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Key police units to support single anti-corruption body

Published:Thursday | July 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

THE SINGLE anti-corruption agency that the Government is taking steps to establish, in an effort to promote and strengthen measures for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of acts of corruption, is to receive investigatory support from two key agencies within the police force.

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, who tabled the Integrity Commission Act in the Senate in March, told The Gleaner this week that the Anti-Corruption Branch and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force would assist the proposed anti-corruption body as it tackles corrupt practices in the society.

However, Golding noted that the two units would not form part of the single anti-corruption agency.

First meeting in September

And, Golding indicated that a joint select committee of Parliament set up to examine the Integrity Commission Act will have its first meeting when members of the legislature return from their summer break in September.

The bill proposes to consolidate the laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award and monitoring of government contracts.

If passed into law, the new integrity commission will be a commission of Parliament which will carry out its functions through three divisions - administration, investigative and corruption prosecution. In addition to having the power to prosecute acts of corruption, the integrity commission will be mandated to take effective measures for the prevention and detection of corruption within public bodies, monitor and investigate the award, and implementation of contracts as well as monitor current legislative administrative practices in the fight against corruption.

The bill proposes that each division be headed by a director. It also says that the same persons shall not perform the functions of investigation or prosecution under the law.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com