Minister: Ombudsman’s Report Is “Disturbing”

June 29, 2015

[Updated with video] Commenting on the recently released Ombudsman’s Annual Report, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said he finds the Report “disturbing,” and the two Departments did “absolutely nothing wrong and for the Ombudsman to portray anything other than that is utterly false and misleading.”

In releasing the report, the Ombudsman’s office said, “The Annual Report includes a special report regarding a complaint where the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Immigration failed to follow certain Ombudsman’s recommendations.”

The report said that in December 2013 a Bermudian professional lodged a complaint with their office against the Department and the Minister of Home Affairs, and detailed what happened following the complaint. You can read the full extract from the the Ombudsman’s report here.

Update: 22-minute video of the Minister’s full press conference

Speaking at a press briefing today, Minister Fahy said, “I am here to respond to the recently-released Annual Report [2014] from the Office of the Ombudsman. In particular, the two sections of her report which pertain to complaints made against the Department of Immigration and the Department of Planning respectively – both of which fall under my remit as Minister of Home Affairs.

“In a word I find the Report ‘disturbing’ to say the least. And I want to say from the outset that these two Departments did absolutely nothing wrong and for the Ombudsman to portray anything other than that is utterly false and misleading.”

Minister Fahy’s full statement follows below:

“I am here to respond to the recently-released Annual Report [2014] from the Office of the Ombudsman. In particular, the two sections of her report which pertain to complaints made against the Department of Immigration and the Department of Planning respectively – both of which fall under my remit as Minister of Home Affairs.

“In a word I find the Report ‘disturbing’ to say the least. And I want to say from the outset that these two Departments did absolutely nothing wrong and for the Ombudsman to portray anything other than that is utterly false and misleading.

“Now, let’s start with the Immigration matter…

“In her Annual Report the Ombudsman begins by saying: “Upon making a finding of maladministration, the Ombudsman can only recommend actions an authority should take to address the maladministration.” This point should be stressed: that neither I, as Minister, nor any Governmental body, are bound to accept her recommendations. So, in the following case, which I will outline for you now, we did not follow her recommendations as we did not feel it was correct to do so. This choice is entirely our prerogative.

“The Ombudsman says in her report that there was ‘maladministration’ on the part of the Department of Immigration. This is simply not correct.

“So, the issue itself: In December 2013 a Bermudian Professional lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman against the Department and the Minister of Home Affairs.

“In short, the grievance began when the Professional alleged she was never contacted by an Employer after she submitted her application for a job with them; over three months after submitting her application in late June 2013. Following enquires by the Professional the Professional was notified via email by the Chief Immigration Officer that a work permit had been approved for the post.

“Let’s make a few things clear:

“Prior to the work permit being approved by me the Department had sought clarity from the Employer’s agent on whether there were any Bermudian applicants for the post. The Agent for the Employer stated no Bermudians had applied and their written Declaration said the same.

“The Department suggested that the Professional contact the Employer to discuss what may have happened to her application. The Professional responded to the Department, providing evidence that she had submitted her application the day of the advertised deadline and that the application had been placed in the Employer’s designated mailbox.

“The Department conducted its own investigation into the matter and established that the Employer’s agent closed the mailbox one day prior to the deadline for receiving applications. The Department presented the facts of its investigation to me, as Minister. I decided not to revoke the work permit issued, as is in my right to do. This was in fact after I made direct contact with attorneys for the Employer seeking further information in respect of qualifications required for the post, whether any applications had been received and whether the Employer would consider the Professional’s qualifications as suitable for the post.

“Relevant notations were placed on the file by me. I made the determination that the post box was mistakenly closed by the Employer’s agent one day prior to expiry of the advertising deadline and that the Professional did not in my view have the requisite qualifications or experience to fulfill the role being sought by the Employer in any event.

“Whilst I disagreed with the recommendation of the compliance officers, I am entitled to do so and it is within my discretion. I stand by my decision 100%. However I also directed that the Employer be monitored by the Department in its hiring practices going forward more carefully, a comment I note that was included in the Ombudsman’s report – a comment that I made in writing on the Immigration file prior to the involvement of the Ombudsman.

“It would appear that the Ombudsman is upset that I did not provide reasons for my decision to the Professional in granting a work permit. Quite simply there are two reasons for this. Section 10[2] of the Immigration and Protection Act 1956, says that the Minister is not required to provide reasons for decisions made under this statute.

“Also it has never been the case that the Department would give reasons about the issuance or non-issuance of work permits to a business to an unrelated party. It would be a breach of confidentiality to do so. Further, as regards recommendations made to me by technical officers, such documents are not disclosed to anyone – not employers, employees or applicants…no one. They never have been.

“The Ombudsman says in her report “We have received no response from the Ministry to our findings and recommendations.” To say this is extremely disingenuous.

