McLaughlin won’t sell CIG

| 10/10/2014

(CNS): The premier gave his first real public indication on Thursday that the PPM administration will not be adopting a large number of the measures which were recommended in the controversial Ernst & Young report. Alden McLaughlin said that the report contained recommendations only and government would not do anything that it believed would not be in the interests of Caymanians to favour one sector of the community. He said the PPM government won’t sell the government building or land assets, nor will it sell Radio Cayman and the Water Authority. McLaughlin announced, however, that the government will be embarking on an RFP to deal with the development of a new sewage system.

Speaking to CNS after his State of the Nation address at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative luncheon, McLaughlin said that government would not be privatizingeducation or health.

The premier, who is a former education minister, said that he wanted to see more private sector involvement in education but he said that he did not support the idea of wholesale privatization. He also admitted that more research of the charter or grant maintained schools was required, as he acknowledged some of the problems and said that the government wanted to form partnerships rather than a complete takeover.

He said the same issue applied to the Health Services Authority, where he said he did not believe in the complete outsourcing of services. He said government was already doing what EY was recommending but was partnering with private sector health care providers rather than outsourcing.

In his address to the business audience over lunch the premier stated that the EY report was commissioned because government expenditure could not be permitted to grow in the way it has over the last ten years and to help with a more efficient delivery of public service, so government wanted professional advice. McLaughlin said the report has some 55 recommendations, including the sale of government assets, hiving off of various services, the amalgamation of agencies and other recommendations.

“But they are just that: recommendations,” he said to Chamber audience following a speech by the president of the Chamber Johann Moxam calling for the adoption of the report.

“The decisions about what will be done are for the caucus and ultimately the Cabinet. We believe the report is a useful tool and we thank EY for their good work in its production. But the government is not going to adopt the report wholesale,” he stated. “Some recommendations will be accepted, some will be modified and others will not be accepted. We are still carefully going through the review process and making decisions.”

He pointed out that government was already along the road with a number of the recommendations, such as the airport renovation, the PPP process for the cruise terminal, raising the retirement age of civil servants to 65, the development of a solid waste management system, simplifying financial reports, and a new governance model for education to increase community participation.

“While we do agree on some issues, there are others that we see different approaches as being more palatable,” he added, as he listed what government would not do including selling the Water Authority as he announced plans to develop an RFP for the construction of a national sewerage system.

He also confirmed that it would not sell Radio Cayman.

“Aside from the fact that it is a Cayman institution, Radio Cayman provides a key and trusted service to the Cayman community. Instead of being sold, Radio Cayman and the other government media will be coordinated in order to serve government and the community more effectively,” he added. “While we recognize the need to rationalize Government services, before we make any moves toward privatization, amalgamation or restructuring, this Administration will have to be satisfied that any action Cabinet takes will be in the best interest of the Caymanian people.”

However, the premier did make one concession to the Chamber, which has been pressing for the adoption of the EY report and one of the concerns that Moxam had expressed recently: that the Implementation Unit would not have the nerve to implement Cabinet's recommendations as it was made up of made up of only civil servants. McLaughlin invited the Chamber to nominate one member to serve on the steering committee that will guide the implementation process.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    When will we learn how much is the “Plus Expense$” part of the EY Bill to govt????

  2. Anonymous says:

    As predicatable as a not guilty verdict against Mac. The system is broken. Badly.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Soon direct  taxatio will be the only answer

  4. posterboy says:

    So what was the whole point in commisioning the report? or i forgot just WASTE more money because we have it growing on trees… one up is the Dump and it will be the same results more WASTE!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bet (oops am I allowed to bet now?) they will still bring in some ill thought out educational changes because come hell or high water C4C are intent on having they say in what goes on in schools.  It would be a great success if we allowed teachers to go into law or accountancy firms and meddle around!

  6. Highwater Mark says:

    He can't sell CIG because he and the big Kahuna already soldout Cayman to Mama!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dont worry, that Ms Altheas boy is no fool. He is not going to sell us out.  Your Crewe Road people know you different from that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So much for "no sacred cows", Alden's own words from the legislative luncheon one year ago.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Agree with you here Mr. Premier.

    One only has to do some global research to find that selling off Govt. entities on such a large scale is NOT the answer.

    Thanks too for including at least one member of the private sector on the commitee (I personally would prefer 2 – 3) and I also would have preferred someone other than the person chosen to Chair.

