Complaints Commission deemed useless by some - Georges
“I do feel disappointed when a sometimes in very clear case something has gone wrong in what has happened to this individual and there is no denial but there is just no response. It is disappointing, it is frustrating but in the first place I am still gratified that they have been listened to and someone has investigated and said that what has happened was wrong and that it should be made right,” Mr. Georges said during a press briefing on Monday September 24, 2012 on the two Special Reports recently laid before the House of Assembly.
Asked if he ever feels like “throwing in the towel” in frustration, Mr. Georges replied in the negative. “No I do not feel like throwing in the towel. I am here for a brief time, setting up this office and hoping to hand it over to someone before too long to carry on this work.”
Mr. Georges said he has not made any secret of his disappointment that in too many instances, “the government does not act to right what they have done, to give some kind of redress to persons who have been wrongly treated. There have been some but not enough”. “And I think there is certain amount of tension because we are investigating things that some people would prefer to not have investigated and we are writing what we find and some people are upset over that and maybe that is because they are not accustomed to what is happening. This office just came about three years ago.”
Complaints Commission deemed “useless” by some
Asked if persons would not become disheartened over a period of time and not bother to bring their grievances to the Complaints Commissioner, Mr. Georges replied he does have some concern but does not believe that everyone will lose hope. “I do have a concern because from day one when people understood that in this office I had no powers to enforce my recommendations; there have been persons who have said well you are useless. Why are you here? That has not stopped others, however, from coming and getting assistance. So I believe that people will continue to hope that by their grievances being listened to, looked into and somebody told this is what they should do, I think there will be people who will continue to hope that some good will come of it, that they will get some redress which they were seeking. I have not lost hope at all that nobody will come to us with their complaints.”
The Commissioner added that he is aware that the problems being faced here are not uncommon across the Caribbean. “It isn’t a great comfort to know that there is a lot of company into this stress but it does put into perspective that unfortunately Governments do seem to set up offices like these but without much conscious intention of following through on the implications of having the office... It is an issue of Good Governance that we have to keep working towards.
In the 3-year existence of the Commission, 5 investigation reports were issued in 2009, 13 in 2010 and 10 in 2011. 7 of the 28 reports were subsequently made into special reports. Mr. Georges said 7 Special Reports are still too many.