Archive for February, 2013

PPM ready for GT fight

PPM ready for GT fight

| 28/02/2013 | 104 Comments

alno_0.jpg(CNS): The Progressives have formally confirmed their six candidates for what is expected to be a major battleground in the May General Election in the capital. At a George Town party meeting Wednesday night the candidates were elected by the party membership after an 11th hour nomination was put forward for a seventh potential candidate. Frank Cornwall was nominated and added to the ballot but in the end the six candidates who had previously been nominated by George Town members were all elected by a majority. Delighted with the final team, Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said the party was now ready to win all six of the George Town seats.

McLaughlin, Kurt Tibbetts, Lucille Seymour, Kenneth Bryan, Marco Archer and Joey Hew were all confirmed for the capital’s ballot by the party’s GT membership. The opposition leader said the party mechanisms had worked and allowed the opportunity for the candidates to be elected in a democratic process.

However, McLaughlin said that now the team that he will be leading in the capital was confirmed, the hard work would begin. Confident that the Progressives will take George Town but with as many as 30 candidates across four parties or groups, as well as numerous independents, the vote in George Town was bound to be widely split, he said.

“It is going to be something of a wild ride,” the opposition leader told CNS Thursday. “I am increasingly confident of the Progressives' ability to win as we are the only party or group that has confirmed a full six seats in George Town and a national slate of candidates and are numerically capable of forming a viable government. Despite concerns about parties, which have been brought about as a result of the way the UDP has operated over the last four years, sensible people know we need a team in government.”

He added that the Progressives were not only a cohesive group big enough to form a government without having to horse trade, it was the only party, team or group that has already sat down around the table and hammered out policies and programmes and has a shared common philosophy and vision with the experience and capability to implement those policies. “The uncertainty of a disparate group which would be forced to cobble together a government is not something voters want,” he added.

“I don’t say that you can’t run a government without parties but you can’t run anything without a team,” he said. “It requires ten people to form a government in Cayman and whoever forms that government will be bound by collective responsibility.”

Ironically, the people advocating for independents would not operate their business that way as people expect their employees to support company policy, he noted. “A team means that its members are already working together to achieve a common objective. The reality is you have good, bad and different kinds of parties,” he added. McLaughlin said the Coalition for Cayman (C4C) was essentially a type of party but their leadership was a discrete small group of people and voters could not see the behind-the-scenes machinery.

He admitted that parties had to have leadership but in a democratic party it is the party members who decide those leaders and the membership contributes to policy formation in a number of ways.

“When we have major policy issues we discuss and debate them with the national council until we reach a consensus. Once we make policy, the executive is delegated to carry it out,” the Progressives leader said about the way that the PPM does business. “If a policy doesn’t get approval of fit with the philosophical roots of the party, then it won’t work and trying to impose it will see people leave. That’s how the system works.”

The backlash against party politics was based on the erroneous position that all parties are bad because of the UDP, the PPM leader stated. “People have wrongly concluding that once someone joins a political party they all become robots. That’s not true. Why is it that all over the world the political system operates through political parties in a democracy?” he asked rhetorically. “There is good reason as there has to be organisation and mechanism to deliver on political promises, which independents can’t do.

“The UDP is the best example of a bad party as it has really been a support system for a dictator and I never been able to figure out how one is a majority of nine, as no matter what he wanted he got," said McLaughlin.

Nevertheless, in the end some of them realized that they did have the power when they sided with the opposition’s no confidence motion, he noted.

The PPM leader said he did not fear the resurgence of the UDP in the capital and their possible full slate of six candidates and he believed if it were a straight fight between them, the PPM would romp home. However, the opposition leader recognised that with the five Coalition for Cayman candidates who have declared, plus the interim government's expected candidates, as well as the various independents, the number of people running in George Town will split the vote. He warned that in those circumstances no one gets what they want.

