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New Senior Leadership Team at Ministry of IISD Champion Short and Long-term Modernising Reforms

Government 07 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development staff, Department Directors & Deputy Directors

Sunrise Adult Training Centre Deputy Director Ross Kelly, Director Kim Voaden, InvestCayman Director Jane Scaletta (facing away from camera), Computer Services Department Director Simon Spiers

Charles Brown, MIISD Acting DCO (Investment & Innovation)

Photo of Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development event, September 2022, with Department Directors and Deputy Directors

(L-R) Darvy Whittaker (Director Designate of the Computer Services Department) speaks with Acting DCO (Social Development) Rayle Roberts

(L-R) Hon. Minister Andre Ebanks speaks with eGovernment Director Ian Tibbetts

(L-R) Hon. Minister Andre Ebanks speaks with Acting Chief Officer Tamara Ebanks

By Kenda Okonski

The Senior Leadership of the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development (www.gov.ky/iisd<http://www.gov.ky/iisd> ) has changed, with a new Acting Chief Officer and two Acting Deputy Chief Officers having been appointed.  The Ministry’s leadership and staff joined with the directors and deputies of its eight departments this past week for an interim progress update.

The overall remit of the Ministry and its departments spans from reforming and modernising the Government’s delivery of financial assistance, providing both social work services and inclusive support for adults with special needs. At the same time, its mandate includes building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem for micro and small businesses and leveraging of strategic investment.  It also includes the custodians of Government’s digital infrastructure and cyber safety, and the architects of Government’s burgeoning digital identity programme.

The Hon. Minister stated,

“The Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development was created by Government to pursue and enact truly transformative changes that will create long-lasting value for both people and Government. It was inspiring and a genuine pleasure to join the full Ministry team and senior management of each department at the recent update meeting. The Ministry team has my utmost confidence in its ability to deliver on this vision.”

Ms. Tamara Ebanks joined the Ministry as the Acting Chief Officer in June 2022.  Her career in the Civil Service has spanned more than two decades, working within numerous Ministries and subject areas.   ACO Ms. Ebanks observed that the Ministry’s successes have emanated from the team’s close collaboration with the Hon. Minister André Ebanks. She said,

“During my relatively short tenure so far at the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development, I have observed the impressive energy and passion that drives the entire team. I am honored to lead a dynamic group of people who are united in their ambitions to bring meaningful and measureable reforms to fruition, in tandem with the elected Government’s strategic priorities.”

Prior to her MIISD appointment, Ms. Ebanks most recently served as the Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure. Before that role, she served as Deputy Chief Officer in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, and before that, in the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment.

In each of these, she contributed significantly to the development and enhancement of the Ministries’ respective portfolios and departments, including development of legislation, regulation and policy; finance and budget; and talent development and retention. She also held several appointments to key steering committees.

In addition to extensive civil service knowledge and over twenty years of working experience, Ms. Ebanks also brings academic accomplishments to the role, with a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management with distinction from the University of Portsmouth; a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Honors from York University, and numerous certifications.

In June 2022, two Acting Deputy Chief Officers (DCO) were appointed:  Mr. Rayle Roberts, Acting DCO for Social Development, and Mr. Trevor Gibbs.  Mr. Gibbs stepped into the role of Acting DCO for Investment and Innovation for two months prior to the appointment of Mr. Charles Brown to this role in mid-August 2022.

Combining the unique talents and attributes of these individuals, the Ministry leadership brings a wealth of experience and achievements to the Ministry’s portfolio.

Acting Deputy Chief Officer Charles Brown stated:

“The Ministry seeks both to tackle challenges and to capitalise on compelling opportunities, whether they are incremental or vast within the Ministry’s three distinct yet related subject areas. In particular, we are pursuing purposeful investment and innovation initiatives that advance social development for the people of the Cayman Islands. This means expanding prospects for entrepreneurs, creating modern digital infrastructure that makes it easier for people and businesses to operate and succeed, and specific initiatives focused on improving quality of life for Caymanians.”

