Saturday, March 9, 2013

PM supports creation of Anti Corruption Agency in T&T

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has stated that her government fully supports the creation of an Anti Corruption Agency in Trinidad and Tobago.

The commitment was made in a speech delivered on her behalf Friday by Errol Mc Leod, who was acting Prime Minister at the time while Persad-Bissessar attended the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugh Chavez in Caracas.

The event was an anti-corruption seminar hosted by the T&T Transparency Institute (TTTI) at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain. Among the speakers was
Bertrand de Speville, Deputy chairman of Transparency International (TI).

Read related story:

McLeod apologised for Persad-Bissessar's absence and explained the background against which she felt it was critically important for her to be at the funeral.

"Our Prime Minister, who was looking forward to being with you here today, felt it was of national importance that our country, having enjoyed extremely close relationship with the Government and People of the Bolivarian Republic for many decades, and also bearing in mind her responsibility as the incoming head of Caricom, be fully represented at the final rites for the late great Venezuelan leader," he said.

He read the speech on her behalf. 

"I am sure you will welcome and be pleased to know that my Partnership Government will fully support the creation of an Anti Corruption Agency in Trinidad and Tobago. 

"As you would appreciate this will have to be thoughtfully developed in consultation with other relevant agencies of the State, including the Integrity Commission and the Commissioner of Police. 

"But we recognize the value of such an agency, which will have as its principal mandate the deterrence of corruption. Indeed it may be suggested that a review of the Integrity Commission legislation can be done in the context of the wider anti corruption legacy.

"In this respect I am most anxious to read the case, which was made by Mr. de Speville for an Anti Corruption Agency. Clearly we will have to study the proposals very carefully and ensure that whatever is developed is suited to our circumstances. 

"The principle however is agreed. We give a commitment to review and introduce legislation in this regard and expect that a Joint Committee of Parliament will be appointed to refine the proposed legislation, pursuant to consensus and the laying of a Bill." 
The Prime Minister's speech also stated:

"I am pleased to report to this Conference, and to the wider national community, that Procurement Legislation remains a priority of my Government. 

"Using the guiding principles, legislation is actively being drafted by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) Unit of the office of the Attorney General, as well as the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development. 

"I anticipate that within a very short period, a draft Bill will be available for initial review. Indeed our Minister of planning assures us that this Bill should be before Parliament by April this year. 

"We intend to have a Bill that is robust and comprehensive, and I expect Transparency Institute and other major civil organizations will play major roles in the finalization of this Bill. "I also take the opportunity to advise this Conference that we are very conscious that the current Integrity in Public Life Act which governs the Integrity Commission needs to be fully reviewed, updated and reformed so that the Commission is better equipped and positioned to more effectively fulfill its important national objectives. 

"We accept that the Act needs to be strengthened if its purpose is to effectively combat corruption. One particular area, in my view, on which we must place attention, is the question of failure to make the statutory declarations by persons so deemed under the Act. 

"I have already indicated to the Honourable Attorney General that this review and strengthening must be a priority of our Government."

No comments:

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