September 24, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Are we getting value for money from UK Lord?

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It shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that our London Office in the UK has a deputy director, Charles Parchment, earning an undisclosed salary doing “more traditional duties” and working alongside him is Lord Blencathra and his firm, Two Lions Consultancy.

Disclosed on CNS, records released following an FOI request show government has contracted both the Tory peer and his firm, Two Lions, to promote Cayman’s interests in the corridors of power in London and Brussels.

Like most of us I assumed (how naïve) that when Lord Blencathra was appointed Director of the London Office he would be paid a salary and therefore would be working for us full time. Instead he and his company Two Lions Consultancy is costing the public purse CI$19,500 and it is on a contract.

CNS’s findings says the contract shows that government felt in the “changing global financial circumstances” that the London office needed to expand its traditional goals to include strengthening the relationship between the Cayman government and the FCO, as well as other UK and European organisations, and actively promote Cayman in the business communities there. The contract also points to the need for someone to help identify opportunities for development and inward investment to diversify the Cayman economy and expand the islands’ revenue base.

On the CNS website you can download two pdf files:  “Two Lions Consultancy Agreements (signed) (2)” and “FOI 48091 Records”.

The question remains are we getting value for dollar? What irks me is this government won an election on transparency, integrity and openness. The last time I queried this in an Editorial I was slammed by the premier in the Legislative Assembly although I doubt he will do so again. We MAY be getting a first class deal and if our budget gets approved because of his lordship then I will sit down and shut up. However, why the secrecy? Why did it take a media company to have to “force” these facts to come to light?

I wonder just how many actual hours his Lordship and his company actually put in each month? There is no way of knowing that. By all the gobbledygook there is a lot of work included. And are there any “hidden extras”?

The fact that none of this information was “freely”/or “voluntarily” given to us really bothers me. It makes me “suspicious”.

 

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