Acting Deputy Chief Officer Rayle Roberts stated,

“The Ministry is leading Government’s ambitious efforts to re-imagine social development. We have taken a pragmatic and streamlined approach to solving internal resource needs, and by doing so, the Ministry in collaboration with its Departments has delivered immediate, tangible improvements that serve people with dignity and compassion.  We are also exploring and undertaking entirely new initiatives that will enable Government to ‘leapfrog’ over significant bureaucratic hurdles -- which all too often result in heartless decisions for the sake of box ticking.”

Recent highlights of the Ministry’s work and that of its departments include

* The draft Financial Assistance Bill 2022 to be considered by Parliament in October. If passed, this legislative reform will create modern and fit for purpose legislation to govern the Government’s financial assistance given to Caymanians - creating accountability as well as legal recourse. (more info<https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/financial-assistance-bill-2022>)

* Streamlining processes for the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU), including requests for housing repairs, and most recently the creation of a “Continuation Certificate” (more info<https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/nau-eligibility-criteria_july2022>)  for the benefit of older persons, as well as those who are permanently disabled,  who have already qualified for Government’s financial assistance.

* Housing Repairs Assistance:  This program continues to deliver repairs to homes, to make them watertight and secure from hazards, for Caymanians.

* Relocation of the Sunrise Adult Training Centre to a larger and modern interim premises, centrally located in George Town. (more info<https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/sunrise-centre-opens-in-new-location>)

* Primary sponsorship and involvement in the 2022 Cayman Islands Digital Economy Conference (more info<https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/cydec-2022>), including a highly regarded presentation about the upcoming national/digital ID project.  The Ministry has conducted extensive focus groups and presentations across the community, and pending approval of Cabinet, expects draft legislation to be ready for public consultation in the fourth quarter of 2022.

* The launch of two significant Centre for Business Development initiatives - the “Raising Capital” Forum and the “Grow Your Business” programme, designed for Caymanian entrepreneurs to scale up their micro- and small businesses.

* Two Ministry visits to Cayman Brac; one in July 2022 to the District Administration, Needs Assessment Unit, Department of Children and Family Services, and the Kirkconnell Care Home (more info<https://www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/ministry-iisd-caymanbrac-july2022>), and one in August 2022 to facilitate insight gathering through focus groups.

Acting CO Tamara Ebanks added, “We often hear about breaking down silos in Government; the portfolio of subject areas and departments housed within the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development has necessitated this approach from the outset. With the breadth of cross-Governmental experience that characterises the entire team, it is my earnest hope and belief that we will continue to make significant progress for the benefit of all who live, work and do business in the Cayman Islands.”

Additional bio information

Charles Brown

Charles Brown started his career in the Civil Service as a Planning Assistant for Policy & Development in the Planning Department in 2008.  In 2017, he was promoted to Senior Policy Officer in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.   In November 2021, he was appointed as the Acting Deputy Chief Officer for the Ministry of District Administration and Lands, for a six month rotation alongside two other Civil Servants.  During the course of his career he has earned numerous awards including the Ministry’s “Employee of the Year” Award as well as the Chief Officer’s Choice certificate.  Mr. Brown earned a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Edinburgh and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami. His professional experience includes a variety of infrastructure projects, including road projects (from main arterials to small neighbourhood streets) and capital projects (such as the South Sound Boardwalk and coastal park enhancement projects).

Rayle Roberts

Rayle Roberts is the Acting Deputy Chief Officer of the Cayman Islands Government’s Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development.  He joined the Ministry in 2021, and prior to that served for three years as Deputy Director of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Mr. Roberts has over 20 years of international experience working in institutions and in private psychotherapy practice. In 2008 he founded his own practice in the Cayman Islands with work encompassing individual and group therapy, training and team building, and as a keynote speaker.

He has a Masters Degree in Social Work and Counselling with a Minor in Gerontology. He is a member of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, and former Deputy Chair of the National Drug Council.

MIISD Department Listing: www.gov.ky/iisd<http://www.gov.ky/iisd>

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