GIS - 18 November, 2015: The Government is going ahead with the amendment of the Asset Recovery Act and will shortly introduce the Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Bill as well as the Declaration of Assets Bill as part of a wider spectrum of institutional reforms, said the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, yesterday in the National Assembly in reply to the Private Notice Question on the Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Bill and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Bill will be introduced with a view to addressing the deficiencies in the current legislative framework and stimulating performance in public and private sector organisations through effective reporting and other processes. He recalled that the objectives of the Bill are to:
· encourage and foster a culture of integrity and good governance in the Republic of Mauritius;
· stimulate integrity reporting in the public and private sectors;
· encourage positive reports of acts of good governance;
· disclose and deter malpractices and recover unexplained wealth; and
· protect and reward persons making genuine disclosures and reports of malpractices.
With a view to achieving a wide consensus, the Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms has opened up public debates and encouraged a participative approach on the Good Governance and Integrity Reporting Bill, said Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Furthermore, he added that a number of valid proposals have been made and at the same time clarifications have been provided on the clauses of the Bill mostly those dealing with the issue of unexplained wealth orders and the confiscation of property.
Speaking about the amendment to the Constitution, the Prime Minister stated that it aims to provide for non-conviction based recovery of assets. The proposed amendments constitute an important addition in the arsenal of the State to track down and recover ill-gotten gains, he said.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth added that in line with Government Programme 2015-2019 which underlines that ‘Government will eradicate fraud, corruption, malpractices and irregularities in all aspects of public life and restore our national values’, a new Declaration of Assets Act for Members of Parliament and high ranking public officers will be enacted.
In this regard, the Prime Minister’s Office has started working on the implementation of the measure. A committee, under the chairmanship of the Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service and comprising, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms; the Solicitor-General; the Director-General of the ICAC; the Secretary for Home Affairs; and the Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms has been set up.