Mon | Aug 10, 2020

Christie coming to Parliament

Published:Friday | July 3, 2020 | 12:32 AM
Greg Christie (left), executive director of the Integrity Commission, knocks elbows with Kevon Stephenson, director of investigations, on Christie’s first day on the job. Christie, a former contractor general who was criticised for his zealotry in fighti
Greg Christie (left), executive director of the Integrity Commission, knocks elbows with Kevon Stephenson, director of investigations, on Christie’s first day on the job. Christie, a former contractor general who was criticised for his zealotry in fighting corruption, began a new era at the Integrity Commission’s Oxford Road offices in May.

Days after the Integrity Commission released two hard-hitting reports on its investigations into the scandal-scarred Petrojam with some adverse findings, a parliamentary oversight committee has invited the agency’s executive director, Greg Christie, to appear before them.

The Karl Samuda-chaired Integrity Commission Oversight Committee has asked the longtime anti-corruption campaigner to attend its inaugural sitting on Tuesday.

In its annual report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the anti-corruption body asked lawmakers to amend Section 53(3) – the so-called gag, or Christie clause, that imposes strong restrictions on the commission to keep all matters under investigation secret until a report is tabled in Parliament.

The anti-corruption oversight body has recommended that the commission be “vested with the authority to comment on investigations as deemed necessary and appropriate”.

The commission also wants Section 51 of the Integrity Commission Act, which empowers the director of investigation to probe matters relating to government contracts and prescribed licences, to be amended.

It is being recommended that the law be changed to make it an offence in situations where the work of the director of investigation is being obstructed. Further, in instances where a person fails to comply with the director’s lawful requirement and where a person wilfully makes a false statement to mislead, the commission wants these actions to attract sanctions.

Other members of the Integrity Commission Oversight Committee are Peter Bunting, Delroy Chuck, Marlene Malahoo Forte, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, Mark Golding, and Anthony Hylton.

The committee’s terms of reference include monitoring and reviewing the performance of the functions of the commission, among others.