The Annual Report 2019 presents the Ombudsman’s yearly update to the public on the work of her Office. In 2019 the Ombudsman’s Office handled 299 cases, including 214 new complaints, 49 new enquiries and 36 outstanding complaints that remained open as of 1st January 2019.
The Annual Report 2019 includes selected case summaries which give insight into the different ways in which we worked to help people resolve complaints brought to us. It provides commentaries on Corrections' complaint numbers, mental health awareness and considerations for apology legislation, as well as useful information about public authorities which may be of assistance to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also includes highlights from the 10th Biennial Caribbean Ombudsman Association Conference which was hosted by the Office last year. The Bermuda Declaration, a statement of principles for guidance to ombudsman in the region, was adopted at the Conference.
The Annual Report 2019 highlights some of the Office’s work during 2019 including ongoing systemic investigations:
- into delays in hearing applications by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which reportedly has been affecting the timeliness of victims of crimes receiving compensation;
- into the adequacy of the Government’s communication about public bus cancellations and delays;
- into senior abuse complaints.
The Ombudsman noted in her Message, “Ours is an office of last resort. We are here to assist when people are unsure where they can turn. During the period of compiling this report our island has been contending with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We along with people all over the world have had to adapt as best we can to this new reality we are currently living in. This pandemic has been a shock to the system. It has highlighted existing weaknesses and revealed additional vulnerabilities."
Source: Ombudsman for Bermuda