Mac adds to PAC concerns

| 21/08/2013

(CNS): The opposition leader has added his voice to concerns that the swearing in of two members of the Public Accounts Committee as Cabinet ministers, albeit on a temporary basis, is inappropriate or even a conflict of interest. Roy McTaggart is the PAC chairman and Winston Connolly is a member of the committee that is meant to scrutinize government accounts and spending based on the auditor general’s reports on behalf of parliament and, in turn, the public. However, they will both be spending some two weeks at the management table of government as they stand in for ministers on leave. UDP leader McKeeva Bush said that McTaggart is already conflicted and should not be chair as he is a government member and even more so now he is acting as a minister.

The appointment of McTaggart and Connolly has added to what is already a delicate political situation with PAC as the opposition leader is the only non-government member now on the committee. Although McTaggart and Connolly are both members of the Coalition for Cayman and not the Progressives, they have both committed to being part of what is being termed as an "inclusive" but not a coalition C4C/PPM government.

Asked about their taking up temporary Cabinet posts while still sitting on the body designed to scrutinize government expenditure, the auditor general said his office did not wish to comment on the situation. However, other sources have raised concerns, including those inside government, about the decision of serving PAC members taking up even short-term roles at the Cabinet level of government.

Bush told CNS that he already had serious concerns about McTaggart’s position, which he had raised at the recent closed door meeting even before he was sworn in as a minister. Emphasising that he would not be “opposition for opposition sake”, Bush told CNS, however, that he would not “shirk his duty” as the opposition leader.

In this case, he said, the appointment of McTaggart as chair while being what is basically a junior minister was "totally against the propriety, good governance and openness and transparency” that the current government had “most vehemently and in every public meeting, advertisement in all media and their manifestos” said they would adhere to. “Are they so doing?” Bush asked rhetorically. “No! Far from it.” 

In the first closed door meeting of PAC, which the opposition leader noted should have been open to the public, he said he had made his thoughts known and registered his objections.

“The Commonwealth of which the Cayman Islands are a part — and are told we must adhere to all their and other international standards of proper conduct, its conventions, precedents and parliamentary procedures all dictate that the chair of the PAC must come from other than the ruling government,” Bush said. “And once our Constitution as we have it now had been changed, we, the UDP, agreed to adhere to those principles also.

“It is wrong for Mr McTaggart to be chair of the PAC as he is now part and parcel of the government. It is an abomination to all the Commonwealth stands for, for him to be appointed a minister while he is the chairman of the PAC,” he added.

Bush stressed that during the appointment of the committee when the new parliament was sworn in following the election, he had made recommendations that one of the independent members, either Ezzard Miller or Arden McLean, should or could havebeen appointed.

“The PPM made sure that would not happen,” the leader of the opposition said. “If they will not support either of those members, well what about Mr Al Suckoo?” he asked. “He is their backbench member and I think is certainly capable of being the Chairman of PAC.”

At the time of McTaggart’s appointment, the C4C member was sitting on the opposition benches. However, soon after Swearing In Day, the second elected member for George Town took up the premier’s invitation to work as a councillor with the finance minister and the financial services minister in the Progressive government.

In the statement announcing the C4C member's decision, Premier Alden McLaughlin had noted that there would be a need to address the PAC situation. However, McTaggart has remained as chair.

Asked about the potential conflict by CNS on Wednesday, McTaggart made no comment on the issue but the premier issued a statement defending the situation for the short term.

“The Public Accounts Committee, for the foreseeable future, will be considering the accounts of the previous administration,” McLaughlin said. “For that period there will be absolutely no conflict of interest on the part of Councillor and temporary Minister McTaggart irrespective of what role he has in the current Government. When the point comes where the Public Accounts Committee is turning its attention to consideration of accounts of the Progressive Administration, I will reconsider this issue of chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:


    Depending on how much UDP crap gets revealed, it most definitely will be a conflict of their interests.

  2. anonymous says:

    Mac if you did it, would be ok, well we are over you. it PPM time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back Mac! We missed you! But we know your ready to comeback and make this government a place of balance! Your the only one with grass roots capability. Now let’s see that Mac of ’88.

