Integrity Commission publishes list of defaulters
Guyana Chronicle
March 8, 2002

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A GOVERNMENT spokesman says the advertisement by the Integrity Commission regarding the failure by some public officers to comply with the Commission's Act is a confirmation of the commitment by the People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to a clean and transparent Government.

According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Mr. Robert Persaud, Information Liaison to the President, said, "While not surprising, it is interesting that those MPs (Members of Parliament) found to be in violation of the Integrity Commission Act are not from the PPP/C."

"The PNC/R (main Opposition People's National Congress Reform), which, without evidence, attacks the Government on the issue of accountability, may wish to explain why so many of its MPs, including aspirants to the leadership post, failed to comply with this basic anti-corruption requirement," he charged.

The Integrity Commission, created in 1997, is headed by Anglican Bishop Randolph George and comprises members of civil society. Its Act stipulates that the President, Ministers of Government and senior public service officers are required to submit declarations on their assets.

GINA said Section IV of the Integrity Commission Act contains a Code of Conduct which states: "Any person in public life who is in breach of any provision of the Code of Conduct shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $25,000 and to punishment for a period of not less than six months and not more than one year."

The notice, which was published in yesterday's edition of the Chronicle, lists 11 MPs and 31 Regional officials who have not complied with the statute.

The notice threatens legal action and to publish the names in the media frequently.

Persaud told GINA, "It must be recalled that it was the PPP/C that established the Integrity Commission as part of its ongoing efforts to combat corruption and wrongdoings by public officers."

"This includes the timely presentation of the Auditor General's Department report; constant reforming of the tender system; drafting shortly of the first ever procurement bill for the National Assembly; making all privatisation contracts and international agreements and loans available to Parliament for debate and discussions; awarding of duty free and tax concessions according to an incentive regime approved by Parliament; and investigating reports and allegations of corruption and those found guilty to be dealt with condignly", he said.

"The Guyanese people may wish to use the notice by the Integrity Commission to judge for themselves who is truly committed to the fight against corruption and clean, good governance," Persaud told GINA.