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Topic: Public Accounts Committee

PAC questions government’s inaction on social assistance programmes

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, in a hearing on Wednesday, 22 Sept., has queried why government has not implemented a host of recommendations made by several of its reports.

Financial secretary clears up ‘row’ over government deficit

Financial secretary Kenneth Jefferson explained the $50 million gap between the 2020 budget deficit estimates of the former and the new government in Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.

First Public Accounts Committee hearing postponed

The first hearing of the new Public Accounts Committee has been deferred for one week to allow Ministry of Finance staff to complete their work on the PACT government's inaugural strategic policy statement, PAC chairman Roy McTaggart has said.

McTaggart heads up Public Accounts Committee

Leader of the Opposition Roy McTaggart has been named chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

Government finances: Updating budgeting process will take time

Government needs to introduce new performance measures and move to an outcome-based budgeting system to improve transparency.

PAC queries airport expansion costs, delays

Members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday quizzed airport officials and project managers on why the expansion of the Owen Roberts International Airport terminal cost $23 million more than originally budgeted.

Turtle Centre senior staff to pay back erroneous salary hike

Executives and staff of the Cayman Turtle Centre who, due to a “misunderstanding” of a new pay policy at the facility, received unwarranted salary increases, will be given the option of voluntarily paying back the money, the Public Accounts Committee heard Tuesday.

Blocked OfReg report: No requirement for Speaker to verify findings

The Public Accounts Committee has voted to resubmit to the Legislative Assembly its findings on an Auditor General’s report into the operations of telecoms regulator OfReg, after Attorney General Samuel Bulgin found Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush had no grounds to block the information

PAC commends government entities’ account keeping

The Public Accounts Committee has lauded the 39 out of 41 government entities that received unqualified audit opinions.

Wholesalers defend fuel pricing in Public Accounts Committee

Fuel suppliers have defended their pricing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that wholesale margins are slim and high local costs are largely...

Pierson comments struck from PAC record

The Public Accounts Committee has voted to strike from the record statements made by OfReg Chairman Linford Pierson questioning the accuracy of the auditor general’s report into the operations of the regulator.

OfReg executives grilled on fuel prices, broadband quality

OfReg’s ICT executive Alee Fa’amoe has said, based the regulator's current operational trajectory, it will be not be able to meet its mandate of getting better prices at the gas pump nor fasater internet speeds and prices within the next year or two.

OfReg energy boss: Electricity bills are dropping

Consumers using 1,000 kilowatts monthly have been paying less on their electricity bills since March, OfReg’s executive director of energy and utilities, Gregg Anderson, has said.

OfReg to appear before PAC

The Public Accounts Committee will resume its hearing Wednesday as its inquires into the operations of OfReg and the findings of the Auditor General’s audit into the local utilities regulator.

More Caymanians opt for private schools

Enrolment in private schools is increasing as more local parents opt out of placing their children in Cayman’s government-run public schools, the Public Accounts Committee heard last week.

Cayman joins public finance discussions

Local leaders tasked with oversight of Cayman’s public finances and governance structure joined international counterparts this week in the UK.

Procurement law under review

Cayman’s Public Procurement Law and its accompanying regulations are under review, according to director of the Cayman Islands Procurement Office Taraq Bashir.

PAC: Official policy for import duty concessions in the works

The Cayman Islands government is drawing up a formal framework that it says will bring transparency and accountability to the granting of concessions and waivers on import duty.

Customs comes under the microscope

Operations at Cayman’s new Customs and Border Control department will be examined Wednesday as the Public Accounts Committee resumes hearings.

Miller remains as Public Accounts Committee chairman

Former Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller is returning as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee following an afternoon of political wrangling in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, during which the Opposition accused the government of attempting to stack the PAC with its members.

EDITORIAL – No harm in an independent opposition

Whether they do so by aligning themselves with the Premier or with the Opposition, there is no reason independent candidates cannot work together to do the job.

Miller resigns as leader of PAC

About a week after resigning from his role as the official Opposition leader, MLA Ezzard Miller has also resigned from the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee.

EDITORIAL – Building trust in public boards

The Central Planning Authority, in particular, wields considerable power and influence. Appropriately, it has taken meaningful steps toward transparency in recent years, but as an Auditor General’s report released early this year also noted, the work is far from over.

Commission: Despite promises, no update on anti-corruption law

At a January Public Accounts Committee hearing, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose both promised that reintroducing the long-dormant Standards in Public Life Law is a priority for government.

Planning director: CPA board interests will be public

In response to an audit report calling for more transparency, the Central Planning Authority is making public a registry of business, property, financial and other interests for its board members and employees.