“The Department of Immigration, who speaks for the Ministry, has been engaged in frequent dialogue with the Ombudsman about her findings and recommendations. I concur with the Department’s views fully.

“So as not to spend any further amount of time laying out the details of correspondence and the Department’s views I have handed out the final letter sent to the Ombudsman by the Department prior to the report being released which lays out in detail the Department’s issues with the Ombudsman’s findings. In short the Department rightly refused to

  • provide a without prejudice apology to the Complainant [The Department's communications with the complainant were undertaken frequently and its responses were timely]; or
  • provide the reasons for making the decision not to revoke the work permit – for the reasons I have laid out above; or
  • review its file management system and instructing officers on appropriate diligence with respect to incoming complaints and in appropriate regard to ensure that complaints are captured and tracked. In short this is done already.

“In itemized fashion, the Department detailed the reasons why they could not undertake the above-referenced recommendations.

“Also in the Department’s letter dated September 11, 2014, they committed to address the following additional recommendations proposed by the Ombudsman:

  • look carefully at how the employer conducts itself after the work permit expires; – but again I had already given directions that this occur; and,
  • amend Advertising and Recruitment Criteria so that changes to closing dates or changes to application addresses would render the advertisement invalid. This was in fact a very good suggestion and was included in the Work Permit Policy as at 1st March 2015.

“The Department has addressed both these matters and they continue to monitor the actions of the Employer.

“On another note, I agree with my Chief Immigration Officer. I find it curious and odd that the Professional was directly copied in correspondence addressed to the Department from the Ombudsman. Immigration records show that for other investigations by the current and former Ombudsman at no time has a complainant been included in a letter with contents of findings and recommendations. Removing the opportunity for the Department to consider the Ombudsman’s findings and recommendations and provide feedback before she communicated information to the Professional is quite possibly maladministration by the Ombudsman, hence the comments to the Ombudsman by the Chief Immigration Officer in this regard – with which I agree.

“It is my feeling that the inclusion of the Professional in the letter to the Department was a tactical attempt to bind the Department to action the Ombudsman’s recommendations. Recommendations that were mostly rightly rejected.

“It is also odd that the Ombudsman would make personal remarks to my staff about me when the Ombudsman was invited to contact me by my Chief Immigration Officer – this is also detailed in the Chief Immigration Officer’s letter to the Ombudsman.

“I find it most unfortunate and extremely unprofessional that the Ombudsman has not accepted that maladministration occurred with her office.

“In conclusion, the Department did all that was required to ascertain with the Employer whether a Bermudian applied for the advertised position. Because of the fact that I had concerns with the issue I made direct enquiries of the Employer’s lawyers to obtain further information and made the determinations I did. I therefore disagree with the Ombudsman’s claim that the Department “is responsible for failing the Professional by not giving sufficient regard to the information she provided, not adequately addressing her complaint in a timely manner and not ensuring compliance with its policies.”

“In short the report is a farce and in fact relates to matters that happened over two years ago. Significant strides have been made in the Department since then, including a new Work Permit Policy and a Civil Penalty regime – with literally dozens of cases being investigated and dealt with by the Chief Immigration Officer and her team.

“The Department is one of the busiest in Bermuda and will not always get everything right – but I have confidence in my team and their abilities. The issues raised by the Ombudsman are not reflective of the actual working of the Department in any way and are again, rejected.

“Now, on to the Planning matter…
In her Annual Report the Ombudsman provided an update on her report ‘A Grave Error’ which was published over a year ago.

“By way of background, in October 2012 tombstones and part of the perimeter wall at the Marsden Methodist Memorial Cemetery at Tucker’s Point were demolished.

“The then Ombudsman was notified soon after the demolition occurred and investigated the actions that lead to the demolition. The findings were contained in here report ‘A Grave Error’.

“In that report, the then Ombudsman expressed concern regarding the Department of Planning’s failure to implement suggested recommendations, which she felt would have prevented the demolition of the grave site at Tucker’s Point, which is in the control of the Marsden First United Church.

“For clarity’s sake, and going back previous to this, in February 2012 The then Ombudsman issued the report Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Costs, which, among other items, recommended the Tucker’s Town Cemetery be listed as a Historic Building under section 30 of the Development and Planning Act 1974. The view was that this would provide “an extra layer of protection” for the cemetery.

“In fact – and this is where we disagree with the Ombudsman – the cemetery already had the necessary protection as a zoned Historic Protection Area designated as such under section 31 of the Planning Act

“Whether a Listed Building or a Historic Protection Area, there is the same requirement to obtain planning permission to carry out work, including demolition. That was not done in this case. There is no ‘extra layer of protection’ that results from designation as a Listed Building. Listed Buildings do qualify for the Ministry’s interest-free loan scheme and that is the only difference between a Listing Building and a structure with a Historic Protection Area zoning.