  4. biker says:

    Will this man ever understand that it's NOT "Us against Them"!? Hey, ol' buddy, we're ALL CAYMANIANS, working for the betterment of this small country. We (obviously) have a very small number of trustworthy, experienced, "STATESMAN LIKE" individuals to choose from. RELAX! NONE of these individuals you've gotten excited about have anything but the best interest of this country at heart. Unlike some others, who have been there before.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He should be more concerned with what is in the reports, instead of who is reading them.

  6. Knot S Smart says:

    Mac needs to go sit down…

    Or he could even tell us the truth about the Stan Thomas incident – since there are no charges against him in that case…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, Mac suddenly understands there is such a thing as conflict of interest.  Wonder why he didn't get it during the past years when he had poewr to avoid such a thing.  It will certainly be a conflict of his interests if they go through the accounts for the past four years but that might be a good thing for the rest of us. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 06.47, this is a savage and uncalled for Pac-a-mac-attack. Sounds horrible, possibly contagious but ultimately nothing to worry about, as all roads lead to Northward.


      When is his trial by the way??

    • Anonymous says:


      Isn't being forever honerable with clean hands and a pure heart while having a dozen or so criminal charges against you a conflict of interest?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Rather surprised that Mr.Bush of all people should be expressing concerns over conflict of interest. On the other hand as he clearly feels he has some expertise in this area we should be grateful for his input.

  9. Mitzie Miller Tomlinson says:

    O Who is Mac.

    Mac i did not here from you, are you still alive. Alden keep up the good Work, you go PPM.

    • Hoping for better days says:

      'Hear' is the word you mean.

      I amneither a supporter of PPM or the former UDP. I am for the truth. How quickly you ALL forget who put us in this hole. You think it was Mac? Think again. Thank your precious Alden and his former PPM party which held government from 2005-09.

      Start backtracking to 2005 and you will see for yourself. They say Political memory is the shortest, seems they are right!  

      Stop MAC bashing. Its really old and tired now and he is but one man. What makes you think they are not ALL cut from the same cloth? 

      • Anonymous says:


        The very least you could do is admit you still have your head up mac's. Yet we can symphatise with how it must feel to find yourself in that position.

      • Anonymous says:

        Their behaviour?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well hello capt whogene. Just when we thought we'd lost you forever. Hopefully this will finally put an end to all those unfounded and malicious rumors that you do nothing to earn your paycheck.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually I think you need to backtrap further than 2005 and you will see that McKeeva was also a big part of the problem. In the 1990s we had a Turtle Farm that generated a small profit each year. McKeeva turned it into Boatswain's Beach which requires a government subsidy of some CI$10m p.a. It is he, more than any other politician that has hugely increased the demand on the Social Services Dept. both by the 3000 status grants and by insisting that freeloading WBers be given  benefits. Add to that his failure to build any infrastructure such as roads, schools or the govt. admin bldg. before Hurricane Ivan when it was clearly needed and was considerably less expensive you are nearer the tree picture.            

      • SSM345 says:

        Mac is typing again………..or its one of his brainwashed UDP'ers from West Bay………..bringing absolutely nothing to the table unless Mac is mentioned and then the shite spilleth's from their mouths.

        Perhaps 11:29 can explain the difference between the 81M debt that Mac said we were in when he took the reigns in 2009 and the 600M+ debt we are in now following the UDP's last 4yrs in charge of the country?


      • Anonymous says:

        "Hopingfor better days' and who dug it quite a bit deeper. Who pull the wool over your eyes and was busy  destroying this country.

  10. 4Cayman says:

    18.56 how can you say Ezzard and Arden have been silenced? Did you know a certain developer has been doing works against CPA's approval at Dr. Shetty's hospital? Without these two gentlemen God knows what else this developer would do? Keep up the good work gentlemen and hope CPA severely fine this developer and maybe he will stop breaking the laws of the land!

    CPA the ball is in your courts now and everyone is watching with a keen interest.

  11. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    He's alive, welcome back big boss.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I thought the days were over. Its been a while since I opened the cns page and saw a headline beginning with Mac. My heart sank momentarily with the thought of what now?

  13. Anonymous says:

    The more I think about it, I don't care which set of clowns are on the committee and just wish someone, or anyone at all, would publish the reports and accounts on time so that the public could have some clue where the money is going? 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Actually i’m very surprised mac is not complaining about Alden being in “his” seat. “A na steppin down” “A na steppin aside” “dey jes tryn tek my seat”.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Depends on what they are reviewing. If they are reviewing the prior government accounts (which seems to be the case), why is there a conflict? Would it be less of a conflict to put Mac in charge of reviewing his prior governments accounts? This is all BS.

