MLAs raise more concerns over CS recruitment

| 18/09/2014

(CNS):The independent members for North Side and East End raised further concerns in the Legislative Assembly last week over the government’s continued recruitment of ex-pats and what appears to be a breakdownin succession planning in the civil service. Eric Bush was asked to explain what had happened regarding the current chief financial officer’s post position in the home affairs ministry and it was revealed that no one in the ministry or the wider civil service had applied for the job. Eric Bush, who is currently acting deputy governor, said that the job was advertised in June and two Caymanians along with a permanent resident had been shortlisted for the first round but none were suitable.

Following a formal question submitted during members question time from Ezzard Miller, Bush explained that after one of the Caymanian applicants failed to respond to written questions at the pre-interview stage, the remaining two candidates were selected for interview. They were interviewed by a panel made up of ministry and HR government officials as well as a Caymanian expert from a local private sector accounting firm. But, Bush told legislators, the panel concluded that neither candidate were suitable for the senior job and both required further personal development and more experience before they were ready.

As a result, the current post-holder, who is an overseas national on contract, had his contract renewed for a further two years, Bush confirmed.

Miller probed the details regarding the professional qualifications of the individual but Bush said he was unable to confirm those details and would have them sent to the member. Miller pressed for reassurance from the acting deputy governor that the job ads had not been tailored to meet the existing post holder.

Bush said that to the best of his knowledge the job description was standard for the CFO post across the civil service. 

Arden McLean, the East End member, asked Bush in a supplementary question about the succession plan and raised concerns that the ministry was not fulfilling its duty in that respect.

“It is interesting that no one applied for the job given the people with CPAs and experience in the civil service," he said and asked, "What is government doing to prepare locals for these posts when they become available?” 

Bush said that succession planning was part of the civil service mandate, where the aspirations and ambitions of civil servants are set out and what is needed for them to move to their goals is monitored. He said employees and the organization work together to work out those plans and staff in the ministry all have succession plans relating to their careers.

McLean voiced his concern, however, that the CS continued to bring people in while seemingly leaving local public servants behind.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The one Chief Financial Officer who has gotten all his accounts in and approved by the Auditor General and here we have the little villagers MLAs from North Side and East End appealling to the unsophisticated and unlearned and bigoted members of our population, calling for him to be replaced by  Caymanians who could not according to the CAYMANIAN interview panel (and the kowledge we have of the  hopeless experience of the 20 other Chief FInancial Officers we have do the job!!! Utterly brilliant. Only in Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If the CS recruited more Caymanians then the private sector would not have to take on so many charity cases to appease immigration.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is no reason why a Caymanian could not be groomed in the time he has been here.

    Time for he to go.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hate to see what this place would be like if we did not have the likes of Arden and Ezzard looking out for Caymanians.  Immigration is a joke they would happily take food out of a Caymanian's mouth and give it to an ex-pat.  A bunch of idiots!!!  

  5. Anonymous says:

    Problem is why would any young Caymanian want to apply for one of these positions. I am a Caymanian with a CPA and would not apply for any these positions.  In the private sector we have better working conditions and are rewarded for hard work via promotion or bonus.  If the the government wants to attract young Caymanians it should consider what the private sectors does to retain good qualified staff.

    • Dear CPA says:

      Um, what firm are you with? The govt posts pay very well and I have to pay for my family's health insurance (only I am covered and only get half insurance paid for so this is a huge cost if you have a spouse and children) what is wrong with also wanting to make the govt better and work in my field? 

      If you are happy in the private sector and local, then good for you, but I'm trying to get into Govt in my professional field because it does not exist in the private sector and I am furious (and have seen other's FOIs) that expats are "on contract" from third world countries when myself and other hard working university graduates are qualified from better US universities. With my extra overseas certification and three years industry experience I am even more qualified than the "contract" worker, but the only scoring points for the positions are the biased interviews. Where is the fairness in that?

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly do you know about the working conditions except hearsay. Not everything is about money dear although it might be for you since you talk about promotions and bonuses. So I take issue with you asking why a Caymanian would want to apply for these jobs. "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country". Everyone seems to think that all civil servants are overpaid well some civil servants work very hard and the renumeration doesn't begin to compensate them for it but they do it, not in te hope of a big bonus or a promotion but because they care about their country and their love their job and helping people.  

  6. I must LAUGH says:

    I'm an expat and I truly believe these types of jobs should be 100% for Caymanians.
    I believe if them 3 didn't pass the test, advertise again and more locals will apply.
    You have to be persistent, you want locals, you can have locals!

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians need to be trained for these positions!   STOP the work permits!!!!!