Miller to attend public accounts forum

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ezzard Miller is this week attending the Oversight of Public Finances Forum, a gathering of accounts committee officials from the United Kingdom and its various overseas territories and Crown dependencies.
An aerial view of the business area of downtown George Town, Grand Cayman

Cayman bracing for negative Financial Action Task Force review

A report on the Financial Action Task Force’s recent review of Cayman’s defenses against terrorist financing and money laundering will likely be released next month, and the results will not be positive, according to Premier Alden McLaughlin.

Opposition raises questions over cruise ship port financing

Opposition leader Ezzard Miller claims government’s negotiations with cruise lines to finance the new port have compromised the entire procurement process for the controversial project.
An aerial view of the business area of downtown George Town, Grand Cayman

Financial Reporting Authority needs more staff for growing caseload

The Financial Reporting Authority is looking for additional staff to handle a skyrocketing load of suspicious activity reports of potential money laundering and other financial crimes connected to Cayman.

Government: Long-dormant anti-corruption law a ‘priority’

Government officials promised Wednesday in a Public Accounts Committee hearing that government will soon reintroduce the long-dormant Standards of Public Life Law, a piece of legislation designed to prevent conflicts of interests in government.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Needs Assessment Unit challenged by influx of elderly

An aging population and rising rental costs have been blamed for the growing cost of welfare in the Cayman Islands.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

More consultation planned on welfare reform

With the Public Accounts Committee poised to review an Auditor General’s report highlighting lack of action on welfare reform, officials have released details of plans for another round of consultation on the issue.

EDITORIAL – Let’s get the kids of North Side their ‘Field of Dreams’

It’s impossible to say with precision when the relationship between North Side representative Ezzard Miller and this newspaper began to deteriorate.

House Speaker blocks attempt to bring perjury charge against civil servant

Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush on Wednesday blocked an attempt by political opposition members to bring a contempt of parliament action against government chief officer Jennifer Ahearn.

Traffic, immigration, liquor law changes ahead

Cayman Islands lawmakers have a busy schedule ahead in the next two weeks, with more than a dozen bills on the table affecting issues such as immigration, traffic rules, when and where liquor can be sold, and employees who report wrongdoing.

OfReg to commission study on internet speeds

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.K. researcher SamKnows to study local internet speeds, OfReg telecommunications regulator Alee Fa’amoe told the Public Accounts Committee Wednesday.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Government telecom licensees not paying fees

Some government entities that are licensed to provide telecommunications services by the territory’s regulator are not paying their annual licensing fees, a senior official at the agency confirmed Wednesday.

EDITORIAL – Health insurance: A product divorced from market reality

Already burdensome health insurance costs are spiraling out of control – as many readers know from personal experience. Last week’s Public Accounts Committee review of recent Cayman Islands Monetary Authority reports quantifies just how out of control it is.

Private health costs, insurer earnings soar

Earnings for Cayman’s private sector health insurers nearly quadrupled in one year following changes made to the islands’ standard health insurance contract rules, members of the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee heard Wednesday.

Investment body dormant for 15 years

A government committee that has the job of reviewing capital projects and making sure government can afford them has been dormant for some 15 years, according to statements made during Thursday’s hearing of the Public Accounts Committee.

Speaker questions PAC role

Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush noted a “concern” Wednesday that the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee had overstepped its role in recent months, wading into areas such as employment within the government service.

‘Pay attention’ to land sales, MLAs warn

The Cayman Islands government is now in the process of selling off an estimated $38 million worth of what it considers surplus properties, opposition politicians said Wednesday.

Health Services Authority short 60 staff, overtime up 300%

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has nearly 60 vacant positions which are either being covered through overtime expenses or left vacant, according to the authority’s chief executive.

Public health board ‘reluctant’ to forego unpaid patient debts

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority Board has been “reluctant” to write off tens of millions of dollars in uncollected debts during recent years, leading to the accumulation of $94.5 million in bills that are unlikely to be paid but which remain on the government’s books, legislators heard Tuesday.

No anti-fraud policy yet for public hospital

Recommendations that the Cayman Islands public hospital system implement an anti-fraud policy have not been fully followed several years after the investigation into the CarePay hospital swipe-card system.

MLAs question need for government land sales

The Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee last week questioned government’s reasons for selling off Crown-owned properties determined to be “surplus” in a five-year-old review by the Lands and Survey Department.

Government to redraw ‘willy-nilly’ national development plans

The “willy-nilly” development of Grand Cayman properties and roads – as some lawmakers described it Wednesday – may soon end as government redraws zoning plans for the first time in more than 20 years.

2 years later, no development plan

Senior Cayman Islands government managers ignored or actively opposed the majority of the recommendations made in a controversial 2015 audit that revealed opaqueness, “unlawful” acts and allegations of corruption in the management of public properties.

