ATTORNEY Rajmanlal Joseph has been appointed the new Ombudsman.
President Paula-Mae Weekes appointed Joseph and he took the oath of office on Wednesday before Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George. The Ombudsman is an officer of the Parliament.
Joseph replaces former deputy chief magistrate Mark Wellington.
The Ombudsman provides assistance to anyone who believe they have suffered injustices at the hands of public officers employed by government agencies and department, his office's website said.
The Ombudsman’s powers to investigate are extensive, as the office-holder has the power to enter and inspect any premises over which they have jurisdiction and can call for, examine and, if necessary, retain any document kept on such premises and carry out any investigation in pursuance of their function.
The Ombudsman is also vested with the powers of a High Court judge to summon witnesses to appear before them and compel them to give evidence on oath and to produce documents relevant to the proceedings.
The office-holder is also empowered to act on their own to initiate an investigation.
All information obtained by the Ombudsman in the course of an investigation is privileged information and can only be used for the purpose of the investigation, which is an additional safeguard for the public, the website said.
Joseph previously chairman of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal and, in 2011, was appointed a member of the state of emergency review tribunal established that year for the SoE declared on August 21, 2011.
He has almost three decades of experience in public and private law.