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COVID-era temperature surveillance fails data protection test

A hardware store that used infrared thermometers to screen customers for signs of COVID-19 during the pandemic was among almost 100 Cayman Islands entities investigated for data protection breaches in 2020.

Ombudsman’s intervention helped shine light on development concessions

Records of duty concessions granted to a developer, public high school exam results and decisions of the Labour Tribunal were only made available to the public after intervention from the Ombudsman.

Government should be more responsive to complaints, report warns

Delays and, in some cases, outright failure to respond to public concerns were highlighted by investigators as key issues, following 59 complaints of “maladministration” by government departments in 2020.

Report: Police stop suspect from swallowing cocaine

Following a complaint by a man who claimed police unnecessarily used force to restrain him, the Ombudsman has found that the officers had restrained him to prevent him from swallowing cocaine found during a search.

Dept. of Agriculture ordered to stop collecting personal data

The ombudsman has issued an enforcement order to the Department of Agriculture to stop collecting personal data from customers purchasing its retail items, after it failed to comply with an earlier recommendation to cease gathering the information.

Personal data breaches increasing

The Office of the Ombudsman received a total of 34 data breach reports during the first three months of 2021.

St. Ignatius ordered to destroy recording of meeting with staffer

Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston has ordered St. Ignatius Catholic School to destroy all recordings of a performance evaluation meeting with a member of staff, after finding that the school had no legal basis for making the recording.

Ombudsman: Historical land claims should be public

The Ombudsman has ruled that the government's Lands and Survey Department must make historical claims on local land open to the public.

Ombudsman orders registrar to stop collecting personal information

The ombudsman has ordered the Registrar of Companies to stop collecting personal data from company shareholders who are not beneficial owners under the beneficial ownership provisions of the company registration process.

Podcast – Know your rights: Cayman’s Freedom of Information Law

In the Cayman Islands, any individual holds the right to request information of government and public authorities. This right first came into effect in January 2009 through the Freedom of Information Law, later amended in 2018 to include data protection considerations.

Ombudsman investigating dirt-biker arrest

The Ombudsman's Office has launched an investigation into the arrest of a 23-year-old Bodden Town man, who was taken into custody on Sunday following a police chase.

Police complaints dominate first year for Ombudsman

In its first full year in operation, the Cayman Islands Office of the Ombudsman received 230 cases, nearly two-thirds of which related to police complaints.

Government watchdog contends with years of police complaints

When the first Cayman Islands ombudsman, Sandy Hermiston, stepped into the job in September 2017, her office immediately assumed years’ worth of backlog.

Carter’s ‘golden handshake’ remains under wraps

Details of the pay-out to the former head of a dysfunctional government department can remain secret, the Ombudsman has ruled.

NEW: Carter’s ‘golden handshake’ remains under wraps

Details of the pay-out to the former head of a dysfunctional government department can remain secret, the Cayman Islands ombudsman has ruled.

Ombudsman: 143 cases of police complaints filed in 2018

Police complaints made up a vast majority of cases filed in 2018 with the Cayman Islands’ Ombudsman, the body tasked with investigating complaints against government entities.

DEH director’s settlement remains under wraps

Government has declined to reveal the details of any settlement with former director of Department of Environmental Health Roydell Carter after an open records request from the Cayman Compass.

Policeman fires gun in error

A police officer accidentally discharged his firearm during a search last Thursday, striking a police vehicle.

Ombudsman asks Ministry of Finance to apologize

An appeal made to the Office of the Ombudsman over a Freedom of Information request in September 2017 has resulted in an eight-page report which asks the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to make an apology to the applicant.

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.

Complaints

Today's editorial cartoon

EDITORIAL – New Ombudsman: ‘Smart,’ ‘tough,’ and facing a challenge

Ms. Hermiston can expect to face some resistance from entrenched interests, politicians, regulators and civil servants who may be perfectly content with “business as usual.”

Government appoints Cayman’s first ombudsman

Sandy Hermiston of Canada has been appointed as the first ombudsman of the Cayman Islands, a position created under provisions of the Ombudsman Law, 2017. Ms. Hermiston will serve as Complaints Commissioner and Information Commissioner.

Data protection law set for 2019 start

The Cayman Islands Cabinet has proposed a start date of January 2019 for strict privacy protection rules that will affect every private and public sector entity involved in processing someone’s personal information.

Ombudsman office ramps up hiring for Oct. 1 start

The Cayman Islands government is hiring for four positions to staff the new Ombudsman Office, due to start operations later this year.

Beneficial ownership, lawyers’ rules up for debate

Long-awaited, controversial changes that will have a profound impact on the Cayman Islands financial services industry will be on the agenda next month in what is likely to be the final Legislative Assembly meeting of the current Progressives-led coalition government.

Ombudsman to replace commissioners

Abolishing the independent offices of the information commissioner and complaints commissioner, newly released legislation proposes to create an ombudsman’s office to oversee open records requests, complaints of government maladministration and public complaints against the police.

New ombudsman given power to investigate police

A government ombudsman’s office, expected to be created under new legislation early next year, will be given the power to investigate public complaints against police officers – including the police commissioner.

Super Ombudsman Watchdog

Our editorial cartoon.

EDITORIAL – ‘Super ombudsman’: Complaints from the complaints committee

The en masse resignations of four lawmakers (Bernie Bush, Eugene Ebanks, Ezzard Miller and Alva Suckoo) from the Complaints Commissioner committee are important not so much from a “practical” standpoint as from a “political” one.

EDITORIAL – The ideal Ombudsman for the people

If you wish to lodge a formal complaint with or about the Cayman Islands government, the primary question is: Who do you call?

Ombudsman’s office staff kept separate, savings pledged

Separate employees with “specialist” skills will staff the proposed Cayman Islands ombudsman office, which is set to encompass the activities of public complaints, police complaints and the information commissioner.

Few EY report ‘priorities’ under way

Recommendations from a September 2014 government consultant’s report by the Ernst & Young accounting firm have been pared down to 57 areas which the civil service intends to “progress,” according to a report released last week.

New police complaints office to be staffed with two investigators

Around 10 “serious complaints” are made about police every year, according to an analysis of the likely workload of a new police complaints unit by the Deputy Governor’s Office.

Acting Information Commissioner: Data protection bill may fail EU test

The man who is to be largely responsible for the implementation of Cayman’s data protection legislation, if and when it is approved by lawmakers, has warned that the bill may not pass muster with the European Union if government moves to a combined “ombudsman” office, as is currently planned.

Cabinet approves ombudsman plan

Government is pushing ahead with a proposed merger of the offices of the Information Commissioner and the Complaints Commissioner, despite concerns the move will dilute the effectiveness of both watchdogs.

This week