Fri | Feb 22, 2019

Authnel Reid | Integrity Commission sitting on its hands

Published:Monday | January 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM

The Gleaner, in one of its editorials captioned 'Elbow sleeping Integrity Commission' (Saturday, January 18, 2019), sheds light on one of the many failures in our country as a result of government.

We have government not acting on a matter with constitutional implications. As I see it, the Integrity Commission is not only sleeping, it is a toothless failure.

Under public pressure, lawmakers passed legislation to have transparency and accountability in government. This is where certain sectors of government workers, including themselves, MUST report their annual financial statements to the Integrity Commission. To date, many lawmakers flout the law.

Years ago, a then minister in the People's National Party Government was charged and hauled before the court for failing to file his annual financial statement as required by law. He did not only fail to file; when he did, he failed to report that he has a company.

 

FAILURE TO ACT

 

He continued in his post as minister. The present administration, then in Opposition, failed to utter a word. One would think that with this being a hot-button issue the Opposition, if it had any integrity, would want accountability and transparency in government and would jump on the matter.

Many, and in fact most members of parliament (MPs), from either side of the divide, at some time were similarly in violation of the law.

Worse, to this day, we have heard nothing of the outcome of the minister's court matter. How come? Now we know the Integrity Commission is not doing its job. How come?

On another matter, years ago, we also had the issue of MPs with dual citizenship in our Parliament, in violation of our Constitution. We heard of amendments to be done to the Constitution (rightly so) to allow Jamaicans with dual citizenship to serve in elected and appointed office. The elections are over and we have heard nothing more. Now, are any MPs with dual citizenship still serving in Parliament - in violation of our Constitution?

Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and reidaut@icloud.com.