31 January, 2007

Complaints Procedure

Why are we not considering a complaints procedure in Anguilla? If we are mistreated by a government department who do we complain to? Can we appeal to anyone if injustice is served out to us by a public servant?

Falkland Islands is doing something about it. See the article in the Falkland Islands News Network. It is a summary of what was discussed in their Executive Council on 29 January 2007. I am reading it today, 30 January. That is the day following their Executive Council meeting!

Why do we not get told even a week later what was discussed in our Executive Council? Why is everything so secret? What are they ashamed about? Why can we not have a little transparency in our government? It is not a legal requirement that Executive Council minutes be kept secret. It is only a bad habit that we have grown accustomed to.

It is not as if we do not have the resources to be more transparent. Our Chief Minister has a Special Assistant PRO, Curtis Richardson. He has also recruited Wycliffe Richardson to hold Curtis’ hand. What are the two of them doing? Why do we not hear from either of them what the government is saying and doing on our behalf?

Then, there is the government website. See if you can find anything interesting on it. It has got to be one of the most boring government websites in the entire West Indies. The Chief Minister could change all that by ordering a summary of every Executive Council meeting to be published on the website immediately after every meeting.


  1. Excerpt from the United Front 2000 [sic] Manifsesto

    Development and refinement of Codes of Conduct for:

    a) Ministers and other members of Executive Council;

    b) Members of the House of Assembly; and

    c) Politicians in election campaigns;

    · Creation of the office of Ombudsman

    · Reintroduction and development of community councils and consideration of the decentralization of responsibility for
    some local community services;

    · Funding for local community based democratic agencies involved in governance;

    · Development of constituency offices for elected representatives paid for or subsidized by the Government;

    · Review the powers of Executive Council and of the regulations governing its operations;

    · Review the policy on appointments to statutory boards and committees to ensure that the selection is more participatory;

    · Creating a number of political, non civil service positions inclusive of advisors and special assistants to ministers
    to strengthen the political decision making process and facilitate succession planning at the political level;

    · Establishment of a process of public hearings, referenda or other mechanisms to involve the public in making decisions
    on major political, economic or social issues inclusive of large-scale economic or social development proposals.


    There is no reference to an Ombudsman or Complaints Commissioner
    in the 2005 Manifesto.

  2. "Politicians in ALL of the former(and current) British West-Indian Colonies are easily swayed by personal gain..and from
    independence to this day, their kind have continued to enjoy holding the reigns of power thanks to an electorate as infatuated
    with the 'Gimme Gimme' mentality as they are. In short, the history of the West-Indies has always been 'To the highest bidder
    goes the prize'..so if Japan wants our whale-vote(LMAO), it's theirs as long as enough money goes into several offshore bank
    accounts." --Richard Graham, Montserrat

  3. Many opposition candidates in the Caribbean, so desperate for power that they are willing to say or do anything for votes, often attempt to appeal to the basic instincts of the more uneducated voters. There is always some plot by the evil British, or foreign investors, or white people, or the corrupt party in power, or the elite who are conspiring to enslave us and profit from our oppression.

    A few examples from Anguilla:

    "ANA is a privilege organisation.
    You cannot find worse human beings.
    They are the worst people in the Caribbean.
    These are people who don't preach ethics.
    These are people who don't preach morals.
    These are people who don't preach community."
    --Hubert Hughes, former Chief Minister of Anguilla, 19 June 2004

    "Bunton has produced a second Haiti"
    --Hubert Hughes, 21 September 2002

    "Anybody who doesn't appreciate what I did, God will rain a curse upon them."
    --Hubert Hughes, 21 September 2002

  4. In St. Helena, they separate ExCo into open and closed sessions. Only the press goes to the open sessions, but that's fine. Selected items from the closed session agenda are summarised and reported in official press releases. There is no reason we couldn't change things so we
    could do that in Anguilla.

    In California, under the Ralph M. Brown Act, all decisions of public bodies not taken in open session are voidable by order of court. If an agency wants to have an executive session they must announce the subject they intend to discuss and their authority for doing so in closed session. The Act has a long list of open meeting

  5. Trinidad with all of its corruption has a weekly post cabinet press conference. Our Government needs to be more open and transparent with the people's business

  6. Cayman Observer
    Complaints Commissioner releases statistics

    Grand Cayman (31 January 2007) - The Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) has released statistics on its investigations for the first half of the 2006/7 financial year, during which 232 inquiries were received.

    According to a press release from the OCC, the office monitored 82 of its recommendations to government resulting from case investigations and public interest reports.

    Of this total, 22 recommendations were complied with and six are no longer being monitored following special reports submitted to the Legislative Assembly stating non-compliance.

    During this half-year period, 53 case investigations, initiated by written complaints, were on the OCC's files, 19 of which were carried over from the previous financial year.

    The OCC might make several recommendations to a government body in relation to one investigation, but each recommendation is monitored individually.

    "In the event that recommendations have not been complied with, the OCC is pressuring government entities to take action," said Complaints Commissioner John Epp.

    "In the event that the bureaucrats are recalcitrant, then a special report is made to the Legislative Assembly."

    In December, the number of new recommendations that the OCC monitored spiked, mostly due to 12 recommendations made in a report on prison discipline the previous month.

    The OCC may recommend an administrator take action when the investigation uncovers maladministration. These suggestions can address a specific action that caused the injustice and it may also refer to laws, regulations or rules that lead to an unjust result.

    Over the last six months, 46 recommendations were carried over from the year before and 44 were made from 1 July to 31 December 2006.

    Monitoring starts the month following recommendations, so eight that were made in December 2006 have been monitored starting January 2007.

    'vital', Bermuda tells Cayman
    Cayman given glimpse of future
    Emergency agency to be launched


  7. Was particularly interested in this topic -- though a bit late. I agree wholeheartedly that an Office of Ombudsman should be created to establish checks and balances between the arms of government. If proven accountability is not realised soon......can you really blame our children for what they do?

    Any recent headlines on this?


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