Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Letter: Is Gordon trying to rewrite Integrity act?

Is Integrity Commission Chairman, Ken Gordon, attempting to rewrite the Integrity in Public Life Act?

In his June 21st statement, while seeking to demystify his nighttime meeting with Dr Rowley, he stated:

"...in the exercise of its functions under the Act the Commission (and by extension, all Commissioners):
(c) the Commission shall have the power to do all such things as it considers necessary or expedient for the purpose of carrying out its functions."

According to the Integrity Act, "Commissioners" do not exist. There’s a panel called "the Integrity Commission" (IC) which comprises five members: Chairman, Deputy Chairman, three Members.

The Act warns the panel can only function when at least three members are present, one of whom must be the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman. Outside of that, IC members cannot officially entertain anything or anyone.

Mr Gordon is therefore totally outside his crease, if he's singlehandedly dealing with IC business, no matter who approaches him.

Section 8 (1) (b) of the Act reinforces the point. It provides the Chairman can't even excuse members from attending Commission meetings. Only the President can. Furthermore, nowhere in the Act is any IC member referred to as "Commissioner". Always, the description is "Chairman", "Deputy Chairman", or "member(s)".

It’s not semantics. The reason for the distinction can be gleaned from the Water and Sewerage Authority Act. Like the IC, Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is a Commission. However, unlike with the IC, the WASA Act makes it clear WASA's members are "Commissioners":

3 (1) The (Water and Sewerage) Authority shall consist of no more than nine nor no fewer than five persons, to be desginated as Commissioners, appointed by the Minister.
Also, the WASA Act permits WASA to delegate any of its powers to its individual Commissioners. Members of the IC Commissioners have no such privilege. 

The IC is a panel. No single member of the Integrity Commission could lawfully operate independently. Clearly, by inserting the bracketed phrase—(and, by extension, all Commissioners)—Mr Gordon is trying to slip one past us, to save his wicket.

He's hopelessly stranded. He won't succeed.

Come on, umpire Carmona, send him to the pavilion so the new IC team could start batting.
Garry Hunter | La Seiva, Maraval.

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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