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Published 28th February 2008, 4:45pm

George Town, Grand Cayman – 28 February 2008 – Following Cabinet approval and the granting of diplomatic clearance by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will meet with representatives from the Cayman Islands Government during the week of 3 March 2008 in Grand Cayman.

The itinerary for the GAO’s visit to the Cayman Islands will consist of meetings with senior representatives from the Portfolio of Finance & Economics, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Financial Reporting Authority, Tax Information Authority, the General Registry and the Portfolio of Legal Affairs. Government understands that the GAO will also meet with Maples & Calder, the tenant of Ugland House, a building that has been referenced in U.S. congressional debates on U.S. tax issues.

The GAO will receive technical briefings and background on the Cayman Islands legal and regulatory framework as it relates to the operation of the financial services industry. It is intended that through these meetings, Government representatives will address any misperceptions about the role of Cayman’s financial services sector relative to U.S. business interests.

The Cayman Islands Government has been in dialogue with the GAO since August of 2007, providing written background and guidance on secondary information sources and working with the GAO to determine the scope and timing of the visit, and ensure full opportunity for the GAO to obtain the facts about Cayman’s regime.

The GAO is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for the U.S. congress (Senate and House of Representatives). Its work is done at the request of U.S. congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by U.S. public laws or committee reports. The GAO also undertakes research under the authority of the U.S. comptroller general. The GAO has no law enforcement or regulatory powers and therefore, no access to information at the level of detail afforded under the various international cooperation channels that exist between the Cayman Islands and the U.S.

“While the U.S. political context to the U.S. Congress’ apparent interest in the Cayman Islands is contentious, we understand that the GAO prides itself on its objectivity and independence and on that basis and on the basis of our confidence in the credentials of our financial services sector, the GAO visit is regarded as a unique opportunity to set the record straight,” said the Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business.


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For more information, please contact the Financial Services Secretariat at (345) 945-5819 or via email at financepr@gov.ky.