Immigration chief's suspension is 'administrative'

A Cayman Islands government internal review has determined that “a number of allegations relating to misconduct by the chief immigration officer” were administrative in nature.  

According to government personnel regulations, Linda Evans’s case and any potential punitive measures will be decided by civil service managers. A decision could be reached as early as next week, prior to which the suspended chief immigration officer will be given the opportunity to formally respond to the allegations against her.  

The Cayman Compass has confirmed from multiple government sources that the suspension is in connection with an investigation into an award of Caymanian status and other administrative matters.  

Ms. Evans has been suspended under provisions of the government’s Personnel Regulations, which state: “The appointing officer (with the approval of the Head of the Civil Service if the period of leave is to be more than 30 days) may require an employee to go on required leave where the appointing officer deems it to be in the public interest for the employee to do so, and that leave shall be leave on full pay for such period as the appointing officer deems necessary.”  

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the required leave provision was invoked “to allow the allegations to be investigated quickly and thoroughly.”  

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has agreed to extend Ms. Evans’s leave period until the internal probe is completed.  

Meanwhile, another investigation involving a suspended top immigration official could proceed to the Cayman Islands court system.  

The Compass reported in December that the Immigration Department’s director of boards and work permits, Kimberley Davis, was placed on required leave on Nov. 7. Mrs. Davis declined to comment in relation to the investigation.  

Separate senior government sources have told the Compass that Mrs. Davis allegedly 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 has not commented on any of the allegations, but she confirmed on Monday that she was aware the case against her had been forwarded to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.  

Work permit application and renewal forms require employers 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. 

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. 

Linda Evans_CC8_5252_np

Ms. Evans