The Ministry of Education has determined that a 2018 consultant’s report — underpinning the $170 million new John Gray High School construction project — should not be released to the public.
In an email sent Tuesday to the Cayman Current, a Ministry spokesperson said, “The Outline Business Case for the New John Gray Project is not yet a public document and it is not in the public interest to release it at this time.”
The decision not to release the Outline Business Case, prepared by consulting firm KPMG, comes more than 2 years after the Cayman Islands Government approved the report and indicated it would be posted online for public viewing.
A government press release from mid-November 2018 (which you can view here on the iNews website) quotes the government’s senior project manager Jonathan Matthews as saying, “With the overall objective being to improve school performance, whilst ensuring value for money, the KPMG team of design consultants developed the short-list of project options identified by the Steering Committee in the Strategic Outline case (SOC) and evaluated them to determine the optimum school design option for [John Gray High School].”
According to the press release, “Mr. Matthews said that the KPMG team also worked with a group of Educational Consultants to review and improve the proposed curriculum model and time-table for JGHS. The outcome of this review was the development of an operational model for the school that not only reduced the size of the school, making it more comparable with other international jurisdictions, but also identified efficiencies in the deployment of teaching staff which will enable better collegiality and improvements in student and school performance.”
The press release concludes: “The OBC will be available for public download from Monday, 19 November 2018 at the following web address: www.education.gov.ky.”
The Current has sent a list of questions to the Ministry, including:
- Was the report ever published online?
- If not, was the statement in the press release sent in error?
- If the report was published online, when it was removed and why?
- And, generally, who decided the report is not a public document, when was that decision made, and what was the reason?
The Current is awaiting a response from the Ministry.
In an earlier story, we assessed the cost of projects in North America, and found that the new John Gray would rank among the most expensive public high schools ever built, both in terms of total cost and on a per-student basis. (Read our story here.)
The cost of the new John Gray project was revealed in late October under questioning by Opposition Leader Arden McLean in Finance Committee.
Of the $170 million, about $63 million has already been spent (on construction before 2012, and for the new gym, completed in 2017).
About $76 million is under contract (for ‘Project A’, completion of the new John Gray).
The remaining budget, about $30 million, has not been contracted out (for ‘Projects B and C’, refurbishment of existing John Gray, relocation of CIFEC, demolition of existing CIFEC campus and provision of playing fields for new John Gray).