Chief Officer retired out

| 14/03/2014

(CNS) Updated 1:45pm Friday:Officials have now confirmed that the chief officer in the Finance Ministry will formally retire from the civil service in September but that she is currently on "extended pre-retirement leave". CNS revealed Friday morning that Sonia McLaughlin had left her senior post and at 1:30pm GIS issued a release. However, there has been no official confirmation on the financial secretary taking up her post though he is understood to have assumed her duties in the meantime. McLaughlin has presided over the public finances for a decade, during the time when government has struggled to meet its obligations under the Public Management and Finance Law to produce a set of accounts, reporting what it collects from tax payers and how it spends it.

The announcement of McLaughlin’s departure was understood to have been made to senior civil service staff this week. CNS understands that other public sector workers are also being paid off but no details have yet been released.

Cayman News Service sent questions to the deputy governor’s office on Wednesday morning relating to these lay-offs, as well as asking what was happening with two other senior civil servants that are understood to still be on payroll. We asked Franz Manderson if Diane Montoya and Deborah Drummond remained on the civil service pay roll and what their current circumstance are in relation to potential new posts. Both women were casualties of the UDP‘s shake up of ministries when the party took office in 2009 and neither has been given a full time post since, despite remaining on top tier salaries.

Manderson acknowledge receipt of CNS’ enquiry on the day (12 March) when he received the request and stated that he would “provide a considered response shortly”.

CNS will post all details from the deputy governor as soon as we are in receipt.

See release from GIS regarding McLaughlin's retirement.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a toxic lot you are. I have heard many Caymanians say that their own people are their worse enemies in that they cry each other down, attack and back stab all through envy and greed. I've come to believe that sad fact as I quietly listen to the mean comments and read the postings on here, many of which I believe are written by Caymanians. I have many good Caymanian friends but many of you need to examine yourselves and make a change for good. Be happy for your fellow Caymanians, don't try to destroy them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    XXX The entire country suffers when we have senior civil servants who do have competence in the area they are responsible for and do not know the law they are required to uphold either.  Let's face the harsh reality, we are an international financial centre that has been unable to produce audited accounts for serveral years.  Utter incompetence surely!!  Further, we have senior civil servants who are holding posts that were handed to them by politicians, without any open competition, on the understanding that they will serve whatever the will of that politician is.  As a result we the Caymanian public have to suffer and pay the cost of their lack of knowledge of the law they have been entrusted to uphold.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There ain't no money wastin' party like a PPM money wastin' party.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "It was in producing government’s annual financial statements that Mrs. McLaughlin showed her mettle. As Accountant General, this was one of her primary responsibilities and she ably led her team to produce these in a manner consistent with Government’s needs."


    I thought we hadn't had any Government Annual Financial Statements for about the last 6 years or so? Oh dear…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, she ably led her team to produce the accounts in a manner consistent with politicians' needs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How many civil servants did apply for voluntary separation we know 13 was successful. Why wasnt the others granted if they wanted to leave. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't know?  that was a selective programme for a chosed few…

      If all who volunteered had been 'separated' govt would be hundreds lighter right now!

  6. Anonymous says:

    To see so many negative comments is a shame. 43 Years of service to the Cayman Islands is outstanding. People seem to have an issue with Caymanians serving their country, even Caymanians themselves. If there is a provision for per-retirement leave then it is an option which can be taken, and after 43 years of service a whole year should be granted to her. Government is not an easy organization to operate in. It is a demanding environment, and to assumethat civil servants do not work and are lazy is incorrect. In many cases we are underpaid by 30k to 40k, there are some that will work in excess of 60 hours per week and more. Budget time for government is stressful for many and if anyone cared, they would notice that you will see workers in at 7am and out at 12am and back again at 7am to do it all over again. So it is sad for me to see that people have lost respect for civil servants. Not to mention that no one understands what would happen if we stopped working. I have also seen in many cases that CPA's and ACCA's walk in to a job but must still be taught how a governments accounting system must work, and even then the fully certified still have a hard time but those underpaid unlearned locals seem to hold the system and run it despite all the criticism. Some people are made for it and some people are not. But we all battle on, even with others throwing dirt at us.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, it looks like the ‘CV Checkers’ have awoken!
    Even if she did not have a CPA at 16, she + many otherveterans kept the service together, honest+growing, + compared well to governments in the region and world (from whence many finger pointers fled)!
    Remember-they are not the elected politicians who set policies+budgets.
    Now, the CV Checkers at the top are meting out their style of management, and appointing who they like to fill the top posts (ie imports/expats)!
    Too bad there’s NO one to stand up for the good Caymanians in the service any longer.
    Enjoy your retirement Ms S!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Same reason last director of Northward " retired"  it was time for someone qualified and competent to take over and the results show the difference .

    Hope the same will happen with this department long run by someone who just happened to be there and not necessarily qualified to meet the demands of the job……good move CIG.

    • Anonymous says:

      How ignorant you are! You are obviously someone who thinks that government is managed in the media. HMP was never better run before or after the departure of the last Director, Mr. Scott, and his able deputy. The best thing about the current Director, is that he listens to his locals, including Mr. Scott's former Deputy. What you read in the papers is simply PR. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Read the attachment

    you all are a bunch of dodos, the woman has reached the current retirement age and is retiring. No conspiracy or government house cleaning. How many of you have worked in one company for 43 years. I would be surprise if some of you made 43 weeks.

    "heads are beginning to roll" what a fool fool.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some years back a lady retired from the civil service having done 40+ years but in effect she spent 40 years doing the same thing – very little and to a poor standard, complaining about "Gernment" every day she was at work. But, because of sheer longevity of service, she retired on a huge salary. A very poor performer, uncommitted to the civil service that fed her and paid for the masses of days "sick" leave she took every year and then gave her  a non contributory pension , no one held her to account because they were afraid to.

