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Bunting defends Integrity Commission amid claims of unfairness

Senator Peter Bunting has commented on the public spat between the Integrity Commission and the government, claiming allegations against the anti-corruption group are unfounded and improper.

Some government Members of Parliament and Cabinet ministers have accused the Integrity Commission of being biased and unfair in how it conducts its investigations and prepares subsequent reports.

Mr. Bunting has disagreed with the position and accused government MPs of launching what he calls an orchestrated attack against the Integrity Commission. 

"To my mind, the Integrity Commission and its predecessor, the Contractor General, has from time to time upset both sides in their reports. So I don’t think there is any pattern of bias," he said, adding that the current commissioners were appointed by the Jamaica Labour Party administration. 

Mr. Bunting also responded to critics of the Integrity Commission who have said the disagreements should not be played out in the media. 

The senator, who was a guest Friday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, said while the situation is undesirable, the commission must be allowed to defend itself.

"It can’t just be pilloried by government ministers, by Cabinet ministers and not respond. So it is an untidy situation, but it is not to be laid at the feet of the Integrity Commission. What we need to happen is that civil society needs to speak out and tell the government 'Cut it out!' because what they’re doing is not in the interest of the country," Mr. Bunting argued. 

Code of Conduct signed 

The former Minister of National Security said he has signed the Integrity Commission's Leadership Code of Conduct. 

Mr. Bunting had promised he would ink the document following Wednesday's tabling of an addendum to a report by the commission which cleared him of any impropriety.

The addendum is in relation to a 2017 Special Report of an investigation into allegations concerning the issuance of firearm permits to people of questionable character covering the period 2012 to 2018.

Mr. Bunting said he signed the code Thursday and it will be submitted to the commission on Friday.