November 27, 2015

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Generali Worldwide Mercuryman announces partnership with Stroke Warriors

Fastest Amateur FemalesGenerali Worldwide Mercuryman is proud to announce the 2016 charity of choice, Stroke Warriors of Cayman, along with the East End Primary School which is supported every year.

“Sponsorship provides us with an event through which we are able to raise money for the Stroke Warriors of Cayman and East End Primary School. I’m delighted we have chosen such a worthy cause for our 2016 partner charity and I hope we can be part of helping the Stroke Warriors of Cayman achieve its aims,” Trevor Murphy, Race Director said.

Mr. William Foster, chairperson of the Stroke Warriors of Cayman said he was thrilled to hear Generali Worldwide Mercuryman had pledged its support to the charity.

“As a new charity in the Cayman Islands philanthropic scene, we rely heavily upon community support and outreach projects. We hope that through this event we are able to fund the vital services we aim to provide to local families in need,” he said. “A donation such as this will make a huge impact to our cause. I encourage the Cayman community to be involved in any way they can – sponsor this race, participate in it or show your support by coming along to watch and cheer on the day.”

The Generali Worldwide Mercuryman is one of Cayman’s most challenging sporting events of the year, the only one of its kind in the Cayman Islands, the Generali Worldwide Mercuryman is a half-iron distance triathlon, which consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run.

“If the whole race is a little too much, athletes can opt for the aquabike, participate as a relay team or, new for 2016, go for the 2-2-2 relay,” Mr Murphy said.

The 2-2-2 relay allows two triathletes to split the half-iron distance by tagging in and out throughout the swim, bike, and run disciplines. Each registered 2-2-2 team has complete control to mix and match however they like, however each team member must complete half of each discipline.

Ms Karen Ebanks, Marketing Coordinator of Generali Worldwide, said her organisation was proud to announce its title sponsorship for a second year.

“There is nothing quite like the Generali Worldwide Mercuryman. The perseverance and determination of the athletes is admirable, and it is a privilege to experience first-hand their triumph as they cross the finish line. We are proud to support this unique event that also gives back to the community by raising funds as well as awareness for East End Primary and Stroke Warriors.”

Ms Ebanks said.

Conceptualised in 2013 as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at endurance swim, running, cycling and triathlon events, the Generali Worldwide Mercuryman continues to grow.

“The 2016 Generali Worldwide Mercuryman will continue to attract both local and international professional triathletes because of the great feedback from athletes competing in previous years as well as our excellent location,” Mr Murphy said.

“Starting and finishing at the Wyndham Reef Resort, triathletes will enjoy East End’s clear waters, quiet roads for cycling and running, and an all-round excellent destination which athletes and their families can enjoy during their post-race vacation.”

Athletes wishing to participate in the 2016 Generali Worldwide Mercuryman can register online at Main registration is $170 for individual half iron-man, $150 for aqua bike and $250 for relay and 2-2-2 teams. All prices will increase in the New Year.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for organizations to partner with the only half-iron distance triathlon on the Cayman sports calendar.

Find out more by visiting or contact for available sponsorship opportunities.

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Qunar Cayman Islands : Announces New Employee Awards Plan

Qunar-Cayman(GlobeNewswire) – Qunar Cayman Islands Limited (NASDAQ:QUNR) (“Qunar” or the “Company”), China”s leading mobile and online travel platform, today announced that, following Qunar”s announcement of an exchange program for its employees on October 26, International, Ltd. (NASDAQ:CTRP) (Ctrip) has agreed to issue a total of approximately 5 million ordinary shares to certain special purpose vehicles holding these shares solely for the benefit of Qunar employees. Future receipt by Qunar employees of Ctrip shares will be upon satisfaction of legal and contractual conditions, including the condition that any Qunar securities held by or granted to any Qunar employee, such as vested share-based awards, converted business unit incentive points, and other share incentives, must have been surrendered or forfeited before the employee receives Ctrip shares.

Ctrip and Qunar are currently exploring ways through which they can effectively cooperate to enhance their respective products and services and better serve the market.

Qunar also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the adoption of a new 2015 share incentive plan of approximately 9 million additional Qunar ADSs on an as exercised and as converted basis. The options, with approximately half of which are related to conversion of business unit incentive points into ADSs and subject to the original multi-year vesting plan, will be granted and vested over a period of multiple years to employees of Qunar under the new 2015 plan.

About Qunar

Qunar is China”s leading mobile and online travel platform. With a commitment to building a travel ecosystem serving the entire travel industry value chain, Qunar is evolving the way people travel in a world increasingly enabled by technology. Qunar addresses the needs of Chinese travelers and travel service providers by efficiently matching industry supply and demand through its proprietary technologies. By providing technology infrastructure for travel service providers on mobile and online platforms, Qunar integrates and offers the most comprehensive selection of travel products and the most convenient means to complete desired transactions for Chinese travelers.