With six seats up for grabs and some 7,500 people able to cast six votes, the race was going to be an interesting one but he said he believed the people in the capital would back the PPM as the party enjoyed considerable support. At Monday’s meeting at the Seafarers Hall, he said, it was standing room only as the PPM base in the capital is growing again as the election approaches.

McLaughlin said he believes the Progressives have struck the right balance between political veterans and novices and different types of skills and experience in the team.

“It is the most able team that I see anyone putting out there,” the leader said. “There is often confusion about what being a good representative is really about. Being a successful businessman or a good lawyer or accountant isn’t the only qualification. The most important quality of a representative is compassion. You must care about your people. You need ability, but compassion is critical.”

Being a success in business or in his own legal profession does not necessarily convert to being a successful MLA, he said, adding that while there are several lawyers in the Progressives team, himself included, they are not there just because they are lawyers but because they care about what the people need.

“It is not all about sitting around boardroom tables making decisions,” McLaughlin explained in relation to work in government. “A major part of the job is looking after the interests of your constituents and making the difficult decisions that will help all of your constituents.”

During the meetingMonday the Progressives in George Town nominated the party executive. Anton Duckworth was not seeking nomination as chair this time and Pat Estwick was nominated for that post. Barbara Connolly was nominated as general secretary and Vanessa Godfrey-Banks as treasurer. They will all go forward to be elected at the party conference on 23 March alongside any other district nominees.

With the Bodden Town district slate already confirmed and the Deputy PPM Leader Moses Kirkconnell expected to retain his seat in the Sister Islands, the remaining team members to be nominated are in West Bay, which will be confirmed on 7 March, when the party will reveal its fourth man for the district likely to still be the hardest battleground of all for the Progressives.

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Pigs Trotters Grounded by the Storm

Pigs Trotters Grounded by the Storm

| 28/02/2013 | 0 Comments

aacupw5b (317x400)_0.jpg(CRFU): Round 5 of the Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy did not disappoint as a win for the Century 21 Cayman Storm in the regular season sees that team get their season off to a late start and a big win for the Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers sees them surge into first place in the league standings with only 1 round of games left to decide who will lift the league Trophy for 2013. The 2pm fixture (23 February) between the Cayman Storm and the Queensgate Pigs Trotters saw the Pigs Trotters, still badly bruised from their encounter with the Buccaneers the weekend previous fielding a new look back line with Christopher Haines filling in at 10 for the injured Marco duPlessis.  Photo — Caroline Deegan

The Cayman Storm were also welcoming back many of their 2nd row and back row players who had been lacking in their heavy losses to the Buccaneers and the John Doak Architecture Iguanas.

Buoyed by their fuller squad the Storm took the lead with lock Hugh Williams crashing over the line in what is becoming a trademark swallow dive from only 5 yards out. The Storm extended their lead to 10-0 when Michael Sumares covered the majority of the field in a solo effort to add 5 more points to his teams tally. The Pigs, who had previously this season defeated the Cayman Storm 18-35 managed to get into gear when sending James Waters in for 5 points before throwing all but the kitchen sink at the Storm in the closing moments in search of the win. It wasn’t to be for the Trotters but the lossby less than 7 points saw the Pigs earn what may be an invaluable losing bonus point.

The 2nd encounter of the day between the Iguanas and the Buccaneers saw the Iguanas coming out of the blocks early and looking likely to take control of the game from the outset but the Buccaneers absorbed the pressure well as the Iguanas looked for an early try instead of slotting opportunities for points with the boot. The cooler Buccaneer heads however slotted 6 points from the boot of John Murphy to ease nerves and earn a 6-0 lead going into half time.

The Iguanas then suffered the loss of Shaun Hardcastle and Chris Bunce both going off the field with head injuries leaving a hole at fly half to be filled by Ollie Collins and the mounting pressure and fatigue on the Iguana forwards meant the Buccaneers slowly but surely found their way to the try line and never looked back as 4 Buccaneer forwards including Mick Kehoe, Saviri Tabuniwera, Shaun Gerrard and Stefan Prior bullied their way past the Iguana pack to score and ring in a resounding 30-0 win over the Buccaneers.

