UDP blasts ‘governance crisis’

Opposition members say a series of recent government controversies constitute a ‘governance crisis’ and have called for action to be taken to restore confidence in the way the country is being run.

Their statement follows a joint meeting by all Opposition members including Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush and MLA’s Rolston Anglin, Cline Glidden, Juliana O’Connor Connolly and Capt Eugene Ebanks.

Among the controversies sighted by the group were the alleged misappropriation of thousands of dollars by former UCCI President Hassan Syed and the lack of oversight by the Government; the almost $2 million dollar helicopter fiasco; delays in presenting financial reports totalling over $1.5 billion dollars and the failed Matrix scrap metal contract, which left the government almost $1 million out-of-pocket.

‘It is time for the PPM to come clean and implement its own highly touted rules of good governance and transparency,’ said West Bay Opposition MLA Rolston Anglin in a press release.

The opposition MLA’s said they are particularly concerned with the large amounts of money involved and the apparent void of financial scrutiny and public transparency.

‘The fact that so many of these events relate to financial matters and imply or directly allege inappropriate behaviour worries me,’ said Mr. Bush.

‘In any private sector company a series of events like this would result in immediate dismissal of the person or persons concerned from the company.

‘Let’s not forget that ultimately the government is analogous to a company and that its shareholders are the people of the Cayman Islands’ he added.

In addition to the incidents relating to financial matters, the UDP statement also expressed concern on other issues; particularly the finding by the Commission of Enquiry that Tourism Minister Charles Clifford took confidential files from his ministry for political gain and the recent removal of the Police Commissioner and senior officers of the RCIPS who are being investigated by a special team from the UK. These issues together cause a wider concern for governance, the UDP statement said.

‘If we take everything that has occurred within the past 12 months alone, we are looking at a governance crisis more generally and from several different angles,’ said West Bay Opposition MLA Cline Glidden.

‘In addition poor governance also negatively affects the international perception of the Cayman Islands,’ he said.

The group will be looking into the matters in greater detail and will consider what further action the Opposition will take, said Ms O’Connor Connolly.