      • PROF says:

        Who exactly should train these locals? People with degrees obtained over 4 years of vigourous study should somehow "train" Caymanians???? How do you propose that is done? Should expats become "professors?"

        • Where is Immigration Enforcement? says:

          It is called succession planning and we used to have it in the private sector too.  I came here 20 years ago and my 2 year work permit had a Immigration Board stipulation, "To train a Caymanian for my post"  I DID just that.  I trained a capable local to do my job and imparted on them the tools I learned in the US.  We met weekly and I trained them.  After 16 months I was promoted and the local was READY to step into my job. That is a win-win.

          My next work permit was approved because I could show facutal training results, weekly meetings, and training efforts.  Guess what?  We ALL won and we all followed the LAW.  This was a clear win-win situation.

          Sadly, now-a-days, the leading companies "leadership" has gone the OTHER WAY and no longer are middle managemet jobs recruiting locals to move up, instead the call of the day is to "defend work permit renewals at all costs" and that my friends is just wrong!  Blame the CEOs and HR departments.  They have broken the cycle and are the ones that are truly at fault.

          I am an expat who pleads for the larger firms to take a chance and stop the work permit renewal cycle. 

          Teach a man to fish…….

  7. Succession plans for ? says:

    What are the succession plans for the management posts currently held by overseas contract workers in:


    General Registry




    What was that Mr Bush? Renew again next year when they now qualify for PR? Shall we tell that to the UCCI grads and university students overseas? Govt and Authority jobs now locked up for 8 years and then they become Caymanian by virtue of PR and auto status grants?


    • Where is Immigration Enforcement? says:

      All of these civil service posts are currently filled with UWI graduates from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana.  Sooooo….Franz and Eric, WHEN do theses folks move on?  Who is being hired to fill their shoes?

      UCCI grads?  nope.  North American University grads?  nope.  WHY dear Chief Officers do you have SO MANY contract workers in the Civil Service???  Shame on you and shame on our politicians who turn a blind eye to the obvious.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone reviewed some of the qualifications of some of the senior civil servants? Anyone with a bit of common sense would be confused with their rise to senior civil posts. Based on the qualifications of these individuals who are they to query potential candidates. Even the HR government officials are not up to par. Any qualified Caymanian knows by now achieving a job with Government is not based on your qualifications and experience it is based on who you know and are connected to. In addition to this, those Caymanians who are qualified and experienced are usually by-passed due to fear of potential competition by those senior civil servants and if they somehow are hired after a few years they get frustrated with the backward constant bureaucracy and simply leave for the private sector.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please, everyone in Govt Administration knew the outcome of this "interview" process. A sham is what this is. Succession plan my arse.  Been in Govt now too long to be fooled by those sound bites any longer. 

    It's not what you know but WHO you know that gets you ahead. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is no secret that the job ads are tailored to meet the existing post holder. Govt is not interested in helping Caymanians period. 

    • Anonymous says:

      That is simply not true.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Every position held by an expat  attracts another to a position in government.  Look around and see how many Asians and god knows how many others are part of the establishment.

    • RP says:

      I disagree with this statement for the following reason.  The govt should not help Caymanians by finding them employment.  The unemployed need to take matters in their own hands to make themselves attractive for the position they seek.  When applying for a position held by another person (caymanian or not) as in the case of work permit renewals, the new candidate has to demonstrate to the employer that they are equipped with skills much more valuable than those held by the person currently occupying that post given that the current employee has already received costly training and is performing well in that post, evident by the fact that he or she has occupied the post for 2 years.  Any employer who feels a new prospective employee has significant skills to offer the organization would most likely hire the potential employee.  




      • Dear RP says:

        Dear RP,

        As ethical and sound is your opinion is, it is simply not the case for business as usual in Cayman. I am an ex pat married to a Caymanian. I have been denied no less then three times in the past year for positions I am more qualified in then the current work permit holder.  We have children to support and the community and church here that I am very involved with, I cannot simply sell my house and move to Canada,USA, or UK.

        There IS a difference RP and it is called the LAW and is there for a reason. My husband was university educated and worked overseas as well and "back in the day" employers fought over available locals at ALL management levels and sought out young locals to train.  The tide has turned due to governments reliance on work permit fees and recruitment firms getting away with lucrative murder.

