Justice Panton Rejects Proposal To Reconsider Auditor General As Member of Integrity Commission


A Commissioner of the Integrity Commission, Retired Justice Seymour Panton, is rejecting a call by PNP President, Dr. Peter Phillips, and the Gleaner newspaper, for parliament to reconsider the Auditor General remaining a member of the Commission.

Mr. Panton says the duties of the Auditor General of Jamaica includes the auditing of the accounts of all departments and offices of the Government at least once per year.

Retired Justice Panton notes that the role of the Integrity Commission includes determining the extent of losses to public bodies as a result of corruption.

The Integrity Commission says the nature of the duties of both the Auditor General and the Commission complement each other. 

Panton, who’s a retired Court of Appeal President, says there’s no conflict of interest as a result of the auditor general being a member of the Integrity Commission. 

Retired Justice Panton says there’s no doubt in his mind that the contribution of the auditor general has been of great value and importance to the commission. 

Retired Justice Panton says he trusts that the Parliament of Jamaica, which represents the people, will accept his reasoning on the issue.

Mr. Panton made his comments in a letter which was published today in the Gleaner newspaper.

He says the agitation by The Gleaner for the removal of the auditor general should cease. 

According to the Integrity Commissioner, on more than one occasion, the Gleaner has said that it’s not about Pamela Monroe Ellis but he happens to think otherwise because the newspaper is protesting too much.

On August 14 this year, Gleaner wrote in its Editorial that Parliament should remove the requirement that the auditor general be a member of the Integrity Commission

On May 6 this year, PNP President Dr. Peter Phillips criticized the Integrity Commission’s views on the Rooms on the Beach property sale and called for the role of the Auditor-General on the Commission to be reviewed.

Dr. Peter Phillips.

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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