Robert Badal: Integrity Commission a farce
“Ministers of the government with fancy lifestyles and huge assets…we have never seen one investigation
The Integrity Commission of Guyana is a body that has been established to ensure accountability in the government of the day by having certain categories of public servants, including Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, declare their assets, liabilities and income.
This body, which has been touted as one of the mechanisms in place to ensure the accountability of the administration to the electorate, is now being accused of being nothing but a big farce.
This is according to Robert Badal, Chief Executive Officer of the Pegasus Hotel.
According to Badal, the Commission has no powers to investigate incidences of improprieties and as such is a toothless rubberstamp.
Badal recently endorsed the Alliance for Change party which is contesting this year’s Regional and General Elections. During its first outing in the 2006 elections, the AFC garnered five seats in the National Assembly.
The Pegasus CEO said that it is farcical to point to the Integrity Commission as a means of accountability given the fact that if any red flags are raised in the declaration of assets, the Commission is powerless to investigate.
The Integrity Commission Act of Guyana provides for stipulated public service employees to declare their assets and liability and statement of incomes for each year.
The businessman believes that the Integrity Commission must not be restricted to just receiving returns on assets, “but to investigate public officials.”
He said that ever since 1992, when the current administration took office, there have been numerous allegations of instances of corruption, “of ministers of the government with fancy lifestyles and huge assets…we have never seen one investigation by the Integrity Commission.”
He was adamant that the Integrity Commission serves no purpose given that they are restricted to just collecting returns, “and they do nothing with the returns.”
He suggested that the members of the commission do nothing meaningful with the returns given that they are political stooges of, “Jagdeo and Dr Roger Luncheon and they don’t have the means to carry out any investigation…they are not competent.”
Only recently the Integrity Commission issued notices that warned public officials to declare their assets and income.