Ethics law sails through LA

| 31/01/2014

(CNS): In a day long debate in which most members of the Legislative Assembly spoke, the Standards in Public Life bill sailed through its second reading in parliament on Thursday with the unanimous backing of all members present.  Welcomed by the politicians as a way of restoring public confidence in government and giving substance to the idea of good governance, the bill will impact all those who hold senior posts or positions of responsibility in government and board members in government companies and statutory authorities. By June of this year the details of assets, business interests and potential conflicts of those who make decisions about public money will need to be public.

Presented by Premier Alden McLaughlin, the long awaited bill was presented twice to the previous UDP Cabinet but was not acted upon.

“The Bill will have far reaching positive consequences for the reputation of the Cayman Islands and the affairs of government,” McLaughlin said. He added that it was a PPM campaign promise to pass the legislation and the law was one of several the country had developed to support the institutions of democracy as set out in the constitution.

The bill received cross-party support for its second reading but legislators will continue working on the bill Friday when it is scrutinized at the committee stage, where a number of amendments, which also appear to have the wide support of all members, will be addressed before the bill has its third reading, when it will be formally passed.

As well as being welcomed by the members, who mostly agreed that it would help to restore the people’s trust and confidence in politicians, the deputy governor welcomed the bill and said the civil service was ready for it.

Franz Manderson said it would shine a light over the civil service and promote transparency. He said that government employees understand they have to, and were committed to, abide by the new law. Acknowledging allegations that senior civil servants make decisions to further their interests, he said the bill made it clear that was not possible. However, if someone believed a decision was being made to further a person’s own benefit, they could check the public register, which will be on the commission’s website, and then make a complaint.

Manderson also welcomed the whistleblower protection, as he said that not being able to provide that protection had been a shortcoming for the civil service because people were reluctant to come forward.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    . . and in spite of the late efforts to run it aground by those to whom Cayman has been kindest! 

  2. pmilburn says:

    20-57I agree with you on your point.But lets hope that this new law( oh no not another one)will have some teeth to it but having said that who will enforce this one?An Ethics council?Maybe have some high school kids form a council and maybe just maybe we will get some actions taken where needed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let us hope that this is the beginning of the end for;

    The politicians influencing government to invest in their own companies

    Senior civil and public servants that abuse their office and power by hiring relatives

    More accountability for the way government, its authorities and companies spend or waste public money

    Whistleblower protection is a good thing but I think it will be a while before we see it really work.

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    Is it ethical to be speaking or voting on an ethics law while you are waiting to have your case heard for several criminal offences?

  5. H says:

    I like the word "sail" … sounds sooooo reluctant

  6. Anonymous says:

    So they sit around all day having a nauseating love-in about who supports the ethics bill the most, then go back to what they were doing before knowing there will never be any enforcement.

    • Anonymous says:
  7. Michel says:

    I think this is a good place to begin. And across the board please.

  8. Anonymous says:

    PAssed by everyone present [in the Chamber], was anyone absent?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gerat!  Another law that won't be enforced! 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ethics and politicians?  In Cayman, this is a pure oxymoron.  More laws passed for more politicians and officials to ignore.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A physical altercation might not amount to gross misconduct, 19:56,  it depends on the circumstances. But I agree it should be investigated and disciplined for appropriately.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting that you say that, because in the past people were dissmised for such altercations. Which, in fact was not as "physical" as this. But, those of us who work in the service know the differences between those that got fired in the past, and these two.

      • Anonymous says:

        No idea what you mean, 20:48. You are hinting at something-racism probably- but we have no idea what the point of your post is.

    • Anonymou says:

      Not if a sacred vessel is involved clearly.

  12. Slowpoke says:

    "…in which most members of the Legislative Assembly spoke,…" what did the Captain from WB say?  CNS readers need to know.

    CNS Note: That member did not speak

    • SSM345 says:

      23:36, Capt. Whogene didn't speak, read inbetween the lines, it says "most" not "all".

      Yet again we are all left wandering wtf this guy actualy does to earn his salary. He has the cushiest job in the world outside of Tony Bourdain and Guy Harvey.

      Outside of him being on the UDP ticket, you don't hear or read about anyhing he does with his position or for our Islands.

      New title: Cat Whogene Ebanks, "The Most Quiet Politician in The World".

      Ad Voiceover: He once parallel parked a 400-eleventeen ft oil tanker whilst blindfolded, He is "The Most Quiet Politician in The World".

      Capt: **crickets** (Ofcourse, like the Dos Equis ad Capt. Whogene would then chime in about not drinking beer but when he does its Caybrew, but he doesn't speak.)

      • Slowpoke says:

        I knew that.  Unfortunately, humour is never funny when you have to explain the punch line.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why is an ethics law required in a christian country where all of the politicians went to Sunday school. What part of "being good" did they miss?


    Caymanians keep telling me the this is a christian culture here. So why is there corruption? I am confused.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lol. Would hate to have seen someone say nay. Lol.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Woo-hoo! ….but not retroactive so everyone gets a pass. Still, the leopards will not change their spots so we can look forward to future prosecutions 

  16. Anonymous says:

    This will be another law that is passed and then passed by.

    Just like when there is questionable behavior by some civil servants. Like today for example; there was a physical altercation in the Govt Admin Bldg. From what I was told by a collegue ofmine who saw it, the police are yet to be called. Gross misconduct, as per the PSML would apply in this case.BUT it won't be, just wait and see.

    CNS, as you all are the only true media on this island, I beg you to investigate this. It will be interesting to see how this is handled. 

    CNS Note: We'd be happy to if you or any other reader could be a bit more specific: Email details to and I'll ask the questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was caught on camera. Wonder if the vedo has been "lost" as yet?!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ethics and politicians ??  I just threw up . . . . . .