Mrs. Sheila Brathwaite has been appointed to the post of Complaints Commissioner for one year effective July 1.
The Complaints Commissioner, often called the Ombudsman, offers to the public a channel for raising complaints about maladministration in the public service and statutory bodies. It provides a mechanism to investigate complaints thoroughly and independently and offers an unparalleled ability to get to the heart of any shortcomings within the public sector.
Mrs. Brathwaite has had a long and successful career of almost 30 years with the Government of the Virgin Islands and served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and the Ministry of Health and Social Development. She retired from the Public Service in 2010.
Ms. Brathwaite has represented the Government at seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the Caribbean and in North and Central America, London, Geneva, Gibraltar and Kenya.
She is the author of two published books titled, ‘A Timely Journey of Faith’ and ‘Voices of Women”. She has also served as a lecturer for the University of the West Indies Certificate of Public Administration Programme and coordinated classes for the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Mrs Brathwaite holds an executive diploma in Strategic Management from the Chartered Management Institute in the United Kingdom, a Master’s in Business Administration and a Certificate in Global Leadership from the University of the Virgin Islands. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Certificate of Public Administration from the University of the West Indies.
His Excellency the Governor, John S. Duncan, OBE, approved the appointment of Mrs. Brathwaite in consultation with the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE.
The Complaints Commissioner is responsible for reporting on the complaints that have been considered, including a summary of how they have been resolved, the Commissioner’s findings and the recommendations made. She will also appoint mediators where necessary to help resolve disputes; promote public awareness of the role of the Complaints Commissioner and encourage all public officers and public authorities to respond constructively and helpfully to complaints made directly to them as outlined by the Complaints Commissioner Act of 2003.
Mrs. Brathwaite succeeds Mr. Elton Georges, the Territory’s first Complaints Commissioner, who will proceed on leave on July 1, having served in the position for the past six years.