Integrity Commission Oversight Committee gets going todayTuesday, July 07, 2020
BY BALFORD HENRY
THE House of Representatives' newly appointed Integrity Commission Oversight Committee will have its first meeting at Gordon House today at 10:00 am.
The committee was appointed in mid-May to monitor and review the functions of the Integrity Commission, report to both Houses of Parliament on any matter relating to the performance of these functions of the commission, review the annual report and any other report of the commission, and submit recommendations in relation thereto to both Houses of Parliament.
Today's meeting follows the tabling of three reports by the commission last Tuesday — special report of investigation conducted into allegations concerning donations made by Petrojam Limited to organisations and causes for the period April 2016 to March 2018; special report of investigation conducted into allegations of acts of irregularity and/or impropriety, conflict of interest, corruption, nepotism, cronyism and favouritism at Petrojam Limited; and the Annual Report for 2019/2020.
However, a recent admission by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) that it had responded to a request for criminal action to be taken in the case of the 2017 report, which included allegations of corruption and impropriety in the St Ann South Eastern constituency, has also popped up again.
The request was prompted by a special report from the Integrity Commission in 2017 in the award of certain government contracts by the St Ann Municipal Corporation which was referred to the ODPP.
The committee will also assess the effectiveness of the commission and the appropriateness of its procedures, and convene and consider a report submitted to Parliament, under Section 34 of the Integrity Commission Act, within 30 days of such submission.
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 the government contracts and prescribed licences; and 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, 2017, which allowed for 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.