Cabinet policy ‘czar’ appointed

Career civil servant Robert Lewis has been appointed as the first director of the Cabinet Office’s Policy Coordination Unit.

The post was created to coordinate the development and implementation of policies across all government ministries and portfolios.

Mr. Lewis is working with a small team of colleagues to develop independent advice for the Premier, Cabinet, the National Security Council, and other agencies – as directed by the Cabinet Secretary.

He has served government for 24 years, most recently as the Department of Planning’s Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Policy Development. He has also served on several committees tasked with developing national policies and enhancing departmental efficiencies. Those include the National Energy Policy Committee, the Census Advisory Committee, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Working Group. The new policy director holds two masters degrees. One is in Public Policy and Management from the University of London; the other is in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University. He also holds management certifications from Napier University in Scotland, and from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mr. Lewis has also served Cayman overseas, such as on the executive committee of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association and its Broward County Planning Association by-laws subcommittee.

“I am passionate about facilitating the professional development of government’s aspiring supervisors and managers in the interest of more efficient and effective public service,” he said.

In 1999, Mr. Lewis was recognised by the Civil Service Association for exemplary service to the people and government of the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Lewis was also the first president of the Cayman Islands Martial Arts and Taekwondo Federations and has been inducted into the Caribbean Martial Arts Hall of Fame in its inaugural year.

He has served on the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee and was the president of the organising committee for the first world-class sporting event to be hosted in the Cayman Islands – World Cup Taekwondo 1994.

Focus on crime

The newly-formed Policy Coordination Unit of the Cabinet Office has already completed an action plan to implement the national Crime Reduction Strategy, which was released earlier this year by Governor Duncan Taylor.

Implementing the strategy is the unit’s initial focus, Mr. Lewis said. The work includes coordinating and directing the related programmes, making periodic evaluations, as well as reporting the outcomes and making recommendations to the National Security Council and Cabinet.

The strategy offers a four-pronged approach to crime reduction: early intervention, reducing re-offending, prevention and situational prevention.

“This holistic approach holds fast to the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’. In particular we maintain that, for crime to be effectively reduced in the medium to long-term, special attention must be given to early intervention,” Mr. Lewis said.

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