The Department of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands strongly believes that a vigorous complaints process is an important component of government and helps enhance the quality of services provided. The Department is committed to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided to our clients.
In pursuit of this goal, we have developed an Internal Complaint Process. This process is uniquely developed as a response mechanism for our valued clients and members of the general public. The Department also strives to uphold the core values and principles of the Civil Service as contained in Public Services Management Act (2018 revision) and as outlined in the Public Service Management Law and Regulations.
The Department is conscientious in hearing from any individuals that have concerns or complaints about the Department of Agriculture’s reports or how it operates within the Civil Service. The Department commits to carefully listening to all concerns and complaints and to deal with them in a professional, courteous and timely manner.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about a service offered or provided, an advice, or any mal-administration.
Definition of Mal-administration:
- Delay in taking, action, incorrect action.
- Failure to provide information, to compile and keep proper records.
- Failure to investigate, or to deal with letters or other enquiries.
- Making misleading or inaccurate statements, lack of co-operation.
- Action or proper liaison between departments.
- Failure to consider possible courses of action.
Types of Complaints
Based on the work done within the Department, there are 2 general types of complaints:
- Internal complaints from members of staff concerning internal policies, procedures and staff conduct.
- Complaints from clients and the general public about The Department of Agriculture.
Each complaint received will be placed into one of the categories above and dealt with in the manner noted below.
- A complaint must be lodged within 90 days of the incident occurring otherwise it will not be investigated.
- Complaints which are considered frivolous, or concern any personal matter against staff, will not be investigated. There is an established procedure to address internal grievances.
No matter how a complaint is generated (complaints are encouraged to be made in writing), the Department of Agriculture believes that the information generated is important and will act on the complaint based on the following principles:
- Get your facts together including any supporting documentation; this should include an attempt to resolve the issue with the appropriate staff member.
- Explain your problem thoroughly verbally and in writing.
- The Department will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 48 hours either by phone, or email.
Time Limit for Investigating Officer
Simple cases will be investigated, and a report issued in 5-10 working days. For more complex cases please allow up to a maximum of 20 working days for a response.
Confidentiality and Privacy
The Internal Complaints Process of the Department will protect the complaint’s right of confidentiality. Only individuals directly related to the review of the complaint will be given access to complaint information.
If the complaint relates to the performance of a particular individual, the complainant will be asked to confirm that they are willing for the elements of the complaint to be shared with the individual before additional information is gathered.
Complaints from Clients and/or the General Public
If clients or the general public feel that staff of The Department of Agriculture have not acted in a professional manner or have behaved inappropriately, the Department would like to be made aware of such situations so that it can review the matter and take the appropriate actions.
If clients or the general public are treated inappropriately, they are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the person involved and seek a resolution. However, if they feel that this is not appropriate, they should make their complaint directly to the Deputy Director Mr. Brian Crichlow, of the Department of Agriculture. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Deputy Director will take the following steps:
- Discuss the issues with the client or member of the general public and document concerns. A time for a resolution meeting should be set at this time.
- The complainant is encouraged to put the complaint in writing.
- The Manager will indicate reception of the complaint in writing back to the complainant and further document the case based on discussions with the complainant.
- Determine from the staff member(s) involved their version of events.
- Discuss the issue with Agriculture staff if considered appropriate and come to a resolution. Determine action(s) required, if any.
- Meet with the client or member of the general public and discuss the problem and the proposed actions (if any).
- A brief memorandum outlining the matter will be placed on the personnel file of the staff member if necessary.
- Discuss the issue with Agriculture staff if considered appropriate and come to a resolution. Determine action (s) required, if any.
Written Complaints from Clients and/or the General Public
All written complaints should be submitted in a sealed envelope or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, marked confidential and addressed as outlined below:
Mr. Brian Crichlow
Deputy Director – Agriculture
P.O. Box 459
Grand Cayman KY1-1106
Verbal Complaints from Clients and/or the General Public
All verbal complaints in person or via phone call on (345) 947-3090 should be stated as making a complaint and ask to speak to Gina McField, the Executive Customer Service Representative.
For all other types of internal complaints, the following process will apply:
- The complainant is encouraged to put the complaint in writing.
- The Investigating Officer will indicate receipt of the complaint in writing back to the complainant and further document the case based on discussions with the complainant.
- The Investigating Officer will investigate the case and make queries as necessary.
- The Investigating Officer will make a recommendation and discuss the case with Chief Officer.
- Once a decision has been made, the Investigating Officer will discuss the conclusions with the complainant and will provide written correspondence on the resolution as required.
- Brief memorandum outlining the matter will be placed on the personnel file of the staff member if necessary.
An official complaint of service received should include the following details:
- specific details about the level of service received
- the date and time service was rendered
- where possible, persons present who can attest that a reasonable person would concur to the level of service received
- what outcome the complainant would like to see
Rights and Responsibilities as a Client or Member of the General Public
Everyone is entitled to fair and courteous treatment, timely and accurate advice, privacy and confidentiality and to be supplied with reasons for decisions. In return the Department’s responsibilities include treating all complaints in a timely, courtesy and respectful manner.