Auditor General takes three-month deal

Frequently a source of controversy over the past few years, Cayman Islands Auditor General Dan Duguay made a less controversial move last week.

auditor takes months

Mr. Duguay

He agreed Friday to government’s offer of a three-month temporary contract.

The acceptance of that temporary deal means Mr. Duguay will stay in the crucial financial watchdog position until at least early May. His current three-year contract expires on 6 February.

Meanwhile, a public posting for the auditor general’s job that was issued once just before Christmas went out again in local newspapers on Friday.

If he wants to stay around, Mr. Duguay will have to fight for his position against the competition.

‘I have not applied for the job as yet, but at this point and time I intend to apply,’ he said Friday.

The application deadline for the auditor general’s job is 29 January.

As with all public sector jobs, government is required to post a position at least twice over a two-week period before the application closes.

The position, which is not subject to control of any person or authority under the Cayman Islands Constitution, pays between CI$127,296 and $147,648.

The auditor general’s position reports to the Legislative Assembly on the performance of various government agencies and also does routine financial audits of all government departments.

In recent months, Mr. Duguay and members of the House’s Public Accounts Committee have sparred publicly over issues regarding how and when auditor general reports should be released to the public. Mr. Duguay also drew the ire of Premier McKeeva Bush after announcing that he was going to look into the proposed cruise berthing dock project in George Town harbour.

Another recent report from the auditor’s office regarding how money was spent in an investigation of alleged police corruption – the now-infamous Operation Tempura – raised eyebrows among certain sectors of the civil service.

The report revealed that the chief investigator working on the Operation Tempura case received higher pay than the Cayman Islands’ governor during a period from May 2008 to April 2009.

Mr. Duguay informed former Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack in mid-August that he wanted to renew his contract, but never heard anything further on the issue until after Mr. Jack departed Cayman for good in early December.

The three-month contract – essentially a stop-gap measure to allow the auditor’s job to be publicly advertised – was offered to Mr. Duguay by Acting Governor Donovan Ebanks, who is filling in until permanent Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor arrives on 15 January.

The auditor general said he was disappointed about having to re-apply for his position.

Mr. Duguay has noted previously that having competition for his current job could have an effect on future auditors’ performance in office.

‘If the auditor general has to go every three years and fight for his job, he might have that in the back of his mind when deciding what audits to do and what to say,’ Mr. Duguay said during an interview last month.

Generally, Cayman’s auditor general is given three-year contracts. That is less than either Cayman’s complaints commissioner or information commissioner – both independently appointed government oversight offices that get five-year terms.

Many Canadian provinces give auditors general 10-year contracts. In Bermuda, the auditor is given a life-time appointment.