New Post in Integrity Commission to Strengthen Management Structure

Photo: Mark Bell Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (foreground), addresses members of the Senate on July 14. In the background is Government Senator, Kerensia Morrison.

Story Highlights

  • Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says creating the post of Executive Director to head the proposed Integrity Commission will serve to strengthen the management structure of the new body.
  • Senator Johnson Smith was responding to concerns raised by the Opposition in regard to the creation of this post as an amendment in the Integrity Commission Act, 2017. She was piloting the Bill during Friday’s (July 14) sitting of the Senate.
  • The Bill is aimed at promoting and enhancing standards of ethical conduct for Parliamentarians, public officials and other persons by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award of Government contracts and prescribed licences.

Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says creating the post of Executive Director to head the proposed Integrity Commission will serve to strengthen the management structure of the new body.

“We feel very strongly that this was the right path to have established that posting. (This) also allowed us to expand the responsibilities of management under that body (Integrity Commission),” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith was responding to concerns raised by the Opposition in regard to the creation of this post as an amendment in the Integrity Commission Act, 2017. She was piloting the Bill during Friday’s (July 14) sitting of the Senate.

She explained that the Government felt this lone post was a better arrangement than having Directors of the three divisions of the body report directly to the Commissioners, as was previously stipulated in the Bill.

The Integrity Commission is to be formed through the merger of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, Integrity Commission and the Office of the Contractor General.

The new body will have three Directors heading the information and complaints, investigation and corruption prosecution divisions.

The Bill is aimed at promoting and enhancing standards of ethical conduct for Parliamentarians, public officials and other persons by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award of Government contracts and prescribed licences.

It makes provisions for the establishment of the Integrity Commission, a new anti-corruption agency that will be responsible for investigating alleged or suspected acts of corruption; preventing, identifying and prosecuting corruption; and monitoring the award and discharge of Government contracts and prescribed licences.

Mrs. Johnson Smith also pointed to other changes that have been made to clarify the responsibilities of specific members of the Commission. She noted that the individual who would have been referred to as the Director of Administration in the original Bill is now the Director of Information and Complaints.

The Executive Director will assume the responsibilities previously assigned to the Director of Administration.

“So now the Director of Information and Complaints has full responsibility for statutory declarations, information, and so on, removing duplication or possible conflicts,” she said.

The Executive Director will be tasked with the day-to-day management of the affairs of the Commission. This person will also be responsible for coordinating the functions of the Commission; ensuring the timely implementation of the decisions and directions of the Commission; submitting quarterly reports to the Commission; and developing and implementing operational policies and procedures in relation to the functions of the Commission.

The Executive Director will be appointed by the Governor-General based on the recommendation of the Commission. This individual will hold the office for a five-year period, after which he or she will be eligible for reappointment.

Debate on the Bill will continue.

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