Members of budget committee named

The public-private sector committee formed at the request of the United Kingdom government to help shepherd the Cayman Islands government budget through the year now has a full slate of members.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested the committee be led by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and said that it should be responsible for monitoring and “driving the operational delivery of the budget”, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Premier’s office.

Governor members of the committee along with Mr. Manderson include Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson, the Premier’s Chief of Staff Leonard Dilbert, Chief Officer of the Financial Services ministry Dax Basdeo, Chief Officer of the Portfolio of the Civil Service Gloria McField-Nixon and Chief Officer Public Finance Sonia McLaughlin.

Also serving on the committee are private sector representatives Dan Scott of the Ernst and Young accounting firm and Woody Foster of the Foster’s group of companies. Serving as an ex-officio [non-voting] member of the committee is UK Economic Advisor Richard Holmwood.

“My government delivered a bare bones budget within a very tight fiscal frame which calls for significant administrative change in the civil service,” Premier McKeeva Bush said. “I therefore welcome the establishment of the Budget Delivery Committee which will keep me informed of the performance of the budget, on a monthly basis.

“I have asked for an economist and an accountant to perform similar functions for the past three years. I am particularly pleased to have the business expertise and acumen of Dan Scott… and Woody Foster.”

Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor also lauded the formation of the committee.

“By providing timely and clear advice, the committee will ensure that the Premier and his ministerial colleagues are fully informed at all times and are able to make, at an early stage, any policy adjustments which may prove necessary to keep the budget on track,” Mr. Taylor said.

Mr. Manderson said the committee will function as an advisory body only and remain accountable to the elected government of the day.