Victoria Pearman, Ombudsman for Bermuda, has submitted her Annual Report for 2020 to the Speaker of the House of Assembly in accordance with her statutory duty under the Ombudsman Act 2004. The Report was tabled in the House of Assembly this morning and is available to the public.
The Annual Report 2020 presents the Ombudsman’s yearly update to the public on the work of her Office. In 2020, the Ombudsman’s Office handled 302 cases, including 192 new complaints, 66 new enquiries and 44 outstanding complaints that remained open as of 1 January 2020. The year 2020 represented 15 years of complaint handling by the Office.
The Report includes six general case summaries as well as six COVID-19 related summaries that identified specific issues people faced and how they were impacted during the public health emergency. The Ombudsman for Bermuda also mentions some “Areas of Concern” that her Office became aware of during the reporting year. One example highlighted is reports of unresponsiveness, with calls to certain departments and authorities frequently going unanswered during normal business hours and voice messages unreturned.
The Annual Report 2020 provides an update on our recommendation that the Government implement an internal complaint system to receive complaints and feedback which was accepted is currently being reviewed, tested and near completion.
For the second year in a row, the Report section “Did You Know?” highlights information the Office has gathered about specific public services that are of particular relevance during pandemic.
The Annual Report 2020 also provides a commentary on fairness, which is the touchstone and work of an Ombudsman. In her message Ombudsman Pearman noted: “An Ombudsman office makes a promise to be accessible and responsive to address and resolve complaints that public services are not being administered properly or in a fair way. This also requires work to address fairness and other administrative matters. Where things have gone wrong, we carry out the work to have them put right.”
To read the full press release of the Bermuda Ombudsman as well as the Office’s Annual Report 2020, please see the PDF files available further down below.
Source: Office of the Ombudsman for Bermuda