Government to address 4 years of budget changes

| 26/08/2013

CNS): The PPM government has called a meeting of the Legislative Assembly next week in order to address a number of issues, in particular the appropriation changes over the last four years which were not addressed under the UDP administration. The meeting is set for Wednesday, 4 September, when Finance Committee is expected to regularise the back appropriations for fiscal years 2009/10 through 2012/13. The UDP Government increased its budget for the 2011/12 fiscal year alone by nearly $50 million through supplementary appropriations that were never approved.

The Public Management and Finance Law requires that supplementary appropriation bills be brought to the Legislative Assembly for the particular fiscal year in which the changes are made. However, none have been brought to the House since 2009.

In addition, regarding an issue that has become a matter of controversy for the PPM, government also plans to elect a member of the opposition to fill a vacant seat on the Public Accounts Committee. The seat was vacated recently by Bodden Town PPM member Alva Suckoo following the decision of Coalition for Cayman member of the legislature, Roy McTaggart, to join the government back bench, thus unbalancing PAC in government’s favour. 

Suckoo reportedly stepped down to allow a member of the opposition to be appointed, which would return the political balance of three government members and two opposition MLAs. At present, the only non-government member is Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush after both independent members, Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller, were rejected by the government benches.

However, the recent swearing in of the two C4C members as temporary Cabinet members has raised legitimate questions about their continuing membership of the committee, which should be composed of non-executive members. Although government has denied that the appointment as temporary members of Cabinet will have any impact because the work of PAC over the next few months will focus on the previous administration, others have noted that it is not their political affiliation but their elevated position to the top table of government while also serving on a standing committee which bucks the usual parliamentary procedure.

McKeeva Bush, the UDP leader, said it was a “very poor excuse” and that during the previous PPM administration they had made the same excuse with very poor results.

“Unfortunately for good governance, the PPM made the same excuse between 2005-2009 when one of their members chaired the PAC and it was dominated by them,” he recalled.
“Accordingly, what happened was that none of their accounts for that time got audited. By the time the new PAC was appointed, the present auditor general wanted to say most, if not all, of those years' accounts were irrelevant and a waste of time and money to audit. Even though his predecessor Dan Duguay had said there was over $60 million that was unaccounted for in one of the PPM ministries.”

Bush said the idea that PAC was looking at reports based on the former administration was simply no excuse for the premier “in the face of what is right and proper for good governance” to appoint for government ministers and or councillors, such as McTaggart and Connolly, to the committee. Had he been at the helm of government and this happened, he would have been widely criticised, Bush said.

When the House meets 4 September, Deputy Speaker Anthony Eden will preside over the session as Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly will be overseas on one of her oft criticised jaunts for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. For this year’s conference O’Connor-Connolly will be travelling to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she will be from 28 August to 6 September.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The civil service, furious at this, says that Tara and Mckeeva have gone with the Speaker on this freebie. Is this true? Are we never going to be able to get control of the Caymanian determination to milk the country of any and every "entitlement"? I agree with an earlier poster. If they were in Somalia, no one would go. But Jo'Burg? Hot damn, we never been there. And not an effin person there will have any interest in anything that Julianna, Tara or Mac has to say. Cayman? Really? 55,000 people in a tax haven? WE MUST STOP THIS CRAP!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    "unapproved appropriations"…after all the hoo hah about the budget, theyjust added tens of millions of unapproved spending when they ran out of money. What has to happen for the Cayman Islands government to get a grip on its spending? Now it'll be "regularised" and swept under the mat. Meanwhile Juju without a hint of irony sends her apologies to the meeting from a pointless conference in South Africa. 


    Maybe when she goes someone can borrow one of her paving machines and dig up the runway? Sure tourism will drop but keeping Juju away from the government coffers will more than make up for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      My only problem with this is that the PPM has a lot of work to do. Just like the UDP should have done with Tara move on. We have too much ro do to get this island back on track. What are we going to do spank Mac after all this time.

  3. pmilburn says:

    Why couldnt this have been done by video conferencing?.Far cheaper you think?The beat goes on and the Carnival never stops.

  4. 4Cayman says:

    We still living from pay check to pay check yet these new ministers and speakers are traveling around the world. WTF when is this stuff going to stop? Alden your people are hungry and going homeless. Stop this fiddling and farting around and get on with what you were elected to do!

    • KIng James version says:

      THe article says "The meeting is set for Wednesday, 4 September, when Finance Committee is expected to regularise the back appropriations for fiscal years 2009/10 through 2012/13"

      NOw somebody needs to explain if this is illegal alleged in the article then why didn't the then Opposition then PPM now Progressives have anything to say about it.  DId they just discover this if so, why and for what did we pay them during that period. JUst asking PP whatever to clarify.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is Paul going with her?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope she isn't flying first class. A detailed account of the costs of her trip as well as those accompaning her should be published.   

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    Please would Ms Julie carry Mac on one of her overseas jaunts?

    Poor guy must feel so locked up on this little island surrounded by sea. I guess we can say that he is sea-locked? But at least he is still better off than being fence-locked…

    • Anonymous says:

      He is "fence locked" but not like you are thinking.  Each day he his home he is locked behind a 10 foot ugly fence that put to to protect him when his life was at threat cause he was a loved leader.  now the fence is deteriorating and really looks like s#$%.  Good by resale prices for the neighbourhood.

  8. Anonymous says:

    These jaunts that Cayman's Speakers make (always to nice destinations, never Mali, Zimbabwe or Somalia) are a terrible waste of time as no one gives a rat's ass what, if anything, the Speaker of a place of 55,000 people has to say. In these hard times, a Speaker of strong principles would say "the country cannot afford to pay for this type of jaunt". Or is Ms Julie paying for her trip herself?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Someone take Ju Ju's passport away please! That woman does nothing but fly on our dime and wastes our time!


    • Anonymous says:

      A PPM member that is rewarded as Speaker yet is no different from the UDP and PNA. What are differences again you say

  10. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    And so the BS rages on. And on. And on. Will it ever end?

    Can they at least just buy Juju a “one way ticket” the next time she goes? That would be some progress however minor.