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Sister Islands District Commissioner Retires New Commissioner Appointed

 The Ministry of District Administration Tourism and Transport has announced today that District Commissioner, Mr. Ernie Scott will retire from the civil service on 21st April, 2021 and will be succeeded by Mr. Mark Tibbetts, who has been appointed as the new District Commissioner for the Sister Islands.

Mr. Scott’s exemplary 48 year public service career commenced in September 1973 when he joined the service as a Clerical Officer, after graduating from the Cayman Brac High School with 8 passes from the Jamaica School Certificate Examinations (JSCE) and 1 General Certificate of Education (GCE) pass.

In January 1978 Mr. Scott was appointed as an Immigration Officer and subsequently moved to the Customs Department, where he became the first employee to wear the official uniform following his appointment as a Customs Officer in July 1978. Two years later, he was promoted to Senior Customs Officer. In 1983 he earned a further promotion as Assistant Collector of Customs, with responsibility for all customs and immigration operations in the Sister Islands and became the Deputy Collector of Customs in October 1986.

Throughout his tenure as a civil servant, Mr. Scott also continued his education, earning postgraduate diplomas in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies (UWI Mona) and Public Policy and Management from the University of London. Mr. Scott also holds a certificate in Professional Management, a diploma in Personnel Management and a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Human Resource Management from the University of Portsmouth, UK. 

Between 1990 and 1999, Mr. Scott was called upon to act in the role of District Commissioner on several occasions. As a result of his successful performance and outstanding leadership abilities, he was promoted in March 1999 and confirmed in position of Deputy District Commissioner. He was subsequently appointed as District Commissioner in January 2007 where he has remained for 14 years till his retirement in 2021.

As District Commissioner, in addition to providing strategic and operational leadership for the Department and delivering policy advice to the Ministry, Mr. Scott also had oversight for human resource planning and development, and was responsible for the preparation and control of the District Administration budget. He also managed the Sister Islands disaster management response, which included mitigation and recovery planning during natural disasters. Under the National Hurricane Relief Plan, he has served as Deputy Chair and Chairman respectively of the Essential Services Relief Committee (CB & LC), and has worked closely with Public Health to co-ordinate the Sister Islands response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Aside from his duties as District Commissioner, Mr. Scott has served on numerous Boards, including the Development Control Board, as Executive Secretary for 12 years from 1978 to 1990. In December 1982 was appointed as a member of the Central Planning Authority (CPA) for a period of one year, and in January 1984 he assumed the role of Executive Secretary to the Liquor Licensing Board (CB & LC) to which he provided 10 years of service. During the Quincentennial celebrations, he was Co-Chair of the District Committee for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman which oversaw the Sister Islands inclusion and contribution to the historical and cultural festivities.

Reflecting on his career, Mr. Scott stated that “Being in service to the people of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman has been an exceptionally fulfilling experience and I have countless memories that are among the best in my life. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute to the Sister Islands growth and development over the past four decades, which on reflection has been nothing short of remarkable.”

“I am especially grateful to the outstanding teams I have been privileged to lead and to work alongside during my career and I extend sincere and heartfelt thanks for the support they have provided to me over the years. I particularly wish to acknowledge and thank my Deputy, Mr. Mark Tibbetts for his loyal service and counsel, and wish him the very best as he takes over the reins. It is gratifying to be leaving District Administration in such capable hands,” he said. 

Following a rigorous interview process, Mr. Bentley Leroy Tibbetts, better known as Mark Tibbetts, was selected to assume the role of District Commissioner for the Sister Islands.

Having served for 31 years thus far, Mr. Tibbetts is a veteran civil servant with a long and distinguished career.  After graduating from the Cayman Brac High School he gained experience in the private sector working in the telecommunications and tourism sectors. He joined the Service in 1990 as a Junior Customs Officer and was first promoted in 1997 to Senior Customs Officer, before advancing in 2001 to Assistant Collector of Customs. At that time, his responsibilities included supervision of the main and sub-offices, revenue collection and warehouse management, along with supervision of the immigration section.

Mr. Tibbetts was appointed to the position of Deputy District Commissioner in 2007 where he has remains currently. He will assume the role of District Commissioner with effect from Wednesday 21st April, 2021 when Mr. Scott officially retires.

“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to continue serving the people of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman which I have endeavoured to do to the best of my ability throughout my career,” said Mr. Tibbetts. “I am keen to continue the legacy which Mr. Scott has so ably established and I look forward to providing the leadership and direction required to ensure that my colleagues and I not only achieve the results expected of us, but are successful in making the lives of those we serve better.”

Mr. Tibbetts holds a postgraduate Certificate, Diploma, and Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Portsmouth, UK. He also holds a certificate in Personnel Practice from Chichester College, UK.

Commenting on Mr. Scott’s retirement and the imminent change in leadership, Mr. Stran Bodden, Chief Officer with responsibility for District Administration said, “I would like to publically thank Ernie for his years of dedicated and impressive service to the Cayman Islands Government and to the Ministry of District Administration in particular. I have greatly appreciated his exemplary leadership and valuable counsel and wish him the very best as he embarks on his well-earned retirement. Although retirement is typically a time for slowing down, I have no doubt that Ernie will remain actively engaged in the Cayman Brac community which is so much a part of his life, and am sure Brackers will in turn will welcome his involvement.  

“I am very pleased that the baton has been passed to Mark,” Mr. Bodden continued. “Mark is highly regarded for his professionalism, critical thinking and strategic planning abilities and I am confident that under his stewardship, the District Admin office and its staff will continue to flourish.  I am delighted to add my congratulations to him on this most well deserved appointment, and look forward to working closely with him in the future for the ultimate benefit of the people of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.”