“Regardless, in April 2012 the Government’s response to Today’s Choices, Tomorrow’s Costs included a commitment to undertake a review of the Tucker’s Town Cemetery. It stated “On completion of the review the Minister would have the information to assist in making a decision on the recommendation to add Tucker’s Town Cemetery to the list.”

“Then in June 2013, the Historic Buildings Advisory Committee [HBAC] completed its review of the Cemetery and recommended to the then Minister that, as it did not meet the criteria for designation as a Grade 1, 2 or 3 Listed Building, the then Minister could, instead, consider a Grade HM [Historic Monument] listing.

“In August 2014 I began the listing process with a notice in the Official Gazette and in October 2014 the listing of the Cemetery as a Grade HM structure was completed.

“Regarding the damaging actions undertaken by others, which resulted in the destruction of the tombstones, the Department of Planning and the Ministry had no role in that at all.

“In her recent report the current Ombudsman says: “The negative impact on the Cemetery was not exclusively due to the inaction or ineffectiveness of the Government in this case, although the Ministry and the Department of Planning had a part in this for which they must account.”

“To this, I must be clear…there was absolutely no cause or connection between the task of reviewing the cemetery for possible listing and the devastating event that unfolded in October 2012, which involved the destruction of headstones and partial dismantling of the perimeter wall of the cemetery.

“That event was a separate damaging action on the part of others, at least one of whom was fully aware of the protective zoning of the site. Unfortunately, the zonings of a development plan cannot prevent poor judgment and bad behaviour on the part of those determined upon a particular course of action. For the Ombudsman to suggest otherwise is incorrect and gives a mistaken impression to the public. The Department of Planning did not participate in, and does not condone, those actions undertaken by the third parties.

“The ‘bad behaviour’ which led to the partial destruction of the Cemetery is very difficult to guard against. When someone with full knowledge of both the designated status of the Cemetery under the Bermuda Plan 2008 and, also, the requirement to obtain planning permission for any work done, nonetheless arranges for and uses heavy machinery to destroy tombstones, the Department is not at fault.

“Since the Grade HM listing was finalised, the Department has spoken with members of the Marsden Church, CURB and the Tucker’s Town Historical Society, and, in addition, members of HBAC have participated in a gathering regarding the Cemetery organised by the Ombudsman’s Office. To date, the Marsden Church has not decided how it wishes to proceed.

“The Ombudsman is of the opinion the Department of Planning should take the lead role in determining next steps for the Cemetery. Here, too, we disagree. It is inappropriate for the Department to take the lead role for two reasons.

“First, the Department is not the owner, occupier or offending party in this matter. The Department’s job was to ensure the Cemetery was zoned correctly, and it did this. As I stated just now, owners are responsible for knowing the zoning of their land and cannot claim ignorance of the law as a reason to be relieved of responsibility for the end result or for finding a solution for the end result.

“So, yes, the Department has a role to play in facilitating the pre-application and application process but it is for the Church to decide how it wants to rectify the situation and what form any memorial might take.

“Second, this is actually an enforcement matter because demolition work was carried out without planning permission. We are still waiting for further direction from the Marsden Church despite efforts by the Heritage Officer to encourage forward movement.

“Let me add, legal protections are in place to preserve Bermuda’s heritage but the responsibility for doing so lies with the owners of that built heritage.

“It is entirely unprofessional for the Ombudsman to insinuate that the Government feels that the commemoration of graves of the culturally rich and significant community of African descent is “unimportant”. That is totally incorrect. This Government marked the site as a Historical Monument precisely due to the significance of the site.

“It is my belief that the Department of Planning has been identified as the scapegoat. Why? Simply put the Ombudsman cannot look behind the decisions of Ministers and cannot investigate actions of private entities or persons – in this instance Marsden Church and Dr Edward Harris. For the sake of ease I also have handed out the Director of Planning’s final letter to the Ombudsman on this issue.

“The Marsden Methodist Memorial Cemetery marks a crucial point in Bermuda’s history and the actions which resulted in its partial destruction are inexcusable. The people whose lives the Cemetery honours deserve dignity, respect and a proper remembrance.

“The Department of Planning, through the Historic Buildings Advisory Committee and Heritage Officer, is ready to assist the Marsden First United Church and all stakeholders when that remembrance is decided upon.”

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  1. Kangoocar says:

    Thank you once again Min Fahy for laying out the REAL facts on these matters!!! I always thought the present ombudsman was a poor choice when one considers the political affiliation she has??? Once again the plp have run off half cocked with missinformation!!! When will the plp nonsense ever end??? I think the time has past that we stop wasting our time listening to a pathetic political party ( plp ) and start moving forward in righting the plp wrongs!!!!

    • Pretty sure she had that political affiliation prior to being given the position. That said the PLP can’t be blamed as they did not appoint her the OBA did.

      • Kangoocar says:

        Larry, again I repeat, she was a POOR choice and yes it was done under the OBA tenure!!! I only ever say it the way it is!!!!!

