Information Minister Robert Morgan has accused the Integrity Commission of misleading the public in relation to its push for government ministers to sign its Leadership Code of Conduct.
In a statement Tuesday, the anti-corruption body said Mr. Morgan has made a number of public remarks concerning the commission's Leadership Code of Conduct that might have confused the public.
But speaking Wednesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, Mr. Morgan said he was not a member of the Cabinet at the time when special training on the Code of Conduct was administered by the commission.
Mr. Morgan said, to date, he has not received a copy of the Code of Conduct from the Integrity Commission.
"So how is it now that the Integrity Commission can bind me to something as an elected representative that they refuse to even speak to me about? The only way they speak to me is through press releases with misleading and incendiary statements," he contended.
"You say that I got training. I never got any training. That's an established fact and that is clear in their own press release. So they are misleading the public, as it relates specifically to me as a minister, and that cannot be challenged," Mr. Morgan insisted.
The Integrity Commission said the Prime Minister has yet to respond to its letter requesting that he sign the code.
It added that neither Mr. Holness nor any member of the Cabinet has to date signed the code.
But Mr. Morgan pointed out that based on the statement by the Integrity Commission, Cabinet ministers were never initially expected to sign the Leadership Code of Conduct.
"It was after the Leader of the Opposition, based on their own revelations in their press release, said to them that he would love for his members to individually sign the code. That is an argument change. So you send a letter to the Prime Minister saying, sign this code for yourself on behalf of Cabinet and himself, and then you change the argument to say now that Cabinet ministers must sign the code. That is very problematic," said the minister with responsibility for information.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has also expressed disappointment with the comments by the Integrity Commission, calling its statement "rude, repugnant and offensive".
He particularly took issue with the commission implying that failure to sign its Leadership Code of Conduct is an indication of a lack of commitment by officials to operate in the interest of good governance.
Speaking at Wednesday morning's post-Cabinet press briefing, Mr. Chuck indicated that he has also not been given a copy of the code and does not know its content.