New deputy ombudsman Roulstone switches jobs

Sharon Roulstone was just named the Cayman Islands new deputy ombudsman in January, but she’s already been seconded to another government department for a post that is expected to last for at least a year, possibly two.

Ms. Roulstone was named this week as the interim director of the newly created National Human Resources Department.

The temporary leader for the new department, who will earn between $109,000 and $130,000 per year according to an advertisement posted by government late last year, is expected to “interim manage” the development and growth of the human resources department, according to Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration Chief Officer Wesley Howell.

“The driving objectives are to ensure that Caymanians are given priority in the workforce, with the ultimate outcome of achieving full employment of Caymanians, while ensuring that businesses in the Cayman Islands have the workforce needed to meet their business goals,” Mr. Howell told the Cayman Compass in December. “An effective change leader is critical to lead the creation of the National Human Resources Department, to implement the vision by driving change in customer service, communications, systems, legislation, processes and technology.”

Once the department is created and operating, a full-time director will be appointed.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said the government was grateful to Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston for letting Ms. Roulstone go for the secondment period.

“We recognize this will be a great loss to her office, particularly so early in its development,” Mr. Manderson said. “Ms. Roulstone is uniquely qualified for this important undertaking and we look forward to her leadership in this pivotal role.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin has spoken a number of times concerning the need to reform the Immigration Department’s current work permit regime to ensure that qualified Caymanians get the first opportunity for available jobs and, if that does not happen, that businesses get the workers they need.

The new human resources department will eventually take over the responsibility for processing work permits, permanent residence and Caymanian status applications, all of which are now decided by either Immigration Department officials or various immigration-related boards.

Ms. Hermiston said her office would look forward to Ms. Roulstone’s return from secondment and that she supports her deputy’s temporary appointment, which starts on March 12.

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