CS accountability overdue

| 14/10/2014

(CNS): The continued failure of the civil service to produce any consolidated government accounts after more than a decade was just one of the concerns raised by the Chamber of Commerce president last week when he took aim at governments short-comings at the annual legislative lunch. Johann Moxam pointed out that the elected arm of government has to face the national vote every four years but there is no accountability for the civil service management. Advocating for rationalisation and a more efficient government Moxam said that could only happen with some accountability from the senior public servants but no one was seeing any at present.

“If we are going to advocate for efficient government and for taking action, we must also seek accountability. Accountability is overdue,” he said. “A decade without audited, consolidated financial statements,” the president added as he asked the audience to consider that. “How does this Government and the UK manage its contingent liabilities?” he queried.

Pointing out that elected officials are at least held accountable every four years at the polls, Moxam asked the governor and the deputy governor where is the accountability from civil services bosses.

“The reality is that the public sees no such accountability among public servants, even at the highest levels,” he said, including chief officers, chief financial officers, deputies, heads of departments and those responsible for statutory authorities and government companies.

“Accountability is overdue in a public sector of this size. The Chamber and the wider business community have consistently called for public sector reform and a national strategic plan for the past ten years,” he added, as he queried what government planned to do if it was not going to act on the recommendations in the recent E&Y report to address the problems.

Moxam criticised the quality of service from the public sector and noted that it was undermining business and warned that with a changing world despite Cayman’s past successes the country could no longer progress with the same mind set and principles of the 1980s.

“Best practices do not include waiting for four to six hours at the customs counter to clear goods,” he said. “They do not include long waits in immigration lines. They do not include expensive delays and additional costs because a planning application is in a bureaucratic tug of war.  We all know these things happen, and we all know that in today’s competitive world, such practices should no longer be the norm.”

Being more efficient requires action, the president suggested, not more talk as he criticised government leaders for not acting on tough issues content to talk about issues or just study them.

“Increased crime, a bloated Civil Service, an inadequate public education system, and for 25 years and counting, our inability to come up with a practical solution to deal with the GT Dump,” he said. “Too often, we see leaders who have the courage to ask for expert help and the financial fortitude to pay for it. And then it stops there.”

He went through the long list of costly reports on myriad subjects that have gather dust on government shelves from the Yolanda Forde Report on crime to the Miller Shaw Report on cutting the public sector. “We sure are smart enough to pay for expert analysis, yet we repeatedly lack the discipline to implement the recommendations. What exactly is the point of knowledge if we don’t use it?” the chamber boss asked rhetorically. 

Moxam said the Chamber was advocating for a more efficient government including the statutory authorities and government owned companies and for government to have a clear plan and to deliver on it based on needs and not egos or agenda.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Fools and their money are soon parted.  Lots of money that has not been accounted for.  Still going on after ten years of notice. No hope for the future.  Caymanians must be the biggest fools on the earth.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is impossible to reform what we have evolved into. The only way to fix the mess is to scrap the whole system of government and start over completely. We have to rid ourselves of the entitlement and dependency system that is now entrenched in our society. People need to learn and understand that they have to work for a living. The world owes no one a living. A good start and model to use would be how the government was structured in the year 1970.

    Reform needs to start at the top. Reduce the Legislative assembly members to what is practical, economically feasible and realistic, NINE members. Start over with one thousand of the best and most efficient civil servants currently employed and after six months cut the thousand by 50% i.e., down to 500 where it should be now. Pay must be based on output. Follow this through as I have suggested and we will have a 99% chance of success and survival or continue down the current road and we are doomed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I dare say Mr. Moxam, when you point one finger at the public service, there are four pointing back at the Chamber of Commerce. The public service consists of men and women who citizens look to during times of disaster, danger, illness or other misfortune. We are your police officers, your firemen, your nurses, teachers, social workers. and stewards of the public.

    Beyond lobbying for the merchant class to create bigger profits for its members, what has the Chamber of Commerce really done for this country? 