        • thetruth says:

          Fahy does not stand up for his own people. I can’t stand politics in Bermuda. The applicant applied before the deadline. However, the company closed the mailbox one day prior to the deadline. How does Fahy side with the employer on this one? He then gives a big speech about how he stands by his decision to protect the employer 100%. The company lied and closed their mailbox a day early. Doesn’t this story sound like a hoax? Not to mention, we already know that employers will write a 2 page Job Description and inflate the requirements.

          Why did we elect him as the minister again? He has tinkered with the work permit policy that is supposed to protect Bermudian jobs but has shown otherwise. Next, he outright disregards us in our face at a press conference for the whole island to see. He gives us all a huge slap in our face. Bermuda doesn’t make sense on a lot of issues but we cannot keep running this island in this fashion. This is a prime example of idiocy.

          We did not vote for a minister to disregard us like this.

          • hmmm says:

            He stood up for the Bermudian Immigration department folks, he stood up for the Bermudian planning department folks.

            It is clear you didn’t read the whole response.

          • Onion says:

            Because the applicant wasn’t qualified.

            • After thinking long and hard,(6/30/15 @ 10:00pm.)I’ve now come to the conclusion this individual “needs to step up to the mic” and prove she / they do indeed have all the required qualifications for the job…Until that is done, we will continue hearing untruths from many that have nothing to do with the matter at hand.
              If,(which he does) Minister M. Fahy has the power he’d displayed then it is time for the individual to expose themselves and where,(according to them) the O.B.A. Minister was / is wrong by not revoking the work permit.

              • thetruth says:

                The ombudsman could have denied the applicants request for representation. However, the ombudsman thought the complaint was worthy to be dealt with at the ministerial level.

                Raymond you are always blinded by your allegiance to the OBA government. Look at the scenario for what it is. Think about it without bias.

                You don’t always make sense with your observations. You have to start thinking properly..

                • Zevon says:

                  The applicant was not qualified.

                • @ thetruth: …”it is time for the individual to expose themselves and where,(according to them) the O.B.A. Minister was / is wrong by not revoking the work permit.”
                  What’s bias about that suggestion?

        • truthseeker says:

          yea, the only thing “poor” is that you think she is affiliated with the PLP righ
          smh

        • hmmm says:

          The PLP and the OBA agree on the post.
          I don’t know who suggests the person initially.

      • Spectator says:

        To be clear, the Ombudsman is appointed by the Governor, after consultation with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition.

    • Pattie says:

      More lies. The fact that the employers agent was allowed to close the email a day earlier, disadvantaged the applicant. Suppose all employers were allowed to do that. The minister needs not focuse on the Ombudsman, she is doing her job. He should do his and make sure that qualified Bermudians are not disadvantaged. All the monbo jumbo lengthy explanation means nothing when immigration rules are not followed and employers are not accountable.

      • This guy don’t have nothing for the Black Bermudian and his Surrogates are just as bad.

      • willSee says:

        How do you know she is qualified?

      • Hmmm says:

        E-mail? Placed in a mailbox.

      • Onion says:

        At the end of the day the person didn’t meet the qualifications. End of story.

        • hmmm says:

          People completely ignored this fact.

        • So the same people who lied to Immigration about the application also say the applicant wasn’t qualified anyway and you believe them?

          • serengeti says:

            Did you actually read the article?
            There isn’t any doubt that she didn’t meet the qualifications. The Ombudsman’s report even references it.

            • Oh the same article in which Fahy described the Ombudsman’s report as farcical and utterly misleading now becomes the Gospel.Now you cherry pick from that same report in order to try and make a point.Which is it?

              Amazing how everyone who supports Fahy read the article in its entirety but anyone with an opposing viewpoint didn’t read it at all.

              • Zevon says:

                No, Larry. The Ombudsman’s report also acknowledges that she did not meet the qualifications. The Ombudsman’s report, which presumably you take as the absolute gospel truth. Unless the Ombudsman is lying about it, the applicant did not meet the qualifications, Larry.

                I beleve that is what Serengeti meant when he/she asked if you had even read everything.. Obviously, doing that was too much trouble for you.

    • impressive. says:

      so why the constant reference to the PLP if one had knowledge that the PLP didnt appoint her?? Why do the PLP even have to come into this conversation? Can’t one set aside their hatred for even a few mintes and deal with what is going on and not what one wants people to believe is taking place.. Give a rest man..

  2. stunned... says:

    moral: don’t come for Fahy unless he sends for you…

    in other words: come correct!

  3. Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

    Now what?

  4. Terry says:

    Don’t even have to read anything.
    If Mr. Fahy says it is disturbing it is.
    The Ombudsman report is such.

    Print that.

  5. swing voter says:

    very convincing response to a very convincing report. What I find odd is that the question was asked and answered ‘NO LOCAL APPLICANTS RECEIVED” which was a lie. The employer looses credibility on this point 100%

    • TonyC says:

      If you applied for the position, I suspect your spelling would have ruled you out.

