Integrity Commission chastised for handling of conflict of interest case involving PM Holness
The Integrity Commission is being chastised for its tardiness and overall poor handling, of the matter relating to its probe into alleged conflict of interest, involving Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
This after the commission tabled a report from the Director of Investigations on Tuesday, in which Mr Holness was referred to the Director of Corruption prosecution for further determination of possible influence in the awarding of government contracts to Westcon Construction Company whose operator Robert Gavin, is a known associate.
The report set off a firestorm of comments locally and internationally about Mr Holness, with calls made for him to step aside, despite his rejection of the commission‘s report and declaration that he did nothing wrong.
The ruling of the Director of Corruption prosecution was made public yesterday, 2 days after the investigative report was tabled, and it stated that no charge should be brought against the prime minister, as no evidence was found to substantiate the claims.
The document, however, revealed that the a letter on the matter was sent to Gordon House, in February.
Questions have been raised about the timing of the public release of the documents from the commission, as well as the length of time it took for the commission to make its determination on the allegations, relating to incidents that occurred 15 years ago.
In commenting on the issue, cabinet Minister Daryl Vaz said although the commission cleared Mr Holness, the damage has already been done.
Mr Vaz pointed out that all members of parliament have similar situations – of making recommendations for persons or entities involved in constituency work.