    I think you need to tone it down a little, I'm not trying to shoot the messenger, but if you did a little research, you would find that consolidated accounts have been prepared every year since 2011, ask the Auditor General why he hasn't audited them so they can be presented to the Legislative Assembly.

    All the law asks is that Auditor General renders an opinion, the opinion could be unqualified, qualified, disclaimer or adverse, whatever it is, render an opinion, so the public can see the accounts.

    The Chamber has the potential to be a significant force for good, it is unfortunate that it has now been reduced to a soapbox to promote an individual's political aspirations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't shoot the messenger but you sound  like a civil servant who is under performing and possibly responsible for a qualified opinion from the AG. In the private sector there would be consequences for such results.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Almost funny that the Chamber is now invited to the Rationalisation Table.
    Everyone is represented there except regular civil servants.
    Pathetic Civil Service Association!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes CS, my cost of living is way to high, and most of that cost is because I have to pay your salary and keep the government running. When I can't pay CUC I have to turn the AC or the lights off. When you run short of paying CUC you take more money out of my wallet to pay them. If you can't tell me what you are spending that money on, why should I feel OK about you taking more?

  6. UHUHUH` says:

    I think Mr. Moxam has made some valid points in reference to Governments seemingly inability to get our financials in order over the years. Now I'm  not speaking of the present Government nor of Mr. Archer minister of finance, this young man is doing a fantastic job, so let's give him credit for what he's done so far, and I'll venture to say there is more and better things ahead during his time at the helm! 

    Now to Mr. Moxam! Johann, you are one of our up and coming leaders and I admire your tenacity and your sticktoitiveness, you have some good ideas about what's needed to be done to help us get back to a place we once were! A time when there was 'little or no unemployment" this I think should be the mantra, but I totally disagree with your suggestion that we need a growth in population so that our economy will grow and or expand. If that were the case why do so many places like India and China and The Philippines and others whose populations have exploded but economic growth if any was minimal or nil until recently! So one must ask the question! Why are these people leaving their homeland to find employment here in Cayman and in other countries so far away from their homeland? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind. 

    Yes folks, it's blowing blowing in the wind of greed and avarice, it's blowing in the wind of a non caring society of some whose only objective is to acquire as much wealth as possible, for too little compensation being given to those from whose toil and sweat they gain their wealth. Those people who commit these atrocities are the same ones who cry fowl when our Government adds a few cents to import duty and other necessary tariffs so as to help provide funding for Government to help feed those who are unemployed and indigent because certain members of your group "The Chamber of Commerce", would rather employ those from the countries mentioned above than to help a local worker feed their family. Workers who when employed will spend most of the money they earn, here on island, which keeps the economic ferris wheel turning, because  everyone is able to pay for a ticket toride. 

    Talk to your group [C of C] and tell them to stop jacking up prices when the economy has slowed, because as you increase your prices people tend to buy less and the poor and the homeless will not hesitate to steel or an employee pilfer when they are being paid less than a livable wage. Which will cut your profit margin and the beat goes on.

    Listen to the following: It was written in 400 BC by greek philosophers named Demosthenes and one named Pericles, and they said: What happens to public affairs when the love of money leaves no-one the smallest space in which to deal with other things, to such an extent that the mind of each citizen [merchant] passionately observed in this one purpose [making money] could attend to no other business than the gain of each day, instead of securing general conditions of well being by means of mutual understanding.The antisocial spirit has reached such a pitch, that  the wealthy would rather throw their money into the sea than to relieve the lot of the indigent, while the very poorest of the poor would get less from  appropriating to their own use the property of the rich, than from depriving them of it.

    This is pretty much where we are in Cayman today! And until there is "some" equity between the employer and the worker, and the employment of those who are citizens of this little island before those who come here from another land, we will continue to see the Ferris Wheel of our economy slowly coming to a stop and all those who came here for the ride will leave us to repair the damage that will have occurred, because we were focused  on one thing and one thing only," Money" while the maintenance of our economic machine was being neglected.