    Hope to see you keep up the measured and informed work.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am a fool if i dont listen to my doctor

    • Anonymous says:

      17:46.Depends on who is your doctor;a while back there was a doctor who gave instructions on how to take your own life.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So does Winston Conolly…What a dispointment. He and that entire C4C group were nothing but a farce. Thank God they were not all elected. What amess Cayman would be in right now.

    Alden, you need to kick his a$$ to the curb along with that "wanna be" Labor minister.


    • Anonymous says:

      I, at first. was skeptical of the C4C as I was of the opinion they were pro UDP but however I think they have worked well in partnership with the Progressives in the government. I feel that they have helped bolster the Progressives image among business persons in the Cayman Islands

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank God Alden has enough sense and foresight to exmine that report, analyze and try to make sound decisions on it rather than accepting it wholesale to appease the merchants who are shouting for loudest for it to be done.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Alden on this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure why we paid for this report? Surely what was written in the report 8 common sense, nothing new here.
    We need to sell off certain government depts like turtle farm, cayman airways, garbage collection, schools, prison, and the DOT.
    I personally believe some of these services will more efficient and cost government less, look at out education, it cost me $13k pa to send my child to private school, and government pays approximately 30k pa per child at public schools, teachers at private schools are paid at least 10/15k pa cheaper and are better, so the results show.
    Prison 60k pa per prisoner, is this a joke, wtf!!!! For 60k pa you should be in a hat standard prison, not the hotel holiday inn they are in right now.. If privately run I bet government costs would go down to 30/40k per prisoner that’s what the run at elsewhere. .

    just my 2 cents

  15. Anonymous says:

    If PPM doesn't have the courage to sell something as insignificant as Radio Cayman, how on earth can they be expected to make the tougher decisions down the road? Selling Radio Cayman is a no brainer. It does not provide any critical public service that cannot be provided by the other dozen private radio stations, yet they miraculously turn a profit each year while Radio Cayman needs public funds to stay afloat. 

    PPM is tipping their hand, and the cards read they have no political courage to put Cayman on a sustainable path. EY report will go on the shelf just like the others, and another $150,000 spent for nothing. Cowards!

    • Anonymous says:

      What rubbish. Radio Cayman performs several important functions which would necessarily be performed by a private sector radio station. For example, the broadcasts of the proceedings of the L.A.. It helps preserve Caymanian culture with the Caymanian story telling on Saturday mornings. That is one that should definitely not be touched. But of course if you are an expat you couldn't care less about these things.     

  16. Anonymous says:

    All lessons learned. Let us not play the blame game, let's move on. Bill Clinton did. Let us see what happens.  And not waste anymore time of our employers while posting on the clock.  Oh, yes, I see you!!!

  17. The REAL Truth says:

    Why even try to keep this countries Government from totall financial failure?  Just let them keep going like they are (as if anyone could stop them) to the inevitable end.  Better to put the money into getting a report to tell everyone just how much time is left. That is the next information the public will want to know.

    • Anonymous says:

      TO:The REAL Truth  Why not put your money where your mouth is and pay for such a report?Apparently it is information that you want.

      • Anonymous says:

        My bad.  Your are correct.  Apparently it IS information that I want and Caymanians do not.  If I were stupid enough to be a person that spends huge amounts of my money on reports that I would not follow then I would do it.  But no.  On the plus side I stayed in school till the end so I can do the math myself.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t the government stipulate to EY not to make suggestions they would never entertain? That approach would have allowed for viable options to be put forth. But what we have is a huge bill and mostly a “nope not happening” response to the report.

    • Christopher Wight says:

      This is not the UDP government where everything was for sale! This is the Progressives government, a government that cannot be bought. We all remember when the UDP government between 2009 & 2013 wanted to sell off all of government's assets & properties until the opposition & the Cayman people stood up & marched to stop it. Now we see that this E & Y report is making the same type of recommendations that the UDP government made. We all know that E & Y (most of their partners) were big backers & supporters of the C4C candidates in the last election. It is frightening to think what would now be happening if the people had elected a coalition UDP/C4C government! All of government's assets, & all of Cayman would be for sale (that's an obvious conclusion if both the UDP government then, and E & Y now, both want to sell off everything). That's a very scary thought but thank the Lord the good people of Cayman did what was best & elected a PPM led coalition government, a good government.                       Christopher Wight 

      • Anonymous says:

         EVERYTHING in Cayman has a price and is for sale Mr. Wight just ask the owners of Royal Palms then tell us who purchased the property from them. 

