Work and no pay

Integrity Commission says members of body yet to receive any emoluments

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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MEMBERS of the new-look Integrity Commission are concerned that they are yet to receive any emoluments for their work.

This was one of several issues raised by the chairman of the commission, retired Court of Appeal Judge Justice Karl Harrison, in his remarks in the commission's First Annual Report 2018/19, which was tabled yesterday in the Senate.

According to the chairman: “Compensation for commissioners also requires the approval of the oversight committee. We are surprised that, to date, there has been no determination as regards to our compensation. We understand that the process of getting a recommended compensation structure is still being pursued, so we are yet to receive any emoluments in relation to our roles as commissioners.”

The Integrity Commission Bill, 2017, under which the entity was established in 2018 states that:

“There shall be payment to the chairman and other commissioners [and] such remuneration, whether by way of honorarium, salary of fees, and such allowances, may be approved by resolution of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively.”

The Integrity Commission is mandated to promote and enhance standards of ethical conduct for parliamentarians, public officials and other persons by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award, monitoring and investigating of government contracts and prescribed licences. It is also mandated to strengthen the measures for the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of acts of corruption.

The entity was developed pursuant to sections 1 and 5 of the Integrity Commission Act, which allowed the Office of the Contractor General, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, and the Integrity Commission (Integrity of Parliament Members) to be fully subsumed into the Integrity Commission.

Justice Harrison said that, since its inception in February 2018, the commission “has continued work that has been undertaken by the legacy agencies, while imparting new activities under the current legislation. We are indeed working, and working very hard at that”.

The entity has completed and submitted six reports on investigation to Parliament; monitored in excess of 500 government projects; completed eight enquiry management reports/position letters; conducted 69 site visits (between October 2018 and April 2019) and attended 107 site meetings.

Other members of the commission are: Justice (Ret'd) Seymour Panton, Pamela Monroe Ellis, Eric Crawford, and Dr Derrick McKoy.


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