Sunday, November 4, 2012

COP concerned that Integrity Commission ad might show bias in favour of THA chief

The controversial ad, which is no longer running in the local media
The leader of the Congress of the People (COP) on Saturday added his voice to express raised concerns over an advertisement by the Integrity Commission in which ICTT chairman Ken Gordon and Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville London are seen together.

In a media release, Prakash Ramaadhar said the ad “may be interpreted as particular congenial circumstances with a person who is a subject of investigation by the commission, the Chief Secretary of the THA, in this instance.”

Ramadhar noted that the commission is an independent body that must always be "fair, just and unbiased" in the conduct of its work, particularly in relation to persons about who are subject of investigations. 

"The photograph in question does not appear as a news item taken randomly by a news photographer. It is the subject of an advertisement approved and issued by the Commission. 

"The Commission and its chairman must be aware that the test in allegations of bias in our current law is a test of apparent bias which is measured on an objective (disinterested bystander) basis...appearance of the possibility of supporting or promoting a public official under investigation by the Commission may be interpreted as bias.

"The fact that the advertisement was published only after the dissolution of the THA and commencement of election campaigning for that body can possibly suggest that the Commission has descended into the arena of politics...

"That is an impression that must be avoided for the protection of its independence.

"The Congress of the People cautions the Commission and its chairman to be careful to avoid any action that may convey the impression of bias in this or any matter before it."

Gordon said last week the advertisement, which was used in the launch of the Commission's 2012 schools' competition on integrity, was "an ill-timed coincidence".

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai