by Linda Straker
- Integrity Commission to determine whether to conduct formal inquiry
- Former public officials reported to be in possession of government assigned cellphones
The Integrity Commission has taken the initial step to determine whether its office should conduct a formal inquiry into reports that former public officials continue to be in possession of government assigned cellphones.
“Following reports circulating about the use of government telephone accounts by public officials, the commission has written to the relevant government authorities to ascertain the veracity of such reports,” said a news release from the Office of the Integrity Commission.
The purpose of the commission, in accordance with the Integrity in Public Life Act is to improve governance through ensuring integrity in public life, to obtain declarations of assets, liabilities, income and interests in relations in relation to persons in public life and to give effect to the provisions of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, to which Grenada is a signatory.
“As Grenada holistically implements its anti-corruption, risk, fiscal and procurement management systems, the Integrity Commission reminds all public sector managers of their responsibilities to strengthen and implement internal controls over public expenditure for greater accountability, transparency and value for money,” said the release which was submitted on Monday, 15 July 2019 days after a local weekly newspaper published a number of news articles claiming that government has paid a telephone service provider thousands for former public officials.
In one case the public official who exited the service in June 2016 had a bill of approximately EC$70,000 for the months of April, May and June 2019.
In a recent news release, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said that it is dismayed at the level of corruption by the current administration exposed this week when evidence surfaced that taxpayers’ money is being used to pay the monthly telephone bills of known NNP political activists.
“The NDC calls on the NNP Administration to ensure that the relevant authorities investigate and where necessary, fearlessly prosecute these criminal acts. Using government resources in this manner constitutes a serious fraud against the people of Grenada,” said the NDC.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell said that he is embarrassed by the action of those who exploited the system.