Anti-Corruption Commission soon to start receiving public complaints



The recently appointed Anti-Corruption Commission has said members of the public will soon be informed when they can start submitting their complaints.

The chairperson of the commission, Judge Duncan Gaswaga, said this after yet another of its meetings held at National House yesterday morning.

Since its appointment by President James Michel early last month, the five- member commission has been meeting to organise itself, decide on its work methods, strategies, establish contacts, among others.

Other than Judge Gaswaga the other four members of the commission are lawyer Daniel Belle (vice-chairperson), lawyer Priscille Chetty, retired journalist Marie-Claire Elizabeth and businessman Hardy Lucas.

Following its meeting yesterday, Judge Gaswaga said the commission is in the process of finding an office and building a strong team including a suitable person to assume the position of chief executive.

“The whole exercise will be transparent and fair and applications for this and other jobs in response to our adverts will be received and considered on merit. We shall also soon let you know our website and contacts, and address once we find a suitable home for the commission,” Judge Gaswaga pointed out.

He said the number of staff it will need will be determined once it has completed  its set-up and is fully operational.

The commission, which will work closely with the Attorney General’s office, the Ombusman, the police, Ethic Commission among other stakeholders, will receive complaints from any person or entity, investigate, detect and prevent practices linked to corruption in both the public and private sector.

It will craft strategies for creating public awareness and education on the negative effects of corruption (in schools, on TV and Radio, through seminars, internet etc). It is expected that the commission will have its own structure, budget and taskforce to enable it to conduct investigations.

“We are taking on this task with an open mind. The success of the commission will majorly depend on the support by and cooperation of you, members of the public. For the commission will only lead the way as well as coordinate the exercise. As we are mandated to detect and investigate any such activities, you, members of the public, shall act as our eyes and ears on the ground and we expect that as good, responsible and concerned citizens of this country you will make a report to the commission or police of any corrupt practices,” Judge Gaswaga said.

To encourage people to feel brave and confident enough to come forward with concrete evidence to report corruption practices, Judge Gaswaga said the commission will have a high level of confidentiality and informers will be well protected.

“Protection of informers is a very delicate issue and a big challenge and we shall find all means and ways to give confidence to these people so they can come out to help the commission knowing they will not be victimized,” Justice Gaswaga said.

It is to be recalled that the National Assembly enacted the ‘Anti-Corruption Law No. 6 of 2016’ in March this year, which provided for the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission.



Source: NATION 9-30-16