As promised, Premier Andrew Fahie today introduced the Integrity in Public Life Bill in the House of Assembly.
The bill will seek to preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions in a territory that has been rocked by numerous scandals throughout the years.
In commenting on the bill, Premier Fahie
said it is time for persons who have information on public officials to “put up or shut up!” This means they should be willing to provide proof to support accusations or refrain from speaking against public officials.
“I thought it is only timely because there are many people who have joined up to try to malign my government and my name. But we’re putting in legislation where anyone who has information on an elected official or public officer, put up or shut up! And when you bring it (information), you will be paid for the information. But if you don’t have anything then you will pay for bringing falsehood,” Premier Fahie
He added: “I’m tired of persons in this country being maligned and persons laughing and thinking that it’s a joke. Over the years families were destroyed and a lot of purpose was destroyed in this country. So the same government they were saying doesn’t have integrity; this government is bringing the Integrity In Public Life law where everyone will know what your assets are. So there’s no hiding and we’ll put them in place so this territory can once and for all have something to move on.”
said the Integrity in Public Life law will allow many persons to be vindicated but will help to nab many persons who claim to be innocent but are not.
The Integrity in Public Life Act will work in tandem with a Whistleblowers Act so persons can report maladministration in the public service.
With this law, persons who report misconduct or wrongdoing of a high-ranking public official will be protected from penalisation. But such persons would be penalized if their information turns out to be false.