Civil service ignores budget deadline

Emergency meeting held

Cayman Islands government chief officers convened an emergency meeting Wednesday
following a revelation by the country’s financial secretary that no one was meeting
budget reduction goals for the upcoming financial year.

According to a memo issued 30 March
by Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, the civil service was required to cut its personnel
budget by some $19 million or about eight per cent in the new fiscal year –
which begins 1 July. A deadline of 9 April, last Friday, was set as the revised
budget submission deadline.

Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson sent
an e-mail to chief officers and elected lawmakers Tuesday that indicated compliance
with that budget-cutting directive was exactly zero.

“As of noon (Tuesday), two-thirds
of agencies had not made their revised budget submission to (the Budget
Management Unit) and, of the one-third that made a revised budget submission,
none had met all the percentage reduction targets sought,” Mr. Jefferson wrote.

Cabinet ministers called in chief
officers and their financial advisers for a meeting Wednesday to discuss the
apparent failure to meet budget reduction targets.

Specific budget reductions that
could include job cuts, payments for certain health care costs and even
temporary salary reductions may be needed in the upcoming year’s spending plan.

Read more on this story in Thursday’s editions…