Ascension : Press Release - Claiming Compensation from the Government
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 27.11.2008 (Article Archived on 11.12.2008)
When people make claims to the St Helena Government for compensation, each case is first considered by the Attorney Generalís Chambers to ascertain whether the Government is legally liable to pay compensation.
When people make claims to the St Helena Government for compensation, each case is first considered by the Attorney Generalís Chambers to ascertain whether the Government is legally liable to pay compensation. If it appears that the Government IS legally liable, then the claimant receives compensation to the value of damages/loss caused by SHG.
In cases where the Government is NOT legally liable ex gratia payments are considered. By definition, an ex gratia payment usually involves the payment of money from a sense of moral obligation rather than because of any legal requirement. To aid the process, and to ensure more consistent and transparent decisions, the Governor in Council recently approved a policy for awarding ex gratia payments.
The full criteria are available form the Legal, Lands and Planning Department; but the main points are as follows:
SHG will not make an ex gratia payment if the claim could have been covered by insurance. Various types of insurance are available (for example, motor, motor trade, material damage, material damage accidental loss, consequential loss, contract works, rockfall, liability, personal accident, funeral expenses, boat, and cargo). The new SHG policy states that ex gratia awards should be considered only in instances where insurance cannot be obtained. Details on all types of insurance can be obtained from St Helena Insurance Cell Captive.
If there was negligence on the part of the claimant, then SHG will not make an ex gratia payment. Similarly, payment will not be made if the incident was caused by another person who is legally liable for it.
Overall, SHG will only make ex gratia payment under extraordinary circumstances, and each case will continue to be assessed on its specific circumstances.
All claims should be directed to the Attorney Generalís Chambers at the Legal, Lands and Planning Department.
Public Relations/Information Office
Office of the Chief Secretary
25 November 2008