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Feb 16, 2018

Who Wants Marilyn Williams’ Old Job?

Marilyn Williams

The Integrity Commission was named a year ago in response to overwhelming public pressure as it relates to holding politicians accountable for their personal spending and assets. Little has been heard from it since the furore over the term under which persons in public life were to submit returns. Chair Marilyn Williams has moved on as a judge of the Supreme Court, leaving the oversight body without a chairman. While the work is ongoing to ensure that parliamentarians and others in public life are fulfilling the terms of the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act by submitting their returns.  Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber says there have been names floated for replacement, but so far, none have been willing to stand up to the scrutiny of being a politically exposed person and subject to greater background checks on finances and personal life. Faber nonetheless said that it remains a priority for the government in maintaining its efforts at good governance, accountability and transparency.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“Look at what has happened with the Integrity Commission. We had gotten it going and in fact they made a very big move to ensure that all members of the National Assembly, Senators and Members of the House file their returns. They have gone as far as sending letters and fining those who have not submitted. And as soon as we get things going, we lose the chairperson because Misses Williams is appointed a Supreme Court Judge and that leaves a vacancy. So, it is a very difficult and delicate work to try to get these mechanisms going.”

 

Reporter

“Has there been any kind of discussion in Cabinet or at least within the Government on a whole on who may be possible candidates to replace Justice Williams on the Integrity Commission?”

 

Patrick Faber

“We have introduced the topic and we have of course been trying to think about good people who can serve. Of course, it is not only our task. It is the social partners as well. It is the Opposition who can make suggestions and we are open to hear suggestions. Of course it is not as simple as just suggesting a name. You are aware that when you are put in this position or when you agree to take on this position, you have to be deemed then a PEP – a politically exposed person and that means then you have to be  more open and transparent to the wider world given our push now to put in some of the measures from the UNCAC and other anti-corruption measures. So, there is a lot now that is expected of such a person and some people don’t want that kinda exposure and they prefer to lead their private lives. So, even when we have come up with some names, those persons have said that they don’t want to be exposed in such a way – not because they are doing anything illegal but some people just prefer their privacy. So, we keep at it and we keep trying to find a good person to fill vacancy.”

The commission members include: Armead Gabourel; Lisbeth Delgado; Wilmot Simmons; Nestor Vasquez; Melissa Balderamos Mahler and Claudet Grinage.

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2 Responses for “Who Wants Marilyn Williams’ Old Job?”

  1. spike says:

    Integrity? What integrity? There is about as much integrity in Belize as you could pour into a thimble! Hey, check out that Lands Department!

  2. Kay says:

    I’ll take it! I’m not qualified to do so …but then again three quarters of the Cabinet is not qualified to do their job but they are still there anyway!!!

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