OMBUDS DAY 2020
The Turks and Caicos Islands join with other countries around the world to observe Thursday, October 8th,2020 as national “Ombuds Day”. This year’s theme is ‘Unusual Name. Important Service.”
Ombudsman is a Swedish word which means “representative.” Sweden was the first country to appoint an independent official known as an Ombudsman to investigate complaints against government officials and Public Bodies.
Today ombudsman can be found all around the world, managing complaints in various sectors such as; Financial, Education, Public Service, Police, Construction Industry, Medical Services, Media and Consumer Services.
Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands the Office of The Complaints Commission “Ombudsman” has been in existence since 1994. The primary function of the Ombudsman, also referred to as the Complaints Commissioner is to promote good governance within the Turks and Caicos Islands by managing maladministration within the public service.
The Complaints Commissioner is responsible for investigating complaints against government departments or statutory bodies made by members of the general public. It is the Commissioner’s duty along with the assistance of the investigative team to conduct all investigations in confidence, independently and with transparency. Based on the Commissioner’s findings, he must resolve the conflict or concerns raised by making a recommendation in writing to government departments or the general public
The question is “how does the ombudsman make a difference in Turks and Caicos Islands?"
The Office of the Complaints Commission is an independent and impartial body which ensure that good governance is upheld within Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) .
- Consultation, advice and representation are free, i.e. no cost to the public for our service.
- All complaints are managed with strict confidentiality.
- Once all appeals processes have been exhausted within TCIG, and there is still no resolution due to maladministration, a member(s) of the general public can complain to the Complaints Commissioner’s Office.
- Here are a few areas of maladministration we can address;
- Unreasonable delay in dealing with any request or application.
- Abuse of power or authority.
- Flawed procedures.
- Failing to give reasons for decisions.
- Lack of consideration for a person affected by any action.
- Acting with bias, unfairness and neglect.
- Making decisions based wholly or partly on a mistake of law or fact.
- Failing to follow through on commitments made.
Listed above are just a few ways how the Office of the Complaints Commission continues to make a difference in the Turks and Caicos Islands.