Security council holds three meetings in 18 months

Since the election of the Progressives-led government in May 2013, the Cayman Islands National Security Council has held just three meetings, according to records obtained through an open records request.

The three meetings, held in August 2013, September 2013 and July 2014, were well attended but amounted to one meeting held every six month.

According to records provided by the Cabinet Office, in the 17 months between January 2012 and May 2013, there were seven meetings of the advisory body.

The security council, formed under the 2009 Constitution Order, serves to advise the U.K.-appointed on “matters related to internal security” excepting operational and staffing matters, which are left to the police commissioner. The commissioner is also required to inform the premier of any “significant security developments” within the islands.

The governor is required to act on the advice of the security council, unless she believes doing so would affect the U.K.’s interests.

In an email to the Cayman Compass on Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose said, “The NSC is established under section 58 of the Constitution. There is no prescribed meeting time.”

In addition to meeting and attendance records, the Compass also sought to obtain any decisions made by the council since January 2012 and agendas and minutes of the council meetings.

This part of the request was refused by the Cabinet Office.

“Because presentations and discussions of the National Security Council involve operational details of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Department of Immigration, Customs and Her Majesty’s Prisons, the decision was made to exempt the agenda and minutes of the meetings,” the open records response indicated. “It is felt that it would be irresponsible to disclose records which would prejudice border security and reveal security procedural policies.”

Mr. Rose told the Compass that “in order to allow for a full and frank exchange of information on the issues under consideration, it is not always appropriate to make these discussions public.”

Governor Helen Kilpatrick and Premier Alden McLaughlin did not respond to Compass questions about the council meetings sent on Monday.

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