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Jan 30, 2014

A new chair of the Integrity Commission after 4 years

Francis Fonseca

There has not been a functioning Integrity Commission for years even though by law, the government must establish a Commission. In fact, the last recorded meeting of the Commission was in April 2010. For background information, BQ Pitts was the sitting Chairman of the Commission at the time and when he was appointed Attorney General in June of 2010, he was not replaced and the commission did not reconvene.  If you do the math, it means that it has taken the government almost four years to name a new commission. Now, there is an office in Belmopan which has been manned by a Secretary, but that’s about it. Reeling from scandal to scandal involving ministers, the Cabinet on Tuesday appointed former director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Marilyn Williams, to chair the Commission, but its members have not been named. This morning, the Leader of the Opposition weighed in the issue.

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Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

“The law requires that we have an integrity commission. The prime minister appoints five members including the chair—the governor general appoints all the members, but the five members are appointed on the advice of the prime minister; after concurrence of the leader of the opposition. So we have the ability to appoint two members; the other fives are nominees of the prime minister. So we don’t have any say in who the chairperson is. What we need is an effective integrity commission and I think we have to put on the record, condemn in the strongest possible terms the fact that we have not had a functioning integrity commission for almost three years under this U.D.P. government. It shows you what they think of the value of an integrity commission. Man, it is shameful that we have not had a functioning integrity commission under this U.D.P. government and the integrity commission is an important tool in the governance of our democracy. There is no guarantee; we can’t guarantee that. We can only try to appoint people we believe will act in the interest of the Belizean people. It is a very important commission, but as the law is set up today, that is the structure of the commission. It is something that we have talked about that we have to review the structure of the commission for that very purpose to make it less political, to make it more independent; to make it more effective. So certainly that is something we have to look at in the future.”

 

The Commission is charged with receiving, examining and retaining all declarations filed in relation to the income, assets and liabilities of persons in public life. It also receives and investigates complaints regarding non-compliance with or breach of the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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3 Responses for “A new chair of the Integrity Commission after 4 years”

  1. Ali BaBarrow and his band of 40+ says:

    Ali BaBarrow headed the integrity commission during that time.
    Secret appointment of himself, with secret meetings, much like Hulse’s investigation.
    The integrity is good, nothing to report.
    Passport investigation done, no problem.
    Rosewood investigation done, no problem.
    Education is good, no problem.
    Health theft investigation done, no problem.
    Airport investigation done, Castro’s problem fixed, bad people fired.
    NCL investigation done, no problem.
    All investigations done, no further problems.
    As Ali BaBarrow will tell you on a blood oath amongst thieves, things could not be better.

    All happy, now go to sleep children, Santa Claus and his 40 elves must work.

  2. Stuart says:

    Now she can invesitage Penner again from another angle and get no result because she is incompetent. She like her trips abroad to fancy places to push USA to pass laws against belize interest and lose jobs in Belize. Now we have to answer a pile of questions every day at the bank because of this woman.

  3. LOL says:

    That Integrity Commission will find Dean Barrow and GOB very DISTASTEFUL

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