CIG’s Europe trip costs revealed at just over $14K

| 30/09/2013

(CNS): With accommodation costs covered by the Joint Ministerial Council in Gibraltar, the Jersey government providing accommodation for the trip there and a chief officer depending on friends in London, as well as flying premium economy rather than first class, the recent trip by a Cayman delegation to Europe, led by Premier Alden McLaughlin, was kept down to $14,256.20, government officials have said. With travel still a contentious issue, government released the costs of the trip taken by the premier, the financial services minister, a backbench councillor and a chief officer earlier this month, which began with a trip to Gibraltar.

McLaughlin and his Joint Ministerial Council "Sherpa", Jennifer Ahearn, CO in the health ministry, travelled to Gibraltar on 11 September to attend a three-day pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting of the overseas territories.

McLaughlin and Ahearn travelled premium economy on all flights, at a cost of $2,738.95 each. They were each allotted a $150 daily per diem allowance for a total of $1,200 each for eight days and accommodation was provided by the JMC.

Following Gibraltar, Ahearn travelled to London for a meeting of Sherpas to help set the agenda for November’s Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London. She had no accommodation costs in London as she stayed with friends.

In London, the premier was joined by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton and the FS ministry’s councillor, Roy McTaggart. The three travelled to Jersey at the invitation of the islands’ chief minister, Ian Gorst, and the Jersey government provided accommodation. Airfare for Panton and McTaggart was $2,439.15 each for premium economy seats and they were each given $750 to cover expenses for the five days.

Officials said that during the meeting in Gibraltar the premier met with his counterparts to discuss issues affecting the overseas territories ahead of the main JMC meeting in November to explore how Cayman and other OTs can work together collectively when they all go to London.

The UK trip included a visit to the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry at the Southampton office, which continues to promote Cayman as one of the world’s most respected jurisdictions for registering yachts and commercial vessels.

“The expertise of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, the reputation of the Cayman Islands flag, the ease with which a vessel can be registered, the security of the Cayman Islands, and the determination to personally monitor and uphold high standards, have made the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry one of the top 13 registries in the world,’ government stated.

The delegation also joined the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism’s European team at the Southampton Boat Show on Friday, 13 September, to lend support to the team’s efforts to bring the Cayman Islands to the forefront of the affluent yachting fraternity.

The delegation was invited to Jersey to review that government’s procurement process as part of the preparations for the CIG’s review of its own procurement systems, as well as to discuss how Jersey deals with immigration and the budgeting process.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    bottom line is….its still a jolly…. 

    still waiting for ppm to tackle the real issues facing cayman….

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol. You obviously have no idea what "a jolly" is. Here is a hint: it involves extravagance and using public funds for your own personal enjoyment under the pretence of doing official business like travelling to casino destinations saying you are drumming up business for Cayman. Sound like anyone you know?

      Excessive public spending is one of the issues they had to deal with.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a difference the Party makes…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I'm impressed, this is how it should be done when things are tight financially. Next time Alden talks to OT Minister Mark Simmonds he might like to give him a few pointers on keeping costs down – see the CNS story posted on 13 September.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can hear Mac and Julie now:


    "C'mon Alden man, unna making us look bad wid dese cheep trips, en you is insulting the position of da Premier when you take the cheep flights en hotel. Tenk goodness we classed it up a bit when we was da Premier"

  5. Anonymous says:

    See it can be done, nothing wrong with travel when read. 14k is nothing in the big scheme of things ….well done.

  6. Foreign Devil says:

    Cheap cheap cheap.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Goodjob, guys. This compares well to Ju Ju's travel to the Middle East for a postal conference for $40,000. Keep the travel for productive purposes and at low cost to the public purse. 

    • Anonymous says:

      JuJu won a little medal for the nation.  Did this Europe trip result in the presentation of a little medal?

      • Anonymous says:

        "Ju ju" didn't win a darn thing. That was a junket if ever there was one. That should been left to the Postmistress General to collect. I hope that the European trip results in something much more substantial than a meaningless medal.

      • Anonymous says:

        $40,000 for a medal – Well dey could keep that sh*t!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr Premier and Ms Ahearn!

    • Anonymous says:

      If Big Mac had taken this trip it would have cost $100,000 and if Julie O'Connor had taken it it would have cost $60,000

      • Anonymous says:

        The overall cost would also depend on wether there were any casinos at those destinations…

      • Anonymous says:

        I very clearly remember mccracker taking one trip that cost us $500,000.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and Mr. Panton and Mr. McTaggart. Can you imagine 4 officials travelling for about 1/3 the cost of Juliana's postal conference trip.