There seems, at least to us, to be a recurring theme with some of the constitutionally created commissions operating in Cayman since the adoption of the 2009 Constitution. These appointed boards appear to be somewhat irrelevant in their role and are merely being tolerated when necessary and ignored when convenient.
It is just an impression that we have, but it seems there is at least some evidence to back it up.
For instance, members of the Constitutional Commission said Tuesday the government did not wait for their input about the District Councils Law before passing it.
In addition, the Human Rights Commission, which has also been bypassed for advice on certain legal changes, has yet to receive a response on concerns it sent to government about the public CCTV system in August 2010.
In another example, the Commission on Standards in Public Life has repeatedly stated it needs appropriate legislative changes to give it the “teeth” required to prevent the possibility of public corruption. To date, this has not happened.
The commissions appointed under the Constitution are not the elected members of government. However, they are legally mandated bodies that receive their powers under the auspices of the country’s main governing document. They are there to – in many cases – be an auxiliary resource and think-tank of sorts for Cabinet and the governor, as well as serving an educational role for members of the general public.
At the very least, their advice should be considered by government, or else why even have these commissions?
In addition, we’d like to see the reports and recommendations of these appointed bodies always made public so they can become part of the national debate. It seems rather senseless to have the calibre of people who sit on these bodies spend valuable time considering issues, making recommendations and writing reports, only to have their work end up on a shelf somewhere with few people knowing, or seemingly caring, what they say.