FCIA compliance questioned

| 26/11/2012

dart shovels.JPG(CNS): Activists campaigning against the plan to move Grand Cayman’s landfill from George Town to Bodden Town have written open letters to Dart and to Environment Minister Mark Scotland asking how the proposed ForCayman Investment Alliance (FCIA) can be made legally compliant without a public tender process. Since government transposed the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) into law earlier this month, the group opposed to the move has stepped up its campaign against the deal on the basis that they do not believe it can be lawful given the ‘new rules’ that government must follow and the FCO’s move to stop talks on the cruise port facilities deal, which, it said, fell foul of the FFR.

In their letters, the activists state that all major public projects and divestitures of public assets must now be submitted to public tender, and they use the events relating to the George Town cruise berthing project as an example. The UK has said that this project can only proceed subject to public tender. In addition, had the FCO not intervened in the deal between government and China Harbour Engineering Company, it would have been signed behind closed doors, as was revealed by CNS following the admission by the lead negotiator.

The activists say that this shows the importance of the FFR, which also impacts several components of the agreement between Government and DRCL (Dart) because it has not been tendered and involves the swapping of crown land.

“In the interest of an informed public, transparency, good governance and the rule of law,” the activist ask both Dart and the minister how they plan to make the terms of the FCIA agreement legally compliant with the FFR.

“The spirit of the FFR is to ensure our country of good governance of the public finances, fiscal responsibility and best value for money; and that public procurement is undertaken in a transparent and competitive manner,” the Coalition to Keep Bodden Town Dump Free write in their correspondence.

“The FFR is intended to ensure that all major public development projects are done openly and properly – not secretly behind the people’s back — subject to due process and public scrutiny, and in compliance with international best practice on procurement.”

The letter sent by one of the leaders of the group, Alain Beiner, points to comments made by the UK’s OT minister, Mark Simmonds, in his letter to the premier earlier this month in which he tells Premier McKeeva Bush that there are “serious risks” involved where due process is not followed.

“Respecting due process and the spirit of the FFR would help prevent suspicion, conflicts of interest, confrontation with the UK, and potential accusations of corruption,” Beiner states. “Respecting the goals and guidelines of the FFR would help ensure that our country makes the right decisions. As such, not only is compliance of the FCIA deal with the FFR a legal requirement, but it’s clearly in the best interests of our country.”

The group is opposed to the move of the landfill, which they say is being undertaken in the interests of the developer and not in the interests of the public. The coalition is asking government to go back to its original plans and address the dump on site in George Town.

However, Mark Scotland, the environment minister and also the district representative, has said government cannot afford to carry out its original plan to deal with the dump via waste-to-energy and the offer by Dart to cap and remediate the existing dump and start a new landfill in Bodden Town is the only way that the growing problem of Mount Trashmore can get addressed.

Although the For Cayman Alliance deal’s compatibility with the FFR has been raised frequently over the last few months, neither the governor’s office nor the FCO have commented on whether they believe the deal does or does not meet the new requirements of the amended Public Management and Finance Law, which concerns the FFR.

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Category: Politics

Comments (11)

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  1. Coalition For A Dump Free G.T. says:

    The George Town landfill is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. Laws in Cayman are only enforced when convenient. This will turn out to be entirely compliant. Need I go on? Just do it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some folks don’t read or are just plain dishonest.  I carefully read the BT coalition letter to Mr. Mark Scotland and DRCL, and it explains that the proposal to force a dump on BT is now illegal.  I bet that the West Bay Road giveaway is too XXXX

     

    Since the dump proposal hasn’t been withdrawn, the letter demands to know what Government plans to do to make the dump plan legal.  All Caymanians have the right to know! Nowhere does the letter say that the Boddentowners wish the dump plan to be legal. Nowhere do they say that they’d support it if it was compliant.  In many press releases, flyers, talkshows and inteviews, the coalition people have already explained what’s wrong with putting a dump in BT, how it could be a catastrophe for the environment, why the GT dump can and should be fixed where it is and how moving it somewhere else is only good for Dart.  

     

    They’ve done this while the dump proposal “might” have been legal.  Now they’re explaining that on top of everything else it’s illegal. That makes for a whole bunch of good reasons to stop Dart and a dump in BT.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The BT coaliiton is not "wishing" for the Dart dump deal to be compliant.  It's claiming that it has tobe compliant to be legal, and is convinced that it's neither compliant nor in the best interests of our country.  Because any public project is compliant with the FFR does not mean support for that project.  It means that it has to be considered transparently, along with all other reasonable alternatives.

