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Joint select committee to examine Integrity Commission Bill

Alicia Dunkley-Willis

Monday, March 24, 2014    

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THE Upper House on Friday named the slate of senators from that chamber who will be part of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament to consider the newly tabled legislation to establish a single anti-corruption agency.

The authority will have as its focus the promotion and strengthening of measures for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of acts of corruption in government. The new Integrity Commission Act will repeal the The Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act when passed into law.

On Friday Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, who is among those to sit on the committee, said Government Senators KD Knight, Lambert Brown, Imani Duncan-Price, and Sophia Frazer-Binns along with Opposition Senators Marlene Malahoo Forte, Camina Johnson Smith, and Alexander Williams would sit jointly with a similar committee to be appointed by the House of Representatives which is to be named.

Former Contractor General Greg Christie had fronted calls for such a body, formally advancing the idea in March 2010.

Christie had suggested that at a minimum, the commission should merge the functions of the Parliamentary Integrity Commission, the Corruption Prevention Commission and the Office of the Contractor General (OCG). He also proposed that the commission be vested with the power for full criminal investigation, arrest, detention, and prosecutorial jurisdictional powers in respect of all corruption-related matters.

Speaking during the last sitting of the Upper House for 2013 at Gordon House, Golding had said the Integrity Commission Bill to establish the single anti-corruption agency would be among "a number of important bills which will be coming to the Senate in 2014".

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