Former B’dos Chief Justice to lead Integrity Commission

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: A former Barbados Chief Justice has been put in a position to lead all future investigations into government corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Sir David Simmons will have that task for ensuring integrity in public life as the first chairman of the Integrity Commission Board. His appointment took effect on May 1.

Sir David, 70, went on pre-retirement leave from his role as Chief Justice in January, eight years after he took up the position, and officially retired last month.

“I’m very glad that such a distinguished judge as Sir David Simmons has agreed to fill that role and we look forward to his chairmanship of it,” said TCI Governor Gordon Wetherell.

Five others whom Wetherell described as “very distinguished members of the community” – accountant Gary Brough, attorney-at-law Jeremy Northocote, Bishop Clarence Williams, Reverend Reuben Hall and Rosita Butterfield – will work alongside Simmons to set up the structures and rules of the Commission.

An executive arm to carry out the Commission’s work also has to be established.

It had been recommended, by the Foreign Affairs Committee, that the United Kingdom government provide the capital and operating costs for an initial period of three years.

However, Wetherell said that “the implementation of proposals for development of an executive arm of the Commission is under consideration and is also under consideration in the UK”.

“No decision has yet been made as to the funding of that,” he said.

The idea of the Commission was introduced in 2008 under the Integrity Commission Ordinance. Although it was passed, the Commission was not immediately set up but, in 2009, a Commission of Inquiry into allegations of government corruption pointed to the need for such a body to be in place.

The Commission will receive and keep declarations of persons in public life and examine and investigate those declarations; carry out investigations into allegations of corruption; examine the practices and procedures of public bodies and instruct the management of those bodies.

 

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