• JIS News

    The House of Representatives on January 17, gave unanimous approval for the appointment of an Ethics Committee to investigate and report on complaints regarding the conduct of parliamentarians.
    Members of the committee, which is to be chaired by House Speaker, Michael Peart, include National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips; Health Minister, John Junor; Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary, Dr. Morais Guy; Member of Parliament for North Eastern Manchester, Audley Shaw, Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Clive Mullings, and Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, Joseph Hibbert.
    Dr. Phillips, who is also Leader of Government Business in the House, proposed the formation of the committee. Its terms of reference are to receive, investigate and report on any complaints of departures by members from the political code of conduct; to require a member to make a full disclosure of any interest which he may have, which is likely to cause a conflict of interest; receive, investigate and report on any complaints of any departures by members in relation to allegations involving conflicts of interest; and examine requests made by any member to exempt him by Resolution of the House from vacating his seat as a member of the House if he becomes a party to any contract or has an interest in any firm or company which is a party to any contract with the government of Jamaica for, or on account of the public service in keeping with Section 41 of the Constitution.
    The committee will also be expected to receive, investigate and report on any allegations of impropriety in respect of funds allocated to members for constituency purposes; monitor reports emanating from the Integrity Commission in respect of non-compliance of members with the provisions of the Parliament Integrity of Members Act; receive and investigate any reports of civil or criminal proceedings being instituted against any member; and to make appropriate recommendations to the Speaker of the House.
    This committee will also determine procedures for the operation of the group and the extent of its powers with a view to becoming a sessional select committee and to make recommendations for amendments of the Standing Orders to reflect this.