The former leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, calling the Saint Lucia Integrity Commission ‘toothless’ and ‘laughable’, has called for the body to either be disbanded or reorganised.
Prudent told St Lucia Times it is important for Saint Lucians to have confidence in the body.
The commission last week reminded all officials who have not filed declarations for the year ended December 31st 2018 to do so and warned that the law prescribes fines or imprisonment for failure to comply.
Prudent recalled that for years he has been asking for the kind of integrity commission that ensures that public officials, elected or otherwise, are able to have a certain degree of transparency when entering public life.
“We must be able to know a bit more about their finances. We need to know a bit more about their level of integrity,” the former LMP leader told St Lucia Times.
He said unless this is done, the integrity commission should shut up and keep quiet.
Prudent lamented that for too long there have been instances where elected officials, especially in the current Allen Chastanet administration, are the subject of allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
“And not a word from the so-called integrity commission,” he explained.
“Why can’t we have our elected politicians declare their personal assets. It is something that I would like to see, because I am willing to declare my own,” Prudent declared.
He said that in addition to declaring assets when entering and leaving office, there should be laws mandating that officials in public life periodically declare their assets.
He asserted that unless this is done, the public’s faith in the integrity commission and public officials will always be at the lowest.
According to Prudent, the current integrity commission has not enforced anything and fulfilled its mandate.
The law prescribes fines of up to $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both for offences, such as failure to file a declaration.