October 22, 2020

Cayman Islands Port Authority find no sexual harassment and/or misconduct, against a senior member of its staff after investigation

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Press Release by the of the 12th July 2018

On 30 and 31 May 2018 there were certain online press reports of a complaint, including allegations of sexual harassment and/or misconduct, against a senior member of staff of the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (“the Authority”). The complaint was made by nine female employees of the Authority.

The Authority took the complaint very seriously and determined that it should be investigated independently. The Chief Officers of the Portfolio of Civil Service and District Administration, Tourism and Transport, along with the Chairman of the Authority, requested that an independent review be conducted concerning the complaint made.

The Cayman Islands’ Government Internal Audit Service (“”) completed the review of the complaint. The conclusion of the IAS review was that the complaint made lacked merit and was found to be unsubstantiated. It was also found that both the manner in which the complaint originated and the intent of the complaint were suspect.

However, the review did identify a subset of broader behavioral issues on the part of a wider selection of staff, which they recommended be addressed by the Authority. This broader subset of issues did not include sexual harassment.

As a result, all Authority staff will be undergoing awareness training for work place conduct. In addition, the Authority will be updating its policies and procedures, and training all staff on the Authority’s policy on workplace conduct and grievance procedures.

See below:

Internal Audit Report

PORT AUTHORITY OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

HUMAN RESOURCES REVIEW
Audit Reference 2018-SI5

JUNE 2018

SECTION I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. Introduction

1.1. The Chief Officers of the Portfolio of the Civil Service and District Administration, Tourism & Transport along with the Chairman of the Board for the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands () requested that an independent review be conducted concerning a complaint filed with the Deputy Director & Chief Human Resources Officer of PACI. The complaint, listing 21 references of misconduct and their effect, against a male senior member of staff at PACI dated May 11th, 2018 was signed by nine female employees of PACI.

1.2. The Internal Audit Service (IAS) has completed this review in relation to the following agreed objectives:
 To determine the validity of the complaint.
 To determine the extent to which the 21 issues apply to each of the complainants.
 To identify the events leading up to the filing of the complaint.

2. Audit Scope

2.1. The scope was limited to the complaint signed by nine staff members of PACI on the 11th May, 2018.

3. AuditLimitation

3.1. IAS did not encounter any limitations in the conduct of this review. All requested documents and interview requests were met in a timely manner. IAS would like to recognize the support and assistance provided to the investigators throughout the review.

4. Audit Methodology

4.1. IAS utilized a standard audit approach by undertaking the following steps during the review:

Interviews were held with all key stakeholders.
Individual statements were obtained by the nine signatories to the complaint.
A review of the human resources files of all affected parties was conducted.

5.Our Audit Conclusion

5.1. The IAS concludes, based on the work undertaken and the evidence reviewed, that:

The complaint in its original form lacks merit and is found to be unsubstantiated. The review did however yield a subset of legitimate behavioral issues which need to be addressed. This subset of issues does not constitute sexual harassment.
The manner in which the complaint originated and the intent of the complaint is suspect. This is in part due to a Freedom of Information Request inquiring about any incidences of sexual harassment issues at the Port being received the day prior to this complaint.
The lack of employee awareness regarding the manner in which to raise and communicate issues of a sensitive and personal nature coupled with management’s failure to address such issues have contributed to an unhealthy work environment.

5.2. In addition to our overall conclusion above which is intended to inform Management action, we have made a total of three recommendations to enhance the work environment.

Andy Bonner
Director, Internal Audit Service

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