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Presentation to OAS officials/ representatives 2 nd October, 2012.

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1 Presentation to OAS officials/ representatives 2 nd October, 2012

2 Overview of the Commission Created under the Constitution in 1976 Governed by the Integrity in Public Life Act Members appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition Comprises a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and three other Commissioners Purview- persons exercising public functions and persons in public life Theoretically independent

3 Mandate under the IPLA Receive, examine and retain all declarations filed with it Make such enquiries as it considers necessary in order to verify or determine the accuracy of declarations filed Compile and maintain a Register of Interest Receive and investigate complaints regarding any breaches of the Act or the commission of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act Investigate the conduct of any person falling under the purview of the Commission which in the opinion of the Commission may be considered may be considered dishonest or conducive to corruption

4 Mandate under the IPLA Examine practices and procedures of public bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices Instruct, advise and assist the heads of public bodies of changes in practices and procedures which may be necessary to reduce the occurrence of corrupt practices Carry out programs of public education intended to foster an understanding of standard of integrity

5 Vision and mission Vision –The Integrity Commission is the leading organization to promote integrity and make Trinidad and Tobago corruption free Mission –Ensuring compliance with the Integrity in Public Life Act –Detecting corrupt practices and dishonest conduct –Providing excellent customer service and public education Watchwords –“Do the right thing always”

6 Core values Integrity Trust Respect Transparency Impartiality

7 Strategic Objectives ( ) Regulation in support of all operations of the Commission Increased communication with all publics of the Commission Personnel policy and procedures and full implementation of a performance management system for contract officers

8 Strategic objectives ( ) Complete overhaul of the system for processing declarations including recommendations for new declaration forms The commencement of the examination of public bodies to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices A revised organizational structure for submission to Cabinet

9 Current organizational structure Chairman, deputy chairman and Commissioners Registrar Director Corporate Administration Communications Officer Director Compliance Director Investigations Deputy Registrar

10 Challenges/constraints Regulations needed to assist in implementation of the Act Inadequate powers to effectively execute its role in fighting corruption None imposition of penalties for breaches of the Act Absence of definitions of certain terms in the IPLA Inability to communicate information with other crime fighting agencies

11 Recommendations for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission Financial disclosure –The electronic submission of declaration forms –The issuance of acknowledgement letters, with the caveat that the declaration is subject to audit –Be empowered to levy fines and penalties on organizations that fails to comply with the Commission’s request for and /or confirmation of information in respect of the audit of a declaration –The power to levy fines and penalties on declarants who do not file declarations

12 Recommendations cont’d Financial disclosure –Amend declaration forms to make them more effective at uncovering corruption and conflicts of interest including disclosure of contributions to political parties

13 Recommendations continued Financial disclosure contd The Commission is also recommending the following changes to legislation- –An increase in the minimum limit for disclosure from $10,000. to $25,000. per asset/liability excluding investments and credit card balances –The statement of net worth should be made mandatory instead of at the discretion of the declarant

14 Recommendations cont’d Financial disclosure cont’d –The Commission is also recommending that more specific criteria and guidelines be established for the setting up of a blind trust as stated in section 22(b) –Section 22 (b) to be amended to include a sanction for failing to comply with the Commission’s instructions to place assets in a blind trust –Provision for restraint orders to be imposed upon the use of the proceeds of blind trust in certain circumstances

15 Recommendations for enhancing the IPLA Create a specific portion of the Act to focus on the examination of public bodies There should be penalties for breaches of the code of conduct Review the role of the Tribunal in the examination of declarations and widen its applicability to investigations Facilitate the confidential reporting of corrupt practices in institutions by public officers

16 Recommendations cont’d Spell out the enforcement of the powers to summon witnesses in investigations Make enhanced provisions for the protection of whistle blowers Widen the investigative powers of the Commission to include search and seizure Review the Schedule of persons in public life Remove constraints that prevent the application of the IPLA to judges and magistrates Review the list of persons exercising public functions to include all organizations that handle public money

17 Recommendations cont’d Amend the IPLA to facilitate the exchange of information with other crime fighting agencies

18 Quote of the Day ‘To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism’ –G. Edward Griffin


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