Integrity Commission reconstituted; Chandra Gajraj named Chairman
Having expired on February 21, 2021, a new board of the Integrity Commission was sworn in on Tuesday by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown.
The five new members of the Integrity Commission are Dr Jocelin Kim Kyte-Thomas; Mrs Chandra Gajraj, Mohamed Ispahani Haniff, Hardesh Tewari and Wayne Bowman.
Chandra Gajraj will Chair the Commission for the next three years. President Irfaan Ali witnessed the swearing-in of these members.
The Integrity Commission Act allows for the President to consult with the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton before these appointments were made.
Those consultations commenced on May 13; the Act requires the Opposition Leader to submit his recommendations but should the President fail to find favour in the recommendations, he can go ahead and constitute a Board of persons he reposes confidence in.
The Act also outlines that the prerogative resides with the President and advises that those selected are to be of high integrity and able to keep the records of high office holders safe and confidential.
Already, a total of $62.9M has been allocated for the Commission in the 2022 budget.
Even without a Board for just over one year, the Commission continued to function with its expanded staff and investigators, receiving reports until the new Board is in place.
For 2020 (July 2019 – June 2020), a total of 1,369 declarations were to be submitted by public officials, however, only 606 declarations were actually submitted. That means that there is a total of 763 declarations outstanding.
The Integrity Commission was put in place to improve public confidence in the integrity of persons in public life by administering and enforcing the Integrity Commission Act which comprises of the Code of Conduct, and Declarations of income, assets and liabilities.