ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, July 19, 2016 (CMC) – A new Code of Conduct, forbidding public servants to “use their office for private gain” and “to allow their integrity to be justifiably called into question”, will be included in a new Constitution for Grenada, if Grenadians vote for changes in the existing document later this year.
Last Wednesday, members of the Upper House of Parliament gave their approval to the eight bills that will create major changes to the Constitution, once there is participation of more than a two-third majority of eligible voters in the referendum vote, likely to be held in October.
The Code of Conduct is section 34 of the Constitution of Grenada (Caribbean Court of Justice and other Justice-Related Matters) (Amendment) Act. The Bill states that the Constitution will be altered by inserting section 110 the Code of Conduct.
According to the proposed legislation “the persons to whom this section applies shall conduct themselves in such a way as not to betray their public trust to be caring, competent and conscientious; to knowingly place themselves in positions of conflict of interest; to compromise the fair exercise of their public or official functions and duties; to use their office for private gain; to demean their office or position; to allow their integrity to be justifiably called into question; or to endanger or diminish respect for, or confidence in, the integrity of the government”.
The Bill further explains that “this section applies to the Governor-General, members of the House of Representatives, Senators, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, members of the Public Service Commission, members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, public officers, members of the public service, officers of statutory corporations and government agencies, and such other officers as may be prescribed by law enacted by Parliament.”
Chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee, Dr. Francis Alexis, said that the inclusion of the section is a suggestion from the people during the consultative process.
He said a significant number of people felt the code was necessary in order for public servants not to be victims to questionable gains and activities.
“It’s Grenada’s way to holding public officials to high standards,” he told a news conference.
Grenada already has laws for persons in public life and is a signatory to international conventions, as a commitment to the world that it will not allow corruption and corrupt activities among public officials.
Since 2015, public servants earning more than EC$2,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) are expected to declare their assets and liabilities to the Integrity Commission.
Coincidentally, the Senate approved the Bills while officials from the Panama-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime were here training and educating civil society and government institutions about the UN Convention against Corruption.
The Convention introduces a comprehensive set of standards, measures and rules that all countries can apply in order to strengthen their legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption.