MLA: Stop top jobs for life

| 02/09/2014

(CNS): The independent member for North Side has called on the government to change the constitution and put an end to top public sector life-long appointments provided for under the 2009 Cayman Consitution. Ezzard Miller said that those holding top jobs within specialist public sector bodies, such as the complaints commissioner, the auditor general and the director of public prosecutions, should not have those jobs for life and should serve for three years only, with a possibility of renewal for two more years if they do a good job. However, five years should be the maximum amount of time that anyone should serve, he said, because at present there is no way to remove people who fail to live up to their high office.

Miller is asking for a select committee of parliament to examine the constitutionally established and protected posts and review the terms of office to ensure no one can hold any post such as the attorney general’s job for life. While some are five year terms he said the people holding the posts are still able to re-apply for another five years and he said that he believes it is too long for the same person to hold these important independent positions because no one is able to hold them to account.

The MLA said that this may require a referendum as the constitution calls for all but minor changes to it be put to the people but either way it was time to make the change and put an end to people holding high office eternally without anyway of removing them.

He pointed out that for those holding senior life-time contracts, there is no evaluation process and no one is assessing whether or not they are doing a good job. “There is no mechanism for review or evaluation in a number of senior and very important positions and that needs to be addressed,” Miller said.

Hoping to get the backing of parliament, Miller is bringing a private members motion to the Legislative Assembly when it meets next week to begin the process of examining the constitution and establishing whether the changes can be made by the Legislative Assembly or whether it needs to be put to the people. He said that if a referendum was required, it would be cheaper to do it at the same time as the 2017 election . But he said the sooner a committee was established to address the issues the better.

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Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only person who thinks this idea is terrible?  It's so arbitrary, to force the firing of employees after 3 or 5 years.  For a terrible employee, 3 years might be too long, and for the truly great one, 5 years might be too short.  If the problem is there's no way to remove incompetent employees, fix THAT, don't just allow the person who should have the responsibilty (and courage) to fire someone to shrug it off for 3 years of wasted salary, and DON'T force the really good people out after 5.

  2. Anonymous says:
     

    What an idiot!!! So for doing a good job, you get fired after 5 years?

    And this is to be put in the Constitution? The constitution should not include such rubbish. Next thing he will want to amend the constitution to tell us when to go to bed and when to wake up.

    This man has gone over the edge at last. Send those men with the white jackets with extra long sleves that tie in a knot!!!

     

  3. The REAL Truth says:

    How about stop paying big money for little to nothing to show for it?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Complaints Commissioner is on a contract Ezzard, it was just renewed.

    • Anonymous says:

      The downside of limiting the terms of MLAs is that it will cost tax payers more, because they only have to darken the door of the Assembly Building a few times and they get  get pension and health coverage for life.  When they pass on the spouses continue to get it. So limiting terms means more MLAs drawing pension.  Will any MLAS be bold enough to change this, or to justify it to their voters. Whyshould a few years of work, ( and remember this they do not even have to perform any work or even attend the meetings) burden us with their welfare for the rest of their lives.  Tell us,  MLAs, why you only have to 'work' four years to get these benefits. 

    • Anonymous says:

      And Dan Duguay is still alive.

  5. Anonymousand says:

    Hey-to those saying MLAs should have only 2 terms, remember:
    They get Lifetime Pension after 2 terms, which THEY gave themselves!!!!
    That needs to be changed -what a burden!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think the MLA piggies in the trough at the LA are the worst.   Surely Ezzard wishes to set a good example and stand down as NS MLA at the next election.  Or is it a case of "Do as I say" rather than "Do as I do"?

  7. Anonymous says:

    And while we areat it, let's limit all work permit holders to one term not exceeding five years.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Useless, useless government. Most civil servants hate their jobs and have side businesses. Government is utter, useless, expensive, poor value for money, GARBAGE. 

    Stuffed suits contributing nothing to society driving expensive cars paid for by us. Damn it, these lazy folk have it easy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hope he adds MLA's to that list. Two terms and your out. Maybe then we can get some politicians that will do the right thing, not what's popular. But we have too many career politicians in office now for this to even be discussed, much less considered. Miller is no different. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Instead of creating "pull out of A$%" numbers for terms of employment, why not give a prosecutor special powers to investigate the darling untouchables.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I certainly hope this isn't taken onboard, watchdog and good governance agencies should be fully independent and the tenure of staff should not be subject to the whims and fancies of the Government of the day. 