    • SSM345 says:

      Mac: Is a conflict of interest the same as being a Christian, gambling addict and thief all at the same time?

      Alden: No Mac, those are conflicting interests.

      Mac: Oh, so what about me being on an committee that is setting out to scrutinize my administrations accounts?

      Alden: Exactly.

    • Anonymous says:

      The trouble with Mac is that he beleives everyone is the same as him…when clearly the majority are not. I do not beleive the two nominees even have it their souls to think of abusing their temporary positions. To the contrary, my belief is they will do all to help Cayman move forward, and to be transparent…things that Mac does not understand and certainly never complied with.

      • J Salasi I. -111? says:

        Mr. Bush is a representative whether we like it or not. He is eschewing principles of conflict of interest whether he did or did not. The truth is we have become a society conflicted by politricks so much so that if one side says us this yea is right  even though its wrong we rally round that flag. Tara Rivers case was also a case of right versus wrong, the CJ ruled in her favor under the principles that he chose to apply, does it make it right? , only an Apellate court outside of this jurisdiction with no ax to grind can truly decide. 

        We must start looking again at how thecSociety our society functions, who gains by these paternalistic associations and who suffers in between. Until the politics of this country are defined by principles and policies that benefit all and not some of the Society we are and will continue to flounder like a BoobiIn a serious northwester. Rastafari.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don't be ridiculous. Bush wouldn't recognise a conflict of interest if it came and bit him on the nose.

          Try reading the CJ's judgement in the Rivers case and stop making ignorant comments about it. Every lawyer that I know that has read the judgement considers it well reasoned. It has been "truly decided" and it is final and binding. You can learn to accept that or not, but it won't change anything. 

        • Anonymous says:

          21.29 I mostly agree with you..just one little matter, in most other democracies if a politician is accused of something serious, he steps down to defend himself…whilst questions over character or honesty remain unanswered in court that person has lost the moral right to participate in politics, and for sure in this case lost the support of 90% of the public. Mac, by his continued participation is a discredit to us all as a society…we have failed to instil even basic decency values.

          • J Salasi I. -111? says:

            08:35 you are so right, but tell I who defines your morals, the society, your parents, your teachers, your church etc.? Indeed in other places people resign from their post when a shadw of doubt is cast  on their character, but we all have the  right tonparticipatevfreely in a democratic society and the only thing thatvreallyand truly prevents us is being convicted and thrown in jail or being incapacitated.  You can't really legislate morality can you? So mr bush has the right and freedom of speech and of movement until its removed by legal means, not by mouth alone. JahbRastafari

            • Anonymous says:

              What a ramble. No one is talking about legislating morality. But we are entitled to expect that our political leaders have some sense of decency and decorum and concern for the best interests of their country. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Get off it Mac! We know what you did.

  17. Alas.. me favorite quote says:

    " If I, taking care of everyone's interests, also take care of my own, you can't talk about a conflict of interest. " ~  Silvio Berlusconi, 50th Prime Minister of Italy

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like something McKeeva would say, but now playing opposition.

    • Anonymous says:

      The words of a recently convicted criminal…when that happens, there is hope…

  18. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is right. It is a conflict of interest. Of course to Alden it doesn't matter.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Same poor attitudes just a different government. Another day in wonderland

  20. Anonymous says:

    LOL No conflicts says Premier McLauglin. You cannot make this stuff up I swear

    • Anonymous says:

      Conflict of interest arises where the conflicted seek to derive personal gain from a situation. What does Roy have to gain…?

      This was the hallmark of the UDP Mac inspired leadership. This administration especially professionals like Roy, will not become involved in Mac's stirring, he has nothing else to do nowadays, and must be scaredof what they will find.

    • Anonymous says:

      Premier Mac swore too: My hands are clean and my heart is pure. said he.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know all this clean hands pure heart comments are wearing a bit thin – you're all liek a broken record!

        • Anonymous says:

          As long as he clings to those comments we will keep lampooning them.

        • Anonymous says:

          You're not gonna 'liek' this but mac did say his hands were clean and his heart was pure. He also crowned himself forever honerable, something no honorable or sane premier would ever consider doing.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Rules are the rules and all the conventions need to be followed, no acting ppm ministers should be heading up the PAC. What happen to transparency and good governance? Mr. Auditor General how does this make sense?

