CarePay audit: No misconduct or corruption by civil service

Canover Watson
Canover Watson

A special investigation by the Internal Audit Unit into the CarePay system found “systemic failure” in the procurement process, but found no evidence that public servants were involved in misconduct or corruption.

The auditors’ investigation, released Tuesday, found “systemic failure” in the procurement process that allowed former Health Services Authority Board Chairman Canover Watson to personally benefit from awarding the contract.

However, the auditors said civil servants did not comply with the Public Management and Finance Law, and that “there was an absence of the expected standard of care and professional skepticism in the actions of public servants in the processing of payments related to the procurement of the CarePay System.”

A jury convicted Watson of corruption earlier this year for his role in the CarePay scandal.

In their report, auditors faulted public servants and the minister of health at the time – Mark Scotland – for placing too much trust in Watson.

The report states, “Both the Ministry of Health’s and the HSA’s personnel placed a significant level of confidence and trust in the former Chairman of the Board and as such, literally handed the management of the procurement off to him, without scrutiny or oversight. He was therefore relied on heavily, for decisions in regards to the project.”

The auditors make several recommendations, including better communication between the HSA and the ministry, separating powers of the HSA board chair and board members, following government procurement rules, and better policies and procedures to oversee procurement.

See Thursday’s edition of the Cayman Compass for a full report.