Complaints keep Mr. Epp busy

Cayman’s new office of ombudsman is handling a greater volume of complaints than was anticipated, it is claimed.

‘It was truly the time to open the office,’ says Complaints Commissioner John Epp as he reviews his department’s first few months of operation.

‘People were ready to change from being quiet to being people who wanted to have someone to speak to when they felt civil servants were not doing their job,’ says Mr. Epp.

‘In the last eight months the annual targets for investigations were met and I expect the volume to keep going up.

‘People are finding us and the word is getting round,’ he adds.

In a review of case statistics covering the period from October to June it is stated there were 105 complaints opened.

A total of 64 were closed by way of being solved, withdrawn or otherwise completed, the report says.

The number of current complaints still open stood at a total of 41.

‘Some of the complaints were solved through one or two communications to the government entity concerned,’ says Mr. Epp.

‘Standard cases usually are completed within three weeks, although the closing letter may not be sent within that period,’ he says.

‘Complex cases can go on for many months because witnesses or documents are not available when needed. And one batch of documents can lead to a request for another batch of documents,’ he adds.

‘I am pleased and encouraged because people are seeking our assistance and civil servants are confident that we will conduct an independent investigation so they are co-operative in the main,’ Mr. Epp concludes.

The office of the Complaints Commissioner can be contacted on 943-2220.