Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says a Joint Select Committee of Parliament will be named shortly to look at the Integrity Commission Act, which is due for review.
The Integrity Commission is mandated to promote and enhance standards of ethical conduct for parliamentarians, public officials and other persons, by consolidating laws relating to the prevention of corruption and the award, monitoring and investigating of the government contracts and prescribed licences; and strengthen the measures for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of acts of corruption.
The entity was developed pursuant to Sections 1 and 5 of the Integrity Commission Act, 2017, which allowed for the Office of the Contractor General (OCG), the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) and the Integrity Commission (Integrity of Parliament Members) (IC), to be fully subsumed into the Integrity Commission.
Minister Chuck, who was speaking during a recent JIS Think Tank, said the Integrity Commission has a mandate to not only find, expose and prosecute corruption but also to prevent corruption.
“One hopes that when that mandate is carried out effectively, Jamaica will improve significantly on the corruption index of Transparency International or any other corruption index. Not only that, we would be able to highlight and identify any department or any area where corruption is taking place,” he said.
The Justice Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to stamping out corruption.
“When corruption occurs at any level it not only eats away at the social and moral fabric of the society but it costs the citizens, because it means that value is not being obtained in a contract or at any level where you have persons who are benefiting unlawfully at corruption,” he noted.
He said that other critical pieces of legislation will receive attention.
“There are many, very urgent pieces of legislation that the people demand and they need and one of them right now is the National Identification System (NIDS) Bill. You also have the Firearms Act; you have several pieces of legislation dealing with the various ministries that are important and must be dealt with in a timely manner,” Minister Chuck pointed out.