CIG failing on governance

| 22/01/2014

(CNS): Values and ethics are not embedded and are only being applied selectively in government, Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick has found after an audit of Cayman’s governance systems. In a much wider review than the focused assessments of government spending, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) released five reports Wednesday that reveal a catalogue of problems. Swarbrick said that while the governance framework is sound, government is simply not following or properly implementing the rules as designed. Government is failing to tell the story of how it spends public money and is not being accountable. He also said there was no strategic policy development to support its strategic policy statement.

In other words, the auditor general has found systemic and structural problems in government that are impacting overall governance caused by a variety of problems. The upshot is the public purse remains open to abuse. Fundamental controls that should ensure lawful expenditure are not robust enough to prevent that abuse and are not good enough to even say if budget appropriations are accurate. No one can be sure that the money legislatures vote for government is the money that is really required or spent. 

In the reports the auditor general makes 12 recommendations, which he said would present a significant challenge to government, which is now said to be working on improvements.

Although the existing laws provide a good basis and framework for good governance and management of public resources, Swarbrick indicated that the legislation, such as the Public Management and Finance Law, the Public Service Management Law and aspects of the Constitution are not being properly implemented.

Swarbrick’s team found the ethics meant to guide decisions and the behaviour of public servants was not embedded and in some cases the governance systems are too complicated for public servants to fulfil. Government, he said, had become focused on the activities rather than the outcome of those activities. Among the many criticisms and problems identified, he found that roles and responsibilities are not properly outlined and that government has failed to adopt a framework to hold its companies and statutory authorities accountable, and they are being badly managed.

See the reports posted below and check back to CNS later for more on the findings and government’s reaction.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    This isn't really news to most of us.  What would be news, and good news at that, is when we finally read that they are doing things properly… dream on!

  2. READ says:

    To be honest, we dont need a government. We need another system because the system of government is getting old, the rusty politians that swear they would cut your CUC bill in hlf and provide jobs for everyone. Lets face it Cayman, you love to be lied to, you love to be apart of this comfort system, that these people are looking out for you but they arent. They cant even take care of themseleves, what makes you think they can take care of us?

    The government is "For the People" 

    But yet we have hartdly any say in anything. For example. The new age of medical marijuana as a medicine and possibly a new recreational drug for the Cayman Islands. Just imagine the tourism, we wouldnt have any more debt to be honest and we would be back to our normal cayman before 2004, a nice peaceful place that everyone wants to go to. Unfortunately the Government chooses not to listen to people, they do what they feel is right.


    TheGovernment System is compromised.

    This is a warning, the people will eventually rise up.



  3. Anonymous says:

    In other words "third world for life".   Its the best they can do.  Plan accordingly.

  4. Open Vision says:

    Is this a Chief Officer/Ministry lapse?  The Deputy Gov openly identified and supports good reformation measures in the Civil Service.  His approach to holistic changes and accountability measures has been admirable in my view.  However, policy implementation is driven, largely, by Chief officers and perhaps the break-down or bottleneck is at that level? 

    Systems' development which requires a paradigm shift also needs sufficient time.  The culture of our Civil Service has been MI6 in nature for a very long time.  FOI was huge in opening up the process and was a huge piece of legislation for the service to absorb.  And from most accounts, they are spot on.  Rebuilding the support systems for fairness and accountability measures coming on the heal of FOI may require a team.  Nothing crazy.  Just a small dedicated team that will strategically plan what ethical system is best suited to achieve the goals and objectives for our Civil Service.

    Mr Swarbrick, is probing and balanced in his assessment.  Such deep analysis indicates an desire to get it right and he should be commended.  That said, I would only proffer to Mr. Swarbrick: we have come a long ways baby.

    I have faith in our CS to work to get it right.  I believe they care and understand what needs to be done.

  5. Anonymou says:

    "values & ethics are not embedded and are only selectively applied", ouch, not a surprise but somewhat shocking to see in print.

    Why would a business owner not be looking for a member of this group as an employee?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sat next to somone on a plane recently who stated that they would not get involved in building developments here because the level of corruption to secure the right permissions was too high..I had no reason to disbelieve such a statement. This report would appear to back it up and why apart from Dart no-one is really doing much here. And even that raises questions! It would appear they managed to kill their own golden egg laying goose. A remarkable acheivement, would you not say?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Any one surprised here? This is how the local government do things, regardless of party name,

    With 50 how much double dipping deputies, mangers, department heads, brothers appointing brothers and what not,

    Same do-do different toilet.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What happened to transparency with travel, for example? I see on TV news that Ju-Ju and her clerk are currently in New Zealand for a conference. They arrived FOUR days before the conference started…. how do we know? because she posted on her Facebook that she felt Saturday's earthquake in New Zealand. The conference doesn't start until Wednesday. The same organisation holding the conference also had the exact same conference two weeks ago in Trinidad. Why not go to that one instead of 30+ hours flying to New Zealand? And why on earth is the TV news excitedly reporting that Ju-Ju survived the earthquake without stopping to wonder whether she should be there at all…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for letting us know about this….I had no idea and haven't seen it reported anywhere.

      CNS- if it's true that they've flown all the way to NZ for a conference that was also held in Trinidad two weeks ago that would be a story worth reporting on!

      • Anonymous says:

        The old saying goes, "join the navy and see the world".


        Change that now to "join the CIG and see the world".


        The main difference is that the navy expects you to work hard.

    • Kerry Tibbetts says:

      And begs to ask the question, "who is paying for the advance stay?  Them or us?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Finally proof that the system is broken at the foundation


  9. Anonymous says:

    The responsibility for these failings falls squarely on the Chief Officers, most of whom are intelligent, academically qualified and well-meaning individuals but woefully inexperienced executives working largely without oversight 99% of the time.

    The government should hire experienced Executives from the private sector to assist, assess and mentor/coach the CO's.  (Every single one to avoid anyone appearing to need remedial assistance).  The coach should put proper management processes in place where they are lacking, including KPI's for each dept and so on.  

    CO's will always be the best Caymanian candidate available.  But for the position of Coach, they must seek the best candidate in the world.  Contracts should be 1 year, 2 years maximum.

    The coach should have a direct reporting line to the Deputy Governor with the ability to recommend disciplinary action and incentive bonuses as necessary.  Any CO proved to be incapable should be managed out or dismissed and succeeded by the best DCO. 

    If you think this sounds expensive, how expensive does 10 more years of institutional incompetence sound?  Something has to break this cycle or the next generation of CO's will be equally incompetent.  Any time someone is promoted to CO they should automatically have a coach for at least one year.

    Franz Manderson is a brilliant and inspiring leader with the right intentions but the unfortunate reality is that he cannot be everywhere at once.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Corruptions exists at all levels in the government, from gasboy at the bottom up to the national building fund at the top.


    It is will be tough to deal with as it is part of the culture.