UNC can take their issues to Parliament says Integrity Commission Chairman

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UNC can take their issues to Parliament says Integrity Commission Chairman

Following a call by the Opposition for all five members of the Integrity Commission (IC) to resign, the IC’s chairman, Professor Rajendra Ramlogan says the the UNC can take their issues to Parliament.

That way, he says, they can ensure that amendments are made to the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA) to strengthen its ability to take action when officials fail to make declarations.

Ramlogan, according to a GML report, said: “Members of Parliament do have some measure of control over the parliamentary agenda and can do all within their power to have the issue of amendments to the IPLA addressed in Parliament where the power to make and change law resides,” Ramlogan said.

He said politicians have a constitutional right to freedom of speech and can therefore express their opinions. However, he reiterated that there was nothing more the commission could have done when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley failed to declare two properties on Form B when he initially filed his declaration of income, assets and liabilities in 2019.

“The IC did submit proposals for amendments to the IPLA which are yet to be considered by the Parliament. The IC had no control over the parliamentary agenda but will continue to pursue reform of the existing provisions with the relevant authorities. Until there is such reform, the IC must continue to apply the law as it currently is,” he said.

In his defence in the Inez townhouse scandal, Dr Rowley took to Facebook on Tuesday to publish Form A, which is a confidential document under the IPLA.

It showed where he listed Inez Development, a property he co-owns with his wife Sharon, to the tune of $1.2 million on his declaration forms. However, it also showed the property was listed as $1.2 million when it was actually worth $1.68 million.

Dr Rowley purchased the property from businessman Allan Warner with a discount of over $400,000, which the commission deemed a gift.

However, the IC said the gift was not linked to the Prime Minister’s Office and was therefore not considered inappropriate.