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Friday,September 18,2020 15:46 PM

Open up, parliamentarians!

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st March 2002 03:00 AM

A NEW Leadership Code Bill has come up against a lot of hostility at its tabling in Parliament. MPs on the legal and parliamentary committee, who were the first to see the new draft, told the ethics minister and the Inspector General of Government that th

A NEW Leadership Code Bill has come up against a lot of hostility at its tabling in Parliament. MPs on the legal and parliamentary committee, who were the first to see the new draft, told the ethics minister and the Inspector General of Government that th

A NEW Leadership Code Bill has come up against a lot of hostility at its tabling in Parliament. MPs on the legal and parliamentary committee, who were the first to see the new draft, told the ethics minister and the Inspector General of Government that they found some of the clauses objectionable. They are particularly unhappy with the provision that requires leaders to include the wealth of their spouses and under-age dependants to be jointly declared with the individual’s. They also contested some provisions on conflict of interest, seizure of assets, surrender of gifts, and empowering the IGG to punish miscreants. The provisions in the new bill are quite reasonable, especially given that the old law, passed in 1992, has been largely ineffectual as evidenced by the failure of most leaders to declare their wealth. The IGG has been hamstrung by the inability to make sanctions on transgressors. It is, of course, the ultimate irony that a Parliament that has built its credibility around fighting corruption should now be the one to stand in the way of transparency. The last Parliament, quite apart from being voluble, was fairly effective in censuring ministers whose probity was in doubt, and in investigating the dubious functions of some public bodies. It is also outrageous that, of all the leaders (the code includes judicial officials, senior civil servants, heads of public bodies, local government chiefs), it is the elected, and therefore those accountable to the people, who are objecting. The bill would be popular with the people. MPs should show a good example, and if they have nothing to hide, they should welcome it, otherwise resign and let us have leaders who are ready to be fully accountable.

Open up, parliamentarians!

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