On behalf of the Commissioners of Grenada’s Integrity Commission including Deputy Chairperson Robert Robinson, Commissioners, Bertie Hill, Oforiwa Augustine, Philbert Charles, Jasmin Redhead and Winston James, along with our small hardworking professional technical team, it is an honour to address you, on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, 2019.
This day is celebrated under the theme:
“Together, we unite against corruption”.
We have received messages of solidarity from both the Commonwealth Secretary General and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which have been shared on our online platforms.
This corruption about which we speak, and fight against, is often defined as “the abuse of public office though unlawful, dishonest and fraudulent conduct, and use of undue influence for personal gain or benefit”.
However, the root causes of corruption start in our own minds, homes, and networks of family, friends, associates, organizations and businesses within our society. It is sometimes seen as culturally accepted behavior.
Grenada’s anti corruption efforts and the establishment of an anti corruption and integrity system are relatively new.
Nonetheless, we have been relentless in our commitment to establish and to make operational, a national integrity and anti corruption system.
To achieve this, the Commission has collaborated with national stakeholders including Law enforcement, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Director of Audit’s Office and the Procurement Department.
Technical cooperation and assistance has been received from the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Since its establishment, the Commission has developed and implemented policies and protocols for:
The receipt of asset and liability declarations of public officials and public officers,
The compliance system, which ensures the analyses of these declarations.
Complaints and disclosuresabout alleged activities of persons in public life are also received and hearings or meetings held to determine the issues of these complaints.
The Commission undertakes investigations and Inquiriesinto the management practices and procedures of government ministries, departments, and statutory and public bodies, to assist with the identification of necessary changes in practices or procedures to reduce occurrences and weakness of corruption.
Grenadian Integrity and anti corruption laws are a deterrent for public officers and officials and also, requires much of the Commission’s information to be secret and confidential.
However, we ensure that we communicate about what we do in a transparent way. The public is informed through media releases, postings on its Official Website, Facebook and Twitter accounts; and sessions are held for public officials and officers, and statutory Board members and managers, churches and civil society about the importance of integrity in public life and the prevention of corruption.
Grenada sponsors the Commonwealth Caribbean’s regional anti corruption Training and Development Center. This year, the Commission hosted the Fourth Annual Senior Leadership and Management Training program facilitated by Dr. Roger Koranteng, Head of the Commonwealth’s Public Sector Governance and Anti-Corruption Department, along with Chairman Dirk Harrison of the regional Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies (CCAICACB).
Attending were society Commission representatives from: Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica and St Lucia, Grenada’s DPP and Attorney General, Permanent Secretaries, Departments Heads, Senior members of the Royal Grenada Police Force and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), statutory bodies, media and civil society.
The Commission recognizes the critical importance of early interventions by working with our nation’s children to achieve a cultural shift and behavioural change in the longer term through integrity and preventive education.
Primary and secondary school students were involved in the creation of the Commission’s logo and naming of the Commission’s Mascot “Trusty Megsy”. Our jingle is also being created by the nation’s students.
Most heartening, is the recognition of the Commission’swork as a regional best practiceas showcased in April in Ecuador at a Parl America’s meeting of Presiding Officers of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In June, Baroness Patricia Scotland singled out the work of Grenada’s Commission for its best practices at the Annual meeting of the regional Association.
In July, Grenada’s Commission represented by its Chairperson, was the only Caribbean Commission selected to send an expert to develop 22 Anti-corruption Bench- marks or standards to establish the minimum standards by which Commonwealth countries, will measure anti-corruption practices and make improvements to help tackle corruption.
Although we use the commemoration of this Day to showcase the work of the Commission and Grenada’s anti corruption system, we also highlightthe importance of tackling corruption together.
This is how we will realize our vision of a cadre of public officials and officers who demonstrate the highest levels of integrity.
May we look to a future where the fight against corruption is constructively embraced by the political and collective will of all our people.
Let us together as Grenadians, unite against corruption.