May 21, 2022

Cayman: Deputy Governor Responds to OAG Report on Impact of COVID-19 on Government Finances

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Dep Gov. Franz Manderson

Grand Cayman, 12 May 2022 – The Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson, has welcomed the release today (Thursday,12 May) of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) public interest report titled, “The impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Government Finances: Update to March 2021”.

The report sets out the costs incurred for COVID-19-related activities, and the revenue foregone, up to 30 September 2021, along with the additional estimated costs and missed revenue from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2021. The figures relate to the COVID-19 activities of Core Government entities, the Heath Service Authority and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. The report documents a total financial impact of at least $333 million, with the largest proportion of expenditures going to support for businesses, healthcare, and quarantine and social-distancing measures.

“The Auditor General’s report provides a valuable record of the key measures taken in the Government’s response to COVID-19 and their financial impact. This information is important for accountability and longer-term planning,” Mr Manderson said. He noted that, as the country would be managing the pandemic into the foreseeable future, and with other potential emergencies that could disrupt the economy, the report would be useful as the Public Sector considers long-term financial sustainability. 

Mr Manderson explained that the report also serves another important function, which is to remind us of the human factor behind each of the policy initiatives described, and the positive outcomes achieved for the Cayman Islands.  Some of these positive outcomes have been acknowledged in the report, with the OAG saying, in part, “Because of the border closure and other actions taken the Cayman Islands did not experience … the start of the first wave of the pandemic, until mid-September 2021.”

“It was no accident that the Cayman Islands had a unique and sustained period of no community transmission while the pandemic raged in most other parts of the world. It is no coincidence that we have not suffered the large scale hospitalisations and deaths experienced in most other jurisdictions, as we slowly and strategically reopened our economy and ports.  Rather, our success is testament to the work of thousands of public servants and other concerned stakeholders who worked tirelessly and with personal sacrifice to support the elected governments.  Together, we kept our people safe, our country functioning, and made travel to and from the islands possible,” Mr Manderson stated.

The OAG report can be viewed at: https://www.auditorgeneral.gov.ky/publicinterestreports.

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