PACT Government Publishes 100-Day Report
The PACT Government’s report on its first 100 days in office has been published today on the official Cayman Islands Government website, gov.ky
Premier Hon. Wayne Panton said in his introduction to the report that it was a pleasure “highlighting some of the work the PACT Government has undertaken and accomplished for the benefit of our people and our country.”
He continued, “I appreciate the support, confidence, trust, and encouragement that the people of the Cayman Islands have in this Government. This has undoubtedly fuelled our efforts over the past 100 days.”
The PACT administration’s early achievements are listed in the report under several broad areas including reopening borders, education, healthcare, people and social policy, good governance, safety, environment and sustainability, employment and labour, sports and culture, infrastructure, financial services, and tourism.
The sections largely mirror the broad policy outcome areas listed in the Strategic Policy Statement brought to Parliament earlier this month.
The Premier acknowledged that important work remains to be done. He said, “While we celebrate these achievements, we are by no means resting on them. There is still much work to be done and we are ready for the challenge.”
Premier Panton emphasised the Islands’ reopening to visitors as paramount on the Government’s list of upcoming goals and challenges.
He said, “First and foremost is the safe reopening of our borders. To do this, we need every eligible resident in the Cayman Islands to be fully vaccinated. I thank and applaud those individuals who have already been fully vaccinated as well as the businesses that have come on board to ensure that their workers — especially those on the front lines — are vaccinated and protecting themselves from the full impact of COVID-19.”
In the section of the report devoted to reopening, the vaccination drive mounted by the incoming Ministers in May is reported as attracting 1,138 people with 734 getting their first shot, and 404 receiving the second.
In the remit of education, the Government reports distributing 4,989 laptops to public school students and increasing funding for overseas undergraduate scholarships by 50%.
The development of a five-phase plan for safely reopening borders is listed under achievements in healthcare, as is expanding healthcare access to all clients of the Needs Assessment Unit.
Under the heading of “People & Social Policy” achievements include the launch of the delayed national census, the grant of government-guaranteed mortgages to 200 Caymanian families, and the reallocation of $2 million in funding to provide business stipends for micro and small businesses.
In the area of good governance, the administration lists the adoption of a Ministerial Code of Conduct and publishing summaries of Cabinet meeting decisions among several actions aimed at greater transparency in government.
The report also points to the international credit rating agency Moody’s maintaining Cayman’s Aa3 rating for Government’s bonds issued in foreign and local currency, and an Aaa rating as a country ceiling.
Activities to maintain and improve public safety included the National Security Council’s steps to curb gang violence, and training for Community Emergency Response Teams volunteers to be better prepared for national hazards.
The environment received greater attention and protection by the formation of the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency, for which the Premier is the Minister responsible, and the Cayman Islands National Weather Service was boosted by the installation of its first tower in a series of automatic weather observation stations.
In the arena of employment and labour, ten Caymanians were offered scholarships to attend Tools for Success-Employability Skills and Financial Peace University through WORC in partnership with Inspire Cayman; and four people were recommended to the Second Chances Programme for possible employment opportunities through the Portfolio of the Civil Service.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage established its three top priorities, which are to identify and develop talent; enhance and empower youth; and ensure awareness and preservation of Cayman’s culture and heritage.
Infrastructure developments included purchasing private land on Cayman Brac for the creation of a public beach, and a public consultation programme on the remediation of the George Town landfill.
In financial services, the Government addressed the European Union’s tax good governance initiative, remaining strong and cooperative with international tax compliance; and participated in an international (ACAMS) symposium on anti-financial crime and CFT to examine the Cayman Islands’ AML framework, including present efforts to be removed from the FATF Grey List.
Achievements in tourism included working with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association on preparations and logistics to keep Caymanians first in the industry; and continuing repatriation flights by Cayman Airways to Miami, Jamaica and La Ceiba, as well as British Airways flights to London Heathrow.
Premier Panton emphasised the shared guiding principles of his Cabinet Ministers. He said, “As a team we continue to grow from strength to strength with our focus on our vision and guiding principles of being a PACT government that is People-driven, Accountable, Competent and Transparent.
While the report reviews the past 100 days, the Premier looked toward the future as he concluded his message. He said, “We will, together, march on to help better the lives of all who live and work here, and safely reopen our borders as we continue to keep our Islands safe from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together we have made the past 100 days meaningful and productive and have set a solid foundation for the remainder of our term. Our unwavering commitment is to place our people at the centre of everything we do.”
The Cayman Islands Government 100 Day Report can be found online in its entirety at: https://bit.ly/100daysPACT2021
Submitted by: Government Information Services (GIS, CIG)
Photo: Dylan Jackson