GIS - 08 July, 2014: It is my firm conviction that the institutional framework for the investigation of corruption and money laundering offences and financial crime in general needs to be buttressed, taking into account the increasingly sophisticated means being used by criminal and the international ramifications of financial crime, stated the Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, while replying to a Private Notice Question (PNQ) yesterday in the National Assembly.
The PNQ addressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Paul Raymond Bérenger to the Prime Minister was centred on the Declaration of Assets Act and reinforcing the anti-corruption framework.
In his reply the Prime Minister stated that certain complex legal issues have been raised with regard to some provisions of these two Bills and consultations are still ongoing between his office and the Attorney General’s office and Government intends to set up a Serious Fraud Office.
Prime Minister Ramgoolam also pointed out that the Parliamentary Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has already made proposals for further legislative reforms, pursuant to Section 61 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. He underlined that the Committee has also submitted a draft Declaration of Assets Bill to replace the existing one.
The Government has in the meantime continued its relentless fight against corruption underlined the Prime Minister. He added that a number of measures have been initiated to reinforce a culture of integrity and probity in public institutions.
Dr Ramgoolam pointed out that in line with Government Programme 2012-2015, Government has been extending its full support to ICAC in the implementation of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Framework which aim at accelerating the dissemination and integration of a corruption prevention culture across the public service. He also enumerated various measures that are being implemented to promote integrity in public bodies.
The Prime Minister concluded by saying that Declaration of assets should be viewed as one of the mechanisms alongside the various corruption measures which together aim at fostering a culture of integrity and ethical conduct in public life as well as in our society in general.
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