  6. hmmm says:

    All sounds reasonable to me.

    Please read the whole thing people…. or you’ll miss out.

  7. shirley Richardson says:

    NO MINISTER THE OMBUDSMAN’S REPORT IS NOT DISTURBING, IT’S YOUR RESPONSE THAT’S DISTURBING. THE MINISTER,SAID THE OMBUDSMAN’S REPORT WAS MIS-LEADING, IN OTHER WORDS HE’S SAYING THAT MS. PEARMAN IS LYING.

    VERY INTERESTING, IT WAS JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO,WHEN THE PREVIOUS OMBUDSMAN REVEALED HER REPORT ABOUT THE CORPORATION, I RECALL THE MINISTER SAYING THAT, THE REPORT WAS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN WAS THOROUGH AND ACCURATE,AND THAT THE PUBLIC SHOULD SHOW RESPECT FOR THE OFFICE. SO MINISTER WHERE’S YOUR RESPECT? ALL YOU ARE SHOWING IS CONTEMPT AND ARROGANCE.

    • Kangoocar says:

      No Shirley, all you are showing is your blind allegiance to a fellow strong plp supportre!!! When your plp first came to power they actually were good, but things changed didn’t they??? $1.5 billion in debt and huge unemployment to mostly the plp supporters?? And in this case things changed as well, at first this Ombudsman who I actually thought was a poor choice from the beginning because of her very well known support of the plp, stayed somewhat unbiased but now being she feels her job is safe is starting to show her real colours, GREEN!!!!!! She has now proven she can’t stay unbiased and needs to go!!!!!

      • johnny says:

        Kangoo car, you talking about blind allegiance. Didn’t i see you on all fours carrying Fahy around town on your back the other day, with a big OBA license plate hanging around your neck.

    • Jus Wonderin' says:

      You must be family lmfao….

    • jt says:

      CHECK YOUR CAPS LOCK.

    • Serious Though says:

      His answer is a pure politician answer.. they always give you their long winded story, “shelf cleaning mechanism” and then “shift”

      The question should be after approving the job to a foreigner did he ever try to help the Bermudian ??

      • Hmmm says:

        You didn’t read he whole thing. He is defending his Bermudian workers in immigration and in planning.

        The job was from 2 years ago.

        Shame on you.

    • Zevon says:

      An Ombudsman who lets her political bias impact her job is no good to anyone. We need someone cspable of acting impartially. There are plenty of people who could do it. The previous Ombudsman and the current Chief Justice show us how it can be done.

    • aceboy says:

      Where was your outrage at all the Auditor General reports under the PLP government????

  8. 32n64w says:

    Is it possible the Ombudsman’s personal political views have allowed her professional judgement to be compromised thereby rendering her incapable of being objective? If so, she should consider withdrawing the relevant sections of her report or resigning until she can assure the taxpayers of her necessary neutrality.

    Further, the PLP should take this as yet another teaching moment (of which there have been many) and desist from making knee jerk statements in the absence of all the facts. Their campaign of hollow rhetoric and disinformation is tiresome and does a disservice to the electorate.

    Their constant ‘shoot from the hip’ approach makes them look foolish and adds nothing to the national dialogue which is a shame as they play a vitally important role in ensuring accountability. Crying wolf only serves to diminish their effectiveness and dilute their message, which is bad for all Bermudians.

  9. Zevon says:

    Looks like Walton has egg on his face again.

    Can this Ombudsman perhaps be replaced with someone more professional?

  10. Unbelievable says:

    Another week and the OBA has had to correct somebody else on what actually is the truth.

    • shirley Richardson says:

      I guess for some people, white Ice is colder, It’s so obvious when certain people speak, It’s like God speaking,but when others speak who’s hue is different from Minister fahy, they are dumb and stupid, and it’s all about politics.

      It’s becoming more obvious everyday, race matters in Bermuda. In fact it’s clear that Bermudians are second class citizens in their own country. “SOUTH CAROLINA IS NOT THE ONLY PLACE WITH COLOR PROBLEMS”
      NOW I’LL WAIT FOR THE HATERS RESPONSE.

      • Kangoocar says:

        Thanks for not using caps this time but maybe I need to bring to your attention that YOU are the only one thus far that brought up race??? And when it comes to South Carolina, again total nonsense, you take one person that did a horrific thing, but somehow ignore just two weeks ago a black person somewhere near the west coast of the U.S. was trying to behead as many white people as he could!!! All under the cloak of the Muslim religion, any un racist thoughts you might have on that???

        • johnny says:

          Kangoocar, You probably think that the black guy is a terrorist and the white guy has mental problems.

        • JustAskin2 says:

          She is, however, very right.