Qunar means where to go in Mandarin Chinese.

For more information, please visit For investor inquiries, please contact:

Xiaolu Zhu

Investor Relations

Qunar Cayman Islands Limited

Tel: +86-10-5764-6223


(c) 2015 NNA LEBANON Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (, source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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Cayman Islands observes Fifth Annual International Men’s Day

Men and boys take International Men’s Day pledge (2014)This week the Cayman Islands enters its fifth year of celebrating International Men’s Day (IMD), with activities aimed at, “Making a Difference for Men and Boys”.

On Thursday, 19 November the nation will join 60 countries around the world in observing International Men’s Day. Working under the auspices of the Ministry of Community Affairs, the Family Resource Centre (FRC) has organised three events that will highlight the important role of men in the community and their contribution as fathers, grandfathers and role models.

Men and boys will be the guests of honour at a free event on Thursday, 4.00-8.00 p.m., at King’s Sports Centre, on Crewe Road. Participants will enjoy all the facility has to offer including bowling, rock climbing and skating.

In addition FRC staff will be on hand to offer tips on how men and boys can lead happier, healthier lives.

The day before, on Wednesday, 18 November, representatives of the FRC and guests will hold a roundtable discussion on Radio Cayman’s lunchtime show, Talk Today, from noon to 2.00pm. Members of the public are invited to share in the discussion.

That evening the FRC, at its Compass Centre location, will host a free workshop entitled “Raising Resilient Children” at 6.00 pm. This is an interactive family skills session where parents and children will work together to unlock keys to overcoming different obstacles. Dinner will be provided for all participants.

FRC Coordinator Miriam Foster said, “In celebrating International Men’s Day, we hope to identify areas in which we need to strengthen as a community.

“Hosting the events also serves to focus on men’s health and well-being; improve gender relations and improve gender equality. It can also help us to highlight discrimination against men and other male issues.”

The FRC is also encouraging the public to visit its social media page at and submit photos of men or boys making a difference in the community under #CaughtGivingBack.

“These events offer a forum for men to come together with their sons, grandsons, nephews or even younger relatives to help them form relationships and hopefully close any existing gaps, one family at a time,” added Mrs. Foster.

For information on the events contact FRC at 949-0006 or email

According to the Family Resource Centre, without positive male role models;
• Boys commit suicide at a rate approximately 3.5 times that of girls.
• Boys experience socio-emotional difficulties but are less likely to receive treatment for mental health problems.
• Boys are three time more likely than girls to carry a weapon.
• Boys are more likely than girls to be involved in (and injured in) physical fights.
• Alcohol use and the use of illegal drugs is higher among teen boys.
• Teen boys are more likely to have had four or more sexual partners than girls—and less likely to have been tested for HIV.
• Boys are more likely than girls to be the victims of serious violent crime.
• Male drivers are twice as many fatal crashes as females.
• One in six boys are sexually abused before age 18.
Photo Captions:
Men and boys take International Men’s Day pledge (2014)
Courtesy Family Resource Centre

IMD Flyer 2015

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Cayman Islands Gimistory gives way to 30th anniversary celebrations

Virginia_Auntie V_Foster delights audiences with Anansi StoriesFifteen months and 30 events will put the Harquail Theatre centre stage from now until December 2016, when the official 30th anniversary celebrations reach their climax with a signature production at the 300 seat facility.

The focus on celebrating the national theatre’s three decades of existence means that Gimistory, the Cayman Islands’ International Storytelling Festival, will take a break this November/December, but is set to return in 2016.

The CNCF began its anniversary celebrations in October 2015 with the staging of Derek Walcott’s ‘Pantomime’.

Earlier this month (13-15 November) audiences were treated to ‘Sizwe Banzi is Dead’ by Athol Fugard. Rounding off the CNCF’s “3 for 30” production series, this December the public will have an opportunity to see ‘Fallen Angel and the Devil Concubine’ by Groundwork Theatre Company.

These three classic plays highlighting the writing and acting talents of St. Lucia, United States, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Bahamas, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, are setting the tone for the year of celebration ahead, which will include productions, festivals, poetry and play readings, workshops and more.

“In preparation for making Gimistory bigger and better next year, we are encouraging new local talent to get involved. If they would like to audition and participate in storytelling workshops for possible selection as a 2016 teller, they can call us at 949-5477,” said CNCF Marketing and Developing Manager, Rita Estevanovich.


For more on Gimistory, visit

For more on the 30th anniversary celebrations and for a calendar of events, go to

Photo Captions: Photos courtesy CNCF

Virginia “Auntie V” Foster delights audiences with an Anansi Story at Gimistory.

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A.M. Best to Sponsor the 2015 Insurance Managers Association of Cayman’s Annual Captive Forum

Life-Insurance-Company-RatingsOLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best will sponsor the 23rd annual Cayman Captive Forum, hosted by the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC), to be held December 1–3 at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.

