FCO boss admits tensions

| 30/11/2012

hayes.jpg(CNS): The new overseas territories director has admitted that the nature of the relationship between the UK and its territories can be tense as a result of the UK’s obligations and responsibilities. Dr Peter Hayes said, however, that it was important that the differences did not become personal and the parties retained a cool professional attitude so they could work together to face the current challenges common to countries all over the world. He denied that the UK had taken control of Cayman’s purse strings but rather that the Framework for Financial Responsibility was an agreement placing boundaries on finances, leaving the local government free to make decisions within those boundaries.

Hayes said the FFR was an agreement between both the Cayman government and the UK that set the parameters regarding what is and what is not acceptable. “We are not second guessing every decision,” the OT director stated at a press briefing held at the government administration building on Thursday during Hayes' short visit to Cayman.

He added that the UK was not in control of everything that the local government did but they had agreed a framework within which the finances would be controlled.

Now the FFR had been agreed and passed into law, he explained,  the ongoing challenge was to determine what that FFR means in practice. He said discussions about how the local government worked within the FFR would continue as he recognised the balance required to find money to invest in growth and at the same time having to be cautious when faced with limited expenditure.

The Cayman Islands government was still free, he said, to make decisions within the boundaries and had retained local autonomy. Hayes indicated that the FFR was not an austerity measure but an agreement about sound fiscal management and sensible financial decisions that do not cause more austerity.

The OT director said the UK was not opposed to the development of cruise berthing facilities, as he had seen for himself the importance of cruise tourism when he saw five cruise ships that morning in the harbour. However, he said, the UK’s concern was to ensure that if the Cayman government was spending a significant about of money on such a large project that it did not end up regretting its decision years down the line when it was still paying back the costs. The government had to ensure value for money, hence the need to focus on the process.

Hayes took over the top technocrat post at the FCO in October, replacing the former director, Colin Roberts. He is a career diplomat who has served in the Foreign Office for several years and his most recent posting was as the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Hayes' visitwas short as he passed through Cayman after visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands, heading back to the UK for the forthcoming overseas territories meeting in London, now known as the Joint Ministerial Council. Hayes said he would, however, be returning to Cayman for a longer visit in the not too distant future.

Since he arrived in Cayman after the premier had left for London, the two men have not yet met. Before he left on his trip to the UK McKeeva Bush said he regretted that his commitments in London did not permit him to be here for Hayes’ initial visit.

“I nevertheless wish him a successful visit and I look forward to meeting him at the JMC in London,” Bush said.

The premier made it clear recently that he was pleased that Colin Roberts had moved on, indicating that there were tensions between them.  Bush said he was hoping for a better relationship with the new director.

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  1. SANDFLY says:

    I ask  the FCO to go after Mac & Ryan for our $6 million that is owed to the people of the Cayman Islands. The oposition and Governor are silent as Lambs on this issue. We could feed our old and young for a few years. Plea$e get our money back.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I do sincerely hope the UK is charging the Caymans for the cost of this – why should UK taxpayers pay for the costs of administering a place that exists to steal taxes from real countries?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Hayes, the current Premier is not a true representation of what Cayman is all about or what the people in Cayman want, so don't worry if the relationship appears "strained". Our Premier can only have a "relationship" if it is to benefit him. He can't differentiate between personal issues or differences and business issues or difference. To him, it is all personal. So please do not be bullied around and do what you need to do to bring some sort of credibiltiy back to this country.

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      Re: “Our Premier can only have a "relationship" if it is to benefit him.”

      The same is true for the UK, because in Section 31(3) of the “Constitution” which reads: “…the Governor shall endeavour to promote good governance and to act in the best interests of the Cayman Islands so far as such interests are consistent with the interests of the United Kingdom."
      • Anonymous says:

        "Consistent with " in this context means "not against". What the hell else do you expect – a constitution that states you can f@&# over the UK and its interests whenever you feel like it but still ask its help and advice when it suits? 

        • Dennie Warren Jr. says:
          Thanks for supplying us with the only meaning of the word “consistent”. 
          The answer to your question is, no absolutely not.  However, I do expect the UK to live up to its UN obligations instead of misleading the UN in the hopes of prematurely getting out of those obligations.  
          For example, Article 73b reads in part: “Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories [(colonies)] whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government [(political, economic… independence)] recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories…
          Sad isn't it?
  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the tight grip on the reins guys, we need to keep Mac in check before he pulls us all down the drain with him. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Since the Cayman Islands cannot borrow, can the UK kindly re-imburse the country for Operation Tempura and resulting expenditure?  Thank you.

    • Anynomous says:

      16:58 and do not leave out the )ne million we idiots gave her during the Faulkland war.  "We want it back"

  6. Anonymous says:

    "…important that the differences did not become personal and the parties retained a cool professional attitude…"


    Hmmmmm, I am thinking that McKeeva will have a lot of difficulty with this suggestion.

  7. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Yes, it's hard to catch up with the Premier. He's a door-knocker. Take that bejeezus pen away from him!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dr Peter Hayes, you may not realize it butwhat you are saying is too late.  The Cayman people are taking it personal as to what the UK is doing to us.   It is time you let your children ago when they want to run their own lives.  Stop dictating to Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Be careful what you ask for.


        An independent Cayman dollar will soon be trading at $0.02 against the US dollar.


        And remember, the economic life boats on the good ship Cayman are only for first class passangers and that the captain will definitely not go down with his ship.

        • Anonymous says:

          Jamaica is now independent. An exactly what is their dollar worth now?


          Cayman, be careful for what you ask for.

          • Anonymous says:

            22:37  Wht should Jamaican worry about the Jamaican Dollar.  They are beenefiting from ours Hahahahah. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank God 11:43, when this happens then and only then will we have our country back.  Then all the expatriates will have to find another Island to fleece.  Cant wait for the 00.02 against the US Dollar.   Be careful what you wish for  11:43, it may cost you an airline ticket to timbucktoo.

  8. Anonymous says:

    BigMac keeps waiting for personnel changes at the FCO with the hopes that his relaltionship with them will improve. I don't think that it will happen, but it's obvious that Big Mac is the one who needs to make changes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The FFR is not the take over document by the UK that some people want us to believe that it is.  It is only there for our own protection when it comes to spending and it gives the UK more oversight into the type of contracts that the government enters into. we check and balances of the country's money and the way that it is being spent.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It seems at this time that BUSH would be happy if everyone moved on.  Everyone that has insisted he follow the rules and proper process that is.  Come May next year, we all hope he moves on too.

    • Anonymous says:

      …if not before.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it would be good if Mr. Bush moved on.


      However, I am deathly afraid of the equally incompetent fools who will follow.


      Will a new generation of ethical, competent, and educated Caymanians step up? I pray that they do. I know that they exist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ten thumbs up for this one! Past elections have shown that we will be no better off with another career politician eager to say anything to get in power, who then does EXACTLY the same thing. The only time these guys are truthful is when they are slinging mud at each other. There is no shortage of material for their finger-pointing – but dont' mistake their being right about how corrupt the other guy is, for being any better themselves! New faces Please!

        • Anonymous says:

          15:51  I am just patiently waiting for next election.  I am going to enjoy a big laugh.  Every one wants the UDP out of office.  Well what a fun time it is going to be with the bunch of new heads and old timers stumbling over each other in the house.  I dont want to miss this for the world.  The best of it is to see what the expatriates will do.  All those who are inciting hate against the Premier.  What a surprise the other parties is going to give you all.  Aint no use of calling for Bush, he will be relaxing under the stars stress free.