OCC Tenth Anniversary
Governor Helen Kilpatrick has emphasised an important link between the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) and good governance in the Cayman Islands.
Speaking at the tenth anniversary of the OCC at Edoardo's on Thursday, 11 July 2014, the Governor commented that provision of good governance is one of her primary responsibilities, and a role that she takes "very seriously."
"It is essential that the people of the Cayman Islands have confidence in the conduct of their government", in every aspect of public sector functioning. This could range from spending of public funds, the provision of education and healthcare to the treatment of prisoners and the management of the Islands' waste, she noted.
"The public should have a method of recourse when they feel they are the victims of unacceptable conduct, inadequate administration or when there has been an unreasonable interpretation of the law," Mrs. Kilpatrick pointed out. "Where there are failings, it is essential that there is an independent body which can address these," she said, lauding the work of the OCC, led by Commissioner Nicola Williams, in meeting this need.
Simultaneously, the office supports the civil service in processing complaints by providing adequate training and encouragement. It also confers awards on government personnel who manage internal complaints. "This outreach work is crucial to ensure that standards are maintained throughout the Cayman Islands Civil Service," she maintained.
She encouraged the public sector to take advantage of these opportunities, work with the OCC quickly to consider its recommendations. Only timely action bolsters public confidence that complaints are taken seriously, she added.
British Virgin Islands' Complaints Commissioner Elton Georges, a special guest, noted the OCC's high quality of work had garnered both regional and international attention.
MLA and Chairman of the Financial Oversight Committee, Mr. Ezzard Miller, also attested to the high quality and high standards upheld by Commissioner Williams and her staff. The committee, comprising sitting House MLAs, receives quarterly reports from the Commissioner about the working of the OCC, he said.
Also unveiled at the event was the fifth edition of the OCC-produced Small Claims Handbook, written by local attorney and a former OCC intern, Mr. Brett Basdeo. The publication aims to demystify the small claims court process, thereby empowering those who wish to bring claims under $20,000, Mr. Basdeo explained.
Commissioner Williams, who emceed, said her office celebrated the milestone anniversary on all three islands as an added opportunity to promote OCC's services to the general public. She also gratefully highlighted the role of past and present OCC staff for their speedy handling of complaints received.
For further information contact: Bina Mani