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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.
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.
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.
When the first Cayman Islands ombudsman, Sandy Hermiston, stepped into the job in September 2017, her office immediately assumed years’ worth of backlog.
Details of the pay-out to the former head of a dysfunctional government department can remain secret, the Ombudsman has ruled.
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.
The Department of Labour and Pensions broke the National Archive and Public Records Law by failing to keep proper records on internal discussions about proposed amendments to a pension plan trust deed, according to Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston.
We believe the government could alleviate much of its FOI backlog, costs and drain on its personnel resources if it adopted a much more transparent, government-in-the-sunshine, open-records approach.
Just more than 10 percent of the internal investigations carried out against Royal Cayman Islands Police officers last year involved “statute barred” cases – cases in which the deadline to file charges was not met – according to data released this month by the RCIPS.
Cayman Islands Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston sees “exciting opportunity” in her new position supervising two partially functioning departments and three others which are new to the Cayman Islands.
Cayman’s new public sector/private sector watchdog will inherit a newly created office Wednesday that has only about half of its intended functions up and running.
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.”
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.