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New Parliamentary Commissioner to continue work of Office Sensitization

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, August 25, 2003 - Newly appointed Parliamentary Commissioner Madison Stanislaus has expressed his gratitude over the announcement of his appointment and has vowed to continue along the lines of the former Commissioner, the late Mr. Selwyn Vincent, in bringing greater recognition to the functions of the office.

In his first interview following the announcement earlier this month, Stanislaus told the Government Information Service, “I’m indeed very happy to have been chosen to head this office and indeed grateful for the confidence that the Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy has placed in me.”

The new Parliamentary Commissioner, who will undertake a three year stint commencing September 1, 2003, said he thought the office was quite relevant in today’s society. “Since the very nature of the word ombudsman can literally be translated as the agent or representative of the people, it is a very important position. One that I think is quite relevant now especially in light of human rights issues being high on the agenda.”

That recognition however he explained, has not blinded his mind to the realties of today’s society and the fact that some of his predecessors were troubled over the apparent lack of teeth or power of the ombudsman to effect change on the part of the populace. “This is definitely one of the short comings of the position. Without the appropriate executive powers one becomes like a toothless bulldog lacking the power to put certain things right. However now that the office has increasingly taken on added responsibilities and having expanded its jurisdiction to deal with a broader range of issues like human rights, training, management and institutional development, the sky seems to be the limit. I think with the office being an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, it will deal quite a lot with mediation and conciliation so as to deal adequately with complaints and grievances. I certainly think that I can accomplish a great deal of work however it boils down to the office in the end having some teeth, this must be addressed somehow,” Stanislaus said.

The new ombudsman will take up his three-year assignment after the oath of office has been administered.

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