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The Editor Speaks: A study in scarlet, need

“A study in scarlet” is a quote from a well known Sherlock Holmes murder story named after the quote. It’s meaning is that a scarlet thread of murder is hidden within a tangle of misdirection and lies, and that it is their (Holmes and Watson) job to unravel and expose it.

You might believe I am being over dramatic in applying it to the need for an outline business case for a future social welfare programme in the Cayman Islands.

I don’t think so, although perhaps the “lies” is taking it a bit too far……?

On Wednesday Feb 1st Minister for Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Osbourne Bodden and senior members of his Ministry met with KPMG officials on this very programme.

In August 2016 the ministry requested proposals from local consultants to prepare a business case, and through a Departmental Tenders Committee process, the successful consultant was KPMG.

The project stems from the recommendations of Project Future, a five-year programme of Civil Service reform launched by the Premier and Deputy Governor in late 2015. Project Future provides a framework for Ministries/Departments to investigate and respond to priorities established by Cabinet, with the oversight and support of the Deputy Governor’s Office.

To allow for the best chance for success, the programme encourages projects like the one being undertaken by the Ministry and KPMG to use business case tools and formal project methodology.
According to Project Future recommendations, the Outline Business Case must consider the Office of the Auditor General Report on Government programmes supporting those in Need (May 2015). That report focused on the ex-gratia benefits to Seamen; benefit payments to Veterans; health insurance for Seamen and Veterans. It also reviewed poor relief payments (temporary and permanent), medical care for indigents and tertiary care at local and overseas institutions for indigents and Seamen and Veterans.

I think you get my drift now why I have used the quote.

There most certainly is a need for a welfare programme instead of the ad hoc services of support that we currently have.

And the increase for this support is nowhere losing apace despite the economic improvements.

Inequality, the need in the growing population has led to thousands of families currently being supported by way public money. Recently ii was reported that many children attending our public schools go there hungry.

There is still a backlog at the Needs Assessment Unit (part of Children and Family Services) that decides which person/families qualify for help from government by means of social support.

I am not a great believer for endless studies but I am not aware of one having been executed recently, if at all, for social welfare programme in the Cayman Islands.

Therefore, I am all for a Study in Scarlet – there is a need for this one.



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