Independence of Complaints Commissioner boosted

| 12/08/2008

(CNS): New regulations of the ComplaintsCommissioner Law, which Cabinet have announced will be published Monday, 18 August, bolster the independence of the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) and allow it to complete its investigations more efficiently.

These new regulations facilitate the efficient use of powers originally granted to the Complaints Commissioner in regards to the appointment and remuneration of mediators and professional or technical advisers to assist with investigations by the OCC, according to a release from Commissioner Dr John Epp in September 2007 when the were tabled.

The regulations give the Commissioner discretion as to the manner in which people making a complaint or assisting him with his inquiries are to be compensated for wages lost from work, and the ability to grant financial allowances for expenses, such as transportation and accommodation, if they are proven by proper receipts or other documentation. The Commissioner also has the discretion to allow payment of an expense up to $50 for which no receipt is provided.

“It is essential that the investigations of the OCC are completed in a timely and just manner,” said Dr. Epp. “The discretion to offer witnesses and advisors fair compensation for their assistance without having to seek Cabinet’s approval will help to speed up the process to obtain accurate information, and therefore allow the OCC to operate more in accordance with our goals and objectives,” he added.

Under the Complaints Commissioner Law, the Governor in Cabinet may make regulations for administration of the Law.

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