Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has accused the Integrity Commission of going beyond its jurisdiction by making itself an oversight body for good governance and accountability and requesting that Government officials sign a Code of Conduct.
He noted that the Commission is an anti-corruption agency, and its latest efforts to have Government ministers sign a Code of Conduct are concerning.
The Minister was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing held today (June 7).
“I am extremely concerned about the statement that was issued by the Integrity Commission yesterday. I find the statement to be rude, repugnant, and offensive. In particular, to indicate that those who fail to sign the Code of Conduct will be sending the signal to Jamaica that what is in the Code of Conduct, those who fail to sign, do not intend to live up to those particular conduct,” said Chuck.
In a release issued yesterday, the Commission rebuked claims made by Cabinet minister Marlene Malahoo Forte that accused the Commission of publicising in the media the individuals who have signed the code and those who haven’t.
The Commission declared that it would not be intimated and forced to act in any way that is contrary to the public interest and will continue its pursuit to have ministers sign the code.
“I think the Integrity Commission is going beyond what its jurisdiction is. It is an anti-corruption agency. But it is now making itself to be an oversight body for good governance, for accountability. That’s the auditor general’s jurisdiction. What amounts to leadership, good leadership, that’s not the work, with due respect of the Integrity Commission,” said Chuck.
INTEGRITY COMMISSION ACT TO BE ADJUSTED
The mission of the Commission, according to its website, is to “combat corruption through the development, implementation, and enforcement of Anti-Corruption legislation, policy and initiatives, through staff and efficient systems, processes and procedures”.
The justice minister disclosed that to ensure the Commission acts within its jurisdiction, the Joint Select Committee of Parliament will adjust the Integrity Commission Act to ensure corruption is removed from Jamaica at all levels.
“The Integrity Commission has demonstrated to the Jamaican people by its action that there are doubts as to whether it can be trusted in the reports that it sends out,” said Chuck.
He added that despite reports from the Commission that the Code of Conduct was sent to all ministers and members of the Opposition, he has not seen the document.
Cabinet minister Robert Nesta Morgan also declared he did not receive a Code of Conduct document to sign.
– Send feedback to [email protected]