Jim Fowler, business development manager – rating services, will be available at the forum to discuss the process for obtaining a Best’s Credit Rating. Additionally, Christine Girandola, manager of regional sales – advertising, will be on hand to discuss advertising opportunities in A.M. Best’s news publications, including Best’s Review® magazine and the Best’s Insurance News & Analysis service.

For more information about the IMAC forum, visit

A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

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Daily ETF Watch: Commodity funds [Cayman Islands] planned

By Heather Bell From ETF

Elkhorn Investmfoents, the firm founded by former Invesco PowerShares head Ben Fulton, has filed for two new funds covering the commodity futures space. The Elkhorn S&P GSCI Dynamic Roll Commodity ETF and the Elkhorn RAFI Commodity ETF will both offer actively managed exposure to commodities with a smart-beta twist.

The former, according to its prospectus, is actively managed. It invest in commodities included in the S&P GSCI Dynamic Roll Index to a certain extent but will also include an actively managed portfolio of very liquid and short-duration, high-quality bonds in an effort to achieve excess returns.

The benchmark index is an alternative version of the production-weighted S&P GSCI, an index of 24 commodities that includes near-month contracts. However, the fund’s benchmark can include contracts that are further out on the futures curve in order to lessen the effects of contango.

The commodity portion of the fund will be managed by a Cayman Islands-based subsidiary that will represent up to 25 percent of the portfolio, with the fixed-income portion representing the remainder of the portfolio. Presumably, the investment in the foreign subsidiary will provide tax advantages to the fund.

Meanwhile, the latter fund will also be actively managed and have a similar structure, with a fixed-income portfolio and a Cayman Islands subsidiary. However, the index it will seek to outperform is the Dow Jones RAFI Commodity Index, an index that is weighted by a combination of price momentum and roll yield, and that covers 24 commodities. The index can include contracts expiring up to 24 months out on the futures curve.

Both funds seem similar to the actively managed First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC | C), which has $202 million in assets under management and launched in 2013. It is currently the only actively managed commodity fund and, like the proposed Elkhorn funds, invests in a Cayman Islands subsidiary that holds commodities.

Neither filing included a ticker or expense ratio, but the funds are slated to list on the BATS exchange.

For more on this story go to:

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Cayman Islands issues Home Affairs Annual Report

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.44.02 PMMHA produces first annual report

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – The Ministry of Home Affairs has released its first Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

The report is chock full of information about the 10 agencies that comprise the Ministry.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is primarily focused on the Cayman Islands’ national security and public safety. MHA is responsible for providing all policy direction and monitoring the overall performance of its departments. Its intent is to ensure the country remains both a safe and secure place to live, visit and invest.

Priority areas for the Ministry include guarding against cyber threats through advanced technology, maintaining a balance between security and facilitating immigration, ensuring police powers and resources are proportionate and effective to detect and reduce crime, fostering collaborative partnerships between criminal justice agencies and community organisations to improving business process management, staff development and financial management in the Fire Service.

The annual report can be found on the Ministry’s website at

The MHA Annual Report comprises 70 pages. The following is a very small portion published from it. Our readers are encouraged to download the complete report (see above).


Premier and Minister for Home Affairs, Health and Culture

It gives me great pride and honour to present this first Annual Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the financial year ending 30 June, 2015.

As Premier and Minister of Home Affairs I am pleased with the work that the men and women in the 10 agencies comprised in the Ministry do each and every day to ensure the safety of all Caymanians, residents and visitors.

I am equally proud of the seven staff members who received the Deputy Governor’s Award, which highlights the outstanding and exceptional efforts of civil servants across core government. It also pleases me that the Ministry won the Top Employer Award in the small to medium employer category at the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals’ annual Top Employer Gala. That event aims to recognize employers of excellent standards in private, public and non-profit organisations while encouraging better business practices. The Ministry of Home Affairs was recognized consecutively in

2014 and 2015 as a Top Employer and one of the Best Places to Work in the Cayman Islands, making it the first government department to earn such recognition.

The remit in the Ministry of Home Affairs is vast, from guarding against cyber threats through advanced technology, maintaining a balance between security and facilitating immigration, ensuring police powers and resources are proportionate and effective to detect and reduce crime, fostering collaborative partnerships between criminal justice agencies and community organisations to improving business process management, staff development and financial management in the Fire Service.

At its basic, the Ministry of Home Affairs is tasked with the country’s national security and public safety. Our intent is that the

Cayman Islands remains both a safe and secure place to live, visit and invest. We remain steadfast in our duties.

I commend the men and women throughout the Ministry who work tirelessly to help us meet our mandate day in and day out. I also thank the wider community for its continued encouragement and support.

We will continue to seek that support as we strive to do all we can to Make Cayman Better, which is really the Ministry’smain objective.

Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA

Premier and Minister for Home Affairs, Health and Culture



Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs

As Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs I am particularly proud to present the Ministry’s first Annual Report for the financial year ending 30 June, 2015. This reporting period was by no means void of challenges; albeit collective dedication to the Ministry’s sole purpose – To Make Cayman Better – resulted in the delivery of public services and programmes.

Through the lens of fiscal responsibility we have sought to bolster the quality of services provided to the public, especially as they relate to public safety, border control, emergency management, and offender rehabilitation. In seeking to strike this balance we have remained a strong proponent of providing staff with the relevant training, exposure, and key resources to support innovative decision-making.

Notwithstanding the results produced across the Ministry’s departments, a retrospective view of the reporting period has revealed key themes on which we will focus our energy, resources, and overall direction to stimulate improvement: (1) customer service (2) financial management, (3) improved internal processes, and (4) leadership.

In taking an increased strategic approach, the Ministry will reinforce financial requirements needed to sustainably support the delivery of public services under our remit, while also supporting growth in the private sector by contributing to an enhanced quality of life. Moreover, we will refine internal processes and governance frameworks in order to strengthen our capacity to maximise the delivery of services and minimize business risks. Finally, we will actively work to close gaps in leadership and build resiliency to ensure that we continually adapt to the changing needs of the Cayman Islands without compromising the quality of service received by our internal and external customer bases.

Included in this annual report is the Ministry’s unqualified financial report for the fiscal year. This was an unprecedented achievement by the management and staff of the Ministry as prior to this year the presentation of annual reports and unqualified financials within the statutory timeframe by one of the larger ministries was a goal rather than reality. It was a team effort which is indicative of the new culture of the organisation and the government as a whole as we improve accountability in the service.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Ministry of Home Affairs, I wish to thank our employees throughout our departments for their dedicated efforts and service to the public, as well as express my gratitude for the continuing support we receive from the community.

Eric Bush, JP
Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.56.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.56.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-10 at 1.03.11 PM


These financial statements have been prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Public Management and Finance Law (2013 Revision).

We accept responsibility for the accuracy and integrity of the financial information in these financial statements and their compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law (2013 Revision).

As Chief Officer I am responsible for establishing; and have established and maintained a system of internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance that the transactions recorded in the financial statements are authorised by law, and properly record the financial transactions of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

As Chief Officer and Chief Financial Officer we are responsible for the preparation of the Ministry of HomeAffairs financial statements, representation and judgements made in these statements.

The Ministry does not make any assertion in regards to the non-exchange transactions. The Ministry is unable to obtain reliable costing information from the relevant government departments for services provided.

With exception to the issue raised in the preceding paragraph, the financial statements fairly present the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the financial year ended 30 June 2015.

To the best of our knowledge we represent that these financial statements:

(a) Completely and reliably reflect the financial transactions of Ministry of Home Affairs for the year ended 30June 2015;

(b) fairly reflect the financial position as at 30 June 2015 and performance for the year ended 30 June 2015;

(c) comply with International Public Sector Accounting Standards as set out by International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board under the responsibility of the International Federation of Accountants. Where guidance is not available, the financial statements comply with International Accounting Standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee or accounting practice that is generally accepted in the United Kingdom as appropriate for reporting in the public sector.

The Office of the Auditor General conducts an independent audit and expresses an opinion on the accompanying financial statements.   The Office of the Auditor General has been provided access to all the information necessary to conduct an audit in accordance with International Standards of Auditing.

Eric Bush                                                                                                 Vinton Chinsee

Chief Officer                                                                                           Chief Financial Officer

October 31, 2015                                                                                   October 31, 2015

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California police use these biometric scanners

491007528By John Fingas From engadget

Police are increasingly turning to biometric tech in the field. It’s supposed to help cops verify the identity of suspects, but there’s a real concern that they could abuse this to get personal details on record — and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants you to know when this hardware might come into play. The rights group has published a report detailing the biometric scanners in use by California law enforcement, and they’re in more widespread use than you might think. Mobile fingerprint readers are in use at several departments, and face recognition is getting traction. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is using tattoo recognition, and some police departments are looking into iris scanning.

This isn’t a complete list, at least not yet. Some departments (such as the LAPD and San Francisco) are still working on the EFF’s information requests, while numerous others can’t find disclosable records that outline what they’re using. Three (Bakersfield, Sacramento and San Bernardino) haven’t acknowledged anything. Still, this could serve as a valuable heads-up if you’re worried that a routine traffic stop could put you in a database.

[Image credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images]

SOURCE: Electronic Frontier Foundation

For more on this story go to:


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Cayman Islands government announces Project Future

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 3.59.53 PMFull Project Future programme launched by Premier

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – At a press conference on 2 November, 2015, the Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Governor the Hon. Franz Manderson unveiled the 51 projects selected by Cabinet to be taken forward as part of Project Future, the Government’s ambitious and far-reaching programme of public sector reform. Also discussed was the implementation strategy and methodology that will be pursued by the Civil Service.