The bonus point win for the Buccaneers sees that team take a 2 point lead over the Iguanas in the league table and a win over the Cayman Storm in week 6 will see the Buccaneers raise the league trophy for the first time in 5 seasons. However should the Cayman Storm continue on from their win over the Pigs Trotters with an upset against the Buccaneers then the 4pm Fixture between the Iguanas and the Pigs Trotters may well decide who will win the league.

Next games:2 March 2013
2pm Advance Fire & Plumbing Buccaneers (Home) vs. DHL Cayman Storm (Away)
4pm Queensgate Pigs Trotters (Home) vs. John Doak Architecture Iguanas (Away)Follow Cayman Rugby on Facebook and Twitter @caymanrugby

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Woman dies several hours after single car crash

Woman dies several hours after single car crash

| 28/02/2013 | 10 Comments

(CNS): A 42-year-old woman from West Bay died in the early hours of this morning over four hours after she was involved in a car crash on Mount Pleasant Road last night. The woman was driving a 2001 Toyota Rav4 unaccompanied from the direction of Capt. Reginald Parsons Drive towards the Caribbean Bakery and Grocery. As she approached a slight right hand bend in the vicinity of Pleasant View Apartments, the vehicle veered off the road and collided with the pole at the left side of the bend. The driver was coherent at the scene when the police and medics arrived, but she subsequently died in the early hours of Thursday morning at the George Town hospital.

It is not clear if the woman’s injuries were the cause of her death. Police said that officers on the scene of the accident had noticed that the woman had a laceration to her right foot and only superficial wounds to her face. Other sources said there was little significant damage either to the light pole or the car.

Officers from the RCIPS are continuing the investigation into the crash and anyone with information is asked to contact the investigating officer PC 330 Donovan Chong at 927-1685.

A spokesperson for the police said, “The RCIPS would like to offer to the family of the deceased their deepest sympathy in this time of bereavement.”

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Mac rejects election observers

Mac rejects election observers

| 28/02/2013 | 90 Comments

_DEW9466(1).jpg(CNS): The former premier has revealed his intention to file a private member’s motion in the country’s parliament calling on MLAs to reject the FCO’s request for election observers at Cayman’s general election in May as he says it is part of the UK’s efforts to undermine the country. However, it is not likely to pass as neither the opposition nor the independent members in the House are willing to support the UDP leader’s position. And while the minority government has reserved final judgement, given certain conditions, the Cabinet has already offered its tacit support for the international observers.

Speaking at a UDP public meeting in Bodden Town Tuesday, McKeeva Bush said that observers only go to countries where election problems exist, which was not the case here and this was all about the UK wanting to embarrass Cayman.

However, Alden McLaughlin, the opposition leader, said that the sole reason why the UK had requested that observers come to cover the local elections was because of the former premier’s behaviour in office and the allegations of corruption. The PPM leader said he was disappointed that it had come to this but it was entirely as a consequence of Bush’s poor governance record. He said it was a “bitter irony” that the man who is responsible for the UK asking Cayman to have observers present at the general election would be the one filing a motion to ask the legislatures to reject their request.

“I am disappointed that it has come to this but it is been done because of all the allegations of corruption and the poor governance in Cayman over the last four years,” he said about the UK’s official request. “It is Bush’s conduct that has brought the UK to this point and we must recognise that this is the consequence of poor governance.”

McLaughlin said that, given the circumstances, he had to accept the need for the observers and the PPM members in the House would not support Bush’s motion.

Despite the concerns that this is the case, when he revealed his intention to file the private member's motion Bush made no mention of his own legal difficulties and the allegations of corruption made against him by the authorities. He said the request was designed to embarrass the country and the people should say ‘No’.

