Integrity Commission Wants Secrecy Clause Governing Body Removed


In a major move today, the Integrity Commission says it will be lobbying lawmakers to remove a secrecy clause from the Integrity Commission Act that forbids it from commenting publicly on ongoing investigations.

The Commissioners say they are being shackled by the provision.

The revelation was made at the Integrity Commission’s first-ever media conference at the New Kingston Offices of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ.

Tyrone Reid reports.

Anti-corruption advocates have been calling for the secrecy clause to be removed from the Integrity Act that governs the Integrity Commission.

That push to have it removed received a significant boost today as Integrity Commissioner, Retired Justice Seymour Panton, revealed the Commission is having difficulty with the clause.

Mr. Panton says he has noticed that there are some people who’re calling for the Integrity Act to be amended but have not commented on the section which gags the commission.

Commissioner Panton is rejecting as misguided and ridiculous a suggestion by Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, that Auditor General, Pamela Munroe Ellis’ position on the commission may represent a conflict of interest.

Dr. Phillips also recently called for the composition of the Commission to be reviewed.

Commissioner Panton disagrees.

Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.

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