  4. furious-btowner says:

    I'm certain that the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free will never agree to putting the dump in Bodden Town, and I'm convinced that submitting the Dart deal to due process and open tendering, will show that it's in fact not in the interests of Cayman.  But demanding that this senseless plan first be in compliance with the FFR and legal, while in no way endorsing it if compliant, would certainly open the way for considering affordable options to solve the problem where it is.  I believe that the Coalition is simply using all means available to stop Dart, to stop the contamination of a new site, and to opening the door to our country making the right decision.

  5. furious-btowner says:

    If only Government, and our "Environment" Minister Scotland would allow for alternatives to be welcomed, submitted and studied — openly and transparently — there would certainly be a number of very affordable options to consider, including some by local firms which would create jobs as well. Only Dart — desperate to get the GT dump "out of its backyard" — and their loyal servants are in too much of a rush to solve the GT dump problem properly, following due process, according to the law (and the FFR), and in the best interests of our country. Exporting the dump to Midland Acres, contaminating a new site and creating a "Mt. Trashmore East" (which is all Dart's "Phase 1" would do) is no solution at all. Successive governments have shirked their duty of eliminating Mt. Trashmore and properly managing the GT landfill. It's high time Government was forced to do the right thing, and solve the problem where it is. Allowing for all options to be considered, scrutinized by the public, and studied by the Central Tenders Committee, can only help Cayman make the right decisions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    XXXXX now the dump will be stuck in GT forever… Thanks guys. Goodbye tourism.

  7. Anonymous says:

    In the interests of Cayman if you do not have a better plan then just let it be.

    Nothing will get done on this island with all these bloody wannabe somebody activists everywhere you go.

    This place is going to stagnate and go bankrupt with all these lunatics crying foul.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh Dear – this one looks to have been authored by "Wendy"

     

    CNS: Nice try at deflection. The open letters were sent to us in the body of an email. In order to provide our readers with the source of information rather than just our reporting of it, as we do whenever possible, Wendy cut and paste the letters into a Word doc. Please note: this is our site so it is not unusual that Wendy's name appears on a document. You are clearly trying to muddy the issue of Michael Ryan apparently "authoring" the premier's speech about the Ritz Carlton. Troll much?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Scotland read my lips,it is not the only option for Mr. Dart to save Cayman’s landfill issues! Now that the FFR has been signed, we the citizens demand Transparency, and Good Governance! Let’s finally do this the right way and not comtaminate another area because as Mr. Scotland said there is no other choice. He has said in public that the Government does not have any money so it would also be said that this Proposed Master Plan will never be a reality! So don’t let the proposed drawing design fool you because that is all it is, a proposed drawing! Government Can’t afford to fix it in GT and Government can’t afford to complete the Master Proposed Plan in BT but hey Mr. Dart does not want it near his high net worth residents, so let’s move it. And while we are at it, Mr. Dart says let’s also close a section of Westbay Rd. and since Government is so grateful, let’s also allow Mr. Dart 50% of the concessions for his new beach front hotel and any other hotel he will own. Wow, what a deal! You do not have to a financial analyst to know we are being screwed and it looks like the Government is blind to these unfair negotiations! Just to get jobs that pay $ 5.00 an hour! The May elections cannot come soon enough!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has to put environmental practices in place for the dump – wherever it is, and for the long term It's very nice for Dart and GT to have the problem transferred out of sight and out of mind, but a responsible government needs to find the resources to deal with waste disposal properly – preferably on the existing site. The distance in miles is an important reason to keep it near where the trash is created in the largest population center. The price of fuel could rise again. It likely will over the next 25 years. The wrong decision will come back to bite us if we don't take the long view. I, for one, hope to still be here in 25 years.  It seems possible that we could have even less funding in the future. We've seen the acumen of our Premier when it comes to the bargaining table. Is this idea really the best for Cayman?  If we need to do something, lets do the right thing now and not put off the inevitable. Interesting argument on the FCIA. Are there environmental standards imposed by the UK as well? Can we really just put a lined "dump" in the middle of the beautiful Caribbean Sea? The current BT plan is not for "waste management" – it just another "dump" pure and simple. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    So, BT Coalition, if the dart deal is in compliance with the FFR and found to be in the interests of the people of cayman we assume you will then support the agreement? Be careful what you wish for!