Ag show got missing money

A $20,000 grant from the Ministry of Agriculture to help fund Grand Cayman’s annual Agricultural Show did not get delivered as expected this year, but the money found its way into the organisers’ coffers eventually.

Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who is also the government minister in charge of agriculture, said on live radio on the day of the show that the money should have been available from her ministry, but was not.

On Thursday, at the weekly government press briefing, Ms O’Connor-Connolly said her chief officer Alan Jones had apologised for the error, but that he had been off-island when another member of staff in the ministry’s office failed to make the money available.

She said she was only made aware of the situation shortly before the show was held on Ash Wednesday, 13 February and admitted: “I was not very happy.”
The money was to have been spent to cover some of the costs of the popular show, which is held each year at the Agricultural Grounds in Savannah.

The premier did not identify the member of staff who was responsible for the money not getting to the Agricultural Society when expected.

Ms O’Connor-Connolly said the $20,000 will pay for some bills submitted to the ministry from the Agricultural Society.

She added that there was “no doubt” in her mind that there would not be a reoccurrence of failure to pay the grant to host the Agricultural Show in future.

This year’s show attracted about 8,000 people.

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