GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – Gender Affairs Unit staffer in the Ministry of Community Affairs Karlene Bramwell has been named as the 2019 Wendy Quinland Award recipient.
The award, named in honour of the former East End women’s rights activist, is given annually by the Family Resource Centre (FRC).
The Senior Policy Analyst was given the accolade at the Honouring Women Month (HWM) reception at Government House earlier this month, following the success of this year’s observance in March.
The Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, was in attendance and expressed how delighted he was to witness this example of cross-departmental fellowship.
On presenting the award, the FRC’s Programme Coordinator Charmaine Miller said: “Karlene went over and beyond with assisting on the planning of the Honouring Women Month luncheon by ensuring that the relevant stakeholders who had a vested interest in advancing gender equality shared their input and perspective on this year’s observance.”
Mrs. Miller added: “She also assisted in participating in various radio interviews and promoting the many events planned through various mediums in order to ensure the events were a success.”
Speaking about her award, Ms Bramwell said: “I was shocked and genuinely surprised at being presented with this award; however I am most humbled and honoured to be given this award in this 20th year anniversary of HWM.”
“I knew Wendy as a Community Development Officer, and personally,” she added.
“She is a person who I admired, and therefore to be recognised by my peers in the field for keeping her spirit alive through my own work and contributions is really heart-warming. I am tremendously grateful to FRC for this award and will certainly cherish it.”
Ms Bramwell also mentioned that the award had added meaning for her due to her long association with the FRC, which started in 1999 when it was known as the Women’s Resource Centre.
“Advocating for people in general, working for social justice, bringing awareness and promoting action for gender equality has been a theme throughout both my personal life and my career; so being involved in campaigns and events like Honouring Women Month, or any other movement that benefits humanity, is a natural fit for me,” the recipient concluded.
Commenting on Ms Bramwell’s award, Deputy Chief Officer André Ebanks said: “As an eye-witness to Karlene’s sterling efforts on a daily basis, particularly during HWM, this comes as absolutely no surprise to me.”
“It is fitting recognition of the powerful passion and perseverance she brings to her work. Thank you FRC for publicly recognising Karlene’s contributions and for coordinating a successful 20th anniversary of HWM,” he added.
The Gender Affairs Unit is encouraging everyone to complete the second Gender Equality in the Workplace Survey produced by Gender Equality Cayman. The results will provide data on gender gaps and human resource issues in the local labour market.
Please join us for the upcoming Business Meetings so we can have a productive year with your help through positive input!
Grand Cayman – Wednesday 10 April at 5:30 pm at the George Town Town Hall
Cayman Brac – Thursday 11 April at the District Admin Building, upstairs conference room.
Refreshments will be served at both meetings so come early, mix and mingle and catch up with your fellow association members.
(GIS) – The Ministry of Community Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Paulinda Mendoza-Williams as Director of the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) effective 13 November 2018.
Following a recent recruitment process, which attracted a number of strong candidates, Mrs Mendoza-Williams was offered the DCFS directorship. Felicia Robinson, the current Director, and Mrs Mendoza-Williams are working together during an interim transition period.
“I want to thank Mrs. Robinson for her two years of dedicated service to the Ministry, the Department and the community and wish her well in her future endeavours,” said Chief Officer Teresa Echenique. “She has been instrumental in establishing key foundational work in DCFS to enhance and develop services.”
Mrs Mendoza-Williams has 20 plus years of experience in the social work profession. She originally started as a social worker and steadily progressed in the department. Currently Deputy Director of Clinical Services, Mrs Mendoza-Williams has been in this role since October 2012. She has also acted in the capacity of Director numerous times. In 2015-16 she was Acting Director for 10 months, prior to Mrs Robinson’s appointment.
Most recently, Mrs Mendoza-Williams was seconded to the Ministry of Community Affairs. As Assistant Chief Officer in February 2018, she was responsible for oversight of the review and policy development of the Cayman Islands Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
As Deputy Director, Mrs Mendoza-Williams is actively involved in restructuring the Department to reflect a more specialised approach to social work delivery.
Her other job-related accomplishments include assisting with the restructuring of the financial assistance programme by establishing the Needs Assessment Unit; the development, implementation, monitoring and review of legislation and policies that impact best practice in social work such as the Children Law, Youth Justice and Adoption Laws.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to be given this opportunity to take up the role of Director,” said Mrs Mendoza-Williams.” A significant amount of my career and professional development has been focused on serving my community effectively. Along with the hardworking DCFS staff, I will continue developing and enhancing the work of the department by ensuring legislation, best practice and policy are employed to promote positive social change.”
Photo by Elphina Jones, GIS
If you’re a current member of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association in Cayman Brac, please join us for the annual “Back to School for Cayman Brac”. On Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Medical Wing at the Aston Rutty Centre.
CICSA (the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association) is privileged to offer school bags packed with supplies to members with school-age children.
CICSA President John Bothwell said that by providing these school bags to members, the association is underscoring the importance of education.
“This is our way of telling parents and guardians that CICSA supports them, just like they support their children’s academic growth,” he said. “In a way, the school bags are like breakfast for a child – we want to start their new school year off right!”
While most parents and guardians make sure their budgets can cover the costs of a new school year, it nevertheless can be a challenging time financially for families, Mr Bothwell said.
“Education has the best outcomes when parents, teachers, and the community join hands to support our children and help them become all who they can be,” he said. “We want them to become strong men and women of integrity. So this school-bag offer is worth every penny spent, and CICSA is proud to be able to do this for our kids.”
