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Cabinet yesterday (May 22), gave its approval for drafting instructions to be issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for amendments to be made to the Corruption Prevention Act.
Information and Development Minister, Senator Colin Campbell, made this disclosure at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Minister Campbell told journalists that members of the Cabinet considered a submission from the Attorney General that called for the Commission for the prevention of corruption to be made a Commission of Parliament for administrative and financial matters.
The Corruption Prevention Act establishes the commission that performs a number of functions, including receiving and keeping of records, statutory declarations furnished by public servants, and the examination of such statutory declarations.
The Commission, he further noted, also makes independent enquiries and investigations, receives and investigates any complaint regarding an act of corruption, conducts an investigation into any act of corruption on its own initiative.
Minister Campbell explained that the Corruption Prevention Act, “intended that the Commission should be an entity independent of any other agencies of the state, including accounting autonomy, and should be responsible for all aspects of its operations”.
The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption is required by law to have its annual report tabled in Parliament and the review of its operation is also the prerogative of Parliament.
“The current organisation and accountability arrangements however, have placed the Commission within the portfolio responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the finances of the Commission are a part of the Ministry’s budget,” Senator Campbell informed.
Speaking further, the Minister said following consultations with a number of stakeholders, including the Solicitor General’s Department, and the Ministry of Finance and Planning, “these changes have now been made and drafting instructions have been issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the amendments to be drafted and we expect to have them in Parliament shortly”.
In her inaugural speech as Prime Minister in the 2006/07 Budget Debate on May 9, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that revisions would be made to the reporting arrangements for the Anti-Corruption Commission.