(CMR) Eric Bush will be moving ministries after exclusive sources revealed that there was a personality clash between Minister Andre Ebanks and the long-servicing chief officer. Several months ago, Minister Jay Ebanks was approached about the move and reminded by key parties that politicians are unable to have any direct say in who is assigned to them in the civil service.
In an ironic twist, Minister Andre Ebanks once served under Eric Bush as a civil servant. However, the tables were turned when Andre Ebanks won a seat in the 2021 general election. It appears from the onset the personalities did not mesh well.
Other sources revealed that the decision has not placed other posts in upheaval as there was someone already slated to take the chief officer position under Minister Jay Ebanks.
Monday, it was formally announced that Bush will join the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure (PAHI) as Chief Officer beginning 7 June, transferring from his post as Chief Officer in the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development (IISD).
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson announced that the personnel shift within the senior leadership team would fill the vacancy left following the retirement of past Chief Officer Alan Jones who retired in July 2021 after a career of 31 years of service.
“Through my role as head of the Civil Service, I am committed to maintaining the agility of the public sector to continually evaluate and adapt to the needs of the Government. The placements of our Chief Officers help us effectively deliver strategic outcomes that progress the business of government in the most effective and responsible ways,” Mr. Manderson said.
The Deputy Governor said with distinguished leaders throughout the service with many years of senior-level experience in many different areas,it provides flexibility in placing qualified persons in varying areas of need, such as with Mr. Bush's transition to PAHI.
“It is critical to the success of the service that we remain open to working in new ways while continuing to achieve high levels of performance as we serve the people of the Cayman Islands,” he added.
The Deputy Governor also extended his thanks and appreciation to Deputy Chief Officers Tristan Hydes and Leyda Nicholson-Makasare, who ably led the Ministry since July 2021.
The Ministry of PAHI currently has several projects of critical importance to the Cayman Islands, such as road infrastructure projects, investment in technical vocational education training/apprenticeship program and the submarine cable (sub-sea) projects, all of which will benefit from the strategic guidance from Chief Officer Bush as a senior leader.
Since joining the Civil Service March 1999, Mr. Bush has served in several leadership capacities including as the Chief Officer of the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs (ITIAMA), and the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development (IISD).
He also served as the Cayman Islands Representative to the UK between 2016 and 2019, where he worked to establish a wide array of relationships that benefit Cayman's people.
He played a key roles in the Cayman Islands hosting the Overseas Territories International Trade Summit in conjunction with Lord Ahmad in 2019, the Commonwealth Climate Growth Fund in 2021, and the recent establishment of the Cayman Islands “Young Chef Young Waiter” competition.
Recently the Ministry IISD staff, under Bush's leadership, registered some of the highest scores on the 2020 and 2021 Civil Service Engagement Survey.
“While the world around us changes, the Civil Service must continue to be dynamic and innovative to fulfill the vision of our elected leaders. I am honored to continue to serve the people of the Cayman Islands, in a new capacity as Chief Officer of the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure,” stated Mr. Bush.
Tamara Ebanks will take the helm of the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development as Acting Chief Officer.
Ms. Ebanks had been seconded to the MIISD from her post as Deputy Chief Officer within PAHI and will continue to advance some of the key projects initiated under Mr. Bush's tenure, which commenced in 2019.