CICSA members are invited to come by the CICSA office between 1pm and 6pm, Monday, 30 July to Friday, 3 August, to collect bags for their children. CICSA’s office is located upstairs in the No. 1 Shoe Shop Building on Walkers Road. Please bring a form of identification and your government pay stub that shows your $5 CICSA monthly deduction. If you are collecting bags for other members, you’ll need their IDs and pay stubs as well.
For civil servants who aren’t CICSA members, it’s a great time to join. CICSA advocates for your interests, and it helps make the Cayman Islands Government a great place to work. To become a member, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They’ll send you an easy application form to complete and return.
(Source: GIS) – As the recently appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the Cabinet Office, Ms Krista Seymour-Mohammed sees herself as being in a more strategic position to help enhance the effectiveness of both the Portfolio and the wider Civil Service.
Key financial advisor to the Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, the CFO’s duties involve establishing policies and procedures to ensure that all departments are operating in line with international accounting standards and local financial legislation. Furthermore, Ms Seymour-Mohammed has direct responsibility for the preparation of the annual budget and annual financial statements.
Her latest appointment, which came through a competitive recruitment process, sees her firmly on home turf. Prior to taking up her new CFO post, Ms Seymour-Mohammed was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO) for the Portfolio of the Civil Service and the Cabinet Office. “The key difference between this and my last post is that I am now required to be more strategic in my thinking and in directing of financial operations,” she advised. “My view of the Portfolio is more holistic and I am required to identify and approach work at a more macro level.”
During her tenure as DCFO, one of her key accomplishments was establishing processes to improve the month-end review and reconciliation of the accounts. This improvement led to more accurate accounting information being provided throughout the year.
The CFO’s zeal for simplifying and rationalising operations brings added value to her work. “In the future, I intend to make further improvements to streamline the processes and procedures throughout the Cabinet Office,” she said. “This will ensure that there is greater standardisation across departments, where possible, thereby increasing transferability across the entity’s finance staff. Some of our current processes will be reengineered to achieve greater efficiency throughout our finance and accounting roles.”
“I am very pleased to welcome Ms Krista Seymour-Mohammed as our Chief Financial Officer,” remarked Mr Rose. “Her energy, professionalism, and extensive experience make her an important asset to our Portfolio.”
His Excellency the Acting Governor and Head of the Civil Service Hon Franz Manderson, said “I am encouraged to know that we are able to offer the quality of work and wealth of opportunities that attract and retain young Caymanians. Ms Seymour-Mohammed is making good on her tremendous track record.”
Given the diversity of her duties, as catalyst, steward and strategist, it helps that the CFO is highly motivated and works well both collaboratively and independently. “I am a civil servant at heart and enjoy the satisfaction of being a part of an organisation where I can serve my country,” Ms Seymour-Mohammed stated. “This role allows me to participate in the country’s continued journey towards greater fiscal responsibility. I also find joy encouraging and motivating team members to become the best versions of themselves.”
Ms Seymour-Mohammed’s professional qualifications include Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Finance and Business Administration from the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Before returning to the Civil Service in 2015, Ms Seymour-Mohammed worked for Caribbean Utilities Company and, prior to that, with the Cayman Islands Government Treasury Department for five years and Cayman Islands Development Bank for three years.
Beyond work and family life, Ms Seymour-Mohammed likes reading, and writing fiction.
The report, “Workforce planning and management in the Cayman Islands Government” issued by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) today, reviewed how well the civil service plans and manages its workforce.
The report specifically looked at how well the civil service plans and manages its workforce to meet its strategic goals; how effective it is at attracting, retaining and supporting its workforce; if it has relevant and reliable information about its staff and how it uses this to support workforce planning and decision making.
“The Cayman Islands Government has recently launched a new five-year strategic plan, which sets out the ambition of becoming a world-class civil service,” says Sue Winspear, Auditor General of the Cayman Islands. “But it does not have a plan that sets out its workforce needs in the longer term to ensure that it has the right people with the right skills in place to achieve its strategic objectives and deliver the services that will be needed in the future.”
The report highlights that the strategic plan concentrates on delivering quality services and improving customer experience. The civil service has started to collect baseline information on staff and customer satisfaction levels which will help it measure progress in the years ahead.
The report also states that the Cayman Islands Government has a range of workforce management processes and tools in place and has already started to improve some of these.
“I’m pleased that the Cayman Islands Government has already started to improve its workforce management but there is scope to further improve and better integrate its approach.” Ms Winspear continues. “It also urgently needs to improve its IT systems for workforce management. The systems in place are not well-designed, integrated or user-friendly, which leads to inefficiencies in both inputting and extracting information for decision making.”
Ms. Winspear concludes: “The civil service is entirely dependent upon its staff to deliver its strategic objectives, policies and a wide range of public services. The five-year strategic plan is an excellent start but it also needs to have a clear pay strategy that sets out how it plans to keep civil service salaries competitive to ensure that it can recruit and retain the right staff now and in the future.”
The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association extends our condolences to the family, friends and country of Mr. Kirkland Nixon. We lost one of our own, a man who involved himself in many facets of the Civil Service, the Association, and the country as a whole. He was a strong advocate for equity and fairness throughout the Civil Service, and for the people of the Cayman Islands. He served the country with dignity, humility and respect professionally and personally, going beyond the normal routine in his voluntary roles to make sure that the people he served were well served. He provided a touchstone to the past for many of our younger Civil Servants and in the wider community, remembering the struggles that went before and giving inspiration for the road ahead. The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association and the country will miss Mr. Kirkland Nixon.