        You see RP, this place is too small to play these sad games and all employers should hope for zero local unemployment.  We must find careers for our university grads and can't do that if the likable chap in the job for the last two years won't move over or train a local with succession planning.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That Succession Planning Document is on the shelf collecting dirt, and does not apply any longer to its' purpose .  What I see and read about the Service it is a foreign element, and not too many Caymanians will get by no matter of their qualificatins. There is not much difference with the Public Sector and Private Sector.   We have to  stand tall and expose their wrongs – this should never happen OOPS!!!  it has been a Civil Service trend for many years, and we need bolder persons to speak out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get real.  On such a small island you cannot hope to fill all the top jobs with Caymanians. Having a degree does not quality you to do anything other than start at the bottom wrung of the ladder and learn your trade as you slowly work yourself up.  You have people (local) at the top who in any other country would never be good enough for such positions. Please do not take this as a comment against Caymanians as it is not.  Just a truth that no one here wants to face.  God Bless you and your country as I love you dearly.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes….and the hiring of more and more expat teachers..I wonder how many Caymanian teachers left their teaching position out of frustration with the bs shoveled on them by the Education ministry. 

    • Walker says:

      Such Bull. If a Caymanian teacher left a position it is not because of overseas teachers coming in. It is because the Caymanian Administration is incompetent. Also known for bullying initmidating their own people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell us who the Caymanians are in the higher administration. I have come across some Jamaicans and (I think) Bajans, but Caymanians?

    • Anonymous says:

      If all the expat teachers were to leave, three quarters of your children would have no teacher in their classroom.  Also pleae get your facts straight.

      • Better pay and better teachers needed says:

        I am all for expat teachers!  I despise the "A" is for Ackee and "D" is for DAT!  My grandparents received a very good education here without patios!!  The dumbing down of locals is wrong.  Yes, we do need more Caymanian teachers and I do hope our university grads will get the calling.  Make teaching a desirable job and accountable too.

        The fact is we need to pay our teachers better to attract better teachers!  If we set the global mark higher we would succeed. 

        This is truly a case of you get what you pay for.  Uneducated teacher's-Aidsfrom Jamaica are cheap, but are they the best for our children's classrooms?

        Raise the bar- demand proper English spoken at home.  Demand your level of teaching be better.  Come on voters take your pitchforks to Tara's house and tell her to shape up and shake up the broken Education system!!  The problem once again lies at the TOP.


  13. Anonymous says:

    There is no succession planning in place and they know it. They can't even get performance appraisals done andwant us to believe thiatntheynhave succession planning, you can't even get training all you can hear is that they have no money. They have money for what they want 

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like at the HSA, when Caymanians want to continue their education, they aRe told that the funds are already allocated or no funds available, but when their friends and associates want to do courses locally or overseas, they have funds to assist them.  They tet time of on pay to peruse their careers.

  14. Anonymous says:

    They just don't get it do they? The idea that only the person who can actually do the job -as determined by a Caymanian interview panel -should get it seems beyond Miller and Mclean (at least when they are trying to show the country how "dedicated to Caymanians" they are (while themselves marrying foreigners). It is this that is ruining performance (especally in finance matters) in the civil service. Appointing people ONLY because they are Caymanian.Where is the CFO, let go by the private sector and then appointed by Mackeeva Bush 10 years ago because her family were supporters? Is she still doing the training she was sent off to do to get her out of the way when it became clear she could not handle the job?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just a guess, i bet many of the people ranting about the hiring of expats and moaning about how locals are denied jobs are the very same people who hire expats to work in their preschools, coffee shops, minders and home helps.  Double standards i think.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If any Caymanian was half as qualified and able as the CFO in the Ministry of Home Affairs they would be a partner in an accounting firm earning ten times as much.  As there is no shortage of highly paying jobs for capable Caymanian accountants why on earth would the best and brightest want to be in govt?

    MOHA is one of the few ministries to have received a clean and timely audit opinion and that is in no small part due to the quality of their CFO.  

    Miller and Arden are talking from both sides of their mouth if they expect every CFO job to go to any remotely qualified Caymanian and then wonder why audits are heavily qualified and incomplete and why no one is held accountable.  

    Join the dots guys.  Sometimes a job is simply too important for them to hire anyone other than the best candidate they can find on God's green earth.  


    • Cronies says:

      The cronyism at the MOHA is the problem and it starts at the top and has an army of minions to implement the keep-out qualified locals actions.

      Bush's answers are unacceptable and CNS should interview the local candidates that were denied?

      What is the succession plan Eric?


    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 20:14 You as so full of BSand so un-infomed, whydo you think Eric would not stat his professional qualiications in the LA becuse he has none and te two competent Caymanians below him in he Ministy have more academic quifications and their professional qualifications than he has. Watch for the FOI request.

    • Anonymous says:

      Best Place to Work 2014 – just ask Rosworth.