Integrity Commission Rebuffs Calls for Updates on Investigations

110

The Commissioners of the Integrity Commission say they cannot comply with a call by a number of parties for them to provide updates on the status of ongoing investigations.

The Commissioners say they’d be breaking the law should they comply with the requests.

In a statement today, the Commissioners of the Integrity Commission said recently it was said that the public should be kept informed as to what progress is being made and what grounds remain to be covered regarding certain specific investigations.

The Commission says another source requested interim reports on the progress of another important matter that was commenced by the former Contractor General.

The Commissioners say they understand and expect that there’s significant interest in whether cases under the Commission’s purview are being pursued with vigor.

But, the Integrity Commissioners say they must indicate that the law governing disclosure of information in relation to cases under investigation is clear and unequivocal.

The Commission says it’s important to note that the Integrity Commission Act says until the tabling in Parliament of a report, all matters under investigation by the Director Investigations or any other person involved in such investigation shall be kept confidential and no report or public statement shall be made by the Commission or any other person in relation to the initiation or conduct of an investigation.

The statement today from the Integrity Commission says the Commissioners and staff of the Commission cannot break the law for any reason.

Hence, the Commissioners say they’ll not be able to provide updates to the public on their investigations before the reports are tabled in Parliament.

The Commission also says since the operations of the Commission began, the body has been fully engaged in monitoring the progress of pending matters, as well as the pursuit of new issues.

On August 24 this year, Professor Trevor Munroe’s National Integrity Action, NIA, called for a report on the probe into allegations of mismanagement and nepotism at the State-run oil refinery, Petrojam.

Professor Munroe said the call was being reiterated on behalf of the NIA, the Umbrella Group of Churches and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, along with other groups.

–30–