This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Integrity Commission must explain decision to clear Bunting, says NIA

By Warren Bertram   

National Integrity Action (NIA) says there is need for an explanation from the Integrity Commission on its recent decision to clear former National Security Minister Peter Bunting after accusing him of impropriety in a 2017 report.

The 2017 report had stated that two former ministers of National Security, Robert Montague and Peter Bunting, approved the issuance of firearm licences, on appeal, to people with significant criminal history.

But in an addendum to the report, the Integrity Commission said it accepted that Mr. Bunting's approval was based on recommendations from the board of the Firearm Licensing Authority.

There was no mention of Mr. Montague in the addendum, tabled Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

Danielle Archer, Principal Director of NIA, said the commission's addendum has raised questions about the credibility of its investigations. 

"The reputation of the institution of the Integrity Commission is extremely important. And because of that, the situation that we've had over the last couple of weeks that have led us and led individuals to question the strength of the entity requires that you might wish to look at how it is that these decisions have been made. And perhaps in the private sector world, we would have looked at the entity and determined that perhaps there are going to be questions posed to those who are in management of it," she suggested.  

Ms. Archer said the criticisms of the commission should not focus on the commissioners, but on those responsible for the ground work and how their capacity can be strengthened. 

"We need to be able to strengthen the persons who support the entity to ensure that it is strong. So if we now have a reversal and there's no explanation, we would need to know what has led to this change of heart and why this was before," she argued. 

Given that the Integrity Commission is the only anti-corruption body of its kind in the Caribbean, the NIA principal director insisted "we need to secure it and strengthen it".

Ms. Archer was speaking Thursdday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.