In an effort to combat Ministerial or official wrong doing, the Barrow Administration, with consultation with the Leader of the Opposition has constituted an Integrity Commission. The Integrity Commission, which has conceivably been lying dormant, is charged with requesting and overseeing the financial disclosures of elected officials, this includes their finances, income, liabilities and assets for themselves, their wives and their children. Today, the Commission was formally appointed in the Senate.
“The commission has been outstanding for some time and there has been calling several quarters to get this on the way (as you know, a motion was brought before this House, but was not carried because there was the absence of an accounting person- member of the Charter Accountants of Belize or the Accountants Association of Belize, as the law requires to be a member of the Commission. I think that void has now been fixed. There was also an agreement with the Leader of the Opposition, a change for another member. Now, Mr. President, I move that whereas Section 3, subsection (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Acts No. 21 of 207, hearing after call the Act, provides that there shall be established a body to be known as the “Integrity Commission”, which shall consist of a Chairman who shall be an attorney at law with not less not five year standing and six other members who shall be persons of integrity and high national standing. Whereas Section 3, subsection 2 of the Act provides that two members of the Integrity Commission shall be appointed by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, given the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition and the other members of the Integrity Commission including the Chairman, shall be shall be appointed by the Governor General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition”.
Whereas Section 61 (a) 2 (c) read with Section 61 A.3 of the Belize Constitution provides in effect that, an appointment of a member of the Integrity Commission can only be validly made with the prior approval of the Senate”.
Chairing the Integrity Commission is Former FIU Director, Marilyn Williams, while members include Armead Gabourel, Stephen Duncan, Wilmot Simmons, Brett Feinstein, Philip Zuniga and Kevin Arthurs. Their appointment is for a period of two years, with effect from 1st February.