Once again our old friend Afra Raymond does his research and sounds the clarion: Everything Caribbean nations have achieved is at risk because of crooked politicians, bad lawyers and corrupt judges…
The Threat to Integrity – part 4
I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC). I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined. The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials. The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.
The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.
This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money. The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders. It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing. The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.
To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow. That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination.
One of the emergent issues is how to reconcile the competing need for an effective anti-corruption agency independent of external instructions or directions, while remaining sensitive to the views of its stakeholders.
In this case, the Commission’s formal reporting device – its Annual Reports – was silent at the time of its momentous decision to seek to omit State Enterprises and bodies under State control from its remit. That failure to publish its 2008 & 2009 Annual Reports might be understood as a natural consequence of the virtual collapse of the Commission – the February 2009 resignations of the John Martin-led Commission were less than two months before the scheduled release of the 2008 Annual Report. The May 2009 resignations of the Fr. Henry Charles-led Commission dealt a further blow to this beleaguered Institution.
All of that is true, but it does not at all explain the Commission’s silence in relation to its proposed appeal to the October 2007 judgment…
… continue reading this article at AfraRaymond.com: Integrity Threat – Part 4