Two supervisors at the Health Services Authority’s security office were arrested Monday in connection with an ongoing criminal probe into staff overtime payments.
The two men, aged 48 and 57, from George Town were arrested on suspicion of multiple offenses under the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law, according to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The commission had not identified either man Monday because neither has been officially charged with any offense.
The allegations against the men include suspected bribery of a public officer, fraud on the government, breach of trust and false claims by public officers.
Both suspects, as health services employees, are considered public officials under the Anti-Corruption Law.
The Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission was notified of an ongoing internal audit at the Health Services Authority regarding “irregularities” in overtime payments to security officers sometime in February. However, the commission, via its spokesperson Deborah Bodden, did not state whether its officers were investigating the overtime payments.
The Anti-Corruption Unit of the appointed Anti-Corruption Commission is a separate investigative body from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
The Cayman Compass had reported earlier in February 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 at the time by the public hospital’s board of directors 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 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. Although that notice was sent in February, it is understood the officers remain on required leave at present. HSA Board Chairman Jonathan Tibbetts and Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood declined to comment about the investigation on Monday.
The hospital security officers have been replaced for the time being with employees from a private security company.