Audit exposed Immigration appeals shamble

| 02/07/2015 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration, George Town

(CNS): An internal audit at the government secretariat which deals with immigration appeals found a catalogue of problems undermining the system and causing massive delays. Poor record keeping, inadequate security, breaches of the immigration law, weak management systems and staff shortages were all identified as contributing to the chaos. But government said it had significantly improved management of the unit since the report and has massively reduced the backlog after implementing many of the auditors’ recommendations.

The government’s Internal Audit Unit conducted the review of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal Secretariat (IATS) in September last year at the request of the Cabinet Office. They found that “the management systems and internal controls in place are not consistently operating as intended and are inadequate for the IAT Secretariat to achieve its objectives”.

The list of problems at the unit impacted appellants mostly in terms of delay, with one case taking 407 days between the filing of an appeal and the receipt of a hearing date, but there were also concerns about the lack of security surrounding the case files and the personal information of the people who were appealing decisions by the immigration department.

Officials said that since the report was conducted, action has been taken to address the myriad problems and, as a result, a backlog of work permit, asylum and permanent residency appeal cases, which once stood at over 3,900, have been reduced to just 180.

Officials said much has been done over the last year to improve the system, not least the massive reduction in the time that it takes to notify appellants, who now receive decision letters within 48 hours after the minutes of the meeting have been approved, compared to the audit findings, where letters were taking between 57 and 96 days to go out to appellants.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, who ordered the review, said his office fully supported the recommendations of the Internal Audit Unit and remained committed to implementing all of them.

Immigration Appeals Tribunal – Internal Audit Report June 2015

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Category: Government oversight, Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s a joke and a money making exercise, I sat in there for 4 hours yesterday and told them that my work permit was being processed all I got was 1 week visitor stamp and told to come back next week to get another week stamp for $50 then $100 per week until my permit comes through its disgusting !!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do yourself a favor and go home just after you leave your permit will be granted it magically happens that way If you cant afford to go all the way home go to Miami
      Welcome to Cayman It is a sick place and I am glad you caught on right away
      I had one of those 48 hour express permits put in and it took them 4 weeks to deny it
      said a local could do the job I applied for
      That in itself is a joke because my employment required a US citizenship or a green card

  2. Anonymous says:

    This department is a joke. It is shameful! They continually force you resubmit paper work, with little or no notice because they keep changing the rules, repay fees, and they do absolutely nothing. In the last 12 months I have resubmitted the same paper work for an employee five times. I have had to pay the ‘administrative fee’ five times, redo blood work five times, rewrite letters five times, redo police clearances 3 times, resubmit health insurance and pension documentation 5 times. It is insane. But I have no choice but to do what they ask. This is just so wrong. If I hired someone to clean my carpets and they never cleaned them, would I be expected to pay them 5 more times and still have dirty carpets?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ever notice how some people just walk up to a window and get helped right away
    Its for the best I suppose because those people that get away with it are most likely to cause the most problem

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was rolled over several years back. Had a house, a business, and 2 clauses in the new immigration law that said I would get to stay and apply for PR. Mister Manderson himself told me I wouldn’t be rolled. I was and I left for a year in a move that cost me probably $100,000.
    At the time I was pretty sure that the brain trust at immigration had ‘lost’ my file and rolling me was the easiest way out of their gaff.
    Don’t feel any different today.
    I was quite sorry at the time to be deported but guess what?
    It’s a big wonderful world out here. Some places even have competent, awake people handling your files.
    Enjoy your “paradise” wherever you are.
    BTW: just wait tillCayman legalizes weed!

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is no problem with immigration. Its very basic, if you are rich you will have no problem, if you are connected you probably will not have problems but if you are without either money or connections then expect its not immigrations problem, it yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds good, but not sure how true that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is true everywhere, not just in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      For the past two weeks, Immigration’s numbering system has been down. No one could look at it till this coming Tuesday. Two windows opened, the Immigration officers that were dealing with the people were competent and honestly were doing their best being so short staffed…but really there are approximately 12 windows and only two immigration officers working????? Something is amiss!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The person(s) who oversaw that area are they not lawyers?

  7. Anonymous says:

    All that and no one got fired. Or even held accountable. Try that in the private job market.

  8. Hmmmm... says:

    Hmmmm….It seems that immigration has gone from a complete disaster to a shambles.

    Believe it or not, that sounds like progress.

    • The wookie says:

      Let us hope that it is not sorted soon. I am making a killing by turning up early at immigration, collecting as many numbered tickets for service and auctioning them off outside two hours later.

      After a couple of hours of being subjected to watching slow, mediocre confusion, the “now serving” number creep up towards your own then the operator goes for a third snack and the Hitler youth patrolling to make sure nobody is texting for “security reasons”, people will sell their own kids for a ticket to get served quicker!

