No investigation of Asot without a complaint, Integrity Commission says

6
Michael

Statement from the Integrity Commission…

“In an earlier communique, the Integrity Commission advised the general public that it had met and discussed certain issues, including the Asot Michael matter, and that it had determined that there were grounds for an investigation under Section 12(1)(b) of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004. The Commission also advised that it would make a formal request of the Government for the necessary resources to enable it to conduct the investigation.

The Integrity Commission is pleased to advise that the Government has responded favourably to the Commission’s request and has requested the Commission to submit a budget to enable the Government to make the necessary budgetary allocations.  As a first step the Commission has engaged legal counsel to the Commission and in its most recent deliberations has had the benefit of the advice and opinion of said legal counsel. The Commission therefore wishes to advise the public as follows on the functions and powers of the Integrity Commission.

As to the functions of the Commission, firstly, pursuant to section 12(1)(b) of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004, it is a function of the Commission to receive and investigate complaints regarding noncompliance with or contravention of any of the provisions of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004 or the Prevention of Corruption Act 2004.

Secondly, pursuant to section 12(1)(d) of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004, it is a function of the Commission to conduct an investigation into any offence of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2004 if it is satisfied that there are grounds for an investigation.

It is important that the functions of the Commission as mandated by section 12(1)(b) and (d) of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004 be read together and in context. Legal counsel has advised the Commission that upon reading both subsections together he is of the considered view that the Commission cannot determine that there are grounds for an investigation in a vacuum but only in the presence of a complaint properly received by the Commission in accordance with section 22 of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004. The need for a complaint in order to ground an investigation is fortified by Part IV of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004 which makes extensive provision as to how a complaint is to be lodged and how an investigation is to be conducted.

Section 22 of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004, among other things, dictates that a complaint to the Commission cannot be vague and in general terms. It must give substantial particulars, including (1) the period within which there was the commission of an alleged breach of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004 or the Prevention of Corruption Act 2004 and (2) the names and addresses of persons involved in the commission of the breach. Further, the person making the complaint is mandated under section 22(2)(a) of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004 to provide evidence to support the complaint including documentary evidence and must provide a sworn statement.

To date, the Commission has not received any complaint with respect to the Asot Michael matter, in accordance with section 22 of the Integrity in Public Life Act 2004. Legal counsel has advised that in the circumstances the Commission is unable to proceed with an investigation into that matter.

The Commission is continuing to take steps to strengthen the infrastructure within the Commission so that it may properly perform its functions, including the investigation of any complaint that is properly before it.”

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This is really a cartoon country so the ordinary man on the street should do the investigation lol …….ok am going to send u guys some information on Michael BROWNE lets see if u investigate that …..England did that for us with asot and u guys dont see y he should be investigated

  2. According to old wives tales, when an integrity commissioner is himself a lawyer who in turn seeks to advise himself as an integrity commissioner, it means the country in which the said commissioner operates is a Cartoon Country!

  3. This kind of foolishness will continue to happen in Antigua until and unless people get up and demand accountability from their leaders. I will go as far as to say that all the statutory bodies and govt appointed bodies are operating without any proper oversight and are simply a rubber stamp for the government that appointed them. The integrity commission is toothless and has been toothless because it is beholden to the government that appointed it. The body should be abolished immediately. It is sad, very sad when good Christian minded men and women (like head of the Integrity Commission) take such foolish stand. They make a mockery of the Christian faith and cause people to ridicule the Church and Christianity. We will continue to be in the same position, day in, day out when good people sit around and do nothing, but to protect and defend their salary.

  4. I’m no fan of Asot Micheal but how can the intergity comission want to investigation and forget about the John Ashe scandal. They only making that aboutface cause the PM called them out. Tupz

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