The issue was announced at last week’s government press briefing, when the current premier read a letter from the OT minister in London, Mark Simmonds. The correspondence confirmed details of the meeting between the UK and the Cayman in January, when a Cabinet delegation went to London to try and repair the relationship with the mother country after the public spat between Bush and the FCO before he was ousted from power.

The government said it was not opposed in principle to agreeing to the request to allow international observers at the poll, given certain caveats, not least the need to make sure the elections law allowed for it and that it was clear that the independent observers were just that and were not here because of any indications of suspicion, given what happened in December.

Premier Juliana O’Connor -Connolly said government was examining the request but she was inclined to believe that in the end the decision would be in the hands of the supervisor of elections and not local politicians.

However, the supervisor could be persuaded by the position of the incumbents ahead of the poll. Given that the new premier appears to be trying to maintain a much more cordial relationship with the FCO during the few months that she will hold the reins of power until the election, she and her colleagues are unlikely to give Bush’s motion support.

Her deputy, Rolston Anglin, seemed to see the request as acceptable and said observers are now often present during the elections of major democracies and no longer go only to places that are having their first free elections or where there are suspicions of corruption.

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller told CNS that he felt it would ensure everything was above board.  “I support the UK observers for the election. If we have nothing to hide, why not have the observers?” he asked. “And as an additional benefit they may make others think twice about breaking or skirting the anti-corruption provisions of the election law.”

With the current Cabinet already expressing some support for the idea, the PPM blaming Bush for the need in the first place and the independent member for North Side fully in support, it is doubtful that Bush and his three UDP members would sway the election supervisor.

There is considerable support for the observers among the new candidates who will be running for the first time.

Wayne Panton one of the PPM’s new candidates said the PPM’s first timers were, in principle, in favour. “Whether there are specific concerns or not, we do not see a basis for any reasonable objection to having observers and we feel that our election officials shouldfacilitate this,” he said.

There was support too from the C4C candidates in George Town. Winston Connolly said that in maintaining good governance and transparency, election observers provide an additional safeguard in the process of fair and free elections. 

“I await acceptance of the observers by our government and hope that all candidates, officials and the public will work together to ensure that the Cayman Islands is above reproach in our 2013 electoral process,” he added.

His colleague Roy McTaggart agreed, telling CNS that he had no objections to the UK sending election observers. “Cayman has a strong reputation of conducting fair elections and I have every confidence that this election will be no different,” he said.

Jackee Haynes, also running on the C4C platform in the capital, said she too wanted to see the observers welcomed here. “I am in favour of having election observers,” she said. “I believe the upcoming election to be one of historical importance for the future of these islands and I am in favour of ensuring that the process is conducted at the highest levels of good governance, transparency and accountability.”

Meanwhile, Dwene Ebanks, who will be going it alone in Bush’s district, said he was also in favour for a number of reasons. “Officially we have recorded past elections as fair in process. This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate this,” he said, adding that it could be an opportunity to settle long held suspicions. “We have all heard the stories, particularly in my home district West Bay, that calls this process into question and this is an opportunity to put this to bed,” he added.

election cheating.jpgWhile Cayman has enjoyed years of free and fair elections with the count in particular being above suspicion, snags regarding in appropriate influence in the otherwise clean record appeared in George Town in 2009, when UDP party officials were seen handing out small cards to voters before they went into the polling stations with the names and numbers of the four UDP candidates running in the district, which is strictly forbidden on election day. (See CNS report here)

There have also been persistent accusations of vote buying running up to the elections for decades, but the actual vote and count have not been in question. The supervisor of elections, Kearney Gomez, has been commended on many occasions for his exemplary record and has been part of teams assisting other countries to improve their own systems.

Nevertheless, independent observers are becoming increasingly common at many elections, including staunch democracies such as the UK itself, France and even the US, undermining the premier’s position that they only go to country’s suspected to have problems.

