Roulstone moved to HR job weeks after OMB appointment

| 20/02/2018 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service, Cayman National Human Resources Department

Sharon Roulstone, Interim Director of the National HR Department

(CNS): Less than four weeks after Sharon Roulstone was appointed to the Office of the Ombudsman to handle complaints about the civil service, senior officials have announced that she is being seconded to the National Human Resources Department to head up the new department. Government began the recruitment process for an interim director for the NHR department at the end of last year, but in an unexpected turn of events, Roulstone will now be moved to the key post at the much-anticipated unit next month.

In a press release from government Tuesday, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who is the head of the civil service, accepted that it was a loss for the new independent Office of the Ombudsman, but said the well-known local attorney and former political candidate was uniquely qualified for the HR job. But he made no comment about the recruitment process or any other applicants for the top public sector job, which will now see Roulstone oversee the creation of the new unit.

“The government is grateful to Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston for her willingness to agree to this secondment,” Manderson, said. “We recognise this will be a great loss to her office, particularly so early in its development, but Ms Roulstone is uniquely qualified for this important undertaking and we look forward to her leadership in this pivotal role.”

According to the release, the new National Human Resources Department is charged with delivering durable employment and opportunities for the advancement of Caymanians through development, training, internship, apprenticeships and partnerships with private sector businesses. It will also have responsibility for the processing of work permits, permanent residency and Caymanian Status applications.

Ombudsman Hermiston offered her support to the transfer. “A large proportion of the complaints we receive in this office relate to immigration and work permit issues,” she said. “It is in everyone’s best interests to have someone with Ms Roulstone’s reputation and background leading reform in this area.  Sharon has fit in very well with our office and we look forward to her return at the end of this secondment.”

Hermiston confirmed to CNS that she will be beginning a recruitment process for a temporary deputy shortly, as Roulstone will be in the interim HR job for two years.

Ad for Interim director of National HR Department

Chief Officer for the Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration, Wesley Howell, said Roulstone’s passion for public service, along with her public and private sector experience were the key ingredients to make the new department successful.

“Ms Roulstone’s diverse experience as an attorney at law, entrepreneur and former chairman of the Work Permit Board makes her highly credible and capable of dealing with the full spectrum of stakeholders that the new agency will have, including Caymanian employees, the wider community, government agencies and private sector entities,” he said.

Roulstone became an attorney at law in 1996 and has served on numerous public service boards, from the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands to the Work Permit Board. She also volunteered at the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA), helping deliver services to a wide range of customers, officials said. According to the release, she is currently pursuing a Masters of Law degree, which was one of a number of requirements for the post, according to the original criteria.

It is still not clear how the new unit, which will be a merger of the old NWDA with elements of the immigration department, will function. However, on a number of occasions the premier, who took over the new portfolio of immigration and labour after the general election last year, has said that it will be much more than a merger.

During most of his public addresses since the election he has indicated that the new department will herald a major change to the current system. In January, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event, he said it would be a “radical shift” in how government deals with the issue of immigration and the local workforce.

“This will not merely be an exercise of rearranging the bureaucratic deck chairs, merging functional aspects of the National Workforce Development Agency and the Department of Immigration. It is clear that a radical shift is necessary in order to modernise the strategies, services and processes if we are to build effective workforce readiness skills in conjunction with an efficient, fair and transparent work permit and permanent residency regime,” the premier said.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hope she doesn’t forget her people like Alden, immigration and a lot of Uncle Tom HR folks seem to have

  2. E. Nygma says:

    Wonder where all of these supporters were when she wasn’t elected to the LA?

    I support this appointment for Ms Roulstone in truth she seems like a very capable woman with Cayman’s interests at heart.
    But if she is this great Caymanian lawyer made and fit to be in government why is she not in the LA?
    Guarantee some of these same people congratulating her, voted for her opponent because in May of 2017 she didn’t have the right party affiliation behind her name for her area

    Food for thought

    • Anonymous says:

      I can tell you one thing. Unscrupulous employers are shaking in their boots by this appointment. So many great hires in the civil service. I am so happy politicians don’t control these appointments.