Ghost of CarePay haunts collections

The lack of real-time electronic verification of and authorization for health insurance coverage in the Cayman Islands is driving up costs and “the frustration level” for everyone involved, lawmakers heard Monday afternoon.

HSA hiring debt collector to go after $58M from patients

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority plans to hire a debt collector to go after $58 million in past-due accounts from patients. The debts range from those a couple of months old to some more than three years old, the latter involving some $32 million that has not been paid.

Public hospital gets approval to write off millions in debt

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has been trying to claim unpaid healthcare bills that are “uncollectable,” including from some former patients who have died, the authority’s board chairman confirmed during a government committee hearing last week.

Government $1.2 billion healthcare liability figure may be low

The Cayman Islands government’s $1.18 billion figure for estimated healthcare liabilities due over the next two decades may be a bit low.

HSA promises ‘clean accounts’ by 2018

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has pledged to report “clean” financial statements by 2018, after receiving a tongue-lashing from Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ezzard Miller this week.

Government says it won’t get into ‘medical tourism’

Although it has been granted the legal designation to participate in “medical tourism,” the government has no intention of going into that business, public health officials said Wednesday.

HSA will sue to recover debts

The Cayman Islands public hospital system will begin suing patients or businesses that owe healthcare debts, the agency’s chief executive told lawmakers Wednesday.

EDITORIAL – When showing up isn’t optional

When PAC Chairman Ezzard Miller insists that witnesses show up when invited to appear before his legislative committee, he is absolutely right.

Warning over PAC ‘disrespect’

The chairman of Cayman Airways board of directors, Philip Rankin, was threatened last week with an official summons to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, as Chairman Ezzard Miller signaled his intention to get tough with reluctant witnesses.

Cayman Airways board members fly for free

Around 100 former Cayman Airways board members and their dependents were awarded unlimited free flights for life as compensation for their services, Chief Financial Officer Paul Tibbetts told a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

UK gov’t proposes heavy fines for tax avoidance enablers

The U.K. government is planning to impose large fines for service providers and consultants who advise clients on how to avoid tax with schemes that are found to be unlawful.

Public Accounts Committee: Needs Assessment Unit requires ‘major overhaul’

The Needs Assessment Unit, tasked with managing a number of social assistance programs, needs a “major overhaul,” according to the legislature’s Public Accounts Committee.

Minister: Hundreds on assistance waiting list

About 340 applications seeking permanent financial assistance are pending assessment by the government’s needs assessment unit, Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden said Wednesday.

5,000 work permit categories ‘must simplify’

A work permit processing system at the Cayman Islands Immigration Department that includes about 5,000 different job categories must be clarified, according to civil service managers who confirmed last week that even immigration employees are baffled by it.

2,500 Cayman families getting social welfare assistance

The Needs Assessment Unit is significantly under-resourced and lacks the necessary manpower and legislation to help move people from welfare to work, according to its director Tamara Hurlston.

Lawmakers told caucus makes government land sale decisions

An initial decision on which Cayman Islands government “surplus” properties would be put up for sale was made by the Progressives-led administration’s political caucus, a senior civil servant told lawmakers last week.

Auditors’ concerns remain about NRA deal

The Cayman Islands government may still be acting “without proper authority” during the renegotiation process for a major land development agreement, officials with the Auditor General’s Office said last week.

Planning authority chairman agrees in principle to open meetings

Central Planning Authority Chairman A. L. Thompson, responding to criticisms from a 2015 auditor general’s report on land use planning, said he would not oppose opening planning meetings to the public and even televising the proceedings.

Governor: Audit reports must not face ‘long delay’

Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick has backed the prompt release of independent government audits once those are completed, following recent public comments that the process surrounding the release and evaluation of reports from the auditor general’s office may be changed.

Audit report release, review process may be changed

The way independent reports of the Cayman Islands Auditor General’s Office are released to the public and considered by government is under review, the Cayman Compass has learned.

No strategy for welfare payments

The senior official responsible for welfare in the Cayman Islands has acknowledged there is no coordinated strategy for how public money is spent on the island’s most needy.

Manderson: Civil service must resist ministerial pressure

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has vowed that civil servants who feel pressured or bullied into allowing elected ministers to take the reins of day-to-day...

‘No requirement’ for bills to go to political caucus

A long-awaited effort to reform government’s statutory authorities and companies is expected to go to the Progressives-led government’s political caucus in April, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said Wednesday.

Marathon public accounts meetings scheduled this week

A total of eight reports completed by the Cayman Islands Auditor General’s office between 2014 and 2015 will be reviewed in the space of three days this week.

This week