      • Miranda Fountain says:

        SO narrow minded! Can’t believe you’re using terminology like “white ice”! Ugh

      • Unbelievable says:

        Shirley Richardson is the same woman who stood up in a town hall meeting and questioned Minister Fahy about this Bermudian status.

        You can’t even be a Minister of Government unless you ARE a Bermudian. Just goes to show how actually knows anything.

        • Hmmm says:

          She didn’t even read the whole response from Fahy. Her comments clearly show that.

        • shirley Richardson says:

          Hey, you are unbelievable It’s obvious from you statement you
          think certain people all look alike, you can call me Shaggy because it wasn’t me. What town hall meeting? I don’t care where Minister Fahy comes from, The fact is he has dis-respected the ombudsman, and her office.

          Not only did he show contempt for her, he also showed a lack of consideration for the professional, who applied for the position. Oh! if you’re so convinced you know me, then how about using your real name, then maybe we can have a conversation.

          I knew it would be just a matter of time, before the haters responded to my comments.

          • hmmm says:

            Only one hater here, and it is YOU Shirley Richardson.

          • Unbelievable says:

            You mean like when the PLP disrespected the Auditor General way back with tons of false claims? Come on, Shirley even you can’t defend that.

            The Minister did not disrespect the Ombudsman. It’s his prerogetive to go against her findings. Where do you get your reasoning from? Sheesh!

      • Zevon says:

        It’s about the truth shirl. Unfortunately the truth makes the Ombudsman look like an unprofessional liar.
        Oh dear. The PLP caught again in a lie.

      • The Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

        Shirley Richardson get off of here,no one wants to read your garbage!

      • Bermy by Birth says:

        For the record Shirley….Bermudians by birth are many different races. My family came to Bermuda in the mid 1600′s and have been here ever since….and we are caucasian!! These race generalizations are not only incorrect, but highly disrespectful to those of us who earned the right to be called Bermudian BY BIRTH!!

        • I believe it’s time to make a report, (via a real honest survey) of all Bermudians. Them who are of different backgrounds and skin tones and prove to them that may have “tunnel vision” that it’s not only “black” or “white” who are real Bermudians. What about all who are of mixed marriages; what are they called other than mulatto?
          It’s time to get off of that ignorance and on with being what we are, or as said in the U.S.A. “one people under one flag.” For far too long the “race card” has obstructed progress for all Bermudians :-(
          It is time for us to view life as a driver of a motor vehicle does, they will view the roadway through the windscreen allowing the individual/s to see clearly what is ahead of them. Yet there is also a mirror for the driver to look into from time to time to see where they’ve been.
          Bottom-line, we can never make any progress by constantly looking into the rearview mirror…

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    Another cover up from the minister of foreign employment procurement. It has been clear for some time now; the only way Bermudians will be able to liberate our country is to get rid of this government and it’s anti-Bermudian policies.

    • hmmm says:

      We did, we voted out the PLP.

    • Anbu says:

      Nothing wrong with foreign employment alvin it stimulates the economy. But as usual we bermudians r too stupid to understand that. Some things will never change. Would rather have an unqualified local in the position instead of someone who can actually do the job. Typical

    • Sickofantz says:

      I have long struggled with how to make Bermudians stand together and get over this whole ridiculous colour of skin thing. I have decided the only way is independance! Are you with me Alvin? Let’s make an equal country of many colours that is truly free.

  12. Terry says:

    “Unbelievable”.
    Yes it is.
    Were gonna need a bigger fan.

  13. scorpio says:

    So in this version of the story, the professional missed the application deadline by a day. So from that, we can infer that no other Bermudian applied within the deadline? Because the statement ‘no Bermudian applied’ is still out there.

    • johnny says:

      The Bermudian didn’t miss the application deadline by a day. The employer illegally changed the deadline date without telling anyone. And then didn’t tell anyone about the application that was received by the original deadline date.

      • Bermy by Birth says:

        So, the error is on the EMPLOYER, not the Minister or the Department…period!

      • JustAskin2 says:

        And, judging from Fahy’s response, the employer is going to get away with it. Which will empower other biased employers to do the same thing.

  14. LaVerne Furbert says:

    I’m just wondering how the posters know which political party the former Ombudsman voted for.

    • Kangoocar says:

      Laverne, are you really serious with that comment??? No wonder the workers voice cannot be taken seriously???

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Yes, I’m serious. Do you know which way the former Ombudsman voted? Did she vote for the PLP or the OBA in the last election? Please enlighten me.

      • impressive. says:

        That was childish, and neither was it necessary.. If someone in their capacity raises concerns, why do the reason for their concerns always have to be tied to political matters. Maybe she was jst raising concerns in the carrying ot of her role.

    • 32n64w says:

      Where have posters indicated they “know which political party the former Ombudsman voted for” unlike the current Ombudsman who was appointed as a PLP Senator in 2001?

      What’s your point Mrs. Furbert, unless you agree Ms. Pearman’s political bias may taint her professionalism?