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      E Nigma at 4.07 – the answer to your question (a rhetorical one) is that the average Cayman voter is not very well educated, or politically savvy. Many will be angry at what I say, but I honestly do not care a s …it, because political correctness or politeness is not what Cayman needs. We need to be intellectually honest and outspoken about our problems, particularly when given the opportunity that this CNS forum offers to ordinary citizens to have their say. There is far too much bile and bulls…t in this forum, and not enough fact and honest truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Seems like” is much different from “knows like”. Those who “know” what someone is really like, outside of the public relations sound bites and quotes from friends in high places, made wiser choices at the election polls. Not everyone is stupid. She finally got a high paying job though. Good for her.

      • Diogenes says:

        I love semantics as much the next guy
        but “knows like” doesn’t even work in that sentence
        Also does anyone really know the true nature of any other person?
        I’ll leave that one to the philosophers

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let’s address the elephant in the room that everyone seems to be missing… now who fills the void left at the deputy ombudsman’s position?

  4. Anonymous says:

    GREAT CHOICE! Congrats Sharon! You will get the job done.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A transparent set up at best. Housekeeping exercise. Those currently employed with the NWDA should probably start making alternative employment arrangements. Not before time either.

    • Anonymous says:

      The new Public Authorities Law DOES NOT apply to this transfer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did everyone miss the adverts for the role that Sharon now has. Come on folks this is great news. Another great Caymanian appointment in the civil service. Stop being jealous.

  6. Tut alors!. says:

    Here is an example of a Caymanian admirably suited to do the job and justifiably held in high esteem by her peers. If only we had enough candidates of her calibre to fill all the senior positions in Government.

  7. And what in Sharon Roulstone’s background qualifies her to be in such a high level Human Resources job?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you ever read anything, or do you just head for the comments?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read the article?

      • 9:43 & 9:52. You both have never worked in senior level Human Resources Management. If you had, you would clearly say that she was not qualified for such a high level position in HR. HR is much more than just knowing a lot about work permits and immigration issues.

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe she remembers when it was called Personnel, and people didn’t pretend that they were at a senior level by virtue of some easily obtained HR qualifications which gave them access to some big secret that only they knew.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah. Personnel, HR and, more recently, Talent Management. The many faces of respecting employees and treating them as humans.

            Common human decency is one of the many positive traits that Ms. Sharon Roulstone has.

            Lump it or leave it, Mr. Weston.

            Your choice Sir but I would respectfully suggest that you do both.

            • 5:43, I guess the good people of Cayman did not see all those positive traits when they rejected Ms. Roulstone at the ballot box in both 2013 and 2017.

              Sir, I respectfully suggest you consider those facts and mull over them for a time.

    • Anonymous says:

      10th generation. Apparently that qualifies her for everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously, more than what is in your background Garfield Weston. By your surname you are not a Caymanian so you certainly wouldn’t know. Sharon Roulstone is a qualified Caymanain who once headed the Immigratiin Board, a former MLA, and she is a qualified attorney and she knows the people of these islands and have the Cayman Islands’ best interest at heart. In my books she is well qualified. Am happy she was chosen and not some paper Caymanian or overseas recruitment.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful choice of our unity team government. God Bless you all.

  9. Julie Grant says:

    A big congrats to you Ms. Sharon. I am 100% sure that you will do a great job ensuring that equality and fairness is carried out in the workplace for your fellow Caymanians. The government could not have chosen a more qualified and ethical person for this position.

  10. Duck Pond Rabbit says:

    Great choice. This job was for a person with the intestinal fortitude to get the job done. Thank God no one in the current Immigration Dept., Labour Dept. or the NWDA was successful, especially the latter 2. Hope she can clean up the mess and be successful in her new role. Congrats Sharon….you are well deserving and uniquely qualified for the position.

    • Wynette says:

      Your comments are spot on especially with Labour Board. My husband has had a matter there from November and he is no further ahead today with getting resolution than he was the day he walked in. This department epitomizes poor customer service-they make the HSA emergency room look great. The persons in charge are non existent and fail to meet with clients. The officers make continuous excuses to not deal with matters. For sure, many of the staff in there would not survive 3 months in the private sector. In closing, I agree that Ms. Roustone is the perfect person for the Director position. She is smart, fair, ethical, has morals and can’t be ‘bought’. Congrats to all involved with her selection…you have DEFINATELY made Cayman and Caymanians proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think labor board has improved a lot, a recent case they did and got it fixed quick.

    • Anonymous says:

      duck pond, you must know who applied if you say they weren’t successful. Strange thing is two of those people i know is saying they didn’t apply. share your inside knowledge!

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