Meet the Ombudsman Team
The Commissioner is appointed by the Governor after consultation with the Premier and Leader of the Opposition. The Commissioner has extensive powers under the Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) Ordinance 2015 to investigate complaints, both from individual complainants and matters of the Commissioner’s Own Motion where there is an alleged systemic failing on a matter of national public importance. The Commissioner plays a lead role in Own Motion Investigations, from conception to conclusion, and also in High Profile or Sensitive cases, either dealing with them personally or giving strong guidance to the Investigative Officer on such matters. With regard to conducting investigations and obtaining both oral and written evidence, the Commissioner has the same powers as a Magistrate, including the power to issue subpoenas if necessary and appropriate.
The Investigative Officer receives, investigates, reports and resolves complaints within the procedure, parameters and time frame established by the Commissioner and also assist in the Commissioner’s Own Motion Investigations (OMI’s). The Investigative Officer is also responsible for providing statistical reports as required by the Commissioner and to prepare and deliver educational workshops to civil servants on the role and function of the Complaints Commission.
The Administrative Officer is responsible for the finances, budget and administration of the daily functioning of the Complaints Commission Office.
To be an organization that permeates the community with fairness and impartiality and harmony by promoting good governance and executing justice thereby creating trust between members of the community and the public bodies that serve them.
The Office of the Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) of the Turks and Caicos Islands seeks to investigate complaints of maladministration by Government Departments and Statutory Bodies as stipulated in the Ordinance, promote effectiveness and efficiency within services rendered to the community, educate persons about their rights and duties in a free and democratic society, and provide a service to the public in fairness, justice and without prejudice, so as to promote harmony and good governance in the country.
Following the establishment of the Complaints Commission (Ombudsman) in 1988. The Vision and Mission Statement were formulated to promote good leadership for the Turks and Caicos Islands with government and related bodies, characterized by good governance and responsive to the needs of the citizens. The Ombudsman as protector of the citizens and one of the guardians of the Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands provides a system of checks and balances, which guarantees good governance and accountability of the government, where basic human rights and freedoms are safeguarded.
Our Core Values
Our values shape our behavior, both as an organization and as individuals, and incorporate the Ombudsman’s Principles. We strive to maintain the highest standards when delivering our services. In particular, we are committed to specific Core Values of our office which are accessibility, independence and impartiality; we truly believe in confidentiality and integrity and highly value accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness to be achieved with team work and strong leadership.
The core function of the Ombudsman is to serve as an independent complaint agency, accessible to the public of the Turks and Caicos Islands, with the assurance of impartial and confidential handling of complaints against government. Its challenge is to build on these core functions being effective and efficient in highlighting problem areas in government administration, recommending appropriate reforms and promoting transparency; developing improved relationship with National and International stakeholders and resolving issues arising from complaints.
The Ombudsman stands for Continuous Quality Improvements in its organizational structure and management process, to develop prompt responses to complaints.
The Complaints Commission (Ombudsman) Ordinance was established in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1988. The first Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) and Office was established in 1994.
The Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) Ordinance was amended in 2015.
(Ordinance 12 of 2015)
This plan is intended to provide Strategic Direction for the Office and to ensure that an effective, efficient, organized and well equipped institute including the establishment of a Board to provide supervisory oversight of the Complaints Commission.
A review of the Complaints Commission of the Turks and Caicos was conducted and the following recommendations made in regards to the Complaints Commission.
- Legislative amendments should be considered to establish a board to provide supervisory oversight of the Complaints Commission.
- The Complaints Commission should prepare a strategic plan that depicts its objectives and key performance indicators. These indicators should be monitored on a quarterly basis and reported alongside its quarterly financial report to the TCIG.
- The Complaints Commissioner should be provided an annual performance appraisal.
- Salaries should be subject to an independent job evaluation exercise based on the public service analogues.
- Efforts should be made to ensure that the financial statements audits are brought up to date as soon as practicable.
After reflection on activities of the Complaints Commission and the recommendations made, together with existing internal and external environment, critical challenges are identified and grouped into five strategic areas.
- Awareness raising and Accessibility
- Capacity Building and Resource Mobilization
As a result of the challenges and priority areas for development, The Complaints Commission set itself clear, goals aimed at effectively addressing these challenges to help in the promotion of administrative fairness in and of Government.
From 2018 to 2020 The Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) priority objectives will be to:
- Ensure a high level of awareness of the services of the Ombudsman, improve service delivery, strengthen complaint handling and improve people’s perception of the office and how these services can be accessed.
- Maintain the independence of the Ombudsman in the implementation of its mandate.
- Strengthen the institutional capacity of the office and provide effective support for effective and efficient functioning.
- Establish and maintain constructive relationship with the community, government agencies, human rights institutions and other regional and international stake holders, in the observance of the rule of law.
- Promote administrative justice, prevent and reduce corrupt practices and abuse and promote high standards of integrity in government agency.