        • Christopher Wight says:

          I do not know if Royal Palms has been sold therefore unfortunately I cannot tell you who purchased it if it has been sold, sorry. BUT, Royal Palms  is a privately owned property so if it was sold that is the owners prerogative. HOWEVER, government assets are supposedly owned by the Cayman people & should not be for sale unless we, the people, want to sell & choose to do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because that would have taken forethought, and when the public is paying the bill, why bother? They really are a lot of lazy characters. As you say, why not stipulate that Radio Cayman , for example, is off the table?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because they would need a study to stipulate what not to include in the study, silly. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    These reports were worth every penny. Look how busy they make everyones seem to be.. Samthin for all h commitees, they are certainly hard at work..

  20. Anonymous says:

    Let's not forget OMOV  how is that coming PPM?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think that before we start selling off anything.  that it would be a good idea to get our accounting system in order.  How can we make decisions on our financial status and needs if we can not first produce audited, believable accounts?

    We need to walk before we can run.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a surprise the spineless PPM at their worst again.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Another blow for those who craft those barking editorials down at the Compass. First it was the dump, then the ("fairly convincing") Jack, now this. But they'll press ahead with their loony agenda, I have no doubt. What a relief that money can't buy you everything.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So what was the reason for paying them all that money, when everyone know that they would recomemend a sell off just like the Miller Shaw report..

    • Anonymous says:

      11:01.How did everyone know?Did theyuse ESP or can they see into the future.If they can I hope they will advise McKeeva the next time that he sits at a slot machine ,whether he is going to win or lose .Might save him some time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps they hoped E&Y may have learned something? The craziest one, (although it was a close one to the sale of Radio Cayman, which would be like the Brits selling the BBC) was the water sell off  – with the caution that an increase in bills might result. Excuse me? Following on from that was a crackpot idea to charge people responsibly taking the time and effort (and gas) to transport refuse to the public drop off. Then there was our public health system being handed over to the tender mercies of the decidely "for big profits and massive bonuses for the least amount of services" private sector fat cats, with lord knows how much increases in monthly premiums – enough said about that one, it was off the scale. Notable was no mention of the lowering of any bills for the public. Very telling. I'd have thought it would have been at the forefront. This is what happens when you ask the wealthy to come up with ideas to better serve the business community only, with no thought towards the resultant social impacts, let alone less disposable income to spend in, er, local businesses. And please, no rubbish mantra about the private sector being more efficient and cheaper all the time, a cynical fabrication and downright lie perpetuated by those with an eye on personal gain. Come off it, the other ones got bells on it!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please-for the love of God – do not compare Radio Cayman to the BBC.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why request the report? stop wasting our money, if you are not going to take the advise dont waste or funds on whim, come on and you critize MB?

    Something is serously wrong with you buddy. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with 9:34. Why do the report? WHY? PPM government not doing too well.


  27. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of money Alden……just another old school caymanians politiian

  28. Anonymous says:

    I hope that if the retirement age for civil servants is raised to 65, every effort will be made not to hire useless employees as they will then, if they are Caymanian, be there for five years longer than we have to endure their non performance now.

    • Anonymous says:

       07:46Your bigotry and prejudice is astounding.Ihave just two wishes for you10 May the bird of paradise fly up your nose,and 20 May an elephant caress you with his toes. You are certainly deserving of it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Why do they bother paying for all these reports when they just ignore them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can't you read? “Some recommendations will be accepted, some will be modified and others will not be accepted. We are still carefully going through the review process and making decisions.”.

      Just because they paid EY to make a report doesn't mean they must blindly follow its recommendations. You are a real fool.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they don't have the intelligence to understand it then they don't trust it.  They should have written in a clause that the company's that do the reports need to "dummy" them down so they have a chance  of getting implemented.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is nothing particularly about the EY report. The problem is that they understand the implications of all of this far better than EY who are at the end of the day just bean counters.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no idea but maybe this one is so poorly thought out it deserved to be ignored.  Or just maybe they knew exactly what would be advised (after all they have a mount of former reportsa to go on), and wanted to deliver the stark message and then people would be relieved when they only did some things.  One thing for sure, whatever they implement will be a disaster one way or the other.  Sad but true.