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Bunting says gov't "prematurely" set up Integrity Commission

Peter Bunting and Karl Samuda
 
Opposition member of parliament Peter Bunting has accused the government of prematurely setting up the Integrity Commission and crippling corruption investigations.
 
The Integrity Commission was established in February 2019 following the merger of the Integrity Commission, the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, and the Office of the Contractor General.
 
But Mr. Bunting said no preparatory work was done before the body was set up.
 
"When the Minister of Justice signed in February to bring the Integrity Commission into effect, there had been no study done of what the structure of the new organisation would look like, there had been no study done of the transitional arrangements necessary, so as not to interrupt the work that was taking place at the Office of the Contractor General." 
 
He argued that the hasty set up of the Commission "cut off" investigations being done by the Office of the Contractor General, resulting in no report of the investigations being carried out by the office more than two years after probes began. One such investigation, Mr. Bunting pointed out, involved irregularities in the issuing of firearm licences. 
 
He said resignations of key members of staff of the Integrity Commission have also been to its detriment. 
 
However, Karl Samuda, Leader of Government Business in the House, accused Mr. Bunting of hypocrisy in relation to the establishment of the Integrity Commission.
 
He argued that the government had been "beseeched by the Opposition to bring it into effect immediately" and blasted Mr. Bunting for "opportunism and treachery". 
 
 


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