Saturday, March 9, 2013

Integrity Commission ineffective without additional powers; declaration as waste of time: Transparency official

Bertrand de Speville
The Deputy chairman of Transparency International (TI) told an anti-corruption conference in Port of Spain Friday the present structure of the Integrity Commission (IC) as ineffective. 

Bertrand de Speville said the IC is wasting its energy and scarce resources by receiving and declarations of assets and liabilities from public officials. he suggested that the commission needs powers to arrest persons, search and seize, to intercept communications and investigate bank accounts.

“The Integrity Commission, in my view, is wasting its time and resources in this activity,” De Speville said at the conference hosted by the T&T Transparency Institute. 

De Speville said there is a false perception in T&T that someone involved in corruption can be caught through the declaration of asset. He said in reality all that the commission can do is verify the information. Under those circumstances, he said, there seems to be no point in making the declarations.

De Speville stated that the problem lies in the Integrity in Public Life Act, which does not outline the features of an anti-corruption body. “What isn’t there are some of the powers necessary to investigate. The powers of arrest, search and seizure, to intercept communication and investigate bank accounts.” 

He said if the IC had these powers it would be "a very effective body".

IC Chairman Ken Gordon told reporters he disagrees with the view that the commission is ineffective. He said, “I told him (De Speville) there were a number of instances when you can get information in the declaration of assets and liabilities.

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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