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        I do believe the Minister’s political bias continues to taint his professionalism.

        • serengeti says:

          The minister is a political appointment. He does represent a political party. The Ombudsman, on the other hand, is supposed to be impartial. She isn’t.

          She is not supposed to participate in a set-up. She is not supposed to ‘copy-in’ a member of the public in communications to the minister or the department of immigration. She is not supposed to select and present facts in a way which is designed to help her old friends in the PLP.

          If she can’t be impartial, she is no good as an Ombudsman.

        • Anbu says:

          And the plp supporters “political bias” doesnt?

        • Unbelievable says:

          Of course he has bias. Just like any Govt Minister, OBA or PLP, has bias. Stop stirring.

    • Zevon says:

      She was a PLP senator. She wasn’t one of those people that tried to be an MP and got 9 votes, LaVerne.

  15. I want to thank you Minister Michael Fahy for you’ve demonstrated, (once again) the Opposition couldn’t and shouldn’t be trusted under no circumstances! The P.L.P. were the Government of the day when the Tuckers Pt. Golf Club driving range had been approved…It’s a fact. So please “u’lot” (P.L.P) cease attempting to mislead the people with your rhetoric.
    As for the other matter, the one concerning immigration. I quote:“In short, the grievance began when the Professional alleged she was never contacted by an Employer after she submitted her application for a job with them; over three months after submitting her application in late June 2013. Following enquires by the Professional the Professional was notified via email by the Chief Immigration Officer that a work permit had been approved for the post.”
    (Now, to conclude this issue.)“The Department conducted its own investigation into the matter and established that the Employer’s agent closed the mailbox one day prior to the deadline for receiving applications. The Department presented the facts of its investigation to me, as the Minister. I decided not to revoke the work permit issued, as is in my right to do. This was in fact after I made direct contact with attorneys for the Employer seeking further information in respect of qualifications required for the post, whether any applications had been received and whether the Employer would consider the Professional’s qualifications as suitable for the post. Relevant notations were placed on the file by me. I made the determination that the post box was mistakenly closed by the Employer’s agent one day prior to expiry of the advertising deadline and that the Professional did not in my view have the requisite qualifications or experience to fulfill the role being sought by the Employer…Whilst I disagreed with the recommendation of the compliance officers, I am entitled to do so and it is within my discretion. I stand by my decision 100%.”
    End of conversation.

    • There are many that disagree or don’t like me, nor do they like the Minister, Michael Fahy but that doesn’t change the facts…Sad yes, but true :-(
      By the way, take time to read the latest article written by Mr. Larry Burchall in todays Bernews and just maybe your eyes will open to the truths

  16. Terry says:

    Let it go Raymond.
    The demise is about to happen.
    Shalom.

  17. Just keep it real already... says:

    The government and the dept of immigration have no intention of ever dictating to international business who they should hire, even in the case of a qualified Bermudian, applying for a position well in advance of the scheduled application deadline. If such a Bermudian is competing against a work permit renewal the odds are already against them being hired. I almost can’t fault the International company; it’s a business decision, in most cases, rather than an unfounded bias in favor of Foreigners. I blame the government for not being straight up with Us.

    • Scorpio says:

      If a Bermudian happens to be qualified for a position but loses out to a similarly qualified foreigner, then how does it then become a business decision? Its more expensive and time-consuming to go through the work permit process. I think we don’t want to admit that there is an inherit bias, and that anyone who dare speak against it is labelled xenophobic. Well, if the interests of my people are more important than catering to the whims of IB and their oft-subjective hiring practices, then I’m guilty as charged.

      You are correct that Government will never dictate to IB, as has been demonstrated they’ll simply take their ball and go home. Unfortunately, IB drives 80 percent of our economy and so there will continue to be a wide chasm that most Bermudians will never cross, even those qualified to do so.

    • frank says:

      bermuda could learn a lot from the islands to our south
      they put their people first.

  18. had enough says:

    it is a good thing that most writers on this thread do not represent most of the prudent voters in bermuda.
    Nothing in this world is perfect – machines, people, the previous gov’t and especially the current gov’t
    FOOLS

    • Hmmm says:

      You didn’t read the whole reponse, or you would not be commenting with that.

  19. Ask questions says:

    This situation has PATI written all over it. Particularly when we are looking to name and shame employers who are delinquent on Health Insurance coverage for employees. I find the failure to name either the employer or the agent as a contrary to the principles of PATI and the transparency that the OBA sort prior to November 2012.

    • TonyC says:

      The problem with PATI is that you have to disclose your name when you make a request, to ensure that it is a resident making such a request. The obvious danger then is that your name is one person away from being advertised. This is why PATI will never be a success.

    • Starting Point says:

      How can you name and shame an employee who was not at fault? How about we name the employee who applied for a job she was not qualified for and then collaborates with an ombudsman to use this for a political gain…?

