FOI boss tells DoT to reveal performers’ fees

| 23/04/2013

643804-money-in-a-straw-hat.jpg(CNS): Efforts by government to keep secret how much was paid to performers for particular events hosted by the Department of Tourism have been thwarted by the information commissioner in her 29th decision. Jennifer Dilbert has ruled that the amount artists are paid and the total cost of promotional events paid for by the public purse are not exempt under the law and has ordered the department to disclose the fees paid to artists, which were redacted in a partial release to an FOI request.

Dilbert states in her ruling that the public interest arguments in favour of disclosure were very strong because all the redacted information pertains to government expenditure and DoT’s accountability in respect of compensating performing artists fairly and equitably.

Having found that the government agency needed to reveal the information, the commissioner also points to concerns she had about the quality of the department’s record keeping and what the DoT gave to the applicant in response to the request.

“I am concerned as to the accuracy of those records provided,” Dilbert writes in her decision. “It is often the case that requests are answered by a public authority in the form of a simple spreadsheet or summary of information derived from more complex source records.”

She points out that the FOI Law explicitly grants the right to access all records, which mean that applicants have the right to request the original or existing records on which any summary was based.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We already know how much it cost to send Swanky Kitchen on that ill-planned DOT trip to Panama, and only weeks before the Panama CAL route was to be terminated anyway.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct 14.18, and how much did we end up paying the MLA Clowns who accompanied them??…their performances acting as politicians were outstanding, Oscar deserving in fact. If only they could be real politicians in real life.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go Jennifer! You deserve a medal in fact several.

    Wouldn't it be extraordinary if some of these musicians HAD been radically overpaid, and would it not been even more extraordinary if those who'd been overpaid were constituents in West Bay. But no, I couldn't be … too much a departure from the norm.



    • Anonymous says:

      I will continue to say that it is very unfair that only one selected band gets to go on these trips. We have several good musicans and bands in Cayman, and dont forget the Brac. We have people such as Raymond one of the best musicans in the Cayman Islands, Mr Arlen Tatum that nothing from Nashville can touch and then Burmon Scott and JR from Grand Cayman, even the North Side Kitchen Band. Then when Govt are having functions there seems to be just a selected few who do the foods. We have good cooks and they should be hunted out for functions. I also understand that it happens in Cayman Brac as well with the catering.

      • Anonymous says:

        we ALL demands to be on the gravy train!

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell you what – you do what you is told by certain politicians and ther is no end to the money you and your family can get for pet projects

      • Anonymass says:

        'hunted out' is the crux of the matter. I could go 'hunt out' someone who might or might not do a good job or I can hire the person with a proven track record. (Unless you have a problem with the product, in which case don't hire them again I agree.) – Also, note the musical style. Other than North Side Kitchen Band do any of the others present a 'unique' 'Caymanian' product, or could I get something 'similar enough' from anywhere else from Trinidad to Nashville?