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Who will check integrity of Integrity Commissioners?

Who will check integrity of Integrity Commissioners?

Territorial At-large Representative and Junior Minister for Trade, Shereen Flax-Charles, has questioned whether the necessary safeguards may be in place for the Integrity Commission.

Speaking during a recent sitting of the House of Assembly, the first-term legislator said even though she was in support of the bill, she questioned who will be responsible for policing the Commission.

She reasoned that even though persons such as judges and clergymen might be deemed as persons with integrity, it is often reported in the news that “priests are being arrested left right and centre, [while] judges as well are being taken off of the bench”.

According to Flax-Charles, whoever is chosen for the Commission should go through the same type of scrutiny that will likely be placed on public officers, district representatives, or politicians.

“How do we ensure that [the Commissioners] are not corrupt or even more corrupt?” Flax-Charles asked.

She argued that these are the persons are expected to take complaints from the public, therefore it was important for legislators to ensure that their integrity is intact.

What is the Integrity Commission?

The Integrity Commission is a body that is expected to be formed once the recently passed Integrity in Public Life Act becomes law.

The chairperson of the five-member Commission is expected to be a retired judge or someone who has practised law in the Virgin Islands for at least fifteen years.

Other members of the body are expected to be selected by the governor, the Premier, the Opposition Leader and the Christian Council.

The government said the Commission would assist in achieving its objectives to promote good governance, enhance ethical conduct of public officials, and strengthen the prevention and detection of corrupt acts by persons in public life.


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