No particular reasons were given over why for the first time the UK has asked for observers to be welcomed in Cayman but in a letter to the current premier Mark Simmonds, the overseas territories minister, said it was simply good practice for mature democracies. Recently other Overseas Territories, including the British Virgin Islands as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, have had foreign observers watch over their elections, although Bermuda recently rejected UK observers during its election.

Rejecting the idea of observers, Bush said Cayman had nothing to hide but the request would give a negative impression of the islands. Ironically, he entirely avoided mentioning his current legal difficulties and his arrest before Christmas on suspicion of a number of offences, including ones relating to corruption. He has said on a number of occasions that the allegations are false and all part of a major UK conspiracy to remove him from power.

Bush, who is due to answer police bail again later next month, was removed from the top job by his party colleagues shortly after the arrest, when five of the former UDP government members voted with the opposition and the independent candidates in favour of a no confidence motion in the  Legislative Assembly filed by opposition leader, Alden McLaughlin. The UDP government then fell, but the opposition leader and both the representatives from the eastern districts agreed to support a quorum for the former UDP members to hold office until the parliament is dissolved ahead of Nomination Day next month.

Despite his problems, Bush has come out fighting and denied all the allegations, saying they are nothing more than trumped up charges of which he will be completely exonerated. He has, however, said publicly on a number of occasions that he expects the police will charge him with something before Election Day.

Related article on CNS:

UK wants CI election watched

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FCO ignores dump protestors

FCO ignores dump protestors

| 27/02/2013 | 56 Comments

yard-sign-1 (240x300)_0.jpg(CNS): Activists protesting the proposal to relocate Grand Cayman’s landfill from the capital to the eastern district of Bodden Town have been ignored by the overseas territories minister so they are taking their complaint to the Foreign Affairs Committee. The group wrote to the FCO's minister, Mark Simmonds, in November about the Cayman government’s proposal to enter into a deal with Dart to move the landfill, but they have not even received a letter of acknowledgment. Leaders of the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free have launched an appeal to the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) asking for its urgent intervention.

The activists believe that the UK is being inconsistent regarding its position on good governance and the rule of law in the Cayman Islands and the leaders of the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free are asking the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), which is a bi-partisan non-government parliamentary committee, to examine the situation in relation to the Dart deal and how it relates to the UK government’s own insistence on good governance and the recent adoption of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) into local legislation.

“Both the Governor and Foreign & Commonwealth Office seem selective in ensuring good governance in the Cayman Islands and appear to be applying a double standard in the enforcement of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) – the very law which they themselves recently forced on the Cayman Islands Government (CIG)”, said Charles Clifford, a Coalition leader and former Minister of Environment.  “The FFR requirement for transparency and due process clearly applies, not just to the proposed cruise berthing facilities, but to all major public projects and divestitures of significant public assets.”

The UK government recently forced the former UDP administration to stop negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company over the cruise port development in George Town until the process had been properly tendered. However, the governor here and the UK appear not to have any concerns about the elements of the ForCayman Investment Alliance deal, even though the project has not gone through the usual process. The coalition has suggested that the  FCO’s reluctance to apply the rule of law to the agreement, and in particular to Dart’s proposed deal to move the George Town (GT) dump to the Midland Acres site, suggests the FFR does not apply to the rich and powerful.           

Alain Beiner, chairman of the Bodden Town Coalition, said it was scandalous that the UK appears to consider Dart and any project it promotes to be above the law. Both the governor and the FCO have stated that because a “swap” of assets is involved in the dump deal, the provisions of the FFR may not apply. Beiner said the unambiguous rejection of the Dart proposal by the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) in December 2010 illustrates the point that Simmonds was making to McKeeva Bush in November last year when he warned of the risks of not following the proper procurement processes.