    • serengeti says:

      Can we find out the name and qualifications of this ‘professional’ who wrote to the dept immigration, then later applied for the job on the last possible day, then waited 3 months?
      Can we get a copy of all her email exchanges with the Ombudsman?

  20. Vote for Me says:

    All
    Sometimes we get lost in the volume of words.

    The key point is that notwithstanding the employer violation of the Immigration recruitment policy, Minster Fahy has determined that the applicant, based on experience and qualification is not suitable for the job!!

    Such a conclusion is entirely inappropriate. He cannot not possibly prejudge the decision of the interviewing panel.

    sometime

    • stunned... says:

      is it conceivable that the wide disparity between the Professional’s skillset and the Employer’s requirements was sufficiently evident to the ordinary man- a competent rational person?

      moreover,you may wish to re-read the following section of the above story:

      “The Department conducted its own investigation into the matter and established that the Employer’s agent closed the mailbox one day prior to the deadline for receiving applications. The Department presented the facts of its investigation to me, as Minister. I decided not to revoke the work permit issued, as is in my right to do. This was in fact after I made direct contact with attorneys for the Employer seeking further information in respect of qualifications required for the post, whether any applications had been received and whether the Employer would consider the Professional’s qualifications as suitable for the post.

      “Relevant notations were placed on the file by me. I made the determination that the post box was mistakenly closed by the Employer’s agent one day prior to expiry of the advertising deadline and that the Professional did not in my view have the requisite qualifications or experience to fulfill the role being sought by the Employer in any event…”

      • scorpio says:

        How did Fahy arrive at the conclusion that the premature deadline closeoff was a mistake? At the very least the employer should have been made to readvertise under those circumstances and adhere to the date. Also, whatever happened to the ‘must be advertised three times’ policy before a work permit can be granted? Is that no longer in play?

        • stunned... says:

          keeping it simple: when in charge, take charge. that is what Minister Fahy seems to be doing. now can we move on please.

  21. sizzle and steak says:

    Kangagocar….. clearly is a paid OBA blogger…..and or the OBA’s payroll based spindoctor!

    • impressive. says:

      I don’t think anyone is paying him. He clearly is someone who has a great deal of hate in him, and attempts to display it in political terms.. One person alone can’t have that mch bias in their body..

  22. clearasmud says:

    I find the Ministers response to be most disturbing because even if he disagrees with the report he has to show respect for the office if he expects the public to do respect it.

  23. huh? says:

    Once again, pure arrogance on the part of Minister Fahy.

    1) he admits he did not agree with the recommendations of the compliance officers in his Department
    2) he agrees that the company said that “no Bermudian applied” even though the company received the Professional’s application on the date that the advertisement said the applications closed
    3) he states that he “doesn’t have to give reasons for his decisions”

    And then he criticizes and demeans the Ombudsman!! Oh my goodness, such craziness. Obviously a lot of people who have commented here have never needed an Ombudsman. It’s such a critical role that gives us some recourse when a Government department has not done it’s job – we desperately need that.

    I think Minister Fahy’s attack on the Ombudsman was appalling. And the people on here who talked about the PLP as if somehow they can be blamed for this too…all I can say is WOW! #shakingmyhead

  24. jtv says:

    Fahy and Burch have a few things in common. Admit it.

  25. truthseeker says:

    I wonder if Paradise is taking bets on who wins the next election when it comes…
    Its becoming hilarious!!
    I work at an exempt company and even the foreigners are asking what Fahy has against Bermudians after meeting with him….

    • jtv says:

      Interesting. The Bermudians and foreigners that I know who work in IB tell a very different story.

    • hmmm says:

      If you did, you wouldn’t call it an exempt company.

  26. Dennis Williams says:

    What’s disturbing is that a Senator who is appointed and not elected can be a Government Minister. This should be unconstitutional.

    • jtv says:

      Suddenly.

      But I don’t disagree.

    • serengeti says:

      It isn’t unusual. Ask Burch.

      • serengeti says:

        And, ask the current Ombudsman. She might give you her personal experience of what you’re complaining about.

      • Dennis Williams says:

        ..didn’t like it then either

  27. OnionPatchDweller says:

    So a party knowingly destroys a Historical Monument and their is no penalty? The Department of Planning simply sits and waits while Marsden First United Church twiddles their thumbs trying to decide how to repair the damage they caused.
    It seems as if the Department of Planning has no teeth! I understand that the Ministry and Department cannot prevent these violations but once they occur I think there should be a penalty particularly if the party knowingly commits the violation.

  28. Senior says:

    So sick and tired of this arrogant man!

    • Onion says:

      Damn him for actually telling the truth and the whole truth!

    • @ Senior: “Arrogant”. tell me, who was / is more arrogant than the former Premier, Dr. Ewart Brown and his ace boy, “The Col.” to name but 2?
      As I’d mention further back, if the individual has proof than expose it…even if they must expose themselves.