November 29, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Suspended and/or on leave with full pay forever?

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Colin WilsonwebThis is not the first editorial I have written concerning the number of government employees who draw salaries for years whilst doing absolutely nothing.

Some are suspended whilst inquires are being conducted, some by the police because of criminal allegations, and others on required leave with little or no explanation.

And as for detailed information on how many and how much well that is another thing.

Despite media Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the various government departments these are mainly ignored with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) being one of the worse departments for this.

Local lawyer, Peter Polack, regularly sends us lists of requests to the RCIPS that receive zero attention going back months!

That the FOI law requires a response within 30 days just escapes the RCIPS as I suspect they believe they are above this law.

Other offenders include the Education Department and HM Prison department where it is understood there are a number of staff being paid for staying at home.

It is reasonable to still pay employees whilst under investigation until proven, because we are all innocent, it is illogical to make them stay at home and do zero work.

It is also illogical to take such a long time to make inquiries – some cases we do know about go back 4 years!

Isn’t anyone accountable for this?

It is our money that is being totally wasted.

Last year CNS reported that the “immigration bill alone for staff on required leave, even without the recent addition of the two larger salaries, is already well in excess of $350,000.” And this is without benefits.

Good God! It is appalling!

This rarely happens in the private sector. If it did the firms would go bankrupt and in the case of the large corporations the shareholders would demand some answers.

The difference here is that the shareholders would quickly get some answers.

Silence is the order of the day when it comes to government departments.

Until we, the public, demand answers by hammering at our elected MLA’s that we will not tolerate this anymore, and make this an election issue, will this senseless waste of public money cease.

You cannot leave it to the media. The Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson, is the man ultimately responsible for civil servants and the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick, has publicly supported her Commissioner of Police.

Can they both ignore the fact that we are entitled to have some accountability for why the waste of our money is continuing and why reasonable Freedom of Information requests are ignored?

Will I be required to write another Editorial asking whether civil servants who are suspended and/or on leave will have full pay forever?

The answer to that, unfortunately, will be “Yes”.

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