Q:WHAT IS THE CSAC?

The Civil Service Appeals Commission (the CSAC) consists of a Chairman and not less than four or more than six other members, appointed by the Governor acting in her discretion. No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Civil Service Appeals Commission if he/she is a civil servant or if he/she is or has been within the preceding three years -

  • An elected member of the Legislative Assembly; or
  • The holder of any office in any political party.

The sole purpose of the CSAC is to consider, and decide upon, appeals from civil servants about personnel-related decisions of the Head of the Civil Service, Official Members and Chief Officers of civil service entities (in accordance with sections 33, 34 and 54 of the Public Service Management Law). As such the CSAC is purely an appellate body.

The CSAC has all the powers of the Grand Court. In the performance of its functions under the PSML, the CSAC is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. It has no authority to be involved in civil service matters other than in relation to hearing appeals. Similarly it has no advisory role or authority to make public comments. The Commission may only undertake investigations or inquiries in relation to appeals.

An appeal is a request to the CSAC to review a personnel-related decision in which the Appointing Officer acted in an unfair or biased manner; or the processes and procedures specified in the Law or Regulations for that type of decision were not followed; or the substantive requirements of the Law or Regulations were not complied with. Before accepting an appeal, the CSAC will satisfy itself that the appeal falls within its jurisdiction and that it provides clear and sufficient evidence to satisfy the requirements of the PSML.

Under the PSML, only civil servants (i.e. existing employees of government) can lodge an appeal with the Commission. This means that the following are not eligible to lodge an appeal to the Commission:

  • persons who are not civil servants, and who have unsuccessfully applied for a position as a civil servant;
  • employees of statutory authorities and government companies as they are not civil servants (and are therefore not covered by the Commission appeals process);
  • Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Officers as their employment conditions are otherwise governed within the remit of the Police Law; and
  • Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Officers relating to any disciplinary matter as this employment condition is governed within the remit of the Prisons Law and the Prison (Discipline) Regulations.

In all cases, appeals lodged with the Commission by civil servants or staff members must be against a decision of a Chief Officer, per s.54 of the PSML. The PSML makes provisions for civil servants or staff members to seek to remedy a situation prior to filing an appeal with the Commission. These provisions are engrained in s.53(1) and s.53(2) of the PSML.

 

Basis for Appeals (lodged under s.54)

A staff member or civil servant may appeal about any decision of a Chief Officer made under Part VII of the PSML, other than a decision made under s.45 or s.46 , including a decision on an appeal made under s.53  of the PSML. Such decisions include:

  • Appointment decisions (including transfers, promotions and reappointments);
  • Remuneration decisions;
  • Terms and conditions decisions;
  • Performance assessment ratings and comments;
  • Performance remuneration decisions (after such date as the Cabinet may by Order specify);
  • Disciplinary decisions;
  • Dismissal decisions;
  • Early retirement on medical grounds decisions;
  • Retirement to improve the organisation decisions; and
  • Other termination of employment decisions.

Important Information for Appeals (lodged under s.54)

  • Only existing employees of government can appeal.

Appeals may be made by any civil servant who applied for the position of chief officer (under s.33); or by any chief officer about personnel related decision of the Head of the Civil Service or the Official Member (under s.34).

 

Basis for Appeals (lodged under s.33)

A civil servant who has applied for the position of Chief Officer of a Ministry or a Portfolio may appeal against an appointment decision made by the Head of the Civil Service.

Important Information for Appeals (lodged under s.33)

The Commission does not have final determination authority in relation to these appeals; but instead makes a recommendation to the Governor who is then responsible for making the final decision as she/he sees fit.

 

Basis for Appeals (lodged under s.34)

A Chief Officer of a Ministry or a Portfolio may appeal against a personnel related decision made in accordance with s.28, s.29, s. 31 or s.32 by the Head of the Civil Service or an Official Member, as the case may be. Such decisions include:

  • Remuneration decisions;
  • Dismissal decisions;
  • Early retirement on medical grounds decisions;
  • Retirement to improve the organisation decisions;
  • Performance assessment ratings and comments; and
  • Performance remuneration decisions (when applicable).

Important Information for Appeals (lodged under s.34)

  • Chief Officers appointed by the Governor (i.e. the Auditor General, the Cabinet Secretary, etc.) are not eligible to appeal his/her decisions to the Commission.
  • The Commission does not have final determination authority in relation to these appeals; but instead makes a recommendation to the Governor who is then responsible for making the final decision as he/she sees fit.

In accordance with the PSML, appeals to the CSAC must be lodged within 30 calendar days of the Head of the Civil Service, Official Member, or Chief Officer’s decision that is being appealed.

An appeal must be in writing and be signed by the appellant.  It must contain the following information:

  • the appellant’s basic contact information (i.e. physical and mailing addresses, daytime telephone number, e-mail, etc.);
  • the decision that is being appealed (including a copy of that decision);
  • the grounds for appeal including the provisions of the PSML or Regulations that the appellant considers/claims were not complied with; (NB: individuals who are not familiar with the PSML or Regulations, may need assistance from their representative at this point);
  • evidence to support your case including but not limited to:
    -   emails that  help support your  appeal argument;
    -    letters that  help support  your appeal argument;
    -    authorized audio and video recordings that help support your appeal argument;
    -   notarised written statements from other staff members or persons who can help support your case; and/or
    -   medical certificates, leave request forms, court records, certifications etc. should  also be provided when relevant to the appeal.
  • the action the appellant would like the Commission to take if his/her appeal is successful.

In accordance with s.33(3) or s.34(2) of the PSML, the Commission will make a recommendation to the Governor within 30 calendar days of either the consideration of all submissions or of the Hearing, whichever is applicable. The Governor is then responsible for making the final decision as he/she sees fit.

In accordance with s.54(3) of the PSML, the Commission will render a decision in writing to both parties within 30 calendar days of either the consideration of all submissions or of the Hearing, whichever is applicable.  

The PSML and Personnel Regulations draw a distinction between appeals and grievances.

Grievances are defined in Personnel Regulation 51(2) as concerns of a staff member relating to workplace conditions or safety, the behaviour of another staff member in the workplace, or compliance of other staff members with the Public Servant’s Code of Conduct. That Regulation also makes it clear that a grievance is not a matter which is the subject of the appeal process.

In other words the grounds for a grievance are different from the grounds for an appeal.    Grievances, and a chief officer’s response to a grievance, cannot be appealed to Commission and fall outside the Commission’s jurisdiction. 

The responsibility for preparing and submitting an Appeal rests with the appellant.   However, an appellant may seek assistance from a family member, friend, lawyer, CICSA representative or other person when preparing the Appeal submission.

In order to maintain their neutrality and independence, the Commission members and staff of the Commission Secretariat are not to assist an appellant in preparing appeal documents.  

The CSAC has created comprehensive guidance notes for lodging an appeal which includes a flow chart of the appeals process. These guidance notes are available on our website or at our office.

  • Website: www.civilserviceappealscommission.ky
  • E-mail: info@gov.ky
  • Telephone: 244-3685
  • Fax: 945-8649
  • Mailing address: P.O. Box 391 Grand Cayman KY1-1106
  • Physical Address: 2nd Floor, Artemis house, 67 Fort Street, George Town, Grand Cayman