Public does not trust anti-corruption hotline

| 29/10/2014

(CNS): It appears that Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) dedicated hotline maybe a little too hot for the public to handle. Only one call was made to it during the last financial year and that was a wrong number, the commission has revealed in its latest report. The police commissioner, who is chair of the commission, has said it is clear the public doesnot trust the dedicated number as corruption still remains a significant problem in Cayman and reports are being made via other means. The 2013/14 annual report reveals that complaints or information was supplied to the commission but through other “trusted conduits” , ironically, individual politicians and police officers.

“It is apparent that with only one call recorded to the confidential reporting line this year, and that one call being dialled in error, the line is not trusted by the populace,” the commission concluded in the report. “The preferred means of reporting is by far that of a trusted conduit, such as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), a known member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, or other highly regarded individuals in the community."

Despite the lack of faith in the reporting line, allegations of corruption are finding their way to the commission which received 24 new complaints during the period covered in the report and the Anti-Corruption Unit conducted some 107 interviews. This was in addition to ongoing investigations carried over from the previous year.

The commission said that the number of reports was down compared to the previous year, when 31 reports were made, but that higher figure was a direct result of the election campaign during the early part of 2013, when the commission dealt with several corruption allegations in the build-up to the national ballot.

This year the commission was dealing with long term investigations, which were described as protracted, complex and time consuming.

No one was charged with corruption in the last year but several cases were submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided against prosecution in several cases for a variety of reasons, including a lack of evidence or complex legal interpretive issues with the Anti-Corruption Law, making the changes of conviction less likely.

“These complex legal interpretive issues continue to be of concern to the ACC,” the report stated. “Corruption continues to exist at various levels in the Cayman Islands and while the statistics are  lower than in the previous reporting period the activities of both the ACC and the ACU were no less significant.”

The ACC said it has embarked on internal education campaigns, as it believes this is an important role for the commission in order to change attitudes towards, and encourage reporting of, corruption.

“Corruption is a legitimate barrier to effective service delivery and an impediment to economic growth and development,” the commission stated. “Unfortunately many people are afraid of the repercussions of reporting corruption such as being identified or 'branded', which is not farfetched in a small community such as the Cayman Islands. It is therefore crucial that the public is constantly educated and made aware of their ability to report potential corruption to the ACU.”

The ACC emphasised the need for public authorities to “demonstrate their stance against corruption by taking a committed interest in the implementation of strategies, including greater internal controls, staff training, and the building-up of an organisational culture marked by professionalism, integrity, and ethically-sound decision-making.”

Emphasising the hotline's confidentiality, the commission urged the public to use the hotline to report any corruption activity 928 1745.

See full report below.

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Category: Crime

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    No one trusts the Anti-Corruption regime.

    Until is made a real independnt Ant-Corruption regime with a really effective law, and effective standards in public life law enforced  and their own prosecutor, then nothing will be done.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would not trust the hotline either.  This place is too small and I have no doubt that other ears will be listening as well.  Corrupion is rampant and those 'connected' to the higher ups are protected while those who stand up in the face of corruption are hated and victimised. The civil service needs a huge shake up from the top down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How's the Whistleblower" legislation coming….soon come, thought so.

    How is anyone to trust reporting corruption to entities that are viewed as corrupt by so many?

    Maybe if the hotline was staffed at the Auditor Generals office. 

    Otherwise many will stick to putting the relevant reports of corruption on Ezzards truck.

    At least we know that the Auditor General and/or Ezzard will make it public knowledge.

    But even then;  all that happens is "investigations"….then nuttin!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I imagine you have to bribe the official on the hotline for them to file a report

  5. I must LAUGH says:

    Cayman is too small, I would be way to scared and so I would never call.
    We don't know whos picking up the phone and if they are conected.
     

  6. I must LAUGH says:

    Who does?

  7. Anonymous says:

    no one trust anyone so lets leave it at that and out of the fire of social unress there will rise a great pheonix that will allow peace love and harmony. Fire before calm. 

