Independent Senator, Dr. Frances Chandler, believes that the persons in public life referred to in the Prevention of Corruption Act should only include those who have real and direct influence on the decisions made by government.
Chandler expressed this view earlier today while speaking on the Prevention of Corruption Act in the Senate.
She said such persons would include those who have a say in the awarding of service contracts, the hiring of persons and the procurement of material.
Chandler argued that such public officers would have an opportunity to use their offices for personal gains.
The independent senator said: “I certainly do not think that independent senators and others with no influence that could lead to corruption fall into this category. I agree with those persons who felt that second risk based approach would be better.
Those in areas like immigration, law enforcement and revenue generating agencies where the risk is perceived to be greatest would be asked to file a declaration. I would add to that list those involved in procurement and awarding of contracts.
“But it seems that those in these high risk areas are not included in the list of persons in public life listed in the Second Schedule of the bill. I find it rather strange.”
She pointed out that some of the submissions presented to the Select Committee identified such persons as deputy permanent secretaries and chief technical officers of ministries, police officers at the rank of inspector and above, deputy comptroller of customs and senior customs officers, deputy commissioner of Inland Revenue, senior officers and auditors of the Inland Revenue Department, senior tax appliance officers, deputy chief immigration officer and senior immigration officers, heads and deputy heads of divisions of statutory boards, deputy commander of the Defence Force, deputy head of the Coast Guard and senior Coast Guard officers, head and deputy heads of diplomatic missions, chief officers of the prisons, members of the Tenders Board, deputy auditor general and deputy accountant general should have been on the list.
She agreed with fellow senators who argued that the Governor General should be the one to appointed all members of the commission so as to remove any perceived political bias.††