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Sunday, 16 February 2014

The need for an impartial method of dealing with complaints from the Public about their Servants

A better logo for the Social Security Department?
1) I personally have refused to pay Social Security for many years now. Assuming for one moment that it is in fact a savings scheme and not a tax, I am 42 years old and they have told me that the pot will be empty by 2030 when I will be 58. So why pay in when you will get nothing out? It seems much more sensible to make your own provisions for old age rather than pay in to an investment which will see no return on. I can hardly claim I was an innocent victim of a Ponzi Fraud which social security has all but one of the elements of, when they have advised me in advance that I am unlikely to see a return on my investment.

2) I refuse to employ people as 'employment' is defined under the social security and employment laws - any contractual relationship I have is a contract for services where I am the customer rather than a contract of service where anyone is compelled to do as I say or pay anything to the government. This is a much more beneficial arrangement for all concerned as they may choose to have their own private insurance which is both cheaper and pays out better than social security in the unlikely event of illness or not as they prefer as individuals accepting responsibilty for themselves. Only a fool would enter into a contract of employment as an employer, such is the state of the regulatory environment facing us these days.

(I understand that many looking for work will not feel comfortable with this, but it is the truth of the matter and it seems likely it is only going to get worse if you keep electing the same people to make the decisions).

My concern is that this week an officer of the Social Security department entered my premises, I asked her to leave as she had no right to be on my premises, but she claimed she had a right under Article 35 of the Social Security Law (this right depends on her having a reasonable suspicion that it is a place of employment and so is not valid in my case as it is a matter of Public Record that I do not enter into employment contracts as an employer). The accusation therefore is that I had lied to the department on the phone 30 mins earlier when they had phoned to ask if I was employing anyone.

After refusing to leave several times she finally did although she left with a 'we are going to prosecute you'. Such an action is not within the powers of the Social Security department, that power is reserved solely for the Attorney General. The only reason I can adduce for her making this statement was to attempt to intimidate me.

So having been threatened (albeit an empty threat) and called a liar, and by one of my own Servants, I made my complaint to the Minister who advised he would have her line manager look into the matter. Does it strike anyone else that this is hardly likely to lead to a fair and impartial hearing of the matter? Can this really be consistent with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights?

Dissatisfied I wrote to the States Greffier and the Attorney General to discover what mechanism was in place for dealing with complaints from Members of the General Public about misconduct by Servants of the Public in the course of their duties. I was surprised to discover that there is none that does not involve a manager of the person (the ultimate responsibility lying with the head of the departments) who thus shares in the culpability for not having properly ensured that the person knew the limits of their authority and that their overriding responsibilty is at all times to treat Members of the Public, who after all are their employers, with due respect.

Until there is some way of removing these officers from active duty, at least until they receive the proper training in their responsibilities, powers and duties, I am gravely concerned that nothing will ever improve and that the department will continue to use threats, half-truths. These may not work on people such as myself but I am concerned that others may be intimidated and threatened into accepting offers from the Social Security department which lead to them either receiving less than the law stipulates or paying more than they need pay over to the government, who in all likelihood will simply waste it.

I am now left with the option to bring a Civil claim against the indvidual, on the grounds that as she was not acting within her statutory authority she cannot enjoy the vicarious liability of the Minister, or waste my time whilst the department makes excuses for its failures.

Is it right that we should accept sub-standard service from our servants when we are compelled under threat of imprisonment or financial penalty to use these sub-standard services?

We need to find a way of readily identifying and removing from Service those Servants who are not serving the Public as they should.