The Integrity Commission is again calling on parliamentarians to repeal Section 53 of the Integrity Commission Act.

The clause has been called a gag clause.

It prevents the Commission from making any public statements on its investigations,until a report is tabled in the Parliament.

In a five page statement submitted to the Oversight Committee, the Commission details that it has been calling for the repeal of the clause since 2018/2019.

The Commission says it believes the maintenance of the clause is inimical to the public interest and the public good.

The Commission says the clause only serves to undermine public confidence and trust in the country’s institutions and leaders.

The statement to the parliamentarians notes that corruption loathes transparency and thrives in the darkness.

It says because the gag suppresses information, it is self defeating.

The Commission further argues that it is not aware of any similar statutory gag being imposed on any other law enforcement agency in Jamaica.

The Commission says the gag should therefore be a cause for significant public alarm and concern.

The Commission says by announcing an investigation into an allegation, it cannot logically undermine the presumption of innocence.

The Seymour Panton chaired Commission has also brought to the attention of the Parliamentarians that there is no such gag on similarly styled bodies in the rest of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Commission has called on the Parliament to repeal Section 53, and to reserve to the body the discretionary authority to make statements about its investigations as it sees fit.