Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson says increased cases of fraud in the Civil Service were a sign that the system is working.
Mr. Manderson made the comment on Wednesday (30 January) as he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee.
He outlined some of the ways the Civil Service has been implementing the Auditor General’s recommendations, as made in her report “Fighting corruption in the Cayman Islands.”
Even without the Standards in Public Life legislation in effect – to hold government officials and bodies in check – Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson insisted that does not mean there has been a free pass on corruption for the last few years.
“We will not tolerate any instances of corruption,” Mr. Manderson insisted, adding: “we have encouraged chief offices, heads of departments, the entire civil service, if they feel there is corruption, they should report it.”
Mr. Manderson asserted his confidence that the parcel of measures already in effect in the Civil Service was sufficient to keep Cayman clean of corruption.
He explained the “spirit” of the ethics law was already in force in the civil service.
“Are civil servants required to declare conflicts? yes. Are some required to give the declaration of interests? Yes. A lot of these things are happening now,” he stated.
When questioned about the increased number of fraud and corruption cases over recent years, the Deputy Governor said that was partly down to their own zero-tolerance policy.
“This was self-reporting by the civil service. This was not the Anti-Corruption Commission coming in and saying we understand there’s fraud or corruption in this particular department. So we have been pro-actively reporting cases to the ACC,” Mr. Manderson explained.
Another key weapon in the arsenal to fight fraud, according to the Auditor General’s report is training.
The PAC praised Mr. Manderson for ensuring the anti-fraud training had been rolled out widely across the civil service.
But they questioned his use of “a day off” as an incentive to complete the module.
“I used the anti-fraud policy as the carrot. I must say the response was overwhelming. So I don’t want the public to get the impression I just gave everybody the day off, it was based on you doing something substantial,” the Deputy Governor set out.
Previously Auditor General Sue Winspear commended the government for swift enactment of many of the recommendations she made in her report.
The PAC hearings continued on Thursday (31 January.)