Mr. Emmanuel Theodore
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - The Integrity Commission, set up to monitor the
income, assets and liabilities of persons in public life has embarked on a major
awareness and sensitization campaign to inform government officials and members
of the public of its role and functions. The five member bipartisan commission,
established under the Integrity in Public Life Act No. 6 of 2004, is appointed
by the Governor General Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy on the advice of
the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Commissioner Mr. Emmanuel Theodore, a city businessman and retired banker, says
persons in public life, which include parliamentarians encompassing Members of
the Upper House or Senate, chief technical officers and senior government
officials should acquaint themselves with the Integrity in Public Life Act to
ensure compliance with the law.
Mr. Theodore says to date, two-thirds of the persons required to file
declarations under the law have done so. According to him, “If they familiarize
themselves with the provisions and they know what is required of them, then the
interaction between the Commission and the person in public life would be much
easier and that in turn would facilitate a more willing attitude on their part
to submit their declarations in accordance with the Act.”
Mr. David Vitalis
A handbook detailing the functions and scope of operations of the Integrity
Commission has been published. Commissioner and journalist David Vitalis says
for the past six years, the Commission has attempted to lay the appropriate
infrastructure that would effectively fulfil its mandate of helping to maintain
integrity in the life of public officials.
The commission’s work, Mr. Vitalis says, however depends heavily on public
participation. “If they, meaning members of the public, realize that there is
wrongdoing and that somebody is in violation of the Act, then they have to make
a formal complaint. A true and formal complaint no matter how vague it may sound
is really a complaint in good faith. If you have reason to believe that there is
something you must report, then you should document it in the best way you can
and get it to the secretary of the Commission, who will initiate the appropriate
action,” says Vitalis.
The Integrity Commission is chaired by Archdeacon Randolph Evelyn and is housed
on the first floor of the Sir Stanislaus James Building on the Waterfront.