December 14, 2019

Cayman Islands: PAC set to review Auditor General’s report Government’s Use of Consultants and Temporary Staff

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The members of the Cayman Islands Public Accounts Committee are planning to meet to review the most recent audit report issued by the Office of the . The Committee will be asking questions of government officials about the issues highlighted by the in her report entitled “Government’s Use of Consultants and Temporary Staff”. The report assesses how effective the Government is at managing its use of consultants and temporary staff and whether it obtains value for money.

“I welcome the Auditor General’s findings,” said Mr. , Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. “Too often in the past we have expressed concerns about Government’s reliance on consultants, the way they are appointed and what we get for the money. This report provides us with an up-to-date picture on Government’s use of consultants.” Mr. Miller added “The PAC is equally concerned with the amount of money spent on temporary staff while qualified and capable Caymanians remain unemployed.”

“I am concerned that Government is not routinely measuring how much it is spending on consultants and temporary staff. The Auditor General had to estimate this and tells us that a total of $38.5 million was spent over five years. This is a significant amount of money and for them not to have this information at their fingertips is worrying,” said Mr. Miller.

Mr. Miller noted that the report provides a mixed picture. The Auditor General has concluded that Government has responded to previous concerns around procurement by introducing legislation and new procurement policies and procedures. But these policies and procedures are not always being followed.

“We find it alarming that the Government does not consistently consider value for money when engaging consultants.” Mr. Miller added “It is unacceptable that the Auditor General concluded that there was no justification for appointing consultants in most cases she looked and that some consultants had been appointed without any competition.”

The PAC Chair has also noted that the Auditor General raised concerns that the Government is not formally managing or evaluating the performance of consultants once they are appointed.

In accordance with the rules, the Public Accounts Committee’s own report will require the Government to respond within three months about how they will address the Auditor General’s findings and the recommendations made by the Committee.

The audit report noted above are available at www.auditorgeneral.gov.ky.

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