| Jun 1, 2023

Integrity Commission got it wrong: No conflict of interest in Zavia Mayne/UDC land case

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Zavia Mane MP, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service

Nigel Jones, attorney at law representing Zavia Mayne, has dismissed, as baseless and irresponsible, the report of the Integrity Commission touching and concerning the provision of legal services in 2011 to Factories Corporation regarding the purchase of 200 acres of land from UDC.

According to  Jones, the report produced by the Integrity Commission has left him questioning whether the Integrity Commission has the competence or the capacity to conduct a detailed investigation into any matter, however simple it may be. 

Mr Jones states that the existence of a person on a board does not amount to a conflict of interest, but instead, a conflict of interest arises when a person who is a member of a board participates in the making of a decision from which he intends to benefit directly or otherwise.

Further, Section 17(2) of the Public Management and Accountability Act provides, inter alia:

A director who is directly or indirectly interested in any matter which is being dealt with by the Board-

  1. Shall disclose the nature of his interest at a board meeting;
  2. Shall not take part in any deliberation of the board with respect to that matter
Top left to right: Integrity Commission Members, Justice (Ret’d) Seymour Panton, chairman of the Integrity Commission and commissioners Pamela Monroe Ellis; Justice (Ret’d) Lloyd Hibbert, and (from bottom left) commissioners Eric Crawford, Wayne Powell and Executive Director Greg Christie.

The IC’s report, while stating that S17(2)(a) does not apply, clearly listed on page 15 of the report the members of the board who were present during the deliberations of the decision to appoint the Attorneys at law who acted for Factories in the transaction of which Zavia Mayne was not one. 

In this regard, the provisions of Section 17(2) of the PBMA dealing with conflict of interest were not in breach. “We also find that there were several instances where the conclusions of the director of the investigation disregarded the findings of fact he would have made in the same report, specifically in relation to the terms of engagement and the existence of a contract between the parties,” said Jones

Nigel Jones also questions the timing of the report’s publication into a matter that occurred 12 years ago, long before his client entered representational politics and became an MP in 2016.


What To Read Next