Director of immigration boards suspended

The Immigration Department’s director of boards and work permits has been placed on required leave while an investigation is conducted into an alleged breach of Cayman Islands law by the senior immigration employee, the government Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed Saturday.

Kimberley Davis, 42, who has served as director of boards since March 2012, was placed on leave – essentially meaning she was suspended with pay – on Nov. 7, the Cayman Compass can reveal.

“A decision was made in the best interest of the civil service to place the relevant staff member on leave during the course of the investigation, to ensure the smooth running of the services that the Immigration Department provides to the public,” a statement from ministry Deputy Chief Officer Wesley Howell read.

Separate senior government sources have told the Compass that Mrs. Davis was out of compliance with legal pension and healthcare payment requirements with regard to a private business she owns. It is alleged that Mrs. Davis made statements on a work permit application for an employee at the business indicating she was in compliance.

Mrs. Davis was contacted for comment Friday but declined to provide any statements for attribution.

The director of boards position in the Immigration Department is a key senior management role. The director is responsible for managing the administration of work permits and facilitating the work of immigration-related boards, including the Work Permit Board, the Business Staffing Plan Board and the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board.

The director typically attends board meetings as the official observer of the Immigration Department and is sometimes described as the “quarterback” of immigration in the Cayman Islands.

Requirements for employers

Work permit application and renewal forms require an employer to declare that any non-Caymanian they hire will become a part of a specific health insurance and pension plan at the time of their employment. Failure to pay pension and healthcare coverage allotments for any employee is an offense under the National Pensions Law and the Health Insurance Law, respectively.

In addition, the permit requires an additional declaration statement that the information provided on the form is true and correct.

“I understand and accept that, if it is proven that I have made a false statement, I am liable on conviction to a fine of CI$5,000 and imprisonment for one year,” the form reads.

Mr. Howell stressed that the investigation of Mrs. Davis is at an early stage. “The ministry…is not in a position to state at this time whether any criminal charges will ultimately arise as a result of the investigation,” he said.

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