Travel policy planned for CIG

| 15/07/2013

(CNS): The government is planning to introduce a travel policy that will cover overseas trips for public servants as well as members of the Legislative Assembly. As a result of the controversies surrounding the travel bill racked up by the previous administration, since taking office more than eight weeks ago, ministers in the new administration, as well as civil servants, who have been travelling on government business have been flying economy or paying for their own upgrades. According to the deputy governor’s minutes of the most recent chief officers' meeting, once it is confirmed, the new policy, which will require justification for any travelling, will be made public.

In the minutes released by the governor’s office from the 10 June meeting, the civil service heads discussed the new policy, which is designed to implement service-wide standards for assessing whether travel is required, as well as managing expenditure on travel across the public sector.

“The policy will include a travel rate sheet which outlines the per diem amounts for travel and includes the need for a Business Case requiring the Department to justify any need to travel in order to effectively achieve their business objective, as opposed to using a travel alternative,” the minutes state. The policy will also set the class of travel that civil servants can access when travelling overseas.

With government struggling to balance the budget and the tax-payer picking up the ever-growing operational expenses of the CIG, the extravagant travel bills of some ministers in the last administration were a major source of contention for voters. A number of FOI requests by CNS and other media houses over the last four years revealed a significant amount of money was spent on trips that were, in some cases, far from vital to the business of government.

Having criticised the previous administration over the sums involved, Alden McLaughlin led by example when he took up the position of premier and was required to travel to the UK at the invitation of the UK prime minister. Taking the smallest delegation possible to London to deal with public finances and lastmonth’s pre-G8 meeting, the public purse only paid for economy-plus tickets on the British Airways flight.

On his short trip to Miami last week to meet with the cruise lines and the cruise association, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell also travelled economy and did so again this weekend when he and Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden flew to Bermuda for the 2013 NatWest Island Games.

As well as supporting the 112 athletes attending from Cayman, the two mnisters are hoping to pick up some ideas to help boost the government’s plans for sports tourism, which is already taking shape with the advent of the CONCACAF U-15 football tournament next month. Kirkconnell said, in justification of the trip, that in addition to being able to support Cayman’s athletes, the games provided an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about sports tourism working in a small island nation.

“Sports tourism can offer many opportunities, especially for island nations, to improve their tourism product. We will be seeing how Bermuda is using this opportunity,” he said adding that the goal is for Cayman to host the Island Games sometime in the future.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see the governor setting a good example (and harkening back to the past) by rowing himself to George Town. Good man.

  2. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Ok fine, but make sure our Ju Ju flys first class.

  3. anonymous says:

    Thank you Jesus for this Government. All the pigs that were at the trough will now have to learn to survive like normal people. Keep filling the loop holes of the constitution. Thank you also for bringing Honour and respect to the Premier's office. 

  4. Chris says:

    Introduction of a travel policy is good news. 


    Any plans for a policy to eliminate double dipping by mla's and civil servants?

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn't hold my breath for that one. McKeeva and Kurt have been at the trough for years!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well they earned it so stop the complaining. You are just jealous and wouldn't say a peep if you had earned your so called double dipping. Such sour grapes!

        • Anonymous says:

          19.55,  for goodness' sake, so according to you an individual can contribute to a pension scheme as an MLA, then start drawing down on the pension they have "earned" whilst continuing to work as an MLA and drawing a salary?

          This is beyond lunacy.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly is wrong with double dipping? It's perfectly legal with no fraud or deception involved. It is simply two sources of EARNED income.

      • SSM345 says:

        So if nothing is "wrong" with it according to you 14:02, why is it only afforded to MLA's and not EVERYONE who contributes monthly to their pension just like they do every month?

        • Anonymous says:

          Anyone can double dip. All you have to do is retire, collect your pensionand get yourself rehired again (yes, even as an MLA) and Bingo!

      • Anonymous says:

        Double dipping there are we mr lowlife?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, 15:55, I am not double dipping and your calling me "lowlife" was uncalled for and speaks volumes about you.

      • Anonymous says:

        It may be legal but that doesn't make it morally or ethically correct.  It should be ILLEGAL.  Last time I checked pensions were for drawing after you had retired and no longer had a source of income.

        • Anonymous says:

          What would be your grounds (the principle behind) for making it illegal? If I retire and collect a pension and also collect a second income from, say, the dividends on stocks and shares would that be "morally and ethically" incorrect?

      • Anonymous says:

        "Double Dipping" refers to the questionable practice of receiving pension payouts whilst still being gainfully employed i.e. with another salary beinbg earned every month. it is wrong because by doing so the individual depletes the amount of money in the pension fund available to generate the funds needed to provide for future pensioners' monthly pension payouts, thereby lessening them. Pensions are (obviously) supposed to be for persons who have retired and are dependent on a pension payout every month for food, clothing and shelter. Double-dipping  is a moral matter, so I suppose we have to question the morality of those who engage in it, including in particular those elected to represent us and presumably set an example.

