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Christie warns against 'silent' corruption investigations

Published:Friday | July 17, 2015 | 2:28 PM

Former contractor general, Greg Christie, has disagreed with a proposal for the proposed Integrity Commission to remain silent on its investigations until a report is tabled in Parliament.

The commission will have the mandate to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption in the public sector.

Yesterday, during deliberations of a joint select committee of Parliament on the Integrity Commission Act, Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding said the provision would ensure that investigations are not played out in the public domain.

However, Christie says it is a step in the wrong direction.

In a series of posts on his Twitter account, Christie says while he supports the need of confidentially it is important that the public is made aware of investigations which have been launched.

The former contractor general argues that it has been his experience that when this is done members of the public would come forward with information to aid investigations.

Christie is of the view that keeping probes under quiet may affect public participation in probes.

He expressed concern that investigations that are unknown to the public can be interfered with, or terminated, irregularly, with the public being none the wiser.

The former contractor general points out that under the Contractor General Act the public is entitled to be informed of the commencement of a formal investigation.

He says when the public is aware of what the anti-Corruption agency is doing and that puts it in a position to be held to account.

Arguing that corruption thrives in darkness, Christie says Jamaicans should pay keen attention to these subtle but deliberate steps that are being taken to weaken the country’s anti-corruption institutions.