The Second Annual Report of the Integrity Commission for the year, September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010 was tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Legal Affairs on Thursday, March 17, 2011. The Report deals with the activities of the Commission for that year.
The Commission reported under all the main provisions of the Act, including declaration of financial affairs, possession of unaccounted property, complaint of breach of the Code of Conduct, Bribery and Corruption, the independence and autonomy of the Commission and the staff of the Commission. The Commission also commented on the issue concerning accountability in public procurement by the Cabinet Secretariat to which the Director of Audit referred in his 2009 report to Parliament.
In his letter of transmittal of the Report to the Minister for Legal Affairs, Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Julian Johnson highlighted some of the major challenges confronting the Commission during that period. These include:
- the urgent need to amend the First Schedule to the Act in order to reduce vagueness and ambiguity in the definition of ‘person in public life' and to make the list of such persons more comprehensive;
- the need to amend the provisions of the Act itself dealing with trust property and complaints of breaches of the Act generally, and to empower the Commission to extend, for good cause, the deadline for filing of declarations and to initiate investigations on its own volition;
- the inordinate delay experienced by the Commission in the appointment to the post of Secretary. The Commission functioned for thirteen months, up to August 1, 2010, without such an appointment, notwithstanding urgent recommendations made to the appointing authorities; and
- the need for high level professional staff in the field of forensic and investigative accountancy to assist in the prompt and efficient discharge of its investigative functions under the Act.
The Commission again urged Government to give attention to its many recommendations for amendment to the Act and the First Schedule thereto, and exhorted the society in general to refuse to tolerate any but the highest standards of behavior by public officials, since "matters of ethics cannot be left to law alone." These recommendations to Government are contained in the First Annual Report 2009 and in Appendix V to the 2010 Annual Report.
Electronic copies of the Second Annual Report are available on the Website of the Government of Dominica, www.dominica.gov.dm. Hard copies have been sent to the Public Library, the Documentation Centre and the University Centre on Elmshall Road.