My Office Is Not Your Enemy New CC

Wednesday, 1st July 2015 by

The newly appointed Complaints Commissioner that her office is not the enemy.

Public servants have been assured by the newly appointed Complaints Commissioner that her office is not the enemy. During an introductory press conference held yesterday, June 30, Mrs. Sheila Brathwaite said in seeking to calm fears which public servants may have, "I assure you that the office of the Complaints Commissioner has as its core values, confidentiality, fairness, independence and persistence for the common good." She added, "The office is not the enemy; in fact, the office is your ally and we are here to assist you. The public too needs to know that we are not biased and will address your complaints in a fair and confidential manner with the aim of finding a resolution." Mrs. Brathwaite replaces the Territory's first Complaints Commissioner, former Deputy Governor Mr. Elton Georges, who served for some six years. The new Complaints Commissioner said the role of the office is to accept complaints where warranted, carry out thorough investigations and make recommendations that would bring the public service even closer to being a world class organization while simultaneously having satisfied customers. "My request of public servants is that they try as much as is possible to instill in their work ethic, the Nolan Principles which Governor Duncan reminded you of recently and which I reiterate are of high importance in carrying out your daily duties." Mrs. Brathwaite added, "These core values are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. In addition, sharing your knowledge with other officers helps to foster growth and development in the service and publicizing your policies and procedures helps to guide the general public. I look forward to working with you the members of the press to continue to get our message out." Outgoing Complaints Commissioner, Mr. Georges in his remarks stated that justified complaining is a civic responsibility which often leads to an improvement in processes and procedures in the future. Mr. Georges commended the press for their role in amplifying the voice of the office of the Complaints Commissioner and challenged them to continue to present their key messages as the public has a right to receive from its government good service, fair and courteous treatment, and timely responses to inquiries. According to government, the Complaints Commissioner, often called the Ombudsman, offers to the public a channel for raising complaints about maladministration in the public service and statutory bodies. It provides a mechanism to investigate complaints thoroughly and independently, and offers an unparalleled ability to get to the heart of any shortcomings within the public sector.