  7. Anonymous says:

    You mean like actually fireing some one who for the last 10 years has failed to do their jobs or just did what the big guys told them to do?  I bet they know all the dirt.  Better to give them a raise in return for the truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too bad we can't  put Moxam in charge of government and then all will be perfect. As perfect as the Chamber and it's members.


    • Anonymous says:

      Yea, fire people from MACI who spend money out of waste and make no profits and even need subsidies!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well said, but will anything change, especially after a recent Court verdict on the use of credit cards?

    People, this is YOUR taxes (money from your wallets) the Govt are spending!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Okk – and who are Chamber members accountable to Re their

    Pension/Health Non-Payment  issues?

    Failure to offer liveable wages?

    Inflated Job Advertisments?

    Failure to hire locals?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think Marco is doing a good job, He inherited years of incompetence – he's working his way through it

  11. Anonymous says:

    There has been no accountabilty at the top….so not going to happen.

    There will be more flapping of jaws….but no meaningful action. zzzzzzzzz

  12. Anonymous says:

    Johann went through the "inadequate public education system" and it did not fail him. Why?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Considering that this man was once a big PPM man and fully enjoyed the support of Alden, it is now funny to see how much they are now are so far apart yet both so much alike- they are both all about politics.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Moxam what have you done to assist with the unemployment of Caymanians?

    Have you polled the Chamber membership, to see where the weaknesses are within the membership?

    Please come off of the soap box, and get your hands involved in facing the biggest issue these islands are now facing UNEMPLOYMENT! This is what you must do.

    • Anonymous says:

      In answer to your first question he has done more to assist then the unemployed has.  The man is now trying to take responsibility for his job.  That is almost unheard of in Cayman culture.  Please give him a chance to show the rest of  them what a real leader should be.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Moxam is absolutely correct! Not just accountability in regards to fiscal records but in the larger sense of the word in relation to CS performance, delivering value for money, appreciating the concept of value for money when disbursing and spending public funds, and general work ethics. In all of these attributes the CS, by and large, is bankrupt!! Ethical persons in the CS are the minority and are swimming against the stream.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the Chamber the CS needs to provide consolidated accounts statements. Chamber while you are holding the CS and government accountable please advocate for a minimum wage and employment for Caymanians too.  Lack of a liveable wages and jobs are turning Caymanians destitute many are living in ghettos in third world conditions without electricity, water, and food. Many people are turning into common criminal because of forced poverty it needs to stop how here is your chance to say something on the subject Chamber advocate to the poor now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you been following the Moxam and C of C this year? He is a breath of fresh air and speaking to the issues. A great leader in the making who is Intelligent and fearless.

  17. Anonymous says:

    As a business owner thank you Johan Moxom for being brave enough to call it like is.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Finally somebody in a leadership position said it! 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Most Chiefs and deputies could never get a similar position or keep it if they were in private sector

    • Anonymous says:

      I am afraid you are correct 8:49. They only got these positions because their main qualification is that they are Caymanian – and very young and inexperienced at that in some cases.. Until that changes, nothing else will change.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well said Johan it's about time the country discuss the elephant in the room. The management of the service is a joke and the level of nepotism and cover ups is sickening. If people  only knew how bad it is they heads would spin. Franz Manderson has his puppets in place and none are held accountable because they all kiss ass and cover for each other. 

    • Anonymous says:

      8:45 you are bitter and disappointed because you did not get that job but in addition to that you are wrong. Grow up.

    • Anonymous says:
      1. 8:45. You should be working instead of writing nonsense. You must be one of the civil servants that Franz did not promote because you could not do the job.  I see great things happening in the civil service performance mangement is robust and accountability is alive. Poor performers are being weeded out one at a time. Maybe you are one of them.  Franz is doing an excellent job and you know it.  All accounts submitted on time and quality improving. We will have the entire public sector accounts audited again next year.  We see customer service improving. More caymaians being employed and promoted. Silos torn down and everyone working as a team. Let's not forget the 100 million surplus this year.  Wow 
  21. Anonymous says:

    I only have nasty things to post