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ARTICLE

Government Welcomes Results of OAG Report

• Government’s work in creating anti-fraud and corruption strategy is praised by OAG
• Deputy Governor welcomes findings saying that fighting corruption is ongoing
• Accountant General is tasked with overseeing annual reviews of Anti-Fraud Policy

Government’s efforts to develop a national framework to prevent fraud and corruption is highly praised in the Auditor General’s recent report “Fighting Corruption in the Cayman Islands.” The report assesses the effectiveness of mechanisms put in place by government to prevent corruption, including the passing of legislation such as the Anti-Corruption Law, the creation of anti-corruption bodies, and the development and strengthening of policies and procedures.

The Anti-Corruption Commission is noted for the significant role it plays in the fight against fraud and corruption. “As the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) itself has recognised, the Civil Service has instituted a zero tolerance approach to corruption and has a proven track record of referring cases of corruption to the Anti-Corruption Commission,” the Deputy Governor remarks.

“Over the years we have implemented a range of legislation and established Government bodies to help us protect the integrity of the service. These findings provide an opportunity for us to continue to evolve our response to this challenge which every jurisdiction faces to ensure that we are as effective as possible.” The Auditor General notes that she “is pleased” with the progress Government has made, but notes that these measures do not mean the Cayman Islands is completely free from fraud and corruption.

To further strengthen government’s efforts to combat fraud, the Deputy Governor has appointed the Accountant General to be responsible for coordinating a review of the Anti-Fraud Policy by Chief Financial Officers on an annual basis, or within 30 days of any significant organisational change. Following each review, the Accountant General will report back on the outcomes and any proposed changes to ensure the policy is regularly updated. Other actions set to be taken include: 
               
· The formation of an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, · A proposal to seek Cabinet’s support to extend the Anti-Fraud Policy to statutory authorities and government-owned companies, · Seeking other avenues to administer anti-fraud training that will complement the online offering, · Exploring the extension of the list of designated authorities to whom whistle-blowers can turn.

The report also examined efforts made by the Department of Planning to prevent corruption to prevent fraud in the construction industry, because of the key role the sector plays in the economy. “We are always seeking ways to improve the work we do and the service we provide to the people of the Cayman Islands,” notes the Department of Planning Director Haroon Pandohie.

“The recommendations made by the OAG to strengthen processes have been considered and taken on board. We’ve started the work of developing the necessary policies and procedure, and will continue to encourage and support the Central Planning Authority and the Development Control Board in its efforts to improve transparency.”

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