayovers or dont notice the lack of paperwork to let you in

        Friends who let you bring in enough dynamite to remove East End without the right paperwork, among many other items that fly under the radar.

        Friends who steal gas

        Friends who pave your private property

        Friends that pay your churches large sums of money

        Friends that get the building contracts

        Ahh the list goes on and on my friends, some of the above is probably not what pisses you off the most about the corrupt prctices in this country that defy its size and that fact alone is frightening. We cant survive like this.

        All run by a gowerment, past and most notably, the present, who figure out ways to nickel and dime the majority. It is a disgusting state of affairs and it gets worse by the week

  42. Anonymous says:

    Not one person punished.  No funds recovered.  Up to $500,000 per year stolen right under the eyes of those who are responsible.  How is this expected to change?  Answer: its not.  According to the CIG its working just as it was always intended to.  Its not gas its intitlement which makes all things legal (or at the very least non enforceable) on the island of Cayman.

  43. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for the cayman islands civil service…….

  44. Anonymous says:

    You would think at the VERY least, employees would sign agreements.  The report though states, "None of the ten agencies required fuel card holders to sign a fuel card usage agreement".

    If  they need help, I can have one by this afternoon for them in a Word Document!

  45. SKEPTICAL says:

    If the person(s) who are responsible for “managing” this facility, continue to allow people no longer, or, never, entitled to access to the fuel supply, surely they are personally complicit in corrupt, or indeed criminal practices.

  46. Anonymous says:

    The government and civil service LIKE the situation the way it is and are not going to change until someone is arrested.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable.  Even if the initial abuse was just gross incompetence, allowing the looting to continue after being told about it is deliberate. The civil service is wilfully permitting staff to steal public money. I am shocked.