Basseterre, St. Kitts (October 7, 2022) – The Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrence Drew, visited the Office of the Integrity Commission at Liverpool Row, Basseterre, St Kitts on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, and was given a tour of the Office by its Chairperson, Retired High Court Judge, Her Ladyship Pearletta Lanns and other Integrity Commissioners.
During the visit, the Chairperson introduced the Prime Minister to the St Kitts and Nevis Integrity Commissioners who were present to meet with the Attorney-General to discuss ideas arising from the swift implementation of the Government’s Anti-Corruption legislative agenda.
The government’s proposed Anti-Corruption Act envisions the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute criminal acts of corruption throughout the Civil Service, Statutory Boards and Government-Owned Companies, subject to the constitutional powers of the Director of Public Prosecution.
The St. Kitts Integrity Commission is a body established by the Integrity in Public Life Act, comprising a chairperson, who must be a retired Judge or an attorney-at-law of at least fifteen years standing, appointed by the Governor-General acting in his or her own deliberate judgment and two other persons appointed by the Governor-General after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, respectively. The St. Kitts Integrity Commission will serve for a period of 5 years and must be persons of high integrity, capable of exercising competence, diligence, sound judgment and impartiality in fulfilling their duties pursuant to the provisions of the Act.
The Prime Minister, in an interview on Freedom FM’s Issues later that day in reference to his visit to the Office of the Integrity Commission, stated that “once we start on the path of good governance it will allow the country to unleash its full potential …we want to create that new paradigm. It takes time but we are working quickly on it to make sure we get it right.” He continued “we want to create a country that is the envy of many.”
The St. Kitts Integrity Commissioners are Her Ladyship (Retired) Pearletta Lanns, Chairperson, Ms. Carol Boddie and Mr. Dennis “Freddie” Knight. The Nevis Integrity Commissioners are Mr. Ricaldo Caines, Chairman of the Commission, Mr. G. Sydney Newton, and Mr. Alford Tyrell. The Nevis Integrity Commissioners are appointed pursuant to the Nevis Integrity in Public Life Ordinance.
Attorney General, Hon. Garth Wilkin, expressed that “The Freedom of Information Act, passed in 2018, will finally be operationalized to allow access to the press and public to non-confidential Government information and to protect whistle-blowers”. He added that he will be meeting with the Press Association on Friday 7th October 2022 to discuss possible recommendations.