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope you have a T&B and you kickback otherwise the security guard will get mad at you for cutting into his action

  9. Anonymous says:

    Donuts. Offer them donuts to clear the backlog. Donuts are the only answer.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be silly. If you know the law you have to follow it. Not knowing it leaves wiggle room for friends and family.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoy the lady in the office behind window #1 her understanding of the law and how it applies to us expats is second to none I wish she would enter the private legal field so I may hire her She sure seems to know what she is talking about. I bet she would get issues resolved right away

  12. Anonymous says:

    When I was in Bermuda I needed a document, ASAP, that would have taken 30-45 days to obtain from the U.S. Bermuda Immigration had this document on file. I went there, waited 15 min. asked for a copy, and was given it within next 20 min.
    Just imagine what would have happened in the Cayman Islands.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another failure by management How many are on paid mandatory leave. I don’t think its because of good behavior.
    A common thread in all the failures of the CS is that upper management has not changed Perhaps its time to get rid of the lifers at the top of each department
    It seems to me Franz was the failure at the top of immigration for many years and now he is at the top of the rest of the sh*t pile and its only getting worse

    • Anonymous says:

      100% agree with you

    • Anonymous says:

      Too true on Franz. He sucks up to the CS and has achieved worse than nothing. He even had the gall to say the CS should be paid more last week.

    • kenny says:

      The crap that CNS posters come up with is staggering. Read and learn people. This matter has nothing to do with immigration. Oh godness. Mr Rose who is in charge of the cabinet office which is responsible for the immigration Appeals tribunal saw that there was a problem and asked for the audit the audit was done and action was taken and the issues resolved. This is exactly what we expect any good manger to do. So explain how immigration get blamed.zzzzzzzzzz

      Blaming for the sake of blaming is plain dumb folks come on at least try and sound like you know something Zzzzzzzz

      Mr Manderson made the immigration department one of the top departments in government and he will make the cs the best soon.

      • The wookie says:

        Thanks Kenny for that whole hearted and sincere confession that you have never had to have any dealings with immigration.

  14. Anonymous says:

    what Ministry is responsible for Immigration? And who is the Chief Officer and its Deputy?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just think. This disaster is brought to you by the Cabinet Office. The single highest office of the Cayman Islands Government.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Immigration and the people that work their are one of the reasons I hate Cayman I have been abused by more than one of those scumb@gs harassed lied to and just plain offended
    Many of the members of my family have also been treated like Sh*t for no reason
    that is why we would never spend a dime on your filthy 3 world island and None of my friends associates or employees will ever go to Cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      its called caymankind…..

    • tito says:

      Oh my 8: 40 so much hate if you hate cayman so much why are you blogging on CNS. This is the land of milk and honey. And I’m sure you want to be here not their (there) ……zzzzzzzz go school.

  17. da-wa-yu-get says:

    Well done Franz you must be so proud let’s give all of them a raise and make sure no one is held accountable! SMH

  18. Gray Matter says:

    FIRE THEM ALL FRANZ, This is a good reason to downsize. Come on FRANZ ; Buckle Up Buttercup and get the job done that you took an oath too.

  19. caymanqt says:

    What about regular immigration service? Every time I or a member of my family needs a renewal of passport or anything else, they want a new certified copy of my birth certificate, a new certified copy of my marriage certificate, my late husband’s birth certificate, my son’s birth certificate -a new copy of every document that they have had in their files for 22 years or more and now must have multiple copies of. Maybe they could even save on file cabinets if one certified copy of each document for each Caymanian was enough.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So sad…Is anyone really surprised?

  21. Anonymous says:

    You’re joking. 407 days? That’s probably below average! I’ve seen appeals take over three years!

    This “damning” report is actually flattering. The appeals system is an unmitigated shambles and an affront to the rule of law.

    We’re it not for the fact the system is only used by expats and evil private sector employers (and who in govt gives a flying f@!$ about them), there would have been an outcry and some action a long time ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      The audit seems not to have been very thorough, or the auditors may have been misled. 407 days for an appeal to be dealt with would be cause for celebration compared to my experience. Perhaps someone can do some digging. Even 3 years may be low.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did somebody mislead the auditors? Did the auditors pull any punches? Who audits the audit? Are there going to be any consequences?

  22. Anonymous says:

    another glorious day for the civil service…… time for for more pay rises franz!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Impacted mostly by delay? What about the weeks and weeks people have been unable to work or even travel?

  24. Anonymous says:

    It would be great if it were only as bad as reported. There are cases that have been pending without confirmation of a hearing date for much much longer than 407 days.

  25. Anonymous says:

    What do you mean they were breaching the Immigration Law? Will they be prosecuted? Whose lives and livelihoods have they ruined? …and this from the people that are supposed to be correcting the immigration department’s mistakes?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Just give the Civil Service another cost of living increase, conduct a salary review to ensure they are well paid – who cares about efficiency, effectiveness? Civil Servants have bills to pay and when we come back from lunch, then from Credit Union, then from vacation … I will get back to work….

    • Anonymous says:

      In my experience they didn’t even KNOW the immigration law. If you don’t know it, how can you not breach it.

      But to be fair, much of the law makes no sense and gives the boards and officers so much discretion they can do whatever they want with impunity.

      Because Caymanians are never the victim there is no political upside to tackling this or putting resources into it.

      Thank goodness our economy is not heavily reliant on expatriate labour…. doh!

      • Anonymous says:

        What makes you think Caymanians are never the victim? They do not even let Caymanians who have been wronged as a result of immigration decisions appeal!

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