    If you start limiting these posts to every few years, one could easily see how the people occupying them may be influenced in their decision making to secure another contract or how they could become afraid of levying legitimate criticism on the basis that they may offend the wrong person and not get a new contract.

    It is said that the Devil finds work for idle hands, Mr. Miller should occupy himself with his constituency matters and leave the constitution and other matters to those who have the mental capacity to think at the required levels.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are already subject to the whims and fancies of the government of the day.

      Just ask Debbie Drummond, Angela Martins & Diane Montoya.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Poor Ezzard! He hasn't a clue. The process for evaluation is in the PSML. It just has to be used-another issue altogether. My bet is Ezzard is looking a job for one of his constituents, perhaps the "star" who he appointed to a huge position in his 1988-92 HSA right out of college and who knew nothing about anything and then who touted himself as an HR expert until people realised he was all mouth and no action.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great idea. Everyone in the private sector has to do a good job to keep it, why shouldn't it be the same in the civil service? Jobs for life at the public's expense have to stop.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If only the same rule applied to MLAs.  3 years, good job then you stay for 5, but no further terms in office thereafter (andno to do what the elctors find popular rather than what is good for the country).  

  15. Anonymous says:

    Limiting  people from being MLSs  for more than 5 years  should be the top priority Mr Miller

    • Anonymous says:

      5 years? A term is 4 years. What do you suggest two elections followed by a by-election after one year?

  16. Anonymous says:

    That is a fair point in relation to the Attorney General who should probably change with each new govt. as continuing to act can place him in a serious conflict. However, the Auditor General and the Complaints Commissioner need some security of tenure if they are to effectively do their jobs without coming under undue pressure. Their terms should be for a minimum of 5 years.    

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yeah Ezzard, and the same should go for MLA's.

     

    How long have you been the NorthSide REP?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Does this include MLA's having term limits?  If so, then I hope Ezzard can get it through!  🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Ezzard. And while you are at It do the same for politicians. No more than two terms for ANYONE.  

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't Ezzard include MLAs in that private members motion?

    I'll tell you why; he doesn't want to lose his place at the trough.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I took long enough – i am besieged with joy after reading this – this was lonnnnggg overdue. I suggest PPM get on board with this and repair some of the damage there image has suffered.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I hope all the high-end Ministry posts are handled this way also.

  23. anonymous says:

    I agree with Mr. Miller and applaud him for bringing this to the surface.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I agree ezzard? So what about the Chief Justice and magistrates?

  25. Anonymous says:

    What Mr. miller's pros all would achieve is a situation in which these important roles could be carried out without fear or favor — the holders could make tough decisions without fear of offending someone and then losing job — that is, they would serve the term and then move on.

    i must say, however, that I so admire the current Acting Information Commissioner.  He makes decisions based on law and related principles regardless of who might be involved. What a guy!  And when he is asked a question by the press, he answers.  None of this "No comment," designed to save his job.

    people like that doe their jobs regardless of potential to offend — and when we have someone  like that, we should keep him or her.

     

     

  26. 4Cayman says:

    There should be a maximum term for MLAs too. Two terms and that it!

  27. Anonymous says:

    The biggest damage to democracy is the repetitive reelection of incumbent dinosaur MLA's and the double dipping of the same into the publicly funded pension scheme. If he won't take his expansive nose out of the trough, why should he expect others to do the same.

    Typical double standards from Ezzard.

  28. Sea legs says:

    How about the lovely old chap who makes more than the Premier at Pedro St. James? 

    Perhaps one of the young graduates from our new UCCI Tourism School could take over so this gentleman can retire with his decades of $ and we the people, can save $135,000 per year for his manager's salary?  Come on….over $100k a year to mange a tourist site?  Has everyone forgotten the overspend scandal on Pedro?  (Look there's a turtle, but don't look to the Pedro bluff and our cronies still getting lots and lots of cash?)

    These Authorities are filled with life-jobs for cronies and that really needs to be looked at.  Mary, isn't this your job to clean house now?  Are you looking at ALL government monthly wage payouts?  There are some quiet hidden salaries that could balance the entire budget if slashed.

    I'm just saying…

  29. Anonymous says:



    Ditto for CEOs of Statutory Authorities or any other CIG organization trying to emulate private sector structure. If a private sector Board has a problem with a CEO, he will be replaced. Not so with CIG. This is the root cause of many of the problems at Statutory Authorities where political favorites get implanted over competent leaders.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Agreed! Neither should MLAs.

