Post office: Talk about closing its doors!

For many Americans living and working in the Cayman Islands, Wednesday, Oct. 15, was an important day. It was the final day that they had to file their personal income tax returns with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

To meet this requirement, returns need not reach the IRS by that date, but they must be postmarked with that date affixed.

Consider the dismay of these tax filers when they discovered that every single post office in Grand Cayman was closed. That’s right, shuttered for the entire day. They were having a “staff meeting.”

It is worth remembering that “service” is the surname of the “civil service,” and worth contemplating how anyone in the civil service would make a decision to shut down a vital communications service of “the fifth largest financial center in the world” for a “staff meeting.”

It is no wonder that the Ernst & Young report on the rationalization of the civil service makes several recommendations with regard to the Postal Service, starting with ways to improve utilization, increase revenues and reduce costs, and ending with privatization.

For the record, Cayman’s Postal Service loses approximately $1 million per year.


  1. There can be little, if any, criticism of the CI Post Office on this issue, particularly if they advertised publicly in advance that all branches would be closed on 15 October. Frankly, only an idiot would defer posting something this important until the very last day. All the information they needed to include in their tax return must have been available for a long time before the cutoff date. Sorry, they only have themselves to blame – and the financial losses of the CI Post Office are irrelevant in the context of the issue under discussion – mayhap somebody at the Compass was one of those idiots.

  2. I’m an American, and the reality of it is that taxes can nearly always be filed online without sending in a paper copy. Combine that with the fact that the CI post office posted that they would be closed – the only person to blame for not taking care of the situation is the individual. The US postal service has been losing money for years, continually funded by Congress. At what point do the tax payers say, this is not working and we need to find another way and privatize this system? Sorry, no sympathy will be found here.

  3. This is a situation which is baffling to every one, and I have been hearing through the grape trees that the Post Office in Bodden Town will be closed permanently. Also the public Library. If those two places are loosing revenue in the thousands; then you be the judge what should be done. However I do hope they are not just going to be closed and locked up. What I see is that both places could use less space. The Post office is far too big and people cannot even afford post boxes any more, also yes, there is a lot of unused space at the Library in BT. A good idea would be to share the space of the post office or the Library and use half for the MLA office instead of paying 2000, plus dollars every month to a private person in Savannah, that money could be paid back into revenue. Both places have more than enough space, and maybe you will see one or two persons visit for the day. However will any of our representatives give this some consideration. Well Lets see.

  4. With no disrespect to the editors or to any of the fellow commenters, any talk of privatizing the system is absolutely idiotic. It’s been done already — it’s called FedEx. And for the low price of CI45 you can send your letter to the US.

    The issue of the post office being closed on 15 October is a red herring — not important to anyone. Although I will agree that any government office being closed for an entire day is a bit ridiculous.

    But the editorial board of the Compass has a very strong anti-government slant, and constantly calls for privatizing as much of government as possible. Of course, this misses the point. Government isn’t about making money — it’s about providing essential services. A private company only looks to make money. If you want to ensure that you won’t be able to send a birthday card to a relative back home for less than CI40 to cover postage, by all means privatize. If you want to spend thousands of dollars when you send out Christmas cards to friends abroad, then privatization is the way to go. If you want to give people a reasonably priced means to send items around the world, then government needs to be involved, and that may not always involve operating at a profit.

    Anyone who reads the editorials can see that the editorial board has a strong anti-government mentality. It’s more than just holding the government to task. It’s a dislike of government that requires it to be as small as possible, and for what little there is of it to operate like a private company. This view is both ignorant and short sighted.

    So indeed, let’s privatize the post office. I look forward to the editorial from the Compass telling everyone how much better they we all are when we have to send all mail via FedEx after the evil, wasteful government is no longer in the business of providing essential services.

  5. A Million dollar loss in unacceptable. They should either raise prices to cover the operating costs or close and it looks like they took the lesser for the two evils.

    As far as US Taxes it you wait till the last minute it’s no ones fault but your own.

  6. @Steven White…I disagree with your comments that the Editorial Board has an ant-government slant and an anti-government mentality. What the Editorial Board is doing with their pointed editorials is holding government accountable and to that I say, Bravo.

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