May 10, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Things are serious Mr. Bush

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Errol Bush, The Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) Board Director has reportedly sent around emails to staff stating that things were not serious against the rumours of significant irregularities at the authority.

We, and that includes the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), obviously have a very different opinion of what he considers serious.

I cannot think of a more damning report than the latest OAG Report that reveals a long list of allegations against the director of the Port Authority, Clement Reid.

Amongst others the Audit Report lists that Reid ignored the standard lawful recruitment practices, there was bias and favourtism shown towards staff members, spent over $130,000 to decorate the port offices without approval, allowed a staff member to go on 60 days paid leave to work for the former opposition leader, McKeeva Bush as his driver, released a salvaged vessel to disputed owners, and turned ‘a blind eye’ to the theft of boat engines!

The office decorations included purchasing rugs and poufs!!

The recruitment infractions included senior staff being appointed or promoted without jobs being advertised or the involvement of the human resources manager; regulations were not followed when background checks were supposed to be executed, and this was the same with medical and clearance certificates. Salaries were given to new recruits that were well above the advertised pay or exceeded the stated bands.

A cover up has been executed as we understand although the OAG referred the findings to the Anti-Corruption Commission they have to date taken no action.

CNS have reported they have been told the issues were dealt with under internal procedures.

We have not received any official word that the PACI Board of Directors have responded to the Audit Report. Rumour has it that there was one.

Judging from what has gone before I would expect the response concluded none of the Auditor General’s findings were serious.

My conclusion is very different.

Everything listed in the Audit Report as infractions is serious. Very serious.

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