New director of the Economics and Statistics Office

| 16/07/2019
Cayman News Service
Adolphus Laidlow, new ESO director

(CNS Local Life): Adolphus Laidlow has been named the new director of the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) as of 1 June. Maria Zingapan, the previous director, held the post from 2007 until April this year. Laidlow served as the deputy director from June 2015 but has been with the Cayman Islands Government since February 2006 when he was recruited as the senior economist at ESO, which falls under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Zingapan chose not to renew her contract, which ended on 30 April, to deal with “personal family matters in her home country” of the Philippines, according to the ministry.

Kenneth Jefferson, Financial Secretary and Chief Officer in the ministry, recalled Zingapan’s tenure at the ESO. “Ms Zingapan was a valued leader who headed the Economics and Statistics Office for 13 years,” he said in a statement to CNS. “During this time, she focused on building the capacity of the office to deliver high quality, timely national statistics based on international standards.” 

As ESO director, Laidlow, who is originally from St Vincent, manages the work of 27 technical and administrative staff and leads the office in developing and implementing a comprehensive programme of economic monitoring, analysis, forecasting and reporting, stated a press release.

Jefferson congratulated Laidlow on his appointment, and added, “He is well respected within the public service and by the public as a result of his considerable knowledge and experience. I’m certain Mr Laidlow will enhance the ESO’s profile in the public.”

Laidlow’s principal mandate is to oversee, manage and guide the ESO’s collection and collation of information and statistics that are essential tools to help monitor and analyse the national economy. Additionally, he serves as the principal advisor to government on a range of economic issues to ensure sustained national macro-economic growth of the Islands, the release said.

As such, he “leads the department in conducting a relevant and timely programme of statistical information and services” to the government and the public in accordance with the Statistics Law (2016 Revision), stated the release.

The director’s remit also includes providing policy advice to government on all matters of macroeconomic development as well as policy and technical advice to government departments and committees on statistical matters, Senior Assistant Financial Secretary Michael Nixon explained.

“In partnership with the community, the ESO is committed to being the main source of statistics that matter and research that counts,” Nixon said. “The ESO’s mission is to enable Government’s informed decision-making by providing relevant, high quality, timely and client-focused statistical information and socio-economic analysis.

“Moreover, in carrying out its mission, ESO will strive to implement international standards to heighten the comparability of Cayman Islands’ statistics with the rest of the world,” he added.

The ESO director also has the remit to pro-actively design a comprehensive programme to upgrade the national statistical system to meet international standards and to develop new economic assessment tools.

Laidlow said of his new job: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to lead our team of skilled professional statisticians, economists and administrative staff as we endeavour to strengthen the decision-making ability of the people of the Cayman Islands by providing high-quality data and analysis. As it is said, ‘leadership is an opportunity to serve, it is not a trumpet call to self-importance’; therefore, I am here to serve the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Laidlow holds a master’s degree in economics and served as senior economist in the Ministry of Finance in St Vincent and the Grenadines. He has also taught at the University of the West Indies Distance Learning Centre in St Vincent and at the International College of the Cayman Islands from 2008-2019 as an adjunct professor.

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Category: Civil Service, Local News

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