    If McKeeva Bush did this the country would be up in arms and disgusted with such behavior. Come on ppm do not let power and arrogance get to your heads I thought your party was different

  22. Discus Ted says:

    Just so long as Bush doesn't somehow become PAC Chairman. That's what he wants. Come on Ezzard and Arden, at least stand for the committee!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I suspect Bush is an expert on conflict of interest!

    It would be interesting to know where his interests lay in any number of past Government contracts, starting of course with the change of law regarding maximum building height where he had an interest in real estate commission! And then it is interesting to wonder what his interests were in various Government contracts that seemed not to be beneficial to the Islands.

    Yes listen carefully to this man when he speaks on the subject of conflict of interest!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Talk about rhetoric. That all Mac ever does is ask rhetorical questions; cuz 1. He never waits for anyone to answer his questions and 2. Cuz only he knows what he is talking about! Smh

    • Anon says:

      He has tons of experience in this area no doubt but there is no question that he is correct on this point regarding PAC and PPM

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no conflict of interest. The PAC is currently reviewing the accounts of the UDP govt. 

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesnt wait for an answer because he doesnt generally understand his own questions! Generally, the questions, same as speeches are written by someone else. I have been present when he seemed not to understand some of the words, and at least once, he paused in the middle of a speech on the desirability of "know your client" rules to rant about how dreadful the rules were. Then, suddenly realising that he was transgressing, resumed his written speech somewhere else, clearly understanding none of it!

  25. pmilburn says:

    live with it mac

  26. Anonymous says:

    WTF Big Mac actually makes sense on this point! the ppm and aldin fail to understand the meaning of conflict of interest.

    $ame $hit different day

    • Anonymous says:

      If you bothered to read the article you would understand there is no conflict of interest.

  27. Anonymous says:


  28. sickntired says:

    Go Bush keep them on their toes!!  They think you gone, but no situation lasts forever.  Stand strong!!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    April next year where ARE you?

  30. Chris Johnson says:

    I am bemused by the ineptness of the former Premier who is clutching at straws, yet again. This is the very person who on appointing himself the Minister of Finance took the country to the very eve of financial destruction. His experience mowing lawns and selling real estate is not the making of a finance minister and his conduct as a director of Gulf Union Bank, the parent company of First Cayman Bank is a firm reason why he should never ever have been appointed a Minister of anything let alone finance. His megalomania led him to even sign bank notes and refer to himself as Honourable.
    Times have changed and obviously he is concerned that Roy and the PAC will scrutinize the accounts of the previous administration as well they should.
    Where there is a potential conflict I have ever confidence that Roy, a seasoned professional will take the correct measures to avoid it, whereas the former Premier would not recognize a conflict if he even saw one. Bush you need move on; the lawnmowers are beckoning.

    • Whodatis says:

      If the "Yale-Vard" and OxBridge alumni couldn't manage to meet their job description (2008 global bank bailouts) – perhaps they ought to give our gardener a shot at it?

      Just saying …

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummmm…he HAD his shot at running Cayman and made a royal disaster of it! 

        • Whodatis says:

          I was talking about a shot at running the bailed out banks.

          They would have collapsed just like Mac's did had they not ran to "daddy government" or "mommies Federal Reserve Bank / Bank of England " – right or wrong?

          Better yet, maybe they should give Mac a shot at running their national economies. Because when we compare realities during the relevant period of time Cayman still faired better than most other countries … ALL things considered.

          Anyway, at this point we are just arguing for argument's sake – but I hope you see the point I was making.

          • Anonymous says:

            There's that one trick….. again

          • Anonymous says:

            Ummm…he also had his shot at running bank way back in the 1990s and failed miserably. Logic does not say if you fail at something small you should be given something greater. It says you have promoted to the level of your incompetence and need to step back.  

            Cayman fared OK in spite of Mac rather than because of him.

      • Anonymous says:

        You gotta love that Red Brick chip on the shoulder.

        • Whodatis says:

          (Ok, I'll bite today.)

          Poster, please pay close attention to my words:

          As I have told many before you – I am a Caymanian. Meaning I was born and raised in the Cayman Islands.

          The Cayman Islands is a tiny, stable, island-paradise that countless numbers of people from all over the world are scrambling to get into with secret hopes to remain forever … including many, many "red brick" nationals.

