Kenneth Bryan

Should all leadership positions in Cayman be reserved for sons of the soil? George Town Central legislator Kenneth Bryan thinks so.

Kenneth Bryan has filed a private members’ motion that calls for government to make it mandatory for Caymanians to fill all senior positions, from commissioner of police to chief officers in all government ministries, within five years.

His motion asks government to implement a five-year strategic plan to select and train Caymanians for those roles.

Bryan acknowledged that Deputy Governor Franz Manderson had done a good job of putting Caymanians in senior positions in the civil service. But he believes that job is not complete.

“All leading decision-making positions that affect the future of our country should be held by Caymanians,” he said.

He believes Caymanians, whether by birth or who have applied and been granted status, have a deeper connection to the island and would make better decisions in the long-term interest of the country.

“The motion calls for a five-year plan. That is sufficient time to identify the right people and train and prepare them for leadership positions.”

The motion, supported by the member for West Bay North, Bernie Bush, specifically identifies chief officers and deputy chief officers of all government ministries and departments, chiefs and deputies of statutory authorities and government companies, and commissioners and deputy commissioners as positions that should ultimately be filled by Caymanians.

Bryan acknowledged that Cayman may still need to seek outside expertise in some positions, but he said this should be in a consultancy role alongside a Caymanian leader.

He believes it is necessary to mandate in law that those positions should be held by Caymanians, rather than to pursue that goal as a policy.

“While you have the option, the door remains open and it easy to be lackadaisical about succession planning.

“If we want to actively nation build, we should prepare our people to take these roles.”

Bryan cited the fire chief’s role as one recent example.

“For a very long time we thought we would never have a non-Caymanian as fire chief but as a result of failings in the succession process, we saw that happen,” he said.

The next session of the Legislative Assembly starts April 3.

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