‘ICTA-gate’ incenses MLAs

| 12/06/2014

(CNS): Revelations that no disciplinary action was taken against the former MD of the Information Communication and Technology Authority in the fallout over questionable recruitment practices at the ICTA has incensed some political representatives. The minister responsible for the ICTA confirmed that David Archbold had been let go but was paid to the end of his contract and no action was taken over the scandal. Kurt Tibbetts said legal advice given by the attorney general was that, with only three months remaining on the former MD’s contract, it would be easier and less costly for government to simply pay off the public authority employee rather than risk a courtroom battle.

Tibbetts said that if the government had dismissed the ex-ICTA boss without paying out his contract it may have encountered some legal challenges that could have been more costly to the public purse. However, the minister also revealed that there was no official contract in place between Archbold and government as it had expired but he had remained in post regardless and was just three months from retirement age at the time of the revelations and subsequent enquiry.

During Monday’s Finance Committee when the Tibbetts, who is the minister with responsibility for the statutory authority, was answering questions on his appropriations, the independent members for East End and North Side both probed him on the outcome of an enquiry regarding what they described as the former ICTA MD’s supervision over unlawful recruitment of ex-pats and his alleged perjury in the parliament when it was exposed.

At last year’s Finance Committee hearing in October the MD had been questioned about how a contract had been signed by an overseas worker to come to Cayman and take up a senior post at the ICTA before the deadline for applications in the local advertisements for the same job had passed.

Archbold denied this had happened but documentation confirmed that it had and the MD had appeared to mislead the members of the Finance Committee. MLAs an all sides of the House were outraged as the issue of bending recruitment practices to tailor jobs to fit permit holders or people identified overseas and pass over qualified Caymanians had been a significant issue during the day’s proceedings.

As a result, the minister had promised to report back to the Legislative Assembly about what had happened and the subsequent actions taken. Tibbetts said last October that government would take the situation seriously and, once he had the report from the board, “there would be accountability".

However, both of the independent members were incredulous when Tibbetts revealed the outcome and the failure to apply any sanctions to anyone over what had happened. Clearly uncomfortable with the revelations, Tibbetts insisted that the government acted in the best interests of the public purse based on legal advice and said that in the end there was a successful outcome as the ICTA was now headed up by a fully qualified Caymanian.

Following the revelations in October's Finance Committee and the departure of the MD, his job and others were re-advertised and Alee Fa’moe was appointed as MD of the ICTA.

Talking about the events, Tibbetts said the ICTA board had conducted an investigation and produced a report that went to Cabinet, which then took legal advice based on the findings. It indicated that it would be best to terminate the former MD immediately but pay him up to his retirement date, which Tibbetts said was “not an expensive proposition compared to a potential legal fight”.

East End member Arden McLean pressed Tibbetts on the events, asking him to tell the people what had happened and if the ex-ICTA boss was sacked for disciplinary infractions but had still been paid. Although reluctant to give a straight answer, Tibbetts did not deny this had happened.

“Were I in the member's seat over there I would be asking same questions,” Tibbetts said but added that “certain situations” appeared to represent a challenge. “I understand it is the people’s money and I try my best with the custodianship I have and that it is judicious, but when it comes to certain matters involving individuals it is not so easy …” he said. “At some point in time bad judgment was exercised by way of a possible contract and advertising for a post … the whole situation went wrong. From our perspective, whether intentions were best or not they were all handled wrong and we could not say it was OK, and hence the action.”

Tibbetts said the process followed by the MD had run "counter to the terms” of those set out under the law regarding recruitment of overseas workers. Despite the wrongdoing, he said, “it was only three months … so we made a judgment call.”

As he questioned the minister North Side MLA Ezzard Miller also raised concerns about the message sent by such a decision as he suggested that rather than being held accountable for wrongdoing the former ICTA boss had been rewarded. Miller also noted the point that the former MD, in his view, had committed perjury when giving evidence to the committee and he intended to take that up with the attorney general and the director of public prosecutions when they were before the committee.

Related articles on CNS:

MLAs expose CS bosses

KT waits on ICTA-report

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

Comments (27)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if the AG is still being allowed to parade around with the li'l body guards?  Was just wondering what the Finance Minister did about that waste of funds. Such an expensive joke!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I THINK THE NEXT TO BE RID OF

    Should be the attorney general what a waste of space. He does absolutely nothing and when he do something we are sued and cost the country millions. I say rid ourselves of him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I guess after Operation Tempura anything goes.