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    How much money do you think the politicians will spend promoting the "Hot Line",  when the persons you are most likely to report are the politicians?   My guess would be very little.

  9. Anonyanmous says:

    Well here is my first report, Crime is rampant, one billion dollars is unaccounted for and Cayman is falling into chaos soon to be in a state of anarcy if something is not done soon.  Hear, oh Hear hotline to the UK government please do something about it.  Our elected leaders need a little help with governance, one listens too much and tries to please everyone and the other needs too many committies and studies…. so both need help in governance.  Please can you send some people down to clean house and make this island Grand Cayman again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this commission and the others would actually make a difference and gain our trust if they were truly independent of Government, staffed with full time qualified personnel, and open to regularly communicating with the public.  Until then they are funded by the public purse with almost zero results to show for it. How did EY rationalise that?  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could it be that the general public is not aware of the existence of this hotline? How has this number and its purpose been communicated to the broad public? Or is it possible that those who do know of its existence do not trust the Chairman or other members of the Commission  (whoever they are)? Or perhaps the system in general is so corrupt that whistleblowing is not worth one's while or one's well-being.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    First I have heard of this hotline. After reading this I check the Govt. pages in the phone book – no listing I could find. So ACC you need to do more promotion of this contact avenue.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Don't trust, or don't know about, the 'hotline'? Interesting poll question (1) who knows the hotline number (or even that it existed) & (2) is that how you'd report corruption as opposed to  …. fill in the blank.

    I don't know the number so if I had corruption to report I'd probably try and find the relevant website on-line to get contact information and even then I would I'd be more likely to use email (create a burner address if I wanted anonymity) than a telephone. But is that just me?

  14. Hear hear- says:

    WHAT phone number? Sounds like Joe Public only thought we had FOIs for our answers.  Give me the tel # please  as I would like to report that the Immigration Boards ignore the $20,000 fine when we have given them FACTUAL EVIDENCE that companies are hiding qualified local applications from the Boards. Clear emaples and no follow up.

    No response from Head of Immigration, No respoinse from Enforcement and this seems to make these persons "Aid and Abet these criminal actions" and is corruption clear as day.

    Until we stop "cookng da books" and "doing favours for cronies", the corruption will not stop.  I love the idea of a Corruption Czar, so send that telephone number out and I will give them a dozen factual perfectly documented examples of corruption at the government senior managment level. I've even got one that went all the way to Franz and zzzz not a peep?  I've got the proof.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you are suggesting is a daily occurrence! Corruption is now rife.

      • Anonymous says:

        18:40, correction, corruption has always been rife in Cayman, it is only now just getting the attention it deserves so we can attempt to stamp it out.

        But I will not hold my breath when our very own Leaders celebrate it in public.

  15. Anonymous says:

    what a joke the tips line seems to me to be run by the chamber and is all messed up.

    I have called only to get the runaround and told that its not there problem, the other hot line is viewed as the same

  16. Anonymous says:

    If you want to encourage reporting then do something about the known corruption.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!  There is no point in reporting anything! Nothing ever happens! Corruption now mascarades as incompetence!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I for one wil not be using that number nor will I be contacting individual politicians or members of the police force.  Why bother when a premier can use a government credit card to gamble, billions, yes billions can go missing with no one held accountable.  Just there they have their work cut out but no one does nothing.  Keep right on the way its going which is down the pan.  I am a lucky Caymanian to have family in Florida where I can go for refuge.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What do you expect when everytime something important goes to court, the accused get away with it because of shoddy policework or shoddy prosecutor work or technical legal points…or jury's that "forgive" people for their blatant and admitted thieving? Fix the system and people will call the line.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The problem is the way things work here, the "system" relies on the "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" modus operandi.Nobody in government or the broader civil service is going to report corruption for fear they will upset the apple cart and be victimised themselves.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is there a hotline email address?