While the CTC had rated the Dart dump proposal as the worst of all tenders considered, expressing concern about the environmental impact during a proper tendering process, Beiner was puzzled why Simmonds was now choosing to ignore the CTC’s deliberations and recommendations.

His coalition colleague Gregg Anderson said the divestiture of crown land or public assets, whether sold, “swapped” or even given away, should be done through an open tendering process to establish the true value. “How else can the people know if our government is not trading gold for onions, particularly since many here feel that the ‘swap’ and the dump deal only benefit Dart?” askedAnderson.

Coalition leaders are convinced that the reluctance to ensure good governance and the rule of law in Cayman mirrors recent events in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where the governor and the FCO failed in their responsibilities. But the leaders are concerned that the sums of money involved in questionable public projects and divestitures in Cayman could outstrip the alleged criminal transactions in the TCI exposed after the intervention of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Far more serious than anything uncovered in the TCI, the contingent liability from Dart’s dump deal is staggering in terms of potential material, health and environmental damage,” Anderson added.

Midland Acres resident Arlene Whittaker, another coalition leader, said the FFR requires that major public projects such as the proposed dump move are subject to due process to secure best value for money and to allow all local firms the opportunity of bidding. 

“Minister Simmonds, while insisting that the FFR be transposed into law, made clear to then Premier McKeeva Bush that his primary concerns were transparency and good governance,” she said. “Why is he not insisting that the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) be allowed to do what it recommended before being muzzled by the Bush government – to identify the best waste management solution for Grand Cayman, and if indeed a new landfill site – in an area zoned for residential/agriculture use — must be contaminated?”

Clifford added that the Coalition was hoping for an urgent response from the FAC because the people of Cayman were counting on its involvement to help ensure a similar degree of good governance and the rule of law as the people in the UK.

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Prison officers find drugs at jail perimeter

Prison officers find drugs at jail perimeter

| 27/02/2013 | 11 Comments

Packages-Northward (1) (300x288).jpg(CNS): As local authorities faces mounting criticisms over the amount of drugs in the prison and their failure to control the prevalent use of ganja by inmates, over two pounds of it was found by prison guards on Tuesday. Officials said that ‘vegetable matter resembling ganja” (pictured left) as well as two cell-phones were discovered on the perimeter of HM Prison Northward yesterday (Tuesday, 26 February). The items were found before 8am by officers conducting inspections of the exterior perimeter of the prison. This, officials said, was before the time when some prisoners are allowed out to work around the prison perimeter and farm.

The suspected drugs were handed over to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for further investigations.

The revelations come in the wake of a report by the UK’s prison inspectorate that described the use of ganja in the prison as high with many prisoners using illegal drugs regularly, with a positive test rate of 28%. However, the inspectors said the prison took no action to prevent the ingress of drugs.

Related article on CNS:

Prison failing to control drugs

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Police arrest suspect in local white collar crime

Police arrest suspect in local white collar crime

| 27/02/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have confirmed that a 57-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of fraud related offences. An RCIPS spokesperson said that he was arrested during an early morning operation carried out by detectives from the Financial Crime Unit and was released on bail after being interviewed by police as enquiries continue. The suspect is believed to be a foreign national employed by a local law firm and is accused of misappropriating close to US$200,000.

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Board ‘shoots messenger’

Board ‘shoots messenger’

| 27/02/2013 | 71 Comments

airport sign.jpg(CNS): Despite the obvious issues at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, the board of directors has issued a statement condemning the leaking of the details of the internal audit and taking aim at the MLA who was given the evidence of mismanagement of public funds. Rather than referring any of the issues to the police or explaining to the public what is being done to address financial mismanagement issues, the board said it had commissioned another review of the board’s audit by an independent firm and accused Ezzard Miller of electioneering with the leaked documents. Miller hit back saying shooting the messenger was not going to address the problems at the airport.

