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Integrity in Public Life Act States:

In: Other Topics

Submitted By rsobers
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Pages 4
“29. (1) … a conflict of interest is deemed to arise if a person in public life or any person exercising a public function were to make or participate in the making of a decision in the execution of his office and at the same time knows or ought reasonably to have known, that in the making of the decision, there is an opportunity either directly or indirectly to further his private interests or that of a member of his family or of any other person”

Section 22(1) of the Integrity in Public Life Act provides further:
22. (1) Where it appears to the Commission that a breach of this Act may have been committed or a conflict of interest may have arisen, it shall order a person in public life to place his assets or part thereof in a blind trust for the purposes of this Act on such terms and conditions as the Commission considers appropriate and file a copy of the trust deed with the Commission.

The Code of Ethics for Parliamentarians including Ministers makes specific reference to conflict of Interest as follows:

“6. A parliamentarian should avoid situations in which his private interest, whether pecuniary or otherwise, conflicts or might reasonably be thought to conflict with his public duty”

Legal Implications
The article begins stating that, “SIPARIA MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday called for the jailing of Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira for allegedly breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act during the bailout of CL Financial (CLF), saying Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Carla Brown-Antoine has agreed to probe the matter.” - DPP probes Karen, Newsday, Saturday, March 28 2009
According to the Integrity in Public Life Act, Power of Investigation “ A member of the public who wishes to allege or make a complaint that a person in public life or any person exercising a ; public function in relation to the Register of Interests, has a conflict of interest— may do so in writing to the Commission.”
“34. (1) In carrying out its function under section 33, the Commission may—
(a) authorize an investigating officer to conduct an enquiry into any alleged or suspected offence;
(b) require any person, in writing, to produce, within a specified time, all books, records, accounts, reports, data, stored electronically or otherwise, or any other documents relating to the functions of any public or private body;
c) require any person, within a specified time, to provide any information or to answer any question which the Commission considers necessary in connection with any enquiry or investigation which the Commission is empowered to conduct under this Act;
(d) require that any facts, matters or documents relating to the allegations or breach, be verified or otherwise ascertained by oral examination of the person making the complaint; or
(e) cause any witness to be summoned and examined upon oath.

Penalty of Offence as per Code
“(3) A person who fails or refuses to disclose any such information or to produce any such documents, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for a term of three years.

(4) Any person who knowingly misleads the Commission, or an investigating officer of the Commission, by giving false information; commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for a term of five years.

(5) Where after the conduct of an investigation, the Commission is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, it shall make a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions who may take such action as he thinks appropriate” Karen Nunez-Tesheira Response
“On the conflict of interest allegations, Nunez-Tesheira said there was none. She said she signed the Memorandum of Understanding as minister of finance in execution of the collective will of the Cabinet. She said her actions diminished, rather than enhanced the value of her CLICO shareholdings.

The effect of the MOU was to make the assets of CL Financial, which would not otherwise be available, liable to pay off or to meet CLICO and CIB's debts, she said, adding: "Not only did this specific decision, on behalf of the Cabinet, not provide me with an opportunity to either directly or indirectly further my private interest, but to the contrary, it was against my personal interest as a holder of .0013 per cent of CL Financial shares.

"Accordingly, there was no possible conflict of interest and, therefore, the question of disclosure and recusal did not arise."

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A. Analyse the possible negative implications for the company and other stakeholders.
• Tarnished company image
Alleviate

• Perception of insider trading

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