Mr. McLaughlin explained that Project Future has the potential to transform the public services for the benefit of the people of the Cayman Islands. Given its importance, the Premier emphasised his commitment and the determination of his Administration to see the programme implemented: “We are publishing this programme not to decorate the shelves in offices at the Government Administration Building but as a call to action…. The Progressives-led Government is a government that gets things done,” he said.

The Premier explained that the projects will be tackled in five phases to be implemented over the next five years. Some projects will be completed before the 2017 election; others will be planned, ready for implementation following the election.

According to the Premier “a long-term view” of reform is necessary:

“It is right for this Progressives-led Government to take a long term view and to put in place the delivery of the reforms this country needs. If we remain bound to electoral cycles we remain bound to short term action that will not tackle some of the fundamental issues we face. Our country needs more than that. Our country deserves better than that. And that it why this Progressives-led Government is setting out a clear plan of future action. We are happy for the electorate to judge us on whether they agree with our plans and we will be proud to lay our record of achievement before them in
18 months’ time,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

The Project Future programme will implement, in full or modified form, the overwhelming majority of EY’s recommendations. However, some 16 recommendations will not be implemented:

“We have excluded some things because they clearly conflict with our policy
– for example recommendations to raise fees would clearly run counter to the commitment this Progressives-led Government has given the country to seek to cut rather than raise duties and fees. Alternatively, we have excluded recommendations because the further analysis we have done indicates the benefits are insufficient to justify taking the ideas forward,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

Now that Cabinet has defined which projects will be included in Project Future, the civil service, under the leadership of the Deputy Governor Mr. Franz Manderson, and his Chief Officers, is responsible for implementation.

Mr. Manderson explained that, as part of the ongoing preparations for implementation, several measures have been taken that “create the conditions necessary for us to succeed”. These, he noted, included:

 The time taken by Cabinet, as the policy makers, to properly define the changes/projects to be pursued,
 Using best-practice approaches for implementation, including the use of business cases and a robust project management methodology,
 Investing in training and capacity-building within the civil service, and
 Establishing the Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit, to provide dedicated resources to support implementation.

Acknowledging that Project Future will require new skills sets and ways of working, Mr. Manderson explained that the newly launched strategic planning process for the civil service will support Project Future: “Changes in public services are being matched with the technical and cultural changes needed within the civil service,” Mr. Manderson said.

A Programme Brief was distributed at the press conference, which includes an overview the implementation strategy and methodology, summaries of the projects being taken forward and a list, with rationales, of the EY recommendations not being pursued. The Brief is available on the SRIU website

Statement by the Cayman Islands Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin

November 2 2015

Good morning. Thank you for joining us today as we provide the country and the
press with this update on what used to be referred to as the EY report but that
has developed into a series of projects under the “project Future” banner.

While the EY report made over 80 recommendations, it was clear that it only “provides indicative advice and analysis to support [the Government’s] consideration as to future action”. In other words, the report was not, as some would have it, some kind of blueprint for the Government to follow. Even its authors acknowledged that it was only ever an aid to Government thinking. Therefore, it has been right for us to take our time; to carry out the further analysis that EY themselves said was necessary; and to consider properly other potential reforms that were not contained in the EY report.

I am pleased to announce that we have now completed that work and the Programme Brief we are publishing here today makes public the full Project Future programme which was formally adopted by Cabinet last week.

Our programme is ambitious and far-reaching. For the first time, the Government is putting forward a comprehensive and coherent programme of reform, reaching right across the public sector.

As you will see from the Programme Brief, there are currently 51 projects making up the Project Future programme. Clearly, Government cannot tackle that agenda all at once. Hence the programme is presented in 5 phases to be implemented over the next 5 years.

Phase 1 covers the 17 projects we have already started. When last we spoke about Project Future in April, I talked about six projects that were in flight. In the six months or so since that last announcement we have continued to make progress with those projects:

Work to develop the business cases for the creation of a new Office of the Ombudsman and a new Public Utilities Commission is nearing completion and, if approved, both will move swiftly through to implementation.
 Every parcel of surplus Government land has been reviewed and an initial
portfolio for sale has been created. Cabinet has already given approval for the sale of the first of those pieces of land.
 The communications project has kick started with a Capability Review
conducted by the UK’s Government Communications Service earlier this year. The next step is the presentation of the Communications Capability Review and its recommendations to Cabinet.
 We are progressing work on the business case for the potential merger of
primary schools on Cayman Brac, either on one of the existing sites or a completely new site on the Bluff. As you may be aware, Caucus has also asked that the possible movement of the secondary school to the new site be considered as part of the business case and that has inevitably made the analysis more complicated. We expect the business case to be delivered in the second quarter of 2016. In the meantime, the Ministry is carrying out works at the site that can stand alone but will be useful for school purposes should the OBC recommendation be to proceed with the construction of a school on the site.
 Last week, the Portfolio of the Civil Service and the Public Service Pensions
Board launched employee consultations on the proposed changes to the Public Service Management Law and the Public Service Pensions Law to facilitate raising the normal retirement age from 60 to 65. The consultations will continue with stakeholders across the civil service through the month of November. Feedback received from these consultations will be considered and reflected in the draft Bills which will be submitted for approval by Cabinet and onward submission to the Legislative Assembly. The forecast implementation date for the new retirement age is April 2016.

