Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Letter of the day: Don't create another oversight body for INDECOM

Published:Friday | June 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I find it rather unfortunate, to say the least, that members of our Parliament are presently discussing whether there should be an oversight body to review the work being done by The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

The INDECOM ACT, 2010 section 30 (1)-(2) clearly outlines Parliament's role in providing oversight for INDECOM. It states that the Commission may, at any time, be required by Parliament to submit thereto a report in respect of any matter under investigation by the Commission. It also says that the commission shall submit to Parliament an annual report relating generally to the execution of its functions and may, at any time, submit a report relating to any particular incident investigated by it which, in its opinion, requires the special attention of Parliament.

Establishing another oversight body to review the work being done by INDECOM will require the Jamaican taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets to compensate a group of people to do the very work Parliament is already doing. INDECOM's core task is to conduct investigations into matters involving members of the security forces/agents of the state that are deemed questionable.

An investigation is merely the collection of available evidence/information that will eventually guide the investigator in forming an opinion. It does not confirm innocence or guilt, therefore, the powers of INDECOM are limited as only a court of law can decide on innocence or guilt. To date, there is no evidence of the oversight body acting in an egregious manner, so the present debate taking place in Parliament is, in my humble opinion, unwarranted.