“The Board is dismayed and disappointed that the audit issues and report have been leaked to the media, clandestinely or illegally,” the board chair said in the statement released on Tuesday following the revelations last week about mismanagement issues at the airport and the suspension of the airport CEO. “The Board maintains that there should be irreconcilable differences of emphasis between the dissemination of gossip material and confidential institutional reports that may have consequential and direct personal effect on individuals.”

However, Miller pointed out that taking aim at him as the conduit of the information when it was quite clear the board was sitting on this situation was unfair to both the public and the CEO. “Never mind criticising me for exposing the report, the authority should be dealing with misuse of public money that has occurred under its watch,” Miller added.

Richard Arch, the chairman of the CIAA Board, claimed that the board had to face the economic and financial position with realism and the members were not allowing themselves to be carried away by the “quite understandable desire to court electoral popularity”, as they took aim at Miller, who was the recipient of the leaked report and bundle of supporting evidence. “Our management and our functions must be above politics," he said on the board's behalf.

However, other sources suggest the issue has a very political source and the board members themselves have been criticised for their own potential conflicts because of some members' business interests being connected to the airport. The source of the leak is unknown but the audit and subsequent report that was carried out by one of the board members, who is a qualified accountant, was leaked anonymously to the North Side MLA, who passed the documents to CNS. The board said the findings were comprehensive and professional.

“We profoundly believe that the efficiency and the productivity of the Authority must be first and paramount and must not give way to political expediency. The Board cannot obtain or maintain those goals where confidential reports are leaked to the media before proper and satisfactory actions upon them are taken,” the chair said. “The reward for the public should be what we are trying to accomplish and not what is expedient to get elected to political office.”

Having engaged an independent firm to review the findings of the audit and report, the board said that when that was complete it would then make a decision on the issues and share the decision with the public.

“It would seem that in this country, at this time, one cannot trust the privacy of conversation and communication. That augers ill for the democratic future of our country and makes the inevitability of a suppressive state possible,” the board stated, again criticising the exposure rather than the issues at hand, which involves the abuse of public money and unresolved cases of theft of some $100,000, among other issues. It admitted in the statement, however, that the board is legally responsible for overseeing the effective performance of the authority and claimed that this was what it is doing in a “meticulous and sober manner”.

A pre-condition of his appointment as chairman in 2011, Arch said, was that the ministry undertook a forensic audit of the CIAA. But the board complained that from the date of Arch’s appointment to June 2012 communications from the board about the audit were unanswered by the ministry, which was under the former premier’s portfolio at the time. As a result, Arch initiated the audit in the face of what were said to be on-going concerns focusing on expenses of the authority to ensure they were compliant with its policies, public service laws and regulations.

He said that after receiving the results at an extraordinary meeting, the financial controller was dismissed and the chief executive officer, Jeremy Jackson, was suspended with full pay. “At Jackson’s request the Board agreed that these pending matters would remain confidential,” the board said.

See full statement below.

Related article on CNS:

Airport boss report leak

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Cayman’s junior CARIFTA team selected

Cayman’s junior CARIFTA team selected

| 27/02/2013 | 0 Comments

Lara Butler 200M Fly for Gold (299x300).jpg(CIASA): The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association has announced the Junior Swimming Team which will travel to Kingston, Jamaica March 29-April 4 to compete in the XXVII 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships. Eligible swimmers from Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) and Stingray Swim Club (SSC) have been training hard and with the final qualifying meet – the Pete Ribbins Memorial Consolidated Water Meet which ended on Sunday February 24th – behind them, the task before the CIASA Representative Team Committee and CARIFTA coaching staff was not an easy one.

Ian Armiger, Technical Director said “ This year we deliberately ‘raised the bar’ in terms of Qualifying Standards and it was pleasing to see the swimmers respond so well, reset their goals and achieve the tougher Qualifying Times.” He added: “CARIFTA is a development opportunity for our swimmers but it’s also important that we look to make an impact at the competition and project a positive image for Cayman Swimming. With this team we undoubtedly have swimmers who can achieve lifetime bests, make finals and be on the podium…it’s exciting.”

