House Amends Integrity Act


Amendments to the Parliament (Integrity of Members) Act were passed unopposed during yesterday’s (November 9) sitting of the House of Representatives.
Leader of Government Business in the House, Dr. Peter Phillips, who piloted the Bill, explained that the adjustments were designed to bring the legislation in line with the Corruption Prevention Act of 2000 and provided for the extension of the list of persons who might be appointed to the Parliamentary Integrity Commission.
The current Commission consists of the Auditor General and four persons selected from the members of the Privy Council; President or past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants; retired Judges of the Court of Appeal or Judges of the Supreme Court and persons who have held the position of Commissioner of Income Tax, Financial Secretary or Auditor General.
“This is a particularly narrow list and they have been having difficulty in finding persons to serve on the Commission,” Dr. Phillips explained, noting that the amendment would provide for the appointment of persons who, in the opinion of the Governor General, “are persons of high integrity and are able to exercise competence, diligence and sound judgment in fulfilling their responsibilities under the Act”.
Dr. Phillips said that the work of the Commission had been made more effective and recent adjustments to its practices had resulted in the body making public, the list of persons who might have breached the requirements of the Commission by not submitting their reports.
“Happily, the number of persons who have not submitted reports is dwindling and I think the threat of greater sanctions, to refer persons in egregious breach to the Director of Public Prosecutions, has brought about a much greater level of compliance,” he stated.

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