In addition, 7 other projects related to EYs recommendations that were already underway have been brought within the Project Future framework. Again, there

has been significant progress over the last six months on what are some vitally important projects for the future of these Islands.

That includes progress on the major infrastructure projects mentioned in the EY report – the expansion of the airport; resolving the future of cruise berthing; and solving the problem of finding a sustainable solution for our waste management needs. I will not dwell on those because there have been major announcements on the progress on each of those over the last few weeks. However, I have made the point before that the progress on delivery that marks this Progressives-led Government out from its predecessors is, in my view, unprecedented in our history. We are a Government that gets things done.

Other projects now within the Project Future framework are:

The work on promoting E-Government benefitted from the visit to these shores of a team from the E-Governance Academy of Estonia. Learning from their experience and others, the Director of E-Government is actively working to document the Government’s strategy based on internationally- recognised principles. This will be immediately followed by the outline business case with a view to moving to a pilot of a single service, e- Government portal solution within the first half of 2016.
 Similarly, our work on improving Government procurement has made good
progress. Work is being taken forward by the new Director of Procurement to modernise the legislative framework and devise an appropriate set of standards and tools to implement that framework successfully. He is also identifying areas where there is a savings potential from Government contracts.
 We have also continued the implementation of new ways of working,
supported by a new IT system in customs and moved forward the implementation of private sector pensions reform which I will mention again in a short while.

A further 3 projects have started in the last few months:

I have said previously that this programme is not about wholesale redundancies among civil servants. However, it is clear that there will be impacts on individuals and I gave a commitment that we would manage that effectively. Hence one of the early projects commenced has been to develop a policy to safeguard staff impacted by organisational rearrangements – be that outsourcing to a new provider or simply restructuring within the civil service. We need to ensure both that civil servants are treated fairly and respectfully and that any transitions are smooth to ensure service continuity.

EY’s report referred to changes in approach that could be made by the Tourism Attractions Board. In line with their report, the Board’s administrative staff relocated to Pedro St James in July; a marketing process for the letting of the Pedro Café commenced last month and it is anticipated that the Café will be leased by January, 2016; and two new tours have been agreed with Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.

Work has begun to pave the way for a new National Cultural Strategy, during development of which EY’s recommendations in respect of the existing cultural offer and the organisational arrangements to support it will be considered. The Ministry plans to convene the steering committee for the project in early 2016 with a view to having a draft policy & plan out for public consultation late in the third quarter of 2016.

We can chalk off one recommendation as complete. The EY recommendation to move the London Office to the Portfolio of the Cabinet Secretary was implemented in July. Not the most fundamental of reforms, I agree, but indicative of our willingness to get on with things even as we finalised the full programme.

The projects comprising phases 2 and 3 will be determined when we see the business cases for the 9 projects being worked on. These are vitally important projects for the future of these Islands and our people. They include projects to further help tackling unemployment amongst Caymanians; the implementation of the education reforms we are currently under way; and a series of projects to

improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services, including planning and building control.

We anticipate that at least some of those will be implemented before the 2017 election and those will constitute phase 2. The most pressing need we will address in phase 2 is the need to further tackle unemployment amongst Caymanians. The issue has been raised in the House and in the press in recent days.

The Government does not view unemployment as the fault of business. Nor do we believe that every work permit issued is a job taken away from a Caymanian. However, we do believe there is more business can do to provide opportunities for Caymanians. We also accept that is more Government can do. This project will refocus Government’s efforts into activities that make a positive difference in supporting Caymanians into employment and it will provide a more effective framework for working with business to enable them to do more.

Our economy is large, successful and growing. In those circumstances, we should be able to say that any Caymanian who wants work should be able to find suitable employment in a reasonable period of time. Government and business need to work together to make that a reality. This project will get that done.

Those projects that cannot be completed within 18 months will be planned ready for implementation immediately following the election as phase 3.

I should say at this point that I am not taking the electorate for granted. However, Governments have often been criticised for its short-termism and it is right for this Progressives-led Government to take a long-term view and to put in place the delivery of the reforms this country needs. If we remain bound to electoral cycles we remain bound to short term action that will not tackle some of the fundamental issues we face. Our country needs more than that. Our country deserves better than that. And that it why this Progressives-led Government is setting out a clear plan of future action. We are happy for the electorate to judge us on whether they agree with our plans and we will be proud to lay our record of achievement before them in 18 months’ time.

