CIG to use spending muscle

| 02/12/2014

(CNS): The finance minister has said that government will soon be doing a better job of utilizing its spending power to cut costs. During his address last week in the Legislative Assembly on government’s Strategic Policy Statement outlining its future fiscal plans, Marco Archer said that his ministry would be leading an initiative to “leverage the immense buying power of the Cayman Islands Government”. Sticking to his theme of fiscal prudence, he said the introduction of a centralized procurement system would help to keep core government expenses down. Keen to rein in spending on goods and services, Archer said he wanted to optimize every public dollar spent.

“To ensure public sector expenditures remain in-check and further enhance the prudent management of public sector finances, the government will be taking steps to improve its procurement regime,” Archer stated.

The news comes more than a year after Deputy Governor Franz Manderson announced plans for the creation of a government procurement department headed up by a procurement director, based on recommendations made by the auditor general. In September last year Manderson told the Public Accounts Committee that Cabinet had given the go-ahead and budgeted some $350,000 to create the specialized office that would deal with everything from developing new laws about the procurement process to establishing business cases for public projects.

Last week Archer said that government was taking steps to improve its procurement regime and the Finance and Economics Ministry had recently concluded the recruitment of the director of the Central Procurement Office.

He said, “Standardization in specification and policies are expected to yield numerous benefits, such as reduced costs,reduced future maintenance on vehicles, machinery and equipment, greater transparency in the procurement process and greater compliance by private sector merchants wishing to do business with the government.”

Pointing to the need to keep operating expense in check, Archer said the ministry would move “swiftly to develop the policies and procedures that will be used going forward to ensure that the citizens of this country receive optimum value for every dollar spent”.

He said he expected public spending would remain relatively static over the next three years with an increase of just 1% between the current 2014/15 expenditure budget and the SPS financial targets for the 2017/18 year. The minister also noted that the tight spending regime was before any other efficiency gains that may result from the implementation of any of the Ernst & Young report recommendations for cutting the public sector.

Despite inflation, keeping government expenditures constant was a result of increasing efficiency, he said.

Last year the deputy governor said the centralized procurement department would address the numerous concerns that had been raised by the Office of the Auditor General over how government manages procurement.

Manderson said at the time that the recruitment process for the procurement director had already started. He had told the PAC that the future goal in managing projects would be to get things right from the start, and it will be this office that will establish the business case for any project before it goes to tender. The plan at the time was to include the Central Tenders Committee in the new department, which was to be renamed the Procurement Committee.

See related story on CNS: Procurement office in works

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CIG probably have loyalty cards or some form of discount in Vegas also. Maybe get comped a few free shows? We should make use of this muscle also. It was our money, wasnt it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman's destruction? 1) domination of Jamaican style teaching, policing and aggression and 2) power of Dart………. think about it

  3. Anonymous says:

    WHAT A JOKE. Above the story reads Dart gets 11 Million in duty, then above that 600 living without power. This one is, govt to use spendng power. Use your spending power to help some of the 600 and use the rest of a whatever power you think you may have to get back some of the 11 million.Does this take a genius? the more things change the more they remrain the same.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good first step, it's about time. Now go back to Centralized Gov't. Decentralizing Gov't increased costs substantially and has not worked.

    On the fuel issue, it's not so much what we pay at the pump, though it would be nice if we were getting the lower prices everyone in the world is enjoying……it's the fuel cost from CUC that needs to go down. Are they making the diffrential in cost or is it Gov't?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first paragraph is complete nonsense, 15:44. You are just listening to those who haven't a clue what it was like or you are one of life's non thinkers-the sort that are content for things to be done the same way for years and years and years and years, just so no one (especially you) has to actually think about doing it any other way.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please spare us these hot air proclamations and show us with your actions.  We all know that optimizing "every dollar spent" requires the political will to do what is necessary; ie. adopt something similar to Miller Shaw Report recommendations: consolidate the 43 departments and lay off the hundreds of redundant employees.  If CIG implements standard cross-department, and cross-government systems, procedures, and penalties, there will be literally hundreds of people milling around with nothing to do.  Every government has has blown the same hot air, and no government has actually had the political stones to see it through.    

  6. Anonymous says:

    My 2 cents worth was only worth 2 cents but it was worth $1 to those with a socialist mind

    France does it  so do many other countries

    . Cayman is for the most part socialist and if the majority want to go down that road so be it. 

    Otherwise cayman needs to do an about face and stat running itself like a business

    Fire all upper management and let them open their own businesses.

    That said it makes me ill to see your merchant class living like kings in south sound while their workers live in slums around the store. That truly is a shame and a disgrace.

    your merchants are not that smart that is why there are rules to protect them  

  7. Ruling class is the problem of the working class says:

    Well done Marco,

    My international company has approached the CI government with global benchmark services on several occassions and have offered the same public sector pricing that we give the USA & UK.  The savings would be enormous, but the problem is that "the ones in power" in the Civil Service prefer to give their crony buddies the business at inflated profits.  These favors to friends and conflicts of interest are killing us.

    I'm talking about a small local business getitng a reseller retail license when a global manufacturer hasoffered millions of dollars in goverment sector pricing and purchasing power, but the Chief Officer still would rather buy inferior products at an inflated price from his school mate buddy- half the time the decision maker or their brother has an interest in the business!  Any other governmment would sack someone for that, here… Franz will pat them on the back?

