Financial Secretary leaving LA

One of the casualties of Cayman’s new constitution, Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson will be leaving his seat in the Legislative Assembly when the governing document comes into effect on 6 November.

Mr. Jefferson’s job will still exist, but he will no longer serve as a voting or sitting member of the LA. He will instead act as an advisor to the finance minister; one of three new elected representative positions created by Cayman’s updated Constitution.

‘This has been a maturing experience for me,’ Mr. Jefferson said Wednesday of his time in the legislature.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said he envisioned the financial secretary’s new role as a go-between with the elected ministers and a yet-to-be-appointed chief officer for financial services.

‘The constitution made provision for the financial secretary but did not say where he should go or what he should do,’ Mr. Bush told the Legislative Assembly Wednesday.

The elimination of the financial secretary’s position in the LA leaves the lawmaking body with a gap that cannot be filled by voters until Cayman’s Electoral Boundary Commission draws up the voting districts and decides where the three additional representatives will come from.

According to the governor’s office, an appointment of a finance minister is likely to be made from among the current 15 elected members of the LA. An individual has not been named to the post, but the governor’s office also indicated that the total number of government ministers, five, cannot increase until the Electoral Boundary Commission does its work.

The appointment of the finance minister would have to be agreed between the governor and premier (Leader of Governor Business McKeeva Bush will be the first person to assume the premier’s role in Cayman on 6 November.)

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller questioned whether the United Kingdom might move to appoint a finance minister of their own choosing.

‘Don’t even mention it,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘They haven’t said that.’

Other governing changes to take place as part of the new constitution include the elimination of the chief secretary’s position. Current Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks will become Cayman’s first Deputy Governor and his Legislative Assembly seat will eventually be filled by another elected minister.

Attorney General Samuel Bulgin will remain in the LA, but only as a non-voting member and advisor to government on legal matters. Mr. Bulgin will also relinquish responsibility for criminal prosecutions to an as yet unnamed director of public prosecutions.