Premier Andrew Fahie has made a stern promise that his government will be moving to have the Integrity in Public Life Bill passed through the House of Assembly before the end of March 2021.
This legislation is something Fahie had promised during his 2019 election campaign.
“The Integrity in Public Life Bill maintains a priority on your government’s legislative agenda. In fact, by the first quarter of 2021, this Bill will be back before Cabinet for final consideration, then before the House of Assembly and then wait for the assent by the Governor,” Fahie said in a Press statement on Tuesday.
“This initiative of the Premier’s Office is important for two reasons. One: It represents our continued maturity as a people who have long been in control of our affairs. Two: It represents our commitment to strengthening governance, which remains important for having a stable economy,” he added.
DG and Premier’s Office to collab
Premier Fahie also stated that his office will be collaborating with the Office of the Deputy Governor to work on the aspects of the Bill which makes provisions for Code of Conduct and declarations of interest for public officers.
He said both aspects will be reflective of regional and international best practices and standards seen in other legislations.
“Cabinet has approved that the Premier’s Office will work in collaboration with the Deputy Governor on this particular matter. The Premier’s Office is the lead department on the work to finalise the Integrity In Public Life Act because the scope of the legislation is wider than Public Officers,” the Premier stated.
“We are pushing the good governance standards forward. Your elected government is serious about ensuring that we have the Integrity In Public Life Act and the Code of Conduct in place, and we have taken the initiative to make sure this happens,” he added.
The Bill went before the House of Assembly for recommendations on December 18, 2020.
Lack of legislation hindering investigations
This comes after Governor Augustus Jaspert revealed in November that there were major concerns raised regarding the lack of transparency in government spending.
While emphasising the need for a thorough investigation on this serious allegation, Governor Jaspert said the lack of legislation to support the measures that will need to be taken will hinder the process.
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