Board members to face mandatory training

| 29/04/2013

(CNS): Following the revelation from the minutes for last week's civil service heads' meeting that new MLAs will be offered an orientation programme after the May General Election, the most recent minutes circulated by the deputy governor’s office say that mandatory training of board members is now being considered. According to the minutes for the 15 April meeting, Franz Manderson told his management team that a proposal for mandatory training of members of boards and committees on good governance and applicable laws would be presented to the new government

The deputy governor said that the Portfolio of the Civil Service had facilitated a Handbook for Directors on the subject of public sector good governance and was prepared to offer training when new boards were appointed. He also said that UCCI had expressed an interest in assisting with the training and that a Code of Conduct for new board members was being discussed by the chief officers.

During the latest top level public sector meeting, the senior civil servants discussed government IT and data security. They also examined the latest draft policy on the voluntary severance package for the service to help with the much needed cuts in the government head count.

Martin Ruben, from the Office of the Auditor General, and the audit team presented an overview of a draft performance audit plan for the review of travel and hospitality expenditures in core government. The report is planned to be issued at the end of September and the team said it was looking forward to getting cooperation from government officials during the course of the audit.

The issue of travel expenses and entertainment of local politicians was a thorny issue during the previous administration in the light of the significant amount of travel undertaken by former premier McKeeva Bush and the current premier, Juliana O’Connor Connolly, while she was his deputy.

See minutes released by the deputy governor’s office below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr Manderson as head of the civil service you are obligated to ensure that all civil servants follow the law.  In particular, when senior civil servants fail to follow the law, they should be held accountable in a public manner in order to inform the lower ranks that breaches of the law will not be tolerated. Given all the recent scandals regarding the public service, we need to send a strong message that Cayman is a jurisdiction that follows the rule of law and will prosecute any civil servant in breach to the full extent of the law..

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about the many senior civil servants who don't know the law!! Where is their mandatory training?  Just look at  the many findings in Court against the Cayman Goverment to know how ill informed the senior civil servants are on the law.  Their ignorance is costing us significant sums in orders against us.  Mandatory training with mandatory examinations, administered by an external body, would easily pay for itself by the reduction of adverse court orders.  


    • Anonymous says:

      You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Better choose your horse wisely.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need a Tribunal Law that sets out the clear and transparent manner the rules of procedure and due process that must be followed. It must also link to the anti-corruption law which would make it a criminal offence to breach the tribunal law.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A lack of training is not the problem.


    The lack of moral fibre is the true problem.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn't it be better to appoint people who know what they're doing? If you don't know what it means to be appointed to a board then you're probably not qualified for the position.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lessons number 1

    1. This job is to promote and protect  the interests of Cayman and Caymanians, not my own.

    2. All workings should be transparent and in accordance with best international practice.

    3. My own or friends companies do not "deserve" the work, they have to compete, earn it and perform it.

    4. I do not accept bribes or inducements, and if offered same I inform the Police.

    5. I am a good Caymanian and work in accordance with the 10 commandments, not just paying lip service to same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great start Franz – it is long overdue. beyond a code of conduct, teach boards they have a respo sibility to hold heads of Deapetment and CEOs of Govt owned companies accountable for delivering results, legal compliance and getting the most of the assets or funds provided to them by CIG. Inexperienced, lazy or political loyalists as Board members often take the easy way out and listen to inexperienced, unqualified or self serving heads of department, MDs and CEOs. MDs, CEOs, CFOs and HODs are taking home close to $10,000/month (even the director of Pirates Week makes $8,0000/mo) but don’t contribute to their pension or medical insurance. They have to earn it! These people spend Govt money, create liabilities and don’t do nearly enough to generate revenue….good governance requires boards strong enough to manage Management.

    • Lev Iticus says:

      I am not sure I would mind them having the odd graven image if they were otherwise not corrupt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but all the traing in the world wont help some members. You see the members are worst than the Politicians. Just full of vindictiveness,then most of the time they are controlled by the Politician who put them there. Why do you think that they have all of these followers? My household has four sick adults and a work permit was refused for me. I ended up having to disclose all of my personal business to the board, which I know is not kept confidential, and resubmit in the younger of the fours name.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Manderson is totally on target again.

    It is good to see that our Caymanian Deputy Governor is again demonstrating that he really understands the components that make up "Good Governance"!

