There must be more accountability when it comes to how
public money is spent.
It is appalling, to say the least, that the Public Service
Pensions funds cannot properly explain or justify thousands of dollars spent on
bonuses, consulting and retainer fees, outside scope work – to the tune of $400
per hour – plus technical, administrative and out-of-pocket expenses related to
the retirement fund for government employees.
Most of the expenses, including those for consultants to
attend meetings outside the Toronto, Canada, region, could not be reconciled.
And it gets worse.
From July 2008 to December 2009 more than $27,000 was
charged to a government charge card issued to the managing director of the
fund. There’s nothing to prove exactly how the money was spent.
More than $34,000 was spent on consultancy services but
again, there is no documentation to back up those charges to the government.
Auditors reviewing the Public Service Pension fund’s books
must have come away from their exercise scratching their heads.
In a majority of instances reviewed they could not find any
documentation to back up the validity of the charges paid by government to the
fund’s administration and consultants.
The only reason these expenses and lack of documentation can
be made public is because the Caymanian Compass filed a request under the
Freedom of Information Law to get the audit report.
The first report given to us had much of the information
redacted – or blacked out. We appealed to the Information Commissioner and
finally got an unredacted copy of the report. That process took eight
Someone(s) should be held accountable for the money. We hope
that people who read this front page article don’t adopt the attitude of “Oh
well, that’s just how things work in Cayman”. It’s time for that thinking to be
done away with.