  4. Boy says:

    where is the Jordanian when you need it

  5. Anonymous says:

    What does the Attorney General do? What a waste of Government funds? If giving information to Ministers to pay off people rather than prosecute them for crimes then I don't think he is necessary.

     

    as far as Kurt goes…Well, what can I say, same old wishy washy Kurt, never wanting to upset anyone expect McKeeva..When will we ever retire these two?

    This PPM government really has been useless. first is the TLEP's, then OMOV put off and now the ICTA boss paid off and retired…USELESS!!!

  6. Job recruitment as usual says:

    "how a contract had been signed by an overseas worker to come to Cayman and take up a senior post xx before the deadline for applications in the local advertisements for the same job had passed." ???

    That is HOW every single commerical bank on this island does their work permits.  Qualified locals need not apply.

    The ICTA, CIAA, HSA, just how many times do we have to read that qualified locals will only get a courtesy interivew while the pernit is rubber stamped?  It is sad, but true.  Teach your children to get a college degree, good experience, great references, but no job hope here- sorry.

    Immigration and Staffing Boards are swayed and bullied by bug business.  No teeth, no enforcement.

    Archie was just practicing another typical day of recruitment – sad to say.

  7. Anonymous says:

    A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

  8. Anonymous says:

    AG needs to go! Total shambles.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kurt, you cant win with these two. Let's say the three months salary amounted to $40,000. If you had taken court action to prove a point and won, it would have cost Govt more than that, and these two would try to scold you for being reckless in spending more Govt money than it would have taken to release/payout the MD.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Kurt Tibbetts waffling again.  No one can get a straight answer from him.

  11. Gran Heffe says:

    Thats the recomendation for the Attorney Generals's Office because they dont actually ever want to do anything except collect fat salaries (an waste money to hide the tempura files). To add to that, their record of lost cases is so astronomical that they would try to avoid more embarrassement, why i dont know as it seems clear that all the politicians elected seem to be in fear of this office because the much overdue overhaul is no where in sight. If this man was morally and ethically wrong why in heavens name would we just want pay him off? The AG clearly seems to be living on Alysium while they rest of seem to be stuck on earth.

    Pathetic.

    • Archie Buck Dem Up says:

      Haha, incompetence knows no boundaries. The Minister wants to wash away the sins of both the x employee and the AG/DPP with a pay out and the other by Washing away the sweat off the brow of the DPP' s brow from not having to face an embarrassing situation of losing a case. And the beat goes on doesn't it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Tibbetts did right to make the problem go away as cheaply as possible. Its what is done with bad managers all around the world in the private sector. Its not 'good' (no one likes golden parachutes) but its effective. – Now, as to the possible perjury before the LA, thats another question that the LA can address seperately themselves. First question being if there are any actual penalties or if the LA themselves need to make some changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it would have sent a strong message that that sort of underhandedness will not be allowed – would have been worth it even if it cost us some money.  Others would have thought twice before doing it again.

  13. Anonymous says:

    TYpical of the MInister "its ok BO BO" …… total mismanagement of any crisis.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What a pile of crap, council in the Legal Department are on a monthly salary and get paid whether they are defending Government in court or not. Take the matter to court and let someone earn their pay.

  15. Anonymous says:



    Why does this Attorney General still have a job? Is he on a contract? Is there any way to get a new person or does he have the job for life?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not only the Attorney General, every last one of them should be moved out. By the way is he nearly 60 yet so he can be retired without having to pay him big bucks to get rid of him. Why does Cayman consistently have to put up with this crap. May be some credible lawyers need to have a good luck at these contracts before they are signed. Somethig must be wrong. Is there any clauses that state that we should get a fair honest day's work for a fair honest day's pay?.  So tired of this charade.  These people swimming in our money while our young people cannot even get their feet in the door.  I know a Caymanian who graduated with a law degree (and good grades I might add) from the Cayman Law School, then went on to England to do another legal diploma, tried to get articleship with The Attorney General's office and did not even receive an acknowledgement of the application and all the while they were hiring their friends.  Come on Cayman, this crap needs to stop.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. You younger educated politician need to start upsetting these apple carts on behalf of your fellow  constituents.  The status quo need to be shaken up!! Alluyou need to start kicking some proverbial butts!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We stuck with him for life Bobo, cant get rid of him. Not even prisoners got it this bad, at least they get freedom after a time.

    • Anonymous says:

      UDP Cabinet grant Caymanian.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Atta boy Cayman!! You go!