The Integrity Commission (IC) shared with representatives of the Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC), during a visit last year and also recently with a visiting overseas official from the Department for International Development (DFID), based in Jamaica, that the Integrity Commission has fashioned a phased approach to its work; through the establishment of methodologies and structures.
Details of those methods and structures and copies of supporting documents were shared with MESICIC. One Phase comprised training of Commissioners and staff. The Commissioners received some training from a visiting overseas Consultant, Binder, Dizker, Otte (BDO) Forensic Accounting Ltd. (One Commissioner received training in Singapore, during the life of the first Commission and the information gleaned by that Commissioner was shared with the other Commissioners during a Workshop in 2014).
Compliance Officers, on being appointed, were exposed to the functioning of a number of Government Departments (Accountant General’s Department, the Audit Department, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Registry of the Supreme Court and the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office).
One Compliance Officer attended a Workshop in an OECS country (Antigua), on the subject of Asset Disclosure in Small Island Jurisdictions, December 04 to 05, 2014. She presented a written Report to the Commission and verbally gave information on the deliberations of the Workshop.
With Commissioners and colleague Compliance Officer, she also indicated that she had shared at that workshop “…..that the Commission is currently disseminating a series of documents called “Sharing with the Public” through local newspapers, in which information such as what are the responsibilities of the Commission, how are these responsibilities carried out …..”.
She also shared that the moderator (Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer attached to the Corruption and Economic Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was impressed with this effort by Grenada, and had encouraged the other participating countries from within the region, who all indicated that they had no such initiative in place, to consider doing the same.
Another phase: The Integrity Commission is proceeding with receipt of declarations of Income, Assets and Liabilities from persons in public life. It is vital for those declarations to be kept safely, as the Integrity Commission must be in a position to satisfy a Court of Law (if that is required) that the declarations have not being tampered with, and that the chain of custody of the envelope with the declaration has been adhered to by Officers within the Commission.
A chain of custody is the noting of physical movement and location of a document or thing from the time of receipt to the time it is presented as evidence in Court.
(Submitted by the Office of the Integrity Commission)