Constitutional and legislative provisions on the budgets of constitutional agencies

Our last two articles dealt with the Integrity Commis-sion, its proposed amendment and revision of the Code of Conduct. One aspect of the proposed Code relates to removal from office for contravening any of the provisions of the Code. The authority for such removal rests with the President in the case of Vice-Presidents and Ministers, and the Minister of State in the case of other persons in public life. I can see nothing wrong with the President’s involvement which, it must be observed, does not cover other Members of Parliament. Perhaps, the Speaker of the National Assembly could be tasked with this responsibility as it relates to these persons.

Other persons in public life are either public servants or officials aof public corporations, statutory bodies or other entities in which controlling interest vests in the State. It would therefore be more appropriate for the relevant Service Commissions (Judicial, Public, Teaching and Police) and the respective boards to take the necessary action whenever there is a breach of the Code. In any event, the Act stipulates that any violation of the Code will result, on summary conviction, in imprisonment of between six months and one year in addition to a fine of $25,000. A person who is convicted under the Act is likely to be automatically disqualified from holding public office.

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