    • Anonymous says:

      I worked for the same company for 43+ years & retired at 61, Love it..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. McLaughlin, regardless of the negative comments here on this messge board  I thank you and applaud you for your hard work, dedication and loyalty in giving your best to these Cayman Islands. May God bless you with a long, healthy and happy retirement and with great rewards in any other business to which you set your hand.

  11. Anonymous says:

    6 months pensionable salary at her level is not peanuts. The rich will always be richer. Government can give CS back their 3.2 if they can afford to make generous payments like this.   Was this taken from the half mil they saved thru voluntary separation? 

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish I had gotten one month's leave with pay when I retired let alone 6 months!! Her 6 months salary could fund two other CS who were denied voluntary redundancy. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Happy retirement with Rosworth, Ms Sonia. You got overtaken in your long career from sixteen  years of age joining  the civil service straight from school with financial and management concepts you just could not understand, being a bookeeper, and your bosses did you a disservice promoting you repeatedly into areas of expertise you couldn't intellectually grasp.God bless you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk bout “talking from both sides of yah mout”. You should have just left it at happy retirement pal. But I wish her well she is what we call here in cayman….a true stalwart. Her career span shows more than just hard work, but it also showed true commitment to an organization. She should be applauded for her work ethic and being a true team player.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just hope she is not left to carry the blame alone. The buck stops at the top, what about KJ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    WTF is pre-retirement leave mean? So she getting paid to do nothing until September or wha? Unless she is ill she need to earn every dollar she gets and work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pre- retirement was collected in yearsof Overtime for not doing the work assigned.



  15. Anonymous says:

    The official announcement of her retirement says she joined Government straight out of school at 16. No tertiary education until a year or two ago. She has done well to ascend to such great heights.But maybemore was asked of her than she was capable of delivering.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Since there is a Minister of Finance in Cabinet, which means that the Fiinancial Secretary is no longer an official member of Cabinet, I see no need to have a Financial Secretary as well as a Chiel Officer in the Ministry of Finance. I cannot comment as to which individual would have been morre suitable to fill the post as I personallydo not know the two individuals and their qualifications and experience.

  17. Anonymous says:

     i think I am ok with this.

    • facts says:

      So am I – A timely decision – Congrats Ms Sonia on your well deserved retirement. 43 years of service is an amazing achivement. God Bless!

    • Anonymous says:

      I ok with this too – was time for her to go for more reasons than one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations Mrs.Sonia!  the pre-retirement leave was well earned in overtime especially the last two decades. You must be commended for staying so long in these difficult times.  Don't know why all the suspicion, retirement at age 60 is normal and 43 years of work is enough!  


  18. Anonymous says:

    Heads are beginning to roll.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Please don't twist the tone to suggest that she was the 'blame' for government's financial failings over a decade…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Not surprising at all. I understand that she is about the only one that stands up against the high level of corruption and unfairness in those high circles. When one do that he/she better know that they are on their way out. Moreover, I can tell you that the politicians hands are not clean in this either. When they took office I heard that they had a list of civil servants that they intend to relieve of their duties. I heard that her name was on that list. The politicians take whatever position is convenient for them at the time. If they support you, they will go to bat for you in the civil service. If you are not one of their favorites, they will distance themselves and tell you that they have no say in the matter because it's an administrative decision. XXX

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right. She is being relieved of her duties because her ethics are so high and so the real bad guys are out to get her. Did you pick that one up where Joey Ebanks dropped it off?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice try "Anon". We know who you are.Get on with your own job. They should retire you too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many put their own down and fill the civil service with other nationals.  Mysterious happenings, no more cover ups and sweep it under the carpet for some.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do I hear the Complaints Commissioner's recent relevations ringing here? If she was "retired out" as per the headline to this story then perhaps it occurred because Mrs. McLaughlin dared to stand up against corruption as suggested by 10:05. I wish her a long and happy retirement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Somebody had a bad nights rest.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Anyone with a sense of responsibility would not have stayed in the jobthat long given how woeful the accounts are.  When the true position is really worked out Cayman will wake up to find how bad the financial position really is.

  22. Anonymous says:

    You don't get fired in the CS…you get "retired".  Probably on full pay for the rest of eternity with free healthcare for the whole family, a car, free gas and a pension. 

    • Anonymous says:

      To:Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/03/2014 – 09:16.                                    You should "probably" get the facts first so that you won't have to guess,and make such wild statements.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is very sad that some folks find it difficult to be happy for others and attempt to rob them of their joy when they "choose" to retire by suggesting that they were "made to retired". Sure there are occasions when civil servants are "retired in the public interest" but many good people also make a conscious decision to retire and rid themselves of the stress that comes when they dare to take a stand against corruption, especially when it involves those in high places!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ms Sonia better dan we. She can go to her houses in Tampa and enjoy her retirement.

    • Anonymous says:

      What's surprising about retiring at retirement age? Stop the fuss.  Well deserved ma'am.

    • Anonymous says:


      If this is true what you are saying, then we have to blame the politicians, they are the ones set the bar for CS salary,pension and health. It was done this way so they also would be included to rape the tax payers.

      So ironic, they forced the private businesses to pay pension, health and vacation pay, which they cant afford, which causing the caymanian businesses to shut down. This is an evil act of our  leaders.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we are beginning to see accountability at long last. Please make sure that Mrs Mclaughlin's replacement is at least a CPA which she was not. Modern sophisticated accounting responsibilities cannot be handled by bookeepers.