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Members of Integrity Commission named; to be approved at Senate meeting

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Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022. 5:05 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Senate, acting under its powers in Section 61A (2) and (3) of the Constitution, tomorrow, Friday, will consider the appointment of the six members of the Integrity Commission: attorney Andrea McSweaney McKoy as chair, and members Katherine Meighan, Zoe Roberson Zetina, Ricardo Moguel, George R. Swift, Payal Ghanwani and Jaraad Ysaguirre.

The Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 105, provides for the establishment of the Integrity Commission. Of its members, at least one, the Chair, must be an attorney-at-law with not less than five years standing, and the other members shall be persons of integrity and high national standing. Traditionally, an accountant is named to the Commission because of its work with finances, supported by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Section 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Chapter 105 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020, provides that two members are appointed acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given with the concurrence of the Leader of the Opposition (and generally represent the minority party in Government), and the others including the chair are appointed acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition (and generally represent the majority party in Government).

The debate tomorrow is likely to touch on other reforms, including more resources as requested by the trade unions and civil society in 2020 (they had been promised a member on the Commission by the Barrow administration) and the broadening of definitions of persons subject to the POCA to file annual disclosure returns.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister John Briceno said he wanted to see more women on the Integrity Commission; there are four, including the prospective chair. Three of the prospective members (McSweaney McKoy, Ghanwani and Ysaguirre) are attorneys while Meighan, Zetina and Moguel are all part of the business community.

Their term will run for two years retroactive to April 1, 2022.

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