Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Integrity Commission "regrets" PM's charge of apparent bias; PM says she was reflecting public perception

Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar on Monday responded to an official statement from the Integrity Commission statement with respect to comments Persad-Bissessar made during the campaign for the Tobago House of Assembly Election (THA).

In its statement Monday the commission said it noted Persad-Bissessar's statement as reported in the national media on Sunday about "an appearance of perception of bias by the Integrity Commission."

The commission said it views the statement with regret, noting that it is not "consistent with the facts". It added, "It must be emphasized that it is not, nor has it ever been, the Commission’s practice to announce any of the matters which are under investigation by the Commission."

It continued, "When public reference was made to the TOP investigation in an earlier report this was in response to false allegations which had been made by a complainant and which it was necessary to correct. 

"The Prime Minister refers to “stony silence on this $310 million transaction, which leaves a lot to be desired and some may say reeks of an appearance of perception of bias by the Commission.” Such statement is both unfortunate and

"It would be contrary to the Commission’s guidelines and established practice to announce other investigations which may be underway. As a preliminary step in considering the implications which arise from the Prime Minister’s statement, the Commission has advised His Excellency the President of its concerns. 

"His Excellency, President Maxwell Richards has reminded the Commission that it was appointed to office by him. He has also advised that the Commission continues to enjoy his full confidence and support."

In her statement Monday night, the PM said: "I have no quarrel with the Integrity Commission. 

"I merely voiced what many members of the public believe, that the Integrity Commission is inconsistent with the way it reacts and pronounces on matters before it, rushing to make public statements selectively on certain matters while remaining stonily silent on others of even greater public importance and urgency. 

"It is for reasons such as this, among others, that public confidence in the impartiality of the Commission remains so low."

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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