Ministerial responsibilities assigned

The changes in Cabinet Ministers’ responsibilities, which took effect 1 July, mean the reshuffling of several government entities among the various ministries and portfolios.

The detailed list of subjects, departments, sections, authorities, boards and committees assigned to each ministry and portfolio by the Governor will be published as a supplement in the Cayman Gazette, said a GIS press release.

The changes affect all ministries as they all now have new combinations of subjects. Portfolios, too, have seen some changes from the regrouping of certain operations.

Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor explained that, while the assignments have been made based on the logical grouping of related subject areas, there are a few instances where ministers have been assigned particular responsibilities based on their special areas of expertise and interest.

Summary of changes:

The Ministry for District Administration, Planning, Agriculture and Housing, formerly the Ministry for Planning, Communications, District Administration and Information Technology, now has responsibility for all departments and agencies connected with agriculture and housing. Minister Kurt Tibbetts is responsible for District Administration, the departments of Planning, Agriculture and Lands and Survey; the MRCU and the Petroleum Inspectorate.

He is also responsible for the National Housing and Community Development Trust and the Private Finance Initiative Advisory Board.

The freedom of information initiative, to which the new government has given its commitment, is one of Mr Tibbetts’ responsibilities.

In his role as Leader of Government Business, Mr. Tibbetts is responsible for regional and international affairs, including liaison and relationships with heads of state, and involvement in multilateral organizations such as CARICOM.

The former Ministry for Education, Human Resources and Culture is now the Ministry for Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture. Its minister, Alden McLaughlin, is responsible for the departments of Education, Employment Relations and Youth and Sports; the Pensions Office, the Schools’ Inspectorate and the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.

The Private Sector Consultative Committee, which brings representatives of the financial sector together to provide input on initiatives affecting that industry, is among the authorities, boards and committees for which Mr. McLaughlin has responsibility. In this capacity he will liaise closely with the Financial Secretary.

The former Ministry of Community Services, Youth, Sports and Gender Affairs has become the Ministry of Communications, Works and Infrastructure. Minister Arden McLean is responsible for the subject of utilities, public beaches and cemeteries. The Public Works, Postal Services, Transport, Vehicle Licensing, Vehicle and Equipment Services and the Environmental Health departments, as well as the Telecommunications Unit and Radio Cayman are all under his purview.

The Ministry for Tourism, Environment, Development and Commerce is now the Ministry for Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce. Minister Charles Clifford has responsibility for the Department of Tourism, the Met Office and the Department of Environment. E-commerce and national parks are subjects under his ministry. Among his authorities, boards and committees is the Airports Authority.

The Ministry of Health and Human Services encompasses health, gender and community affairs. Headed by Anthony S. Eden, the ministry has responsibility for the Public Health Department, Children and Family Services Department, the Department of Substance Abuse Services (to be renamed Department of Counselling Services), the Health Insurance Commission, the Probation and Aftercare Unit and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

Among official portfolios, the Legal Affairs Portfolio and the Portfolio of Finance and Economics remain relatively unchanged, except for the shifting of the Private Sector Consultative Committee to Mr. McLaughlin.

The Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs has assumed responsibility for the Cadet Corps, and the 911, Fire, and Prison services, a move which brings all government uniformed and security and protective branches under the same umbrella.

The portfolio has also gained responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority, formerly the responsibility of the Ministry of Health Service, Agriculture, Aviation and Works, and for the National Archive, which was previously under the Ministry of Education, Human Resources and Culture.

The Cabinet Office now has responsibility for several units. This includes the Cabinet Secretariat, which provides administrative support to the Cabinet and to the Leader of Government Business in respect of his regional and international relations. The Cabinet office has also assumed responsibility for the London Office and for a protocol office.

The Cabinet Office’s Policy Coordination Unit will track and coordinate the implementation of Cabinet’s policy decisions across government agencies.

To facilitate an increasingly strategic approach to government’s public relations and its information technology development, the Cabinet Office is being assigned responsibility for Government Information Services and the Computer Services Department.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.