Corruption cops notified of Health Services Authority overtime probe

Auditors noted last year that the Health Services Authority had a budget for 890 total staff, but only had 833 employees. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission has been notified of an ongoing internal audit at the Health Services Authority regarding “irregularities” in overtime payments to security officers.

According to Health Services Authority board chairman Jonathan Tibbetts, the commission was told of the audit as part of normal protocol.

The commission, via its spokesperson Deborah Bodden, did not state whether its officers were investigating the overtime payments.

“The Anti-Corruption Commission neither confirms nor denies investigatory matters,” Ms. Bodden said.

The Anti-Corruption Unit of the appointed Anti-Corruption Commission is a separate investigative body from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. The police confirmed Friday that RCIPS officers were not looking into the security guard payments.

The Cayman Compass reported last week that the Cayman Islands government’s Internal Audit Service was looking into “irregularities” in overtime payments made to security officers working at the Health Services Authority. The audit review has come amid the suspension of a number of the HSA’s security officers.

A statement released by the public hospital’s board of managers read: “In discussion with the board and in accordance with the organization’s fraud and corruption prevention policy, [senior staff] requested an audit of the security department from the HSA’s Internal Auditor who is currently on secondment to the government Internal Audit unit.

“This review is currently under way and we await a formal report.”

Security staff members, numbering about a dozen, were informed via letters last week of the internal audit review. According to the notice that was sent to those security officers: “In order to facilitate an investigation into irregularities in the security section, it has been decided that it would be in the best interest of the Health Services Authority to place you on required leave effective immediately. You will remain in that status for 30 days or until the investigation is completed.”

“Required leave” is suspension with pay.

The hospital security officers have been replaced for the time being with employees from a private security company.

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