Opposition to pursue legal action against Integrity Commission, even if PM publishes his integrity report

by August 8th, 2019

The opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has indicated that even if the Prime Minister publishes his own integrity report,  that will not deter it from pursuing legal action against the integrity commission for its delay in publishing the information.

 

This, in the wake of comments yesterday (August 7) by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that he would publish the report by the end of this week, if it’s not done by the commission.

 

Holness had stated that the commission is going through a process and that the commission, being a newly formed entity, should be given time to complete its processes.

 

The matter has been a contentious one for the PNP, in light of the fact that the report for opposition leader Dr. Peter Phillips was published.

 

Under the law, the integrity commission should publish the integrity reports of both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, once cleared.

 

In a statement today, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson said the party will continue to push for the National Integrity Commission to publish and gazette the summary of the statutory declaration of assets and liabilities filed by Prime Minister Holness, in accordance with the integrity act, as its non-disclosure is a breach of the law, which triggers mandatory sanctions.

 

He noted that no one is above the law, not even the Prime Minister, and therefore it’s expected that the integrity commission will carry out its duty prescribed in law.

 

He said the Prime Minister’s releasing of his own declaration, without the clearance of the integrity commission, will not satisfy the law, and that self-publication would be nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the legal requirements.

 

 

He said while the PNP agrees that the integrity commission is a relatively new institution, this is not the kind of matter that would be new to the commissioners and the professionals employed by the commission.

 

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips has reiterated his threat to seek an order in the Supreme Court to compel the integrity commission to fulfill its statutory obligations, if the declarations for Holness are not forthcoming.

 

Speaking at a party function in St. Catherine last night, Dr. Phillips said citizens deserve some level of clarity on the matter.