Annual Report 2022 Presentation

Annual Report 2022 Presentation

In line with Paragraph 6 (6) of the Schedule 5 of the Constitution, which requires the Office of the ombudsman to make a general Annual Report on the exercise of the Ombudsman’s functions during the previous year. The Ombudsman of the republic of Seychelles, Honorable Nichole Tirant-Gherardi presented her annual report for the year 2022 to H.E Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the republic of Seychelles as well as the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honorable Roger Mancienne.

Message from the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman – Righting Wrongs

A review of 2022 reveals much of the same issues identified in previous years since I started this journey in March 2017. While there have been many changes, significant and less significant, in the years in between, the one constant has been the persistent lack of understanding and appreciation of the role of the Ombudsman within our democracy.

Keeping the Office in the line of vision of citizens who may need its services and public officers who understand the value it adds to our modern democracy has remained an uphill battle. Informing and educating everyone on the Ombudsman’s ability and ambition to right the wrongs suffered by citizens at the hands of public service providers has often seemed like a lost cause. The 2022 statistics indicate, yet again, that much work remains to be done on all fronts.

Despite the setbacks, I push ahead for ‘a fair, open, accountable and effective public service’ and remain focused on our mission of promoting a transparent and accountable public service delivery, firmly based on the foundation stones of good governance.

Most people recognize the distinct roles of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary in our constitutional democracy. We appreciate how the checks and balances they maintain upon each other ensure that they operate independently. However, we sometimes fail to appreciate that the doctrine of separation of powers does not, of itself guarantee transparent, accountable and fair governance.

Public services are delivered to citizens and non-citizens, not by politicians or judges but by battalions of public officers operating within their respective ministries, departments, agencies and authorities. These public officers are not constrained by political commitments or by judicial considerations or rules. However, they are expected to deliver those public services in an open, transparent, fair and accountable manner. They are required to remain customer-focused and act fairly and proportionately, and, should things go wrong in their service delivery, they are expected to put them right as quickly and effectively as possible.

When the bad action or wrongful decision of the public officer impacts the citizen and the public authority does nothing to right the wrong, the citizen has several avenues from which to choose. Going to court is one option – often the sledgehammer to crack the nut. It is costly, time consuming and offers no guarantee of results. A second option to the citizen is to play the political card and complain directly to the minister or president. This choice opens up other considerations and criticisms.

Our Third Republic offered a soft power alternative by attributing a special supervisory role to the Ombudsman – an independent, apolitical and impartial fourth arm of the State operating above politics and judicial constraints.

This administrative watchdog looks at the complaint through ‘human’ eyes to identify and fix the problem. The Ombudsman ultimately builds trust in the State by enquiring into administrative actions of public officers who are alleged to have violated fundamental rights, acted contrary to law, made unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or discriminatory decisions or based their decisions and actions on mistake of facts or a wrongful assessment of facts.

Although my investigative powers are vast – the same as those of a Supreme Court judge – mine is an ‘informal’ extra-judicial function. My findings and recommendations are set out in my investigation reports and are designed to pinpoint the administrative weakness or malpractice unearthed in the investigation and offer a soft remedy. They serve to right the wrong. The success of this soft power alternative depends on an admission that the public service provider was wrong and a conscious decision that it needs to and will right that wrong.

Denying liability, seeking legal advice and raising legal concepts to reject my recommendations may avoid the issue altogether. But in the final analysis, not admitting to having done wrong impedes the work of this Office with the soft power. It ultimately leaves the disgruntled public with trust issues against the State allowing the values of fair, open and transparent governance to continue evading our public service. The wrongs they cause will never be put right and governance will never be qualified as ‘good’.

Nichole Tirant-Gherardi


31st January 2023

The Head of State receives the Annual Report of the Ombudsman

The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan formally received the Annual Report of the Ombudsman for the year ending 31st December 2022 presented personally by the Ombudsman, Mrs. Nichole Tirant-Gherardi.

During the meeting the Ombudsman briefed the Head of State on how her office has operated last year, the challenges encountered such as staffing,  sensitizing the public of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman and what it does, and how the Government can help facilitate the work of her office. 

The President conveyed his sincere appreciation to Mrs. Tirant-Gherardi for her hard work and commitment and reaffirmed the government’s continuous support in the important work that her office does.

H.E Wavel Ramkalawan – President of the Republic of Seychelles and Hon Nichole Tirant-Gherardi – Ombudsman

The Ombudsman Presents the Annual Report 2022 to the Speaker

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Roger Mancienne met with the Ombudsman Hon. Nichole Tirant-Gherardi on the morning of Thursday 30th March 2023.

Hon Roger Mancienne – speaker of the National assembly and Hon Nichole Tirant-Gherardi – Ombudsman

The Ombudsman conveyed that this report includes details on the exercise of the Ombudsman’s functions in 2022, as well as recommendations from the Ombudsman’s Office. Discussions during the meeting were focused on the activities of the last year in relation to matters concerning cooperation and good governance. Hon. Tirant-Gherardi stressed the importance of more opportunities in the future for direct engagement between the Ombudsman’s Office and various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure effective communication and improved education on the role of the Ombudsman.

Hon. Mancienne thanked Hon. Tirant-Gherardi for the insightful report and tremendous work undertaken in ensuring informative, transparent and proficient reports are available and looks forward to future reports from the Ombudsman’s Office.

Hon Roger Mancienne – speaker of the National assembly and Hon Nichole Tirant-Gherardi – Ombudsman

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