by Linda Straker
- Community Relations Office acknowledged in 2013, the passport was lost
- 2017 report indicates 40 complaints from the public
- Largest number of complaints against the police and Ministry of Labour
Police have confirmed that it lost the passport of a man who was placed on bail in 2011 and had to surrender all his travel documents. The young man was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled drug.
This was one of the cases highlighted in the 2017 annual report of the Office of the Ombudsman. The report which was recently tabled during sittings of the Houses of Parliament said that the matter was resolved after an investigation was conducted. The complaint was filed by the young man’s mother.
“In 2013, the Community Relations Office acknowledged the passport was lost. The complainant lodged a complaint to the Ombudsman who intervened and was able to resolve the matter with the issuance of a new passport to the complainant’s son,” said the report which explained that the matter was also thrown out of court.
Highlighting other samples cases without disclosing the names of the individuals, the office said that in spite of the many challenges facing the office, the staff is committed to conducting a thorough investigation of complaints.
Other cases included complaints against the Ministry of Works and Agriculture for failure to compensate landowners for different projects undertaken by the government. “This office, in its capacity as public protector in the service of many, including the most vulnerable among us, is consequently now more important than ever. It plays a vital role in building the trust which must exist between public officials, administrators, policymakers and members of the public,” said the report.
According to the data from the report for the year 2017, there were 40 complaints with the largest number of complaints from the public against the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) followed by the Ministry of Labour.
When the office commenced operations in 2010, it received more than 100 complaints with most of them against the private sector, as many did not understand that the office is only for complaints against the public sector.