Grenada is now the epitome of best practice in dealing with corruption, according to head of the Integrity Commission, Guyana-born attorney-at-law, Lady Anande Trotman Joseph.
The island’s Chief Integrity Commissioner was at the head of a local three-member delegation that attended the 4th annual conference of the Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commission in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Other members of the delegation were Commander of the Commission, Bertie Hill and Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Superintendent of Police, Tafawa Pierre.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Lady Anande said that Grenada was praised for its integrity practices such as the process of declaring assets, training on how to deal with corruption and having the political will.
She attributed the recognition of Grenada to the work being done by the technical staff at the commission.
She said that Grenada has also started to implement many aspects of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) unlike many other member states.
“I believe we were the only state present there that was able to speak to the implementation of the UNCAC …”, she said.
“…In terms of implementing this convention we at the Integrity Commission realise that we could not do it alone, so we brought on board our national round table and our stakeholder partners…”, she added.
Lady Anande singled out the FIU as a key component in the fight against corruption.
The female head of the local Integrity Commission stated that the cooperation of public figures on integrity matters was recognised at the conference.
“Another best practice of Grenada that was singled out was our collective political will, not only of the Prime Minister or the Parliament but the collective will of the stakeholders, the collective will of political parties that subjected themselves to sensitisation and training last year, of churches that came forward to request us to train their officers and even more are lining up.
“The best practice of our rallies, our first rally and our first international anti-corruption day celebration where heads of churches and children marched through the street with the Ombudsman office, the FIU and other stakeholders to ask our nation to really address corruption.
According to Trotman-Joseph, she was very proud that the Integrity Commission’s action in having the assets of public figures declared was heavily lauded at the regional conference.
“I say this very proudly because many of our other Integrity Commissions in the Eastern Caribbean, yes they receive declarations …only up to 200 declarations, we here in Grenada … we may receive declarations and that is asset declarations by sector but have a captive audience up to 15,000 because not only are we looking to deal with grand corruption at the top through the politicians or the parliamentarians but even at the clerical levels.
“All persons receiving over $200,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars are required to declare along with their spouses as well as all statutory bodies and departments here in Grenada receiving public funding.
Head of FIU, Superintendant Tafawa Pierre said the country cannot go wrong in having the FIU and Integrity Commission collaborate in fighting corruption.
“We were one of the two FIUs where a representative from the FIU attended the conference. This speaks volumes that Grenada understands the anti-corruption process and also believes that it is important to have a collaborative approach”, he said.
“Why the FIU is interested in such a process? It is because of our very mandate that we’re supposed to pay special particular attention to preventing and reducing incidences of money laundering and terrorist financing and obviously a bi-product of corruption is proceeds of crime.
Supt Pierre went on: “Once you have proceeds of crime you have money laundering so that’s why we believe that we’re very well placed to (be) part of such a local mechanism and we have been working quite feverishly with the Integrity Commission rightly so…”.
Both Lady Anande and Supt Pierre have been targeted by the main opposition National Democratic Congress as persons who are unsuitable for the jobs as “politically exposed” given their family ties to the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration.