The Cayman Islands government is asking everyone in the islands to provide feedback on how to improve customer service and operations at the local Immigration Department.
The government issued an anonymous online survey Wednesday asking for “thoughts and opinions regarding [the respondent’s] working relationship with the organization, and opportunities and areas for improvement there ….”
Premier Alden McLaughlin said the survey is the first step toward a wider reform effort that his Progressives-led coalition has promised, seeking to create a National Human Resources Department.
“[This] will seek to combine the work of the Department of Labour, as well as manage the granting of work permits, while also ensuring that Caymanians successfully attain employment,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration Chief Officer Wesley Howell said the overall reform initiative seeks to shift the way public services are delivered in each section of the immigration Department.
Data from the survey will be collected and analyzed by the Deloitte accounting firm. All responses will remain anonymous, government officials said. The first question of the survey seeks to separate respondents into four categories:
- A business owner who employs 15 or more people on work permits
- A business owner who employs fewer than 15 people on work permits
- A work permit holder, permanent resident, residency and employment rights holder, or Caymanian status holder
- A Caymanian seeking work.
During a press conference shortly after forming the government coalition, Premier McLaughlin said he envisioned the creation of a “human resources department” within government that would house all functions now done by the Immigration Department, the National Workforce Development Agency and the Labour and Pensions Office.
The mechanism to do so, the premier said, was already in place.
However, he said it required a rethinking of the role of the Immigration Department in the country’s labor process.
At some stage, Mr. McLaughlin said, the law enforcement function of the Immigration Department may be hived off to another ministry, but he said that would encounter some difficulties at the moment.
“It’s not as convenient and as easy as you might think to say we’re going to carve off that bit of immigration,” Mr. McLaughlin said.