Deputy Gov falls foul of HR

| 05/02/2014

CNS): In an ironic twist, as the head of the civil service, the deputy governor has admitted that his office was one of the public authorities which has failed to respond in a timely fashion to the Human Rights Commission. Franz Manderson admitted the infringement in the Legislative Assembly last week as he presented the annual report from the oversight body which monitor’s government compliance with Cayman’s still relatively new Bill of Rights. Franz Manderson told the parliament that the complaint had been brought to his attention and it would not happen again. He assured the House that the commission’s overall complaint that public authorities are either unaware of their legal obligation to respond to its request or “blatantly disregarding it” would be addressed.

According to the 2013 HRC annual report, the commissionhas had a busy year advising on a catalogue of legislation, making presentations and dealing with a diverse range of complaints. However, in his introduction the outgoing chair, Richard Coles, said it was disappointing to see an emerging trend by public authorities of not responding to official correspondence from the commission.

These failures to respond, the chair wrote, had “created delays related to research, investigation, communication and decision making,all of which negatively impacted the ability of the HRC to efficiently respond and provide resolutions where applicable to complainants' allegations of human rights breaches or infringements.”

He explained that the constitution requires public authorities to respond in writing within a reasonable time to the HRC, but some public authorities were “either unaware of this duty or blatantly disregard it” and he urged civil service bosses to address the problem and lead by example. Coles said senior staff should create a human rights compliant culture and demonstrate a more cooperative spirit with the HRC to protect the public’s fundamental human rights.

Despite the concerns Coles raised in general about public authorities, he praised the deputy immigration chief for his speedy response to an urgent immigration matter involving a minor, as well as his general assistance to the commission.

However, in the LA Manderson held his hand up to the problems and committed to improvements regarding what he said were “serious complaints” by the HRC. He said one of the offices in question was his and he took full responsibility for it, accepting that the office had not responded to a request in a timely fashion but said it would not happen again.

The report covers a wide range of the legislation and the commission's first full year in operation since the BoR was implemented and issues that the HRC worked on during 2013, from its concerns regarding whole life sentences to the advice it is offering to government to change legislation to ensure its compatibility. The HRC dealt with 26 complaints from members of the public alleging breaches and infringements and eight of those cases remain open.

This year four new members will be appointed to the commission as a result of the departure of the chair and two members, Bishop Nicholas Sykes and attorney Sarah Collins, as well as the need to fill another seat on the commission which was vacant throughout 2013.

See report and appendices below and for more information visit the HRC website.

Category: Local News

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow so he is human after all. We all Mr Manderson has done I was wondering if he really was human. Not for the first time he has demonstrated that he is a man of honor and will deal with all issues in an upfront manner. He made an mistake – in fact what CNS in its normal forget the facts style – didn’t report that Mr Manderson stated the his matter with the HRC had in fact been resolved when HE laid the report in the LA. He fessed up to the mistake and didn’t make excuses or pass the blame. How refreshing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn't it matter? It is not like there will be or ever has been any consequences for not following the requirements…………..Business will continue as usual……..

  3. Fashion Police says:

    Button down shirt and a tie is not a good look.  Button down is strictly a casual no-tie option.  That shirt is also far too tight on his neck.  The two finger rule is not that difficult to apply and pays such dividends when it comes to dressing correctly.  As for black suits for business day wear, unless photocopying for others takes up a substantial part of the day, it just is not done.  Can the CIG please get a decent stylist for these people?

  4. Anonymous says:

    And ……… It shall come to light. He is no better than the rest …… A glorified civil servant ……. The Golden Boy who all believe can do no wrong. And ……… It shall come to light.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We all know there is someone in the same ministry as Franz constantly posting negative stuff about him on CNS because that person did not get a job that that person thought he/she was brilliantly qualified for.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just when you think Franz could not be any more disappointing . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      All ye Naysayers, look at it another way…at least the man 'fessed up and promised to do it right in future. Of course time will judge that one, however can you think of any other politician that fessed up to not getting it right? Come to that, how many of you have made an error and then sought to put it right? We all make mistakes, if you don't you are either a liar or from another planet of superbeings, so why are you so quick to throw stones?

      And no I am not related, a friend or even an admirer of the man, however, simply put, to me personally it takes some kind of integrity and intelligence to admit you got it wrong and to try and put it right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Manderson is by far one of your best civil servants that youve had in a very long time.  In fact, the very idea that he would take responsibility (as he should) for the departments under him that are not delivering, speaks to the calibre of the man! not too many others would be 'man enough' to do that.  It also does not surprise me to see this negative feedback against him.  As he tries to raise the departments and the quality of the civil service along the way, no doubt there will be much resistance to the change and ill-feelings.  But change there must be if we are to hope to transition into real players in the market.  Bermuda just lost its A3 rating and everyone there knows they have a bloated civil service that they cannot afford to maintain and its dragged Bermuda down with them.  The writing is on the wall Cayman, wake up and smell the coffee. Dont try and hang one of the few of your own that is prepared and can make a difference!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Franz set a better example as Deputy Governor 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pity there was no HR when he was CIO.

  9. cow itch (:))> says:

    at least he blatantly regarded it

  10. Things Remain the Same says:

    Leadership starts at the top. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Excuses excuses excuses, if this was anyone else they would be hung out to dry.  How come certain people, whether it is in government or private sector get away with anything with just maybe a slap on the rest, but when the normal joe does something like this they are penalized…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone also noticed nothing on the pay owed to the fire department????? only on how happy the uk was about the fire trucks.  It was in the news yesterday but gone today….like everything else covered up

      CNS: Maybe we should get a conspiracy theory button. Firefighters at risk

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess that one backfired on them. They were seeking to discredit the only all caymanian department but the ministry and the politicians got the biggest black eye out of the review. Failure to provide enough money and working staff without pay and vacation is against all human rights. The management should have close down the stations like the police did in North Side and East End. Then again I guess they were doing the same thing they did in hurricane ivan which was putting country first. Don't worry guys we will ever be grateful for the work you did and are continuing to do even though the airway has gotten very quiet so quick.They don't want to hear anymore about the bad treatment caymanians are getting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it is because they can spell "wrist"

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many favorites in those special positions.  Their eyes are closed and their ears are blocked whenever it is convenient.  Others who try to do things by the books are pushed aside and trampled, if they are not in the same camp,