          There would be very little to feel "chipped" about buddy.

          Therefore, please do not get it twisted, my friend.

          Take care.

           – Whodatis

          • Anonymous says:

            We don't really care who you are, where you wuz born, or who raised you up sonny. 

          • Anonymous says:

            He must have been drunk when he wrote this, since the concept of a ""Red Brick" national" is bizarre, unless Birmingham and Manchester have gone independent recently.

          • Anonymous says:

            What did any of that garbage mean, whomoronis, are you high?



          • Anonymous says:

            But you are a half-Brit who was educated over there. 

            • Whodatis says:

              (Look who's back.)

              Actually, according to my documentation – I am categorized as "British".

              What are you? And what exactly is a "half-Brit"?

    • Anonymous says:

      Written like a true financier of the HMS PPM with an elitist overture. Have you forgotten the 2005-09 spending spree by your Comrades?

      • Chris Johnson says:

        Thank you for your observations albeit lacking any degree of sense. Obvious as a radical UDP supporter you failed to recognize the huge failings of your defunct party. Rather than learning of the mistakes of the previous Government your friends made promises to fix the economic problem confronting Cayman and failed miserably.

        For four years the UDP did nothing constructive but rather continued to blame their predecessors. From day one the disrespectful Bush was rude to her majesty’s appointed governor and then deemed himself honorable. Look into the waste that Bush created or do you have a memory problem. Perhaps if he had spent more time listening to advice at home rather than spending taxpayer monies at casinos whilst raking in frequent flyer miles, the country might have been better off.

        I am always happy to debate on a subject but not with anyone who hides behind anonymity.

        Finally I notehow popular your response was, so I trust we will not hear from you again, at least not on this subject.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mac da you?

        • Anonymous says:

          Those words are WAY too bigfor mac. Too bad they have to come from from one of his more 'intelligent' kool aid drinkers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you forgotten the disaster called the UDP 2009 to 2013 that had big spending and corruption charges?

        Or was that my imagination. 

  31. Anonymou says:

    Mac who?

  32. Anonymous says:

    MAC talking about conflict?  We need someone like McTaggart to examine what the UDP did intheir four years.  There is no conflict in that.  I could see a conflict if they were examining this government's accounts, but I can't see any if they are examining the previous government's accounts.  It is also good that MAC is there and hopefully he will provide more answers than he has done in the past concerning the allegations made against him.

  33. Chocolate Diamond says:

    Oh come on Mac, stop nit-picking, this is real minor stuff in comparison to your shenanigans. Get over it already, & accept that the people do not want you or your jealous rages. Get a life (until early next year when one will be given to you).

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard and Arden have been totally silenced and marginilised by this election have they not? Many would say that's a good thing!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Oh please Mac…go away!!!  It was okay for you to chair Port Authority Board while being the minister for it and other boards but for 2 weeks these guys cant sit in as ministers…really???

    I doubt the PAC is even meeting over the next 2 weeks….still looking for headlines it appears….please just go away.

  36. Anonymous says:

    The real abomination is Muckeeva continuing to be a member of the legislative assembly….

    • Anonymous says:

      "Innocent until proven guilty" in a court of law

      • Anonymous says:

        Wa happen to his case anyway??

      • SSM345 says:

        If am I not mistaken, hasn't Mac already admitted that he used the cards, "but I paid back every cent"?

        That's guilty in my book.

        Whether you use funds that are not yours and pay it back, it's still theft or using funds that are not yours to begin with for an improper purpose.

  37. Whodatis says:

    Mac has a valid point.

    Alden's response is quite … unfortunate.

    Personally, I think Alden and the PPM ought to ease off with the cheap, "feel good" points by way of extra inclusiveness as well as brown-nosing to the UK. We get it, Premier 2 Chains … you're different.

    However, please focus on the task at hand and try to avoid any further self-inflicted shots to the foot.

    Lastly, how did such an educated and experienced group of individuals not forsee this perceived conflict … and the subsequent objections of a "5th grade educated gardener"?


    • Anonymous says:

      Thise educated individuals saw it I am sure, but Alden is acting like McKeeva did and listens to no one!!

      • Whodatis says:

        History supports your words, poster.

        A bully is a bully … be he "educated" or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm…because it is not a REAL conflict? There is no conflict in them reviewing the previous govt's accounts.You can try to 'spin docta' for McKeeva all you like but it won't change anything.