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Integrity Commission


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The Integrity Commission is an independent body which was established by the Integrity Commission Ordinance 2008 and formally inaugurated in May 2010.  Its primary responsibility is to promote integrity, honesty and good faith in public life in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

 

The Commission’s main functions include:

  • To manage compliance concerning declarations and statements of interests filed by persons in public life and to maintain registers of those interests
  • To examine declarations, make the necessary enquiries and carry out investigations, when relevant, to verify the accuracy of declarations made
  • To receive and investigate complaints regarding any alleged act of corruption for which the Commission has a statutory mandate.  The Commission may also carry out investigations where it is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds for doing so. 
  • To establish and maintain transparency and integrity of party election finance on behalf of the public of the Turks and Caicos Islands. To receive, consider and publish information about political donations and campaign spending at elections
  • Prepare and publish guidance for those we regulate on good practice to comply with the Political Activities Ordinance 2012 and monitor compliance with the law
  • To contribute to public education about integrity in public life, other specific initiatives and the role of the Commission in respect of its overall functions
  • The Commission seeks to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of a Code of Conduct for persons in public life, including Members of the House of Assembly.  Promoting high standards of behavior in public life is based upon the Seven Principles of Public Life

 

Conduct in Public Life

Holders of public office should make decisions based primarily upon the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. 

 

The Integrity Commission was mandated under Section 102(3) of the Constitution, which provides for the introduction of a Code of Conduct, to formulate and publish a Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life. 

 

The Code of Conduct was published by the Commission on the 7th November 2012, following an island-wide consultation exercise.  The Commission has the responsibility for the regulation of the Code and to investigate any alleged failures to abide by the Code by persons subject to it. 

The primary objective of the Code is to ensure that the principles of good governance are embraced by all public officials. It does this by setting acceptable standards of behavior in public life and providing guidance to public officials on how to attain these standards. 

 

The Code derives its legal authority from the Constitution and adopts the Seven Principles of Public Life which obliges public officials to uphold and observe these Principles. 

 

Political Financial Activities

The Political Parties Activities Ordinance (PFAU) which came into force on the 28th August 2012, placed the responsibility for ensuring political parties and candidates comply with their respective legal obligations under the Ordinance with the Integrity Commission.  The Commission therefore established a Political Financial Activities Unit (PFAU) to undertake this function and this Unit has been operational since Monday 27 August 2012.

 

The main focus for the PFAU is to receive, analyze and publish information about party donations and campaign spending at elections and monitor compliance with the law.  It also formulates guidance for those we regulate on good practice in order to comply with the Political Activities Ordinance.  In addition, the PFAU will deal with issues concerning compliance and breaches of the Ordinance.

 

The Commission seeks to ensure consistency of approach and that all parties and candidates are treated fairly.  The Commission aims to secure compliance by assisting the parties and candidates understand the requirements of the Ordinance and get it right from the outset as opposed to simply taking enforcement action after things go wrong.  To achieve this, the Commission acts proactively and provides periodic Guidance Notes to help achieve clarification and compliance in key areas. 

 

One of the main objectives of the Commission is to establish and maintain transparency and integrity of party election finance on behalf of the public of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  We therefore prepare and publish Registers and Reports concerning political donations and expenditure.  

 

 

 

The Commissioners

The Integrity Commission is led by Commissioners comprising of a chairman and five other members appointed by the Governor.  The Commissioners consist of members covering a broad range of specialist experience including, accountancy, legal, a senior member of the clergy and a member who has carried out a senior judicial appointment.  In addition, members are also appointed by the governor on the advice of the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition.

 

The Role of the Commissioners: The Commissioners have overall responsibility for the way the Commission carries out its statutory mandate on a daily basis.  The Commissioners meet on a regular basis to discuss issues concerning the Commission and its functions.  The policies and procedures adopted by the Commission in respect of its statutory functions are formulated by the Commissioners.  They are supported in this by its Executive Team which is headed by the Director of the Integrity Commission. 

Commissioners Profiles

 

Investigations

The Investigative Section of the Integrity Commission is responsible for carrying out enquires and any other investigations as directed by the Commissioners where a written complaint has been received. 

 

Complaints can be received from members of the public, or any public official, who may benefit from the protection they are afforded by the new statutory whistle-blowing provisions contained in the Ordinance; the Commission can also commence an investigation on its own initiative. 

 

The whistle-blowing provisions are designed to ensure that any public official who provides information to the Commission of inappropriate or corrupt behavior by another official is not penalized for doing so.

 

Anyone can contact and attend the Commission’s offices and be assured that they can discuss their concerns about any public official in the strictest of confidence.

 

Before launching an investigation, the Commission has to be satisfied that the complaint relates to an allegation which is within its jurisdiction. It must involve a public official and fall within the parameters of an offence of corruption as defined in Part 6 of the Integrity Commission Ordinance. Simply put, a public official, who uses their public role to make decisions, which are not in the public interest, to gain a benefit for themselves or another will breach the statutory regulations.

 

The Investigative & Enforcement Section plays a crucial role in meeting the law enforcement obligations of the Commission with regard to its anti corruption remit. In order to carry out its enforcement role the Section has additional executive powers.

 

 

Compliance

The Integrity Commission is responsible for various aspects of compliance which includes regulation of the Code of Conduct and also adherence to the Political Activities Ordinance. 

More detailed information concerning compliance with these areas can be accessed on the dedicated pages covering Conduct in Public Life and Political Financial Activities

 

There are also statutory regulations governing disclosure of interests pertaining to all persons in public life.  This includes disclosure of assets, income and liabilities.  In addition to this, Members of the House of Assembly are also required to submit to the Commission details of any other interests specifically relating to any directorships held, any contracts made with government and other relevant details. 

 

The broad focus of compliance is to provide for disclosure of interests including any material factors which could influence a Member of the House of Assembly in performing their public duties.  The principle objective and purpose is to ensure that those who are participating in public life do not seek to derive personal advantage from the outcome of their actions. 

 

To meet this objective, a statutory framework has been put in place to regulate disclosure interests.  The rules are founded on the presumption of integrity but also the recognition that specific measures should also exist to underpin compliance.

 

The Commission is required to periodically draw up and publish guidance and provide advice on compliance to persons covered by the statutory regulations.  Registers are required to be maintained by the Commission and those registers which are open to public inspection can be accessed on this website.

 

In handling all declarations, the Commission adheres to strict confidentially and security procedures in line with its statutory obligations.  Those who are required to file declarations with the Commission can therefore be assured that information provided is treated with the upmost sensitivity and that security of this information is of paramount importance. 

 

Contacts

Ordinances

Code of Conduct

Guidance Notes

Registers

Reports

Press Releases

PAF Unit