Ritch report still not public after FOI review

| 30/09/2016 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The government is still insisting that the report conducted by local attorney David Ritch into issues surrounding the immigration law is protected by attorney-client privilege and will not be released, despite the continued public interest. Ritch was asked by government more than a year ago to review the points system government had introduced for permanent residency applications after it removed the seven-year rollover policy, allowing everyone to apply for residency if they remain in the Cayman Islands for nine years.

The system was challenged in court and a ruling by the chief justice raised questions about the arbitrary way points were awarded for jobs held by applicants. As a result, the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board has not granted a single permanent residency application for some three years and there are now well over 800 outstanding applications, according to immigration statistics.

The premier, who is responsible for immigration, has said nothing about what he intends to do to sort out the PR problem. He has insisted that the Ritch report was not intended as a public document but was legal advice to government about how it could implement its immigration policies.

A CNS reader who requested the report earlier this year under the Freedom of Information Law and was refused pressed the issue with an internal review, but Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose wrote to him on 23 September upholding the refusal. The reader is now appealing the decision to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    HSM has already reminded this gov’t of judicial precedents that expose them to class actions. Time for other immigration specialists to weigh in and bring some closure to this era of adolescent politically-based obstruction. There should be adult consequences for those responsible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Was Ritch providing legal advice or a report on immigration law issues? If he was providing legal advice was the contract for the provision of advice put out for tender? What was the specifications of the tender? Bet there was no tender, no specifications, nothing, nada.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let me be honest here. I hated McKeeva with a passion. Thought he was the worst thing ever. Then this terrible PPM with this rotten Alden came along and made me wish for the days of McKeeva’s incompetent rule. Because, say what you will about him, he never sold out and destroyed they island quite like Alden did. I don’t know how the man sleeps at night honestly…

  4. Anonymus says:

    No more status grants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too late. They did not enforce the law and because they did not, it is too late. Brace yourselves Cayman. Thousands of new Caymanians are about to be created without meeting the requirements of our laws. Now we get to thank Mac AND Alden!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Gets blamed for? You made that he gave away!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Credibility getting lost by the minute.

  7. George says:

    I would speculate that the PPM are happy no PR’s have been approved. Works with their electorate base very well.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are even happier that none have been denied. The mass importation of poverty to bankrupt us all continues.

  8. Sharkey says:

    Maybe Government is scared to release it because of discrimination law suites, that would come after the release .

  9. Anonymous says:

    time for a class action against government for their delays in the pr process….

    • Anonymous says:

      Well don’t use public funds, sure David did not do it for free….. Take out your check books members of Cabinet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    typical ppm…remeber this is government that in their first month stopped giving press briefings because ‘they didn’t want people taking pot-shots at the government’

  11. Anonymous says:

    Another regressive step by alden and ppm

  12. Soldier Crab says:

    This is nonsense. Government could not function if every report it commissioned was made public. Just because immigration is a contentious issue it does not mean this report ought to be available to the public.
    If the CNS reader is so interested, let him/her commission a report of his own.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I an hardly wait to ask PPM about transparency during the run up to the next election.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What does the PPM have to fear?

    • Anonymous says:

      they are spineless flip-floppers who are scared of their own shadow…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Legal advice to a client (Cabinet) is not public information. So agree with Cabinet Secretary on this.

        • Anonymous says:

          If it was intended to be a private report by between Mr. Ritch & the PPM Administation, then why bother disclosing to the public of the investigation, in the first place?

        • Anonymous says:

          We’re the client that paid the bill

    • Anonymous says:

      They fear the public realizing that they have so screwed up the management of the immigration system that the effect is going to be the equivalent of thousands of cabinet status grants including to many undeserving people that the whole system was intended to prevent being able to stay forever. The numbers will eventually be much more than the 2,850 that Mac gets blamed for.

      • Anonymous says:

        Canova Watson had already approved, or Gerry meandered, a few while he was on the Immigration Board, to include Admiral Staff. I wonder if they have ever visited him, a day, since he’s been behind bars. So, while there are 800 PR applications pending review or responses, the Cayman Islands already have enough PRs living & working on these islands! It’s private, client-privilege only document, so let it stay that way. In fact, these pending PR applications should be denied. Enough is enough!

        • Anonymous says:

          Many of them could and would have been denied if there was a lawful system in place. There isn’t. Now it is too late. They could have fixed it but chose not to.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gets blamed for? You mean that he gave away!!

    • Anonymous says:


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