        • Anonymous says:

          But if you collect your pension and don't take another job you are STILL depleting the pension fund!!!! Your argument makes no sense on those grounds.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well I guess this administration wants to kill any kind of overseas business to be made because if they think people are going on overseas business trips in coach then no one will want to go and bring back business.Those trips can be very tiring and people with families sacrifice enough. Then again these people also think you can do business by fax and Skype.  Praying for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is plain to see who is a sore UDP LOSER.  TRY GET OVER IT PLEASE!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Those trips can be very tiring"? Come off it, mate, and pull the other one, it's got bells on it. Any whimp who is not prepared to travel like the rest of us has no business representing Cayman as they clearly quite fancy themselves and their "position" in life. What a joke. Not on my tax-dollar, thank you very much. If you "can't stand" coach then go ahead and pay for your own upgrade!

    • SSM345 says:

      "Then again these people also think you can do business by fax and Skype"

      21:43, do you live in a cave? You do realise its the year 2013? Who the f**k uses fax machines nowadays? Business happens, whether through in person meetings, over the phone, by email, and guess what Skype. Clearly you are not in business because you don't use these methods to conduct it.

      Trips are tiring? Perhaps, if all you do is travel across the world to different timezones consistently throughout the year and get nowwherre with these so called "potential business meetings". I would be tired and dejected too I imagine.

      Perhaps they could try bringing "potential business" here, it mght be easier to sell on a beautiful island, with our "products" to be seen first hand and not by some babbling idiot on the other side of the world?

      Travelling first class and bringing back no business each and every time while we all foot the bill is unacceptable. If they want to double dip, they can pay for all the extras out their own pocket, after all that is what everyone else has to do.

      There has clearly been other agendas on the trips , and that needs to stop, end of story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and leaving your wife and children for months on end was also undoubtably "quite tiring" for the Caymanian men who went to sea, also the Caymanian women who were left to raise their children and run the households singlehandedly, I suppose they also found it all "quite tiring". Poor you for being so terribly quite tired in coach. Hey, let's all have a whip round and get you an upgrade. Would that make you feel any better you martyr you?

  6. Anonymous says:

    So far, the new government seems to be spending our money much wiser than the previous.    I am daring to hope that this new shift will carry forth throughout their administration.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Witnesses on both of the kx flights saw them in business class.  Something is wrong here.  Has the deception begun already?

    CNS: The tourism minister and his councillor were upgraded by CAL. The public purse paid only for economy tickets.

    • Anonymous says:

      If there is no one in business class CAL would upgrade them for free so that would not cost anything to CIG! Stop talking $hit that you know nothing about!!!

    • NHB says:

      Ever heard of a upgrade, if economy tickets were bought and empty business seats were avaiable you would assume as a compliment they would be upgraded, stop nitpicking, grow up and lets move on with rebuilding our country

    • Anonymous says:

      But the public purse subsidises CAL!! Enormously! They should not have accepted. It's all about perception.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely it is better for the politicians to decline the CAL offer of an upgrade and to either have individuals willing to pay extra sit in business class or offer upgrades to other passengers who might view the upgrade as a reason to use CAL again instead of the other carriers. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah…I suppose that business class had extra seats anyway….come on people stop being such tightwads either way this didn't cost the public anything additional.

        • Anonymous says:

          It probably cost CAL some goodwill.  I don't fly CAL now because I know they will upgrade politicos and cronies.

    • Anonymous says:

      But the public purse pays for CAL!!! Hello people!

      • Anonymous says:

        Did it really make any difference to CAL's bottom line whether they sat in business class or a couple of rows back in economy if the business class seats were empty?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing that says they can't travel in business class and if you actually bother to read the article again, it does make mention of them paying for their own upgrades.

      It happens a lot in most companies you will find. The Company will pay for an economy seat and one either upgrades using their personal milage or pays the difference.

      Give the guys a break, They have to travel and at least this time round they are trying.

      • Anonymous says:

        The article is referring to a PLANNED policy.  The poster is referring to an event last week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well isn't that nice?  Do you think CAL would do that for anyone?  It would have been a very nice gesture if the politician's accepted the upgrade and then gave it away to someone elderly or disabled.  Its a one hour flight for crying out loud.  They dont need to be in business class.

    • Anonymous says:

      ..but the public purse subsidizes Cayman Airways. They should not be "giving away" business class seats to Government Ministers. It is neither commercially or ethically correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the same bunch of village idiots will come here to complain when CAL's isn't profitable complaining that it has to be subsidized with tax payer funding.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Let's see how long this will last…

    • Anonymous says:

      It'll probably last forever if we can keep the UDP out of government.

    • The Soothsayer says:

      Stop  3 more things- use of chauffeured car services by Ministers and Dept. heads, especially Tourism, all the time in lieu they earn while traveling and allowing civil srvants to keep frequent flyer points earned on CIG travel without it counting as some type of benefit.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Fun done all you free loaders & wasters!


  10. Anonymous says:

    I worked for cig and was amazed at extravegance of travel 

     CO' s would travel first class, even when they just flew to the brac, on the jets…

    What a waste of money

    • Anonymous says:

      ok even the blind ones can now see.  Its only just begun.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:24, Is there First Class travel available on the Brac route?

      • Anonymous says:

        And your point is? You think people can only sit at the back of the jet when it's going to Cayman Brac a wha?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done to the new government. This is a very welcome demonstration of prudent spending.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree and would also welcome to see that the use of government vehicles and goverment gasoline pump is now going to be restricted and monitored very closely……… 

      • Anonymous says:

        Keep this new policyup to the new government.  Way to go.  Let's save money