It is going to take Barbados much more than an Integrity in Public Life Bill to beat corruption in public office, the man who chairs the Turks and Caicos Islands Integrity Commission has told legislators.
Sir David Simmons, who previously served as Barbados’ attorney general and later chief justice, told the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on the proposed Integrity in Public Life Bill 2018, in its first public hearing on Monday that the legislation has to be accompanied by other related laws to properly fight corruption.
“It cannot exist on its own. It cannot adequately do the job,” he said, adding that “…There must be a code of conduct developed which must provide for sanctions for breach of the code.”
He stressed that Barbados must start to put its house in order to align itself with the rest of the world and the best practices that are being developed to enhance good governance.
Sir David, who helped establish the Turks and Caicos Islands Integrity Commission, pointed out that with Barbados seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it will have to pay particular attention to its efforts to stamp out corruption.
According to Caribbean 360 News, he also made a strong case for whistleblower legislation with provision to protect the informants, a major public education programme to ensure the widest possible buy-in, and much stiffer penalties that would deter potential corruption.