Complaints Commissioner Nicola
Williams has recently been appointed as a judge in the United Kingdom, though
the position is not expected to impinge on her performance or duties in the
Cayman Islands, she said.
Ms Williams was appointed on 2 July
and Queen Elizabeth II signed the Royal Warrant to complete the process, which
started in 2009.
“I am only doing the minimum
requirement of days per year to remain a judge, which is 15, and because of my
obligations here, I will not sit any more than that,” said Ms Williams, when
asked whether she could still perform her duties as complaints commissioner
unhindered by her new role.
The appointment for judges in the
United Kingdom is until a person is 70 years old.
The Governor has approved Ms
Williams’ 15 days away each year to act as a judge, and Ms Williams said the
situation, “costs the office of the complaints commissioner nothing by the way
of time or money.”
She added that in her view, her
appointment as a judge is a benefit to the office of the complaints
commissioner, and if someone has the aptitude to become a judge, given the 90
per cent failure rate, it has to be a plus.
“No right thinking person could
question my ability to do this job. I am imminently qualified,” she said.
Governor Duncan Taylor echoed Ms
Williams’ sentiments. “I have no doubt that the experience on the Bench will
enhance her ability to do her job here, as it broadens her experience and
brings different/new perspectives; far from impeding her ability to carry out
her duties, I think it will enhance them,” he said.
The governor added that the issue
of approving an amount of days of service on the Bench that exceeded 15 days
never arose in Ms Williams’ case.
With regard to the complaints
commissioner’s latest report, she said she stands behind every word in it, and
defended the length of time it took to complete the report, explaining that her
appointment as a judge in no way had any bearing on this.
“It took 1,700 hours to produce the
report, which includes 73 pages of text and over three pages of appendices. The
Mercer report was half the length and not as good, in my opinion.”
The complaints commissioner added
that she believes in quality over quantity with these reports, and the issue of
regulation of private sector pensions has been an issue since the late 1990s,
so the report was a mammoth undertaking.
“I also had to edit
it myself due to confidentiality, and it is a scholarly piece of work that will
stand the test of time,” she said.