Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Show us your pay cheque!

Published:Saturday | November 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

In the drive to identify, expose, and root out corruption in the society, Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck says that the Government is moving to strengthen the legislative framework to give the soon-to-be established anti-corruption agency sweeping powers to investigate persons who enjoy a lavish lifestyle with no apparent legal source of income.

"Very shortly, we will be putting in place a single anti-corruption body - integrity commission. This a bill that was recently passed in Parliament, and the governor general has now signed off on it. I just got last week what is known as the velum copy of the bill, which means the law is now in place, and shortly, we expect the governor general to appoint five commissioners to put this body in place," Chuck told the 241 justices of the peace who were commissioned on Thursday during a marathon session at the Portmore Seventh-Day Adventist Church, St Catherine.

"I expect this commission to find corruption wherever it exists in the public sector because in the public sector, anyone who is engaged in corruption is undermining the government service. We have far too many people in the society who benefit from illicit enrichment.


'Champagne life'


"We want to look at a law where persons are living the lifestyle of a millionaire - a champagne life - but earning a Red Stripe salary and not putting in any tax returns. They should be called upon to explain how it is that they get this money when they don't win any lottery, they don't get any legacy from anybody, they are not working or earning (even) minimum wage," he declared.

In such cases, the activities of these persons should be brought under the microscope with a legal obligation to satisfy a number of questions about their source of income.

"Is it scamming? Is it extortion? Is it corruption of some kind? We need to (also) find those outside the public sector who are gaining from illicit enrichment."