October 22, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Was the S155,000 for the EY Report money well spent?

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Colin WilsonwebIf one were paying by page then ‘yes’ I would have to say, as the review of the Civil Service executed by Ernst & Young (EY) was over 260 pages long.

The Report made 55 recommendations and it will be interesting just how many will actually be implemented.

That will be the true judge if the $155,000 the report cost is money well spent.

Listening to what the premier said last week at the professional development conference for public sector workers organised by the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants I’m not sure the number will even reach the lowest two digit numbers.

He sort of apologized for having implemented the EY Report.

Public expenditure couldn’t continue to grow as it has done in the past decade and that was why it had commissioned the report, he told them. Then he gave them this reassurance:

“Before we take any decisions about privatisation, amalgamation or restructuring, this administration will have to be convinced that any action Cabinet takes will be in the best interest of all the Caymanian people. Unfortunately there are some interests that believe the objective of Government should be to improve their position in the private sector. That isn’t the case at all.”

This, I believe, was a swipe at the Chamber of Commerce, who amazingly seemed to endorse nearly everything in the Report. Of course EY is one of their members.

The good thing with government is you can organise a very large committee to ponder over all the recommendations and that in itself will require “additional research or information before decisions can be made”.


Alden McLaughlin gave more reassurance to the Civil Servants present.

The Project Future Steering Committee he had set up is chaired by the Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson (who is in charge of the Civil Service). This would ensure that Cabinet’s recommendations would be “swiftly implemented,” he said.


Then the premier got right into the Report. He stated while the government agreed with some of the recommendations in the Report there were others that would need modification of some sort, some of which were already under way and some, which will not be implemented.

This sounds like a case of whichever which way you choose.

And if the Civil Servants wanted even more assurance, although by now they were all smiling, he said Manderson would ensure the committee’s approach would be consistent and in-line with the highest standards in governance and project management. This would include development of a “proper business case for all projects undertaken” in carrying out the recommendations!

There was some very sound advice he gave them.

“There is a need to find ways to work harder and smarter with less,” he said.

Agreed. However, have you ever known any Civil Service in the world that can produce anything with less?

The criteria everywhere in the Civil Service is to find as many persons as you can to execute the simplest of jobs.

The Cayman Islands is therefore going to set a new standard.

I look forward to seeing this being achieved.

Now back to my original question.

Was the S155,000 for the EY Report money well spent?

What do you think?


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  1. No, it wasn’t. It made a bunch of silly proposals – basically increase cost of living by routing more government activity through the private sector so they can make more profits – and expected they would be implemented with the wave of a hand. The problem was they were asked for a useable road map and they gave a child’s drawing. Not a single thing that government could act on and know what they were getting in to.

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