As of last September, only 19 percent of Cayman’s 3,950 civil servants had completed government’s fraud-awareness training – an online course on the 2017 anti-fraud policy, which is designed to curtail corruption.
To boost those numbers, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson offered civil servants what he described as a “carrot”: a day off from work in exchange for completing the training.
Mr. Manderson told this to the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday in response to questions from MLA Austin Harris about what is being done to increase the number of civil servants who have completed government’s anti-fraud training.
The training is an online overview of the anti-fraud policy, anti-fraud code of business ethics, anti-fraud whistleblower policy, and the policy on offering or receiving hospitality, entertainment or gifts. Civil servants then take a test on the course’s content.
In response to Mr. Harris’s initial question, Mr. Manderson said not every civil servant has a computer at work, so he allowed them to take the training as groups. Because the civil servants took the training as groups, he did not know how many have completed the training, but said he thinks it was the majority of them.
However, Mr. Harris said he wanted “the record to show” that Mr. Manderson also used another method of encouragement.
“It wasn’t so much a lack of a computer, but your enticement was you gave them a discretionary day off work, which of course everyone jumped at and took advantage of the opportunity,” said the opposition legislator.
Mr. Manderson admitted that this was the case, but said he wanted to clarify the situation. For the last three or four years, he said, he has given civil servants a day off “in the very slow periods of Christmas” if they performed adequately at their jobs.
“So it was based on your performance on your annual performance agreement. So anyone who got a 3 – which means you did your job – and above, were given the day off,” he said. “And that was a good incentive and we saw an increase in performance as a result.” But because government has changed the timing of its financial year, there was no performance review in December and thus no days to give off based on that review, he said.
“So I decided to use this policy as the carrot instead, and I must say the response was overwhelming,” the deputy governor said. “So I don’t want to give the impression that I just gave everybody a day off. It was based on doing something substantial – and for me, that was going to benefit the civil service as a whole.”