    I'm all for  supporting small local business and the proposal we gave Govt. would have partnered with a local firm to insure they were kept in the loop for shipping, support services, and very good revenue-  Too bad still greed is the goal and good job Marco to tighten the belt!!!

    I hope these fat-cats in the civil service have padded their nests enough, because audits and financial responsibility is coming now! Ya don't like it? Go work in the private sector…..oh, "you can't get an interivew" in the private sector because of the Work Permit rubber-stamping Board?  Ooops, maybe some succession planning in Govt wasn't such a bad idea after all? Again, ask Franz?

    Go Marco, thank you.  We are ready to bid and save the govt money while providing much better service.  Just stop the insanity of the Chief Officers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me make sure I undrstand your post.

      1) You're mad because your foreign company lost bussiness to Caymanian ones.

      2) You're accusing people of corruption but neither (a) naming names to support your claim nor (b) reporting them to the Corruption Commission.

      3) After the above you want us to believe you have Cayman's best interests at heart?

  8. Anonymous says:

    yeah whatever…just read miller shaw or E&y reports…..

  9. Anonymous says:

    The fastest growing sector in the UK is the procurement industry.

    Armies of civil servants now sit in judgment on major, highly complicated contracts but know nothing about the skills required. It has now become a massive box ticking exercise.  

    CIG will find out very  quickly that they have created a bureaucratic monster and they only need to to look to the huge infrastructue and IT contracts awarded in the UK through procurement that have turned into financial disasters and they will realise that the old ways, whilst not perfect, are much preferrable.  

    It's a pity that the political correctness sweeping the UK has now laid its dead hand on The Cayman Isands. 


  10. Anonymous says:

    You want to save money ? Stop giving money to advisors (campaign contributors).

    Take it from the top: High salaries, company cars, dinners, parties, traveling, casinos.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is one head of an authority that bought himself a $40k 4×4 truck, supposedly for the 'authority' but the only one who drives it is him for his own personal use and he uses gasboy card to keep it full.  Without central procurement control this goes unchecked


  11. Keepin' Them Real says:

    Gasoline $1.58USD gallon wholesale:


  12. Keepin' Them Real says:

    Fuel prices drive the cost of everything in Cayman. Imagine if gasoline was $3.50 at the pump instead of $5.50. This would be the best stimulus to our economy; lowering costs for residents as well as creating a better, cheaper AND more profitable tourism product.

    The wholesale cost of gasoline at the end of last week at ports on the Gulf coast of the U.S. was………wait for it………..are you ready…….here it comes……….$1.58USD per gallon!

    Anyone else please feel free to finish the rest of this story…….I gotta go lay down….my head is hurtin me wid all dis numbas an' stuff!

    • Grandfather Troll says:

      Hey, Keepin' Them Real……  Maybe if CIG reads your comment it will give them a GREAT idea to save some money for the government AND the people too. 

      Nahhh.  They just want to create more government procurement departments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fill in the blanks:

      Gulf coast fuel price per gallon: $1.58 USD / $1.31 KYD
      Governemnet Duties per gallon: $0.90 USD / $0.75 KYD
      Shipping/ Transport per gallon: $ Unknown
      Cayman Fuel Depot per gallon: $ Unknown 
      Cayman Gas Station avg. per gallan $6.63 USD / $5.50 KYD

      Someone help me fill in the "unknowns" and we will figure out why our fuel cost has been so high. There $4.15USD / $3.45 KYD

  13. Anonymous says:

    My 2 cents worth It would be nice if the CIG opened up 2 golden corrals and fed people for cheap. Some would pay full price others not so much it  just depends.

    That would feed a lot of peope good food and create some new jobs.

    Run it like a business but only break even  if you can and if you loose some money so what.

    its just money

    While the CIG was at it they should open 6 stores around the island to sell rice milk cheese and chicken and some other basics for cheap If the CIG can use the power they think they have for purchasing items  then chicken could be sold for 19 cents a pound /cheese for 1.25 lb milk $3 etc

    Just some food for thought



    • Keepin' Them Real says:

      Your 2 cents is worth….exactlly 2 cents! Venezuela is a fine example of government-subsidized stores, I think we should use their model……not to worry about the annoying little fact that we don't have billions in oil reserves to pay for it like they do.

      We we also have to adopt the same new pastime as Venezuelans……..finding a roll of toilet paper to buy!

    • Richard Wadd says:

      The 'Job' of Government is NOT to be in business, but rather to ensure that the Policies and Laws of the country are in balance and such that they allow for the growth and development of the private sector.

      This in turn will create employment opportunities and keep the 'Cost of Living' in check.

      That the cost of Basic food and necessities are at the level they are now is a DIRECT REFLECTION of the failure of our successive Governments to manage these policies effectivly.

      We must look to 'Fix the disease' and not 'bandage the symptoms'.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, so at what point is the Govt going to do these things. All useless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Instead of subsidizing food, why not just stop penalizing it?  Stop charging duties on food imports.  Heck, just stop on staples and keep them on "luxury" foods, it's not like the tariff law doesn't already charge different amounts on different types of food.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only part I agree with is getting a golden coral here the rest is jus rubbish ur spitting lol now hurry up with the coral I’m starving man!