    Boards in the Cayman Islands do not function as they should, too many are political instruments to implement the bidding of politicians and big business controllers, it is a way to distribute and administer the "pay-back" system, of both Vote Buying of electors and the Bought Politicians.

    FOI Release after FOI Release shows that conflict of interest is rampant in our Boards; this is corruption at its most blatant level, the criminality of these acts must be enforced.

    Too often Board Members say "I believe we should do this", without reference to the governing laws that govern the decision process under consideration and should govern their decision process.

    By and large Board Members do not know, have not read and have not studied the governing laws under which they operate and which they are appointed to administer.

    Yes Mr. Manderson you are totally correct, Board Members must be made to demonstrate a level of knowledge of their governing laws.  Board meetings need to be more than a social gathering to chat and eat food.

    Board Members too often see their job to "Make the Minister look good" or "To do the bidding of the Minister". Board Members are appointed to administer laws.

    Laws that establish Boards should make it a serious criminal offence to contact a Board Member to discuss business under consideration by the Board, upon conviction with at least a mandatory five (5) year imprisonment and forever banned from holding public office for an MLA or Minister or Senior Civil Servant

    Mr. Manderson, you and other outstanding persons like yourself that give us hope in our Islands future, we believe that you will help to lead us out of the morass of corruption that has entangled our consciousness, we now accept the corrupt “Caymanian way of doing business” as normal.  We are becoming like our corrupt to the core neighbours.

    Given that NO POLITICAL CANDIDATE (subject to correction, speak up candidates) has proposed a general overhaul of the board system, voters question your candidates on their opinions on boards generally:

    1. How well, on a scale of 1 to 10 do they believe the boards operate?
    2. Do they agree or disagree with Mr. Manderson’s proposals?
    3. Do they believe any overall reforms are necessary?
    4. What specific reforms would they propose?
    5. Do they believe that the appointment system to boards being all board appointments are political appointments from Cabinet should be abolished?
    6. If the board appointment system should be revised then, then how?

    Mr. Manderson we wish you success.


  9. St Peter says:

    The first lecture should be :

    "How to determine if your decision is based on your own self-interest, or is in the best interest of the public"…

    • Anonymous says:

      2nd on the list… How to determine whether your idea is fact or fantasy; 3rd basic math (compulsory… before we let you touch our money (your budget); 4th tact, etiquette and diplomacy as a country’s ambassador; 5th how to know when to shut up…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this, I have been shocked by some of the people on a board who seem to have no idea what is involved in legal government procurement. They think it is just like their own businesses and had no idea that anything above $250,000 must be put out to tender! 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Training is great, but they must be held accountable.

    Without accountability the Country will continue to fail.

  12. Anonymous says:

    That is a very good idea. Hopefully the same training will also be made mandatory for civil servants with any decision making authority.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a step in the right direction.


    I just hope that the ego freaks who get elected will actually take the direction. We shall see.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What will happen to all the people given illegal permissions in breach of the law, whether corruptly or not? Do all the boards get to plead ignorance, pretend or otherwise, for the crimes they may have facilitated? This place is going to hell on the coattails of incompetence and corruption – and yet we still pander to it. When will anyone face a consequence for their actions?

  15. Anonymous says:

    What time did the meeting start?

  16. Anonymous says:

    We need a Public Authorities Law to get these various authorities under control and acting in accordance with the highest standards of good governance. Too many of them do just what they like.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:26, a Law reigning in the authorities and committing them to sound governance was drafted some years back but was so unpopular with the bosses of the public authorities (now surely we all know why), the politicians caved in and did nothing. I was informed by a fanily member in the civil service that a copy exists in the office of the auditor general and the Financial Secretary so maybe it should be looked at again.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Training is a good start..but policing and enforcement would save us millions of squandered funds

  18. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    This is loooooong overdue.  A good proposal from Mr. Manderson.  At least he has a clear idea of what public service is about too often the attitude has been "I can make up my own rules!!!  Look at all this money I have to spend!!!  I'm sure I'll think of something to spend it on because it's available.  Besides….who's counting?

    Let's see…. I haven't been to Barcelona.  Or Las Vegas in awhile and I've always wanted a personal chef and driver.  And a fence maybe a bodyguard?  And I know some friends who need their driveways paved."

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would welcome mandatory training of board members…. I would welcome similar mandatory training for all government officials and staff too.