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Cayman official blasts gov't procurement practices

Cayman official blasts gov't procurement practices

Political interference and shabby management of procurement practices is damaging the Cayman Islands' credibility with suppliers and likely wasting millions of dollars, the U.K. territory's auditor general announced Monday.
Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick made the comments in a report evaluating how the British Caribbean territory's government was managing the contracting and purchasing of supplies, services and assets worth over $250,000.
Swarbrick found instances of some politicians interfering in the procurement process and reported that "significant risks of abuse, mismanagement, fraud and corruption may result." He did not disclose specific examples or name politicians.
He said he was also disconcerted to discover that the government had few formal contracting processes in place to help save some money and that there was no official responsible for insuring that ministries and other government agencies were buying supplies at the lowest possible cost.
"I found no one in the government is responsible for doing this. There is a lack of central leadership and the result is that the government is likely wasting several millions of dollars," Swarbrick said.
Premier McKeeva Bush called on the deputy governor to prepare an urgent response to Swarbrick's report, including the creation of an action plan to address the shortcomings.
Bush said the auditor general's report highlights "serious shortcomings in our procurement system which we need to address and to address quickly."
The Caribbean offshore financial center of the Cayman Islands lie about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Cuba.