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CIG begins search for ombudsman

| 11/04/2017 | 28 Comments

(CNS): The government has begun its search for a multi-talented ombudsman that has experience in police and other public sector complaints, dealing with whistleblowing protection, as well as freedom of information and data protection. Whoever gets the top civil service job could earn more than $130,000 per year plus benefits. The deadline for applications is 30 April and adverts for the post are appearing in the local press. The job is described as a “a senior public official, charged with monitoring public administration through the examination and investigation of complaints”.

But the person will also have responsibility for “investigating and resolving complaints of maladministration, public complaints against the police and dealing with freedom of information appeals”. The post holder will also be responsible for overseeing whistleblower and data protection legislation.

Looking for candidates with a proven track record of “significant and high-level professional achievements”, applicants must have at least ten years post-graduate experience at senior management level in the public service or in a legal-judicial institution, according to the official description.

As the Legislative Assembly drew to a close last month, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson steered through the necessary legislation to pave the way for the supra-ombudsman’s office, though he avoided responding to queries from the member for East End that David Baines, the former police commissioner, had already been tipped to take the post.

But whoever gets the job, the decision by government to merge the Office of the Complaints Commissioner and the Information Commissioner’s Office has not been without its controversies.

While the merging of an independent police complaints commission with the existing complaints commission seems logical, it is still hard to see the connection with freedom of information and data protection, which was always intended to merge with the ICO.

Jennifer Dilbert, the first information commissioner, and Jan Liebaers, who has been acting commissioner for more than three years, have both aired their concerns about the merger, as did former complaints commissioner Nicola Williams. All of them agreed that the functions were so different that it was hard to see the benefits but the potential disadvantages were clear, with cuts in the budgets of what are already seen as underfunded offices.

Despite the objections from the professionals in the relevant fields, government has pressed ahead with the merger but will be retaining deputy ombudsmen to head up the various different functions. Give the additional salary of the ombudsman it’s hard to see where the cost savings will be for the public purse, which was the primary justification by government for the merger.

During his presentation of the relevant laws last month, Manderson said that the teams dealing with the different functions would remain so little would change in the day-to-day running of the offices. But Liebaers has confirmed that with the end of his current three-year contract next month, he has only been given a twelve month renewal.

For more information about the job or to apply go to the government recruitment website here 

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Idiots the Deputy Ombudsman in charge of complaints will be the person with the relevant experience. These comments are so silly.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting reading these largely negative comments. I recall when Dan Duguay didn’t have his contract renewed, all the CNS conspiracy theorists said it would result in the FCO or some other sinister organization bringing in a yes man. The thumbs up were astonishingly high. Then Government appointed Alastair Swarbrick who turned out to be even more aggressive than Duguay with reports that had Mckeeva and others frothing at the mouth. But NOONE, CNS, ever said “oh I guess we were wrong, it seems like all our stupid ignorant posts were mistaken”. That, Wendy and Nicky, is what really gets me about some of your posters, they never ever come back and say, shit, I have to admit I was wrong.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, sir or madam! You spoke a mouthful.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The examples show the importance of appointing someone from abroad. Saying that showing financial misconduct, corruption and incompetence was shooting fish in a barrel for any competent professional.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    they probably had someone for post long before it created…justgoing through the motions…😉




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is leading the way again. I bet that within 5 years everyone will be following this real innovative approach to governance.

      Look at the last two appointments made by our Governor Byrne and our superstar Auditor General. Both have been brilliant appointments and I expect the same with this post.

      You jealous posters go ahead and be critical of our DG this merger has been needed for years. If you don’t believe me read the annual reports for the OCC and ICO and see how busy they are and how much each of their investigations costs.

      This Law and the public authorities law are both game changers. The Public will benefit more than ever.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    One thing is certain, whoever is hired WILL NOT have experience in all that is expected of this position. There is no country in the world that has combined all these things. I challenge Franz or his advisors to tell me that I’m wrong and name which country combines these three functions – ombudsman, information commissioner and police complaints.
    We have built a plane that no one has ever flown and we’re looking for a pilot. Hip hip hooray to EY; hip hip hooray to Franz and his ‘relentless pursuit of numbers’.
    Public administration driven by peoples desires to look good.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This is purely an optics exercise for the FCO. There will be a willing mute appointee drawing perks for four years, nothing will escalate to endanger the public servant jobs, or the recipients of parliamentary privileges that are well-entrenched. In theory, it makes sense to combine three deliberately paralyzed offices into one, but it would be more honest just to scrap the facade of compliance and good governance altogether and conserve that money for additional inevitable cronyism and vote-buying. Maybe that will come later.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Whoever gets this post will certainly be a “yes man” puppet pandering to the status quo. About as good as a being bound and gagged. More CIG squandering.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    so let me get this straight… this person will have oversight of all complaints against the government, and also responsible for the release of those complaints and subsequent investigations? how do the people initiate a referendum?




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    • Anonymous says:

      …..and the Head of the civil service responsible for hiring the Ombudsman who will be charged with ruling on complaints against the civil service….




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      • Anonymous says:

        4;42 wake up please. The Head of the Civil Service has nothing to do with this appointment. Please read the Bill ….wow a frightening crazy comment.




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  7. This is a nothing-story. Does anybody seriously think government has the slightest intention of appointing anyone who could or would do a proper job as Ombudsman? Of course not. The situation will be like the Freedom of Information Law, which was never intended to disclose any information that government didn’t want disclosed. Our Ombudsman will be so hamstrung by limitations that he or she will be useless from Day One.




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  8. The Gambler says:

    David Baines here we come

    Any bets?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot, gambler, just trolling. Baines is a non starter and hates this place anyway with people like Bernie Bush, who has to be reminded his fly is at the front of his pants, sniping away with no knowledge of anything that MAC hasn’t told him about. Stop the trolling bobo.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s get serious!




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Nobody would willingly take on all of this oversight scope for just $130k a year. No single person can cover all of this ground, and I think that is by design. Whoever takes charge is going to be stretched to the breaking point right out of the gate. They have my deepest sympathy. This regime has certainly earned its skepticism just as the ones that came before. Nothing has changed.




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    • Anonymous says:

      10:17, your point will be proved utterly wrong by the number of quality applications from abroad and even a couple from here. Maybe you work in the private sector law firms, banks, accounting firms of course where that salary isn’t worth a rats ass but the rest of us see that as an extraordinarily high salary.




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      • Anonymous says:

        “Quality applications” from seasoned bureaucrats willing to fail for more money and perks (no shortage of those): this time, at managing three full time and necessary governance positions that should really (given the volume of territory) be fully staffed departments. This is a white-washing exercise. The only reason more citizens aren’t complaining about the warehouses of ineptitude, is the fact that these positions are either vacant or ineffectual. That is unlikely to change if one lone person is in charge of keeping everyone in check.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Franz Kafka could not have anticipated this mess. Responsible, good governance? Bullshit!




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Typical of our foolish government. The civil “service” are very generous when it comes to hiring cronies on big salaries with the public’s money.
    We begged you to get of Baines because he did an incredibly poor job with the police force.
    Please stop with this insulting behaviour. You almost make me believe the Lodge is involved, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and put it down to bad judgement.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget to file the job with the NWDA!




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  13. Anonymous says:

    An excellent opportunity for a Caymanian to step up and take this super job. Another option is bring in an experienced expat who can train a Caymanian to take over.

    Baines is not coming back.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Anon @ 145a. See if you can get Franz to tell you which country has combined these three areas – ombudsman, information commissioner and police complaints – and where that “experienced expat” might be found.
      Hint – there is no country; there is no “experienced expat” for him to find.




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