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Take corruption seriously, former T&T integrity boss tells region

Published:Thursday | March 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Kenneth Gordon, former chairman of the Integrity Commission in Trinidad and Tobago, is calling for Caribbean leaders to take issues of corruption seriously if they are to see transformation in their respective countries.

Making reference to an address made by Anthony Carmona, president of Trinidad and Tobago, during the launch of the Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions earlier this month, Gordon said that it was imperative that development issues be tackled with balance and fairness.

Carmona, in his address, emphasised that confidentiality must be the bedrock of integrity commissions and referred to expressions of concern relayed to him about the security of personal information.

"(There are) fundamental issues which, in the past, have tended to be swept under the carpet. However, if the Caribbean is serious about transformational change, it must address the issues wherever they exist and be guided in the search for answers," he said in a statement.

"We make these comments with disappointment but without acrimony. It may not be politically correct to do so, but their importance rises above all other considerations if the integrity commissions of the region are to function effectively," he continued.

In his advice to leaders in Trinidad, he noted that there was need to make amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act in a bid to ensure that leaders are held accountable.

He, therefore, recommended making illegal a number of corrupt activities, which are not currently captured, and by making provision for the acceptance of a bribe to be an offence notwithstanding that the purpose of the bribe was not carried out.