Projects have generally been allocated to phases 4 and 5 because they are complex and likely to take time to plan and implement or because the potential benefits are lower than those in earlier phases. They include the potential reform of health provision in these Islands; consideration of options for the future of the National Mail Service; and further efficiency and effectiveness projects right across public service.

In a dynamic, well-managed programme, both the content and the phasing will change. Projects currently in the programme will be excluded, for example if the business case does not justify taking them forward. Equally, new projects will be defined in response to changing circumstances. The programme as drafted is therefore only the starting point and not the final statement of the Government’s ambition. We will keep the general public informed as changes are made as part of the on-going reporting we will do on the implementation of Project Future.

Taken together, this programme will implement, in full or in modified form, the overwhelming majority of EY’s recommendations. That gives the lie to those who said that the EY report was simply destined to gather dust. I would like to repeat my thanks to EY for the stimulus they gave to Government’s thinking.

As I said previously though, we have not just taken EY’s recommendations on regardless. The booklet we are publishing today details 16 recommendations from EY that we will not be implementing. Generally, if something has been ruled out it has been for two reasons. We have excluded some things because they clearly conflict with our policy – for example recommendations to raise fees would clearly run counter to the commitment this Progressives-led Government has given the country to seek to cut rather than raise duties and fees.

Alternatively, we have excluded recommendations because the further analysis we have done indicates the benefits are insufficient to justify taking the ideas forward. This would apply, for example, to EY’s recommendations in respect of the Cadet Corps and CIMA.

In some cases, we are taking forward particular projects very closely related to the issues raised by EY but we have made a decision to exclude the specific recommendation they made.

For example, EY’s recommendation to abolish the National Pensions Board and move its responsibilities to CIMA misses the point. That is to tackle the substantive need for better, more effective regulation of private sector pensions. Hence we are taking that underlying need for pensions reform forward, not least with the draft National Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2015 currently going through consultation and finalization.

As I have said before and will continue to confirm, this Progressives-led Government is a government that gets things done. The Programme Brief we are publishing today is not “just another report”. We are publishing this programme not to decorate the shelves in offices at the Government Administration Building but as a call to action.

I said at the start of this Statement that this Project Future programme is ambitious and far-reaching. Thus while it is a programme of reform of the public sector, it is not for the public sector. Rather, it is for the people of these Islands. This programme has the potential to transform public services for the benefit of our people. From improving the education of our young people to ensuring the commercial future of our mail service. From the support we offer to those who need social assistance to the efficiency and effectiveness of our public works. From helping more Caymanians into work to the everyday experience that customers have of front line public services. This programme leaves no stone unturned as we drive through much needed reform.

This Progressives-led Government is a government that does indeed get things done. Our programme is ambitious, yes. But we will get this done.

Statement By The Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson

Topic: Project Future Press Conference- Programme Launch, 2 November, 2015

It is certainly an honour to be part of this historical event, as we discuss the largest government reform programme in the history of the public service. As Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, I am also pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the preparations we are making, to ensure the effective implementation of Project Future.

The Hon. Premier has outlined the projects that Cabinet has selected as part of the Project Future programme, as well as those projects which focus on changes to transform the way the civil service operates in areas that impact the entire civil service. I congratulate the Premier and his Government for their leadership and vision in undertaking this challenging work. This is an important step forward in our public sector reform journey. The decision-making framework that the Government has employed will ensure that the work of the public service is aligned with the Government’s political priorities, as these projects are taken forward.

As the Premier has said, Project Future is the most far-reaching and comprehensive public
sector reform programme in our history. As Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, it is my job to ensure Project Future is implemented successfully.

There have been major reform initiatives in the civil service before that have not delivered all of the expected results. This is why I am determined to approach this programme differently, to ensure we succeed.

Why will things be different this time around?
Firstly, we have completed the groundwork needed to define the changes properly. This has taken us some time, but the investment of that time upfront will be crucial in ensuring success as we move forwards.

Secondly, I am determined that we will match international best practice in our implementation strategy for Project Future. We are introducing the use of Business Cases as a management tool for transparent, evidence-based decision-making within the civil service for projects. We are also introducing a formal project management methodology to guide us in implementation.

The Project Future Programme Booklet provides you with an overview of our comprehensive implementation strategy, which centers on using a robust project management methodology. The booklet provides a high level overview of some key components of our strategy, under the headings of: Structure, Roles and Responsibilities, Methodology and Resources and Capacity- Building.

Thirdly, we are investing in training and capacity building within the civil service. The successful implementation of Project Future requires new skill sets and ways of working. Already we have provided project management training for over 75 civil servants. This week we conclude

Business Case Development workshops for 88 potential business case writers, as well as separate workshops for Cabinet and Project Future Steering Committee members, Chief Officers, and the Business Case Review Panel.

Fourthly, we have established the Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit (SRIU). Through the SRIU, we have allocated, for the first time, dedicated resources to shape and drive the effective implementation of a major change initiative, to provide targeted support to Chief Officers and their project teams, and to facilitate the training and development of our public servants.

Finally, alongside Project Future sits the work on the 5- year strategy for the civil service, which I launched a couple of weeks ago, and which hundreds of civil servants have already been involved in. If Project Future makes clear what we need to do, the 5 year strategy will set out how we will work to achieve it. I have recognized the need to transform our civil service and to equip civil servants better to do the jobs being asked of them. Changes in public service are therefore being matched with the technical and cultural changes needed within the civil

These factors in themselves do not guarantee our success. However, they do create the conditions necessary for us to succeed. A lot of hard work will be needed from a lot of people to actually deliver the benefits that Project Future promises to our communities. As sponsor of the programme, I am determined to provide the leadership and support they need.

As Deputy Governor, I believe that the changes envisioned by Project Future bring opportunities for an improved public service. At the same time, I am aware that the proposed changes also bring some measure of uncertainty. I want to assure public servants and our community at large that, as we go forward, we will keep our social responsibility at the forefront in our decision-making. We will also ensure that employees who are directly impacted by change are treated equitably and fairly, helped to transition and empowered to succeed.

Some persons may view the EY report, and the Project Future projects that flow from that report, as a programme of outsourcing. I would like to correct that misconception. Project Future is, first and foremost, about improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our public services. Many of our projects will engage us in improving our in-house delivery of services. If, as part our investigations, we can see a role for the market, we will certainly explore that opportunity. At the end of the day, our work will be guided by our desire to achieve more for the people we are here to serve.

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Third annual Caribe Arts Fest celebrates major art by minority artists

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 2.03.24 PMBy Michelle McKoy From Westside Gazette

The Little Haiti Culture Complex, located in Miami, Fla. is scheduled to host the Third Annual Caribe Arts Fest that celebrates art, music, food, film and other culture as expressed through artistic expression from the US, Latin America and Caribbean regions between Oct. 23 – 25, 2015.

MIAMI, FL – Art and culture took center stage at the Third annual Caribe Arts Fest to be held at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami.

A celebration of the artistic essence of the Americas and the Caribbean, the three day event, created by American Art Initiative, is positioned to help artists, aspiring and established, entertain South Florida visitors and residents through art exhibits, independent films, musical and poetic performers, plus educational workshops.

Taking place Oct. 23 – 25, 2015, the scheduled events featured a Friday night DJ Party and Film Screening, Saturday’s Live-Music Concert, and Sunday’s Poetry Slam.

There were also activities such as the Kids Zone, Fashion Shows, the College Students’ Community Connection, Culinary Arts Presentations and much more for a total family fun experience. Weekend passes were only $20 while each day patrons could purchase a day pass for $10. Children under 12 were free. Tickets were available online.

For founders Michelle McKoy and David Muir, the event has been a vision that both shared as they pursued ways to support themselves and other artists from minority backgrounds. “We’re both artists who understand what it takes to be able to do what you love and live,” said Muir in a recent interview, “we believe this is just the beginning of a movement that will attract the necessary attention on the awesome talent we have in our communities.” For more details on times and schedules of events visit

The Little Haiti Cultural Complex inspires children of all ages through a rewarding Outreach Program. By providing a nurturing learning environment, they develop artistic skills and explore their hidden talents. This program includes summer workshops, a performing arts season, and numerous events.

The vision is to stimulate young minds by encouraging artistic values and offering a quality interactive atmosphere. The center conducts programs in the visual and performing arts that are designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of diverse backgrounds, ability, and educational levels. We believe that there is an artistic spirit in all of us that nourishes our humanity and enriches our society.

The American Art Initiative (AAI) was established to support the development and expansion of the arts by maintaining an exchange of talent and creativity for cultural, social, and economic viability. Our team consists of artists who understand the needs of artists. The main aim is to create positive representation of independent artists, create support and outlets that develop leadership for progressive living.

Caribe Arts Fest is a multi-genre art festival celebrating the arts of the Caribbean and the Americas. In its third year the festival was  held at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Miami, Fla. from Oct. 23-25.

The festival  showcased multimedia creations representing and encompassing the culture, essence and creativity of the Caribbean and the Americas. This annual event celebrates the artistic diversity of Miami and is positioned to attract travelers visiting Miami who have an interest in ethnic and heritage tourism.

A display of contemporary trends in painting, photography, sculpture, performance arts, film, multimedia and much more from the USA, the Caribbean & Latin America.

For more information visit

Follow us on twitter at @CaribeArtsFest. For more in-formation, call (754) 273-7166 or email:

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