Mon | Dec 17, 2018

OPM rejects claim Holness influenced Pryce's interim appointment

Published:Tuesday | November 13, 2018 | 1:36 PM
Holness: Was neither consulted nor advised of the appointment. Phillips: Concerned about continuing and unexplained practice of interim appointments.

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has rejected assertions by the Opposition that it played a role in the one-year interim appointment of Colonel Daniel Pryce as the executive director of the Integrity Commission.

In a release yesterday, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips said he was concerned about what he called the continuing and unexplained practise of interim appointments to critical offices.

Phillips also said Prime Minister Andrew Holness provided no good reason to the Governor General for Pryce’s interim appointment.

But the OPM said Holness played no part in the appointment of the Integrity Commission boss.

"Prime Minister Holness was neither consulted nor advised of the recent appointment of an acting executive director at the Integrity Commission," an OPM spokesperson said in a release.

The OPM said reiterated that the Integrity Commission is an independent body as established by law. 

"The administration led by Prime Minister Holness has never and will never attempt to interfere in the functioning of the Integrity Commission which is an independent commission of Parliament," the OPM spokesperson said.

The OPM further said statements should be properly researched to ensure that the public is not misled.  

The Integrity Commission was established as a result of the merger of the Office Contractor General, the Corruption Prevention Commission and the Integrity Commission.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister had come under pressure for the interim appointment of Bryan Sykes as Chief Justice before his appointment was made permanent weeks later.

"Actions that bring results will determine the assumption of the role of chief justice," he said during the swearing-in ceremony for Sykes in February.

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