Swimmers who will be representing the Cayman Islands at the XXV 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships are:
– Girls 11-12: Ella Plunkett (SSC); Stefanie Boothe (SSC), Kavanagh Lambert (CBAC),
Sarah Jackson (SSC) and Samantha Bailey (SSC)
– Boys 11-12: Matthew Somerville (CBAC), Samuel Burnstein (CBAC); Eddie Weber
(CBAC); and Alex Dakers (SSC).
– Girls 13-14: Catriona MacRae (SSC), Isabella Tognazzo (CBAC), Lauren Hew
(CBAC); Ashley Theaker (SSC); and Katie Klein (SSC).
– Boys 13-14: Cole Morgan (SSC)
– Girls 15-17: Coral Tomascik (CBAC),
– Boys 15-17: Geoffrey Butler (SSC), Kyle Fraser (SSC),

Ed Weber, CIASA Director and Chairman of the Representative Team Committee (The Representative Team Committee – RTC – is a sub-committee of CIASA which deals with matters relating to the representation of the Cayman Islands at international aquatic competitions) was delighted with the news.

“Selection of this year’s squad has been a truly collaborative effort, with the RTC, Coaches Katie Lambert and Andy Copley, and our Technical Director, Ian Armiger working very effectively together. It is a pleasure for us to identify these hardworking, committed athletes as those who will represent the Cayman Islands and Cayman Swimming at the XXVII CARIFTA championships. We wish them the best in their endeavors and hope for great success.”

With a potential maximum team size of 32 swimmers the Cayman Islands will be sending 18 swimmers this year – all of whom worked tirelessly to achieve elevated qualifying times in order to be eligible for selection to the Representative Team this year.

“I would like to congratulate all of our swimmers,” said Minister of Sport, Mark Scotland. “Swimming requires incredible commitment, discipline and focus … and many early hours at the pool. I want to acknowledge the fortitude of these young athletes and to thank their parents for the support and often referenced ‘swim taxi service’ which they provide. On behalf of the Ministry of Sports and the Cayman Islands Government we wish you all success in Jamaica.”

The CARIFTA Team travelling to Jamaica will include Coaches Katie Lambert and Andy Copley; Team Managers Sandy Hew and Jeffrey Wight; and Technical Director Ian Armiger.


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Annual Irish jog comes of age and turns 21

Annual Irish jog comes of age and turns 21

| 27/02/2013 | 0 Comments

Irish Jog Celebrates 21st Birthday (262x300).jpg(CNS): The 21st annual St. Patrick's Day 5K Irish Jog has been set for Friday, 15 March  at 5:30 p.m. at Grand Cayman Beach Suites. The Jog, co-sponsored by Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Limited and Grand Cayman Beach Suites is a  fun run/walk, attracting hundreds of local and overseas participants from the serious runners to the walkers pushing baby strollers. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the jog which has become a Caymanian tradition. All proceeds raised from the event each year are donated to a local charity in support of worthy causes such as the arts, sports, health, community and education. The entry fee is just CI $10 per person (US $12.50) and this year proceeds will go to the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.

Participants will receive a t-shirt and have the chance to win several fabulous spot prizes awarded on a draw basis. Prizes include sunset sails, dinners for two and spa services. And as always there will be free hats, face stickers, wigs and other fun wear for everyone. Complimentary refreshments will be available after the event.

Registration takes place Monday, 11th through Tuesday, 12th March at Butterfield House on Fort Street from 9am – 4pm. On  Wednesday, 13th through Thursday, 14th March at Britannia golf course, Grand Cayman Beach Suites from 9am – 4pm and on JOG DAY Friday, March 15th at Britannia golf course, Grand Cayman Beach Suites from 9am – 5:15pm. For further information or to receive an entry form, please or call Rebecca Ebanks at 815-7797.

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