Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Leadership of integrity commission to be determined

Published:Wednesday | February 1, 2017 | 2:20 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said while recognising that the statute was not perfect, the Government could not delay its passage any longer.

The leadership structure of the new Integrity Commission is still to be decided, despite the House of Representatives yesterday passing the long-awaited Integrity Commission Act to establish a single anti-corruption body to investigate and prosecute corruption in Jamaica.

The new body will have three commissioners heading the administration, investigation and corruption prosecution divisions.

However, it’s unclear who will lead the Commission.

In his contribution to the debate, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said while recognising that the statute was not perfect, the Government could not delay its passage any longer.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck advised the House that he would be having dialogue with his counterpart, Senator Mark Golding, to determine who will become the chief spokesperson for the new anti-corruption agency.

Meanwhile, acknowledging that the Government was slow in passing law to tackle corruption, the prime minister said that this was a contributory factor in Jamaica falling 14 places on the corruption perception index.

He said that the administration would be doing everything in its power to regain ground on the corruption perception index.

Highlighting a critical provision in the bill, Holness said that the Director of Corruption Prosecution will not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority, with the exception of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

In her remarks, Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte recommended that Parliament establish a select committee to provide oversight for the new Integrity Commission as well as the other commissions of Parliament.

The new Integrity Commission Act will consolidate the laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award and monitoring of government contracts by establishing a single commission to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption.