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Information Commissioner Appointed

Mrs Jennifer P.Dilbert, MBE, JP

HE the Governor Mr Stuart Jack, CVO, announced today (Wednesday, 5 November) that Mrs Jennifer P. Dilbert, MBE, JP, will become Cayman's first Information Commissioner.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information (Information Commissioner) Regulations, 2008, the Governor appointed Mrs Dilbert following a recommendation from a five-person selection panel, and after consultation with Cabinet. Currently the Cayman Islands Representative in the United Kingdom, she is expected to take up her position at the beginning of next year.

Mrs Dilbert has served the Cayman Islands Government for over 25 years, 15 of which were spent in supervision of the financial services industry. As Inspector of Financial Services she headed the Financial Services Supervision Department, the precursor to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), for which she also acted as Managing Director in 2002. She also managed the Cayman Islands Currency Board and the 1979 population census.

Prior to her taking up the representative position in London, she served as Executive Director of Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Ltd. from 1996 to 1999.

In 2005 Mrs Dilbert was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, and in 2006 she became a Justice of the Peace in and for the Cayman Islands.

"I have had the honour of representing the Cayman Islands in the UK for the past eight years, and working as a civil servant for over 25 years. I am privileged to continue to serve my country as Information Commissioner," Mrs Dilbert said.

Following the regulations, the Governor will publish the announcement of Mrs Dilbert's appointment in the Cayman Islands Gazette, and local newspapers. This will be accompanied by a biography and career history.

The Information Commissioner is appointed according to the Freedom of Information Law, 2007, and "shall hold office for a term of five years or such shorter term as may be determined at the time of appointment, and may be reappointed to serve a maximum of two terms" the law states.

The Information Commissioner's duties are to educate the public on their rights under the FOI Law; to ensure access to information as stated under the law and most importantly, to hear appeals on denied requests.

In reviewing such appeals, the Commissioner's Office will be empowered to determine whether public authorities have applied the FOI Law appropriately when refusing to grant access to certain information. The office will also examine whether failure to grant timely access or failure to carry out any obligations as stated under the law have occurred.

Other powers include ordering public entities to publish certain information, to change their record keeping practices, and/or to provide staff with the necessary training to fulfil their duty under the law.

Sidebar: Career Summary - Mrs Jennifer P. Dilbert, MBE, JP

2000-Present: Cayman Islands Government Representative in the United Kingdom

The Representative heads the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom, which performs a semi-consular function. The Office is similar to a High Commission or Consulate and is perceived as such by the public at large. The Representative enjoys semi-diplomatic status, representing Cayman in various capacities in the UK and the European Union. The Office advises the Cayman Government on issues relating to the UK and EU and also responds to enquiries and disseminates information on the Cayman Islands.

2002: Acting Managing Director Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

Seconded from the Cayman Islands Government to head the CIMA for six months, responsible for the running of the Authority (over 100 staff), and overseeing the regulation of the financial industry.

1996-1999: Executive Director Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Ltd.

Headed the office of over 40 staff offering a comprehensive range of financial services, including mutual fund administration, banking, corporate financing and fiduciary services.

1979-1996: Department of Finance and Development, Cayman Islands Government

  • 1993-1996 Inspector of Financial Services in the Financial Services Supervision Division (the predecessor of the CIMA) which was responsible for overseeing the regulation of banks and trust companies, insurance companies, mutual funds, mutual fund administrators and company managers.
  • 1991-1993 Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies
  • 1987-1991 Deputy Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies
  • 1986-1987 Bank of England Banking Supervision Division
  • 1984-1986 Manager, Cayman Islands Currency Board
  • 1981-1984 Higher Executive Officer and Administrative Officer, Banking Supervision Department
  • 1979-1980 Higher Executive Officer, Statistics Unit, Census Officer,1979 Census, Miss Cayman Islands

Professional and Other Association Memberships:

Current:

  • Member of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) - Previously served as chairman, and secretary.
  • President on behalf of the Cayman Islands of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association of the EU (OCTA). Served as secretary 2005-2007.
  • Organising Officer for the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands
  • Executive Board Member of Women in the Diplomatic Service (London)

Previous:

  • CIMA Board Member
  • Vice President of the Cayman Islands Bankers' Association
  • Council Member of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange
  • Board of Elders and Head of Finance Committee of the John Gray Memorial Church
  • Treasurer of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award National Committee - also a Gold Award Recipient

Education:

  • World Bank/Federal Reserve Bank Supervision Programmes
  • Senior Caribbean Bank Examiners Course
  • Junior Caribbean Bank Examiners Course
  • BA (Hons) Economics from University of Western Ontario, Canada

Statement from Mrs Jennifer P. Dilbert on her background and suitability for the position of Information Commissioner

I believe my biography and career history demonstrate that I have a suitable background to perform the duties of Information Commissioner as set out in the Freedom of Information Law, 2007 and the Freedom of Information (Information Commissioner) Regulations, 2008.

I have been a civil servant for over 25 years, most of my service having been in senior posts, and so have a good working knowledge of issues of public governance in the Cayman Islands. In particular, I have had considerable experience with developing and managing budgets, as well as structuring offices including hiring of staff at all levels. I have experience with the development, drafting and interpretation of Cayman Islands laws, especially those governing the financial industry, and have had to make a number of court appearances with regard to the application of these laws.

Throughout my career, I have successfully worked with elected governments representing various groups and parties. I have never been a member of a political party or otherwise involved in partisan politics. I believe I would not only bring the required level of impartiality to this position, but I would continue to enjoy the confidence of political actors on all sides as well as the public at large.

As is well known, participation in the international financial industry requires adherence to strict statutory and legal requirements. As the senior financial services regulator for the Cayman Islands, I was required to operate within such parameters, both with respect to developing best practices and policies, and to advise the private sector in this regard.

My current responsibilities representing the Cayman Islands in the United Kingdom and the European Union also call for me to advise the Cayman Government on international legislation and initiatives covering a wide spectrum.

I have had the honour of representing the Cayman Islands in the UK for the past eight years, and of working as a civil servant for over 25 years. I would be privileged to continue to serve my country as Information Commissioner.

Jennifer P Dilbert

16.08.08

Source: The Governor's Office.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver