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Honours for One

At the Queen’s Birthday Parade this Saturday (9 June 2018) His Excellency the Governor Anwar Choudhury named the latest individual to the receive the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

This is the Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service, the Honourable Mr. Franz Manderson, who has been named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), for services to the Cayman Islands.

A Caymanian success story, Franz Ireland Manderson joined the Cayman Islands Civil Service straight out of high school at 16-years-old as an hourly paid worker with the Immigration Department. His aptitude and diligence saw him promoted up the ranks culminating in his appointment as Chief Immigration Officer in July 2004.

During his illustrious tenure with the Immigration Department Mr. Manderson received many awards, including the Certificate and Badge of Honour “for services rendered in the management of the Cuban migrants in the Cayman Islands”, the Governor’s FACE award for excellence in customer service, and Person of the Year in 2006 by Cayman NetNews.

Tempered in the forge of one of the islands’ most demanding frontline departments, he continued to impress co-workers and seniors with his strong work ethic and ability to make qualitative advances in policy formation and application.

Mr. Manderson earned a law degree, completing his legal studies at the University of Liverpool. As an attorney-at-law, he was called to the Cayman Islands Bar in July 2004 and later appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 2008.

In July 2009, Mr. Manderson was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief Secretary in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs. Following the implementation of the new constitution, which renamed the post of Chief Secretary to Deputy Governor, Mr. Manderson’s title also changed to Chief Officer. As Chief Officer in the Portfolio he was responsible for an annual budget of approximately $70m and for managing more than 800 staff.

In 2012, the United Kingdom Secretary of State in consultation with His Excellency the Governor, Duncan Taylor, approved the appointment of Mr. Manderson as Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service.

Mr. Manderson is now responsible for the management and performance of the Civil Service which has a budget of more than $500m and 3,600 staff. He is a member of Cabinet and is the first official member of the Legislative Assembly.

For his sterling services to the Cayman Islands, Her Majesty the Queen has chosen to confer an MBE on Mr. Manderson in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

During his current tenure, Mr. Manderson has built on an already impressive track record. His most notable achievements have been in the areas of leadership and development, public sector reform, budget management, performance management, strategic planning and implementation, as well as policy development.

Among the most significant milestones, at this stage in his career, are that for successive years, under his stewardship, the majority of ministries and portfolios are now maintaining unqualified audit opinions of their financial statements a dramatic improvement in the performance management of staff, the introduction of Assessment Centres for senior posts, improving staff engagement and promoting a record number of Caymanians to key senior posts.

Furthermore, during his time as Deputy Governor the civil service, working with Ministers, has delivered budget surpluses in excess of $100m each year. He has also piloted key pieces of legislation, including the Procurement Law, and the Public Authorities Law both designed to improve governance.

He founded the popular DG’s 5K Challenge, which has raised in excess of $272,500 for local charities, and is one of the most well-attended walk/run events in the Cayman Islands. His promotion of wellness activities has had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of civil servants and members of the private sector.

In January 2018 he rolled out the first ever 5-Year Strategic Plan for a World-Class Civil Service. The plan seeks to modernise the Civil Service by delivering an outstanding customer experience, forming exceptional leadership, seeking excellence in talent development, fostering effective communication and demonstrating excellence in governance practices.

Mr. Manderson will become the third member of his family to receive an MBE. The other recipients of the award are his mother Jenny Manderson and his uncle Jimmy Powell.

“I was surprised, I didn’t see it coming,” he said on hearing of his award. “I was a bit shocked but I was very happy and very grateful.”

Asked what he thought people’s reaction might be, he said, “I have enjoyed a lot of support during my entire civil service career and now as Deputy Governor. I want people to understand that they helped me receive this as well. I’ve had great support from my family, great role models and a dedicated group of civil servants, including chief officers, who support me. So, I would like people to celebrate this as their award. I have not done this by myself.”

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