Credit card expenses published, hard to find

Most Cayman Islands government ministries have complied with Deputy Governor Franz Manderson’s directive to proactively publish government credit card expenses on the Internet, according to a review by the Cayman Compass.  

However, a number of the records were difficult to find on government websites, and some ministries had them located under different headings on their respective sites.  

Card records for the Ministry of Education could not be found, and no response was received from the ministry when questions were asked about the records.  

In expense records for September and October, the deputy governor’s office listed about $8,100 in credit card expenses for the registration of civil service employees Mary Rodrigues and Kimlon Lawrence to attend a professional certificate course on “Models of Public Service Delivery” in London. Other expenses included more than $700 in hotel bookings for Mrs. Rodrigues, who attended a contracting management conference in Canada.  

The Ministry of Planning listed about $5,000 in expenses during the September-October period for a Harvard Law School training program on negotiation and leadership. The ministry records did not state who attended.  

While the deputy governor’s credit card expenses were found on the front page of the office’s website, the planning ministry expenses were located only after searching Google, which went directly to the webpage on which the credit card records were located.  

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance credit card statements are located under the “publications” sections of their respective websites, to which the Compass was alerted only after asking questions of the chief officers for those two ministries.  

The Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and the Environment had credit card statements for various employees on five different government websites: one for the Department of Commerce and Investment, one at the General Registry, [*}one with [which is a government ministry site], one with the Department of Environment and one with the government’s Tax Information Authority.  

The Ministry of Home Affairs, which did not have its credit card statements posted at the time the Compass inquired about them, did so shortly afterward under the “resources” section of the website.  

That ministry’s card charges include $461.31 for hotel accommodations overseas for two members of the government Department of Community Rehabilitation attending a Victims of Crime conference; a US$5,200 registration fee for the “16th Annual Six Sigma and Process Improvement Summit” in January for a deputy chief officer and a chief financial officer; and about US$600 for airline tickets to Cayman Brac for a police officers’ meeting.  

The Ministry of Tourism indicated its credit card statement for September and October had been posted under the “publications” section of its website, but the Compass could not locate it. Other, older ministry credit card expenses were found on the ministry’s website.  

Mr. Manderson said in August that the publication of government credit card and travel records began on Sept. 1, after credit card expenditures made by various officials were released to the local media.  

“The information will be published on the [government] agency websites,” Mr. Manderson said. “On a monthly basis, they will publish credit card expenses and [details of] how they use their credit cards as well as any costs to do with travel.”  

The travel and credit card expenses reporting will be only for the previous month and not a history of expenses before that. For example, on Sept. 1, all travel and credit card charges incurred in August would be reported.  

[*] Editor’s note: Story changed to reflect the ‘Cayman Finance’ website is a government site run by the ministry.

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  1. Know something its best not to stir this any more, because it is starting to smell.
    One thing that is so funny about this is that so many hands were stirring this credit Card pot, no wonder we were getting cassava cake with fish gravy on top. I bet they could dig and find Mr Bush one though and quick too. But of course he never tried to hide anything.

  2. They opened pandora’s box themselves on this one, everyone sat idly by why Bush was dragged through the mud for using his Credit card as if no one else had done the same. Now that this is out in the open every Credit Card charge will get scrutinized. This may actually be a good thing, I am not suggesting that any get charged with a crime but the public purse should get reimbursed for any charges that cannot be proven to be business related. Someone needs to go back a do a full audit in order to put this to rest, followed by a strict set of guidelines governing credit card usage.