Lawmakers to hear police motions Monday

Two legislative motions that have stirred controversy will be the first order of business when Cayman Islands lawmakers resume meeting on Monday.

The motions both question various aspects of the management and governance of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. The first, filed by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, questions the police response to reports of missing boaters on March 6 and in the days immediately following. The second, filed by East End MLA Arden McLean, more generally questions how the police apparatus is being managed and seeks the installment of a Caymanian police commissioner.

Mr. McLean’s motion, which states that eight local lawmakers have a “lack of confidence” in the current governance of the police, combined with the call for a special emergency meeting of the Legislative Assembly to hear the two motions, prompted the upcoming departure of Police Commissioner David Baines from the RCIPS a year before the end of his contract.

The two private members’ motions will be heard prior to the start of the regular assembly meeting, set for Wednesday of next week.

A long list of government business, including 18 bills, 48 parliamentary questions, 10 private members’ motions and three government motions, will start on Wednesday morning.

Legislation to be considered includes major changes to healthcare, private pensions and education laws. A new Data Protection Bill aimed at protecting personal privacy is to be introduced. Amendments to the local Anti-Corruption Law would change the makeup of the Anti-Corruption Commission, removing the police commissioner, auditor general and complaints commissioner from the commission.

In addition, long-awaited reform of business interest and financial interest reporting requirements for politicians, civil servants and appointed board members is due to be introduced as part of the Standards in Public Life Bill.

All of the business from the late April meeting is expected to be wrapped up before the government’s budget meeting, which is due to start in mid- to late-May following the approval of the spending plan by the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.