Wayne Walker reports

Commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM, Terrence Williams, is describing as retrograde a move to deny the oversight body prosecutorial and arrest powers.

Debate on the recommendations to amend the INDECOM Act was opened in the House of Representatives on Tuesday by Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck.

However, powers which Commissioner Williams believes are paramount to the operations of the body are not included in the proposed amendments.

Commissioner Williams says its unfortunate that all the recommendations put forward were not taken on board.

As part of his presentation when opening the debate, Minister Chuck says the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been improved and is able to take on additional cases proffered by INDECOM.

He also says the DPP remains amenable to providing INDECOM with fiats to pursue its own cases.

However, Commissioner Williams questions the efficacy of such a system.

The recommended amendments do provide INDECOM with additional powers including the ability to expressly compel members of the security forces or specified officials to serve notices.

But, Commissioner Williams says the very need for this is proof that INDECOM requires the power of arrest.