Get country’s priorities straight

Whether the financial crisis in the Cayman’s is due to incompetence, mismanagement or corruption is irrelevant at this time.

The past political party apparently was of the misconception that the negative world economic problems would not affect the Caymans and continued to spend monies on a multitude of capital projects we could not afford.

Now we have a newly elected Legislative Assembly with the direct responsibility to make tough choices and bring the future financial security of these islands back in-check.

This means establishing priorities and cutting back on all government spending. There is no acceptable excuse for any government department or government authority should fail to submit its annual audited financial statements within 90 days of the government’s fiscal year-end.

All department heads must ensure that their area of responsibility is in compliance or face termination of both the department manager and department financial controller. All general managers of government authorities must comply with the mandated submission of annual audited financial statements or the annual government subsidy for that authority should have funds withheld until it is in compliance. Accountability must always be re-enforced by monetary consequences to be effective.

The following list contains some of the issues that must be addressed by the newly elected government in order to reduce spending without increasing Caymanian unemployment.

Good old boy politics as usual must be replaced with integrity and a desire to make the Cayman Islands Government fiscally responsible. Everyone who lives and works in this nation deserves no less from the elected officials.

1. Mandate government hiring and salary freeze.

2. Defer all capital projects not yet begun.

3. Institute best business practices in all Government operations. Set up internal controls with auditing procedures that assure compliance. Utilise annual external audits to give surety that procedures are followed. Due to the current state of non-compliance of all authorities and government departments, in reference to annual financial reporting, there is no real knowledge of government fiscal condition. All of the numbers being spoken and printed are estimates. All efforts must be made to regain fiscal responsibility.

4. When practical, use videoconference meetings to conduct inter-island government business. This practice could also be used to conduct non-sensitive meetings with foreign Caymanian offices. Government travel expenses should be held to a minimum.

5. All Government road construction should be limited to necessary repairs and maintenance only.

6. Institute island-wide recycling mandates at for all cans, glass and plastic.

7. Encourage local businesses to incorporate recycled materials into their raw material processes.

8. Reduce government costs associated with impact studies from foreign companies when extensive research can be done, by appointing a committee of local personnel with extensive experience related to the study.

9. Require that all Government projects must employ 51 per cent local permanent residents.