Ombudsman laws steered through LA

| 03/04/2017 | 15 Comments

(CNS): The controversial decision by the government to merge the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Office of the Complaints Commissioner, with the additional responsibility of police complaints, was solidified in the final sitting of the Legislative Assembly with the passage of two key bills and several supporting amendment bills. The Police Complaints by the Public Bill and the Ombudsman Bill were presented by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson as the LA sat late into the night on 20 March to create a new supra-ombudsman’s office.

Who will lead this new independent oversight office remains to be seen. During the debate, comments from East End MLA Arden McLean that the former police commissioner, David Baines, was tipped to be taking the post were not answered by Manderson but he confirmed that the appointment of an ombudsman could take place shortly after the laws were passed.

The decision to merge an independent police complaints commission with the existing complaints commissioner’s office, which already deals with complaints against all other public sector entities has not been particularly controversial, as the need for a police complaints procedure independent of the RCIPS has been broadly supported for a long time.

However, the decision to merge a public sector complaints system with the office dealing with the release of information by government was controversial since the two office’s perform very different functions. Justifying the merger, Manderson  said that this was happening in many English speaking democracies around the world and that it would save government money and make the independent office more efficient.

He said the new ombudsman’s office would be properly resourced and would be entirely independent from government. He also suggested that very little would change as the existing teams dealing with the separate functions of complaints and information release would remain.

Manderson explained that the Legislative Assembly would have oversight of the independent office and the ombudsman would be directly accountable to the parliament but the office would not be bound by anything other than the law. He said all of the reports from the office on the police other entities would be public, allowing people to finally see the outcome of complaints against RCIPS officers. He said the creation of the new body would ensure public confidence in the complaints process and create more accountability.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is simply no Ombudsman office in the world that also is responsible for investigating serious complaints against the Police. Anyone that we employ to head this up will be learning some part of the job on the job.This is what you get when you take accountants like EY and let them convince you that they’re experts in everything. Sad.

  2. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    If David Baines the former RCIPS Comissioner is allowed to return to Cayman and employed in any role paid by the public purse after he broke his contract was paid out; (a decision made by Governor Kilpatrick) and fled the jurisdiction particularly as the Ombudsman. That is proof that Franz Manderson as Deputy Governor responsible for the Civil Service, Helen Kilpatrick, Alden McLaughlin and the PPM government are the biggest collection of highly paid imbeciles in the Western Hemisphere.

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s disingenuous pandering to the FCO to pretend to have functional regulatory commissions if successive Cabinets refuse to fund and staff these agencies. None of our politicians are required to keep track of our money, because they and their croanies, are the recipients of ongoing fast and loose policy. They aren’t interested in locked vaults and gatekeepers. Might as well bundle all of our regulatory apparatus into one simple underfunded dept and then quietly cancel the whole thing. It would be more honest.

  4. Anonymous says:

    union to fight for rights☺?

  5. Anonymous says:

    unions is exactly what we need. in other countries, unions sue employers on behalf of its workers and protect their rights. another yes man is all…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    what cauman islands need is workers unions? to protect the rights of workets, including cibil servants? not someone who gonna stress out its people. yet do nothing and can do nothing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Err no 9.58… The Cayman Islands needs to protect us from people whose English is appalling. Perhaps it would be even better if the Cayman Islands would teach those people how to write, read and speak English. Should that happen,we might have some clarity around what you wish to discuss, and be able to discuss it sensibly. I am waiting for my mistakes to be pointed out 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    This bill and the public authorities Bill will go down in history as two very important bills that will be game changers. Whatever you want to say about the PPM they have been able to pass laws that no other government has been able to.

    Remember it was the PPM that have us the FOI law. The complaints commissioner law and now for the first time in our history we will have independent investigations of police complaints. Also the public authorities Bill has been around for over 10 years and was previously defeated by our run away public authorities who are still shaking in their boots about the thought of being finally reeled in and held accountable for how they spend our money.

    There are many good public authorities but let’s face it they are a few poorly run public authorities who spend our money on lavished trips around the world and receive Perks and out of whack salaries.

    Thank you PPM.

    I like others members of my family will not vote for the MLA who voted against these bills.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I do not remember being consulted. Do we still live in a democracy, or do the crazies run riot every 4 years empowered by the gullible bastards that voted for them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing great about democracy in Cayman…..we have no say.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:25 sorry your memory is so bad. I work in a SGAC and i was consulted and attended the kick off meeting. Why didn’t you attend.? Everyone else was there.

      I have been waiting for this Bill for 10 years which will allow me to run my agencies in a more open and transparent way.

      I can’t believe my fellow public authorities are kicking up against this Bill. Do you have sometime to hide? This Bill is a good thing folks, stop thinking about more money for a a few minutes and focus on the benefits for this bill.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s total typical Ezzard/Arden fake news bullshit about Baines coming back. Trust me, I am still in touch with him and he wouldn’t set foot here again for a job if you offered him a million dollars…..quote ” to deal with that idiot Bernie Bush”?.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you this is so badly needed. Neither the ICO or OCC are busy so this combination makes total sense. Finally we will have independence of police complaints. First time in the islands history.

    I will not vote for anyone who opposed this or the public authorities Bill.

    Baines doesn’t want to see Cayman again.

  11. Anonymould says:

    Baines, common man you kidding right ?


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