    2 terms max, then move over.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Ezzard! lol  However, on this issue I agree with him 100%. There are many positions throughout government, especially at the very top, that should have a limited number of years that any one person can hold the post. For example, the same way that our governors are unable to remain in the position indefinitely, so should the offices of Deputy Governor, Chief Officers and a few others.  If they are doing their jobs properly then anyone who is qualified to fill the positions should be able to step into those offices and take the reins.  Too often people get to feel that they are mini gods in some offices, while preventing upward mobility for others who are sometimes better qualifed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you 100% Mr. Miller, so long as you add yourself, the rest MLAs, and  Ministers into that motion.

  33. Andrew Bacon says:

    How about you start by limiting terms for politicians like Ezzard or who ever to a maximum 4 or 8 yr term.  Politicians are like diapers. Most are full of ^%$ and need to be changed often.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I agree and while you're making those changes please

    change the number of terms MLAs can serve as Ministers/MLAs

    jobs for law and order, such as police officers limited contracts for two-4 years maximum

    and HAVE THE FCO CHANGE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, the lawyer advising our government, EVERY FOUR YEARS!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    "There is no mechanism for review and evaluation etc etc…" As is (sadly) often the case, Mr Miller has no idea what he is talking about and thinks he knows it all. The mechanism IS there; whether it is used or not is quite another matter. BUT-and he does not mention this – there is NO review process for judges and attempts to put any such thing in place are always beaten down aggressively.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Good idea, Ez.

     

    Now how about term limits for MLAs?

  37. Anonymous says:

    An excellent case seems to be being made here by Mr Miller for term limits on MLAs . . .

  38. Anonymous says:



    No life time oppointment for top jobs .  This is the best thing ever came out of his mouth in a 100 years .

  39. Anonymous says:

    Tell me Ezzard ol' boy, what is the longest term ever served by an Auditor General?

    "You can't handlethe truth!"

  40. Anonymous says:

    Most of the jobs in question are appointed by the Governor under the Constitution. While the Governor would in most of the cases, i.e. for Attroney General, DPP etc, be required to take advise from Judicial & legal Services Commission, they can act contrary to that advice if they believe it would contrary to the interests of the UK.

    Essentially all of the senior posts in Governmen appointed by the Governor (Deputy Governor, Attroney General, Director of Prosecutions. Commissioner of Police, Auditor general, magistrates, judges and all persons who require legal qualifications in public service) are essentially appointed at the pleasure of the UK.

    As long as the Uk is happy, their jobs are safe.

     

     

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ironic that Ezzard is the one bringing up a term limit.  Shouldn't this be applied to politicians as well?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm….MLAs have a complete review every 4 years. The people decide whether to renew their conract for another 4 year term.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I like the idea and workings in the United States were a state Mayor, Governor, Senator, Council members, Sheriff, Attorney General etc… etc… all have to be voted in by the populace to serve. If you do a good job, you get voted back inand if you don't – then you get kicked out. These high positions that are held, offers greater accountability to the people whom you are supposed to represent and serve.

    In Cayman, top positions such as the Attorney General, Auditor General, DPP, Commissioner of Police, Collector of Customs, Chief Fire Officer, Director of Prisons etc…. all can be voted on during the General Elections every four years – to keep cost to a minimum. Yes the constitution would have to be amended, but give the people what they want and what they deserve. 

    It's called Democracy !!!

     

     

     

     

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Elected to top offices? I understand your pain but in this community the quality of MLAs getting elected and lack of udnerstanding by the electorate, I would hesitate to have the 'people' vote for persons in these positions. Right now I get the impression that that is happening now, seems the posts of Governor, Auditor General and CoP are the only saving grace we have, so yes imho until we get systems in place to ensure better understanding of electoral process, leave that one alone.

  43. Anonymous says:



    Hey Ezzard, perhaps we can put a penalty on MLA's, if they do not act on their campaign promises that get them elected in the first palce, then they cannot serve again?

  44. Anonymous says:

    How about term limits for MLA's also?

  45. Anonymous says:

    about time

      Get rid of people that SUCK

    Many will soon be out of work and good riddens to them

     

  46. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100% with this.  These people should serve a certain time and be changed up, but let's take it a step further all Chief Officers should be rotated as well.  having chief officers in certain ministries for years and years is what causes major issues in government and why things ca't get done.

     

    Also don't forget to include the position of Deputy Governor that needs to be rotated as well.