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ORG renews calls for Integrity Commission amid police corruption claims

Matt Aubry, executive director of the Organization for Responsible Governance. 

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Matt Aubry, executive director of the Organization for Responsible Governance. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Chief Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Organisation for Responsible Governance (ORG) has renewed calls for the establishment of an Independent Integrity Commission in the wake of serious allegations involving high ranking police officers, insisting that such a body would be effective in handling and reducing corruption cases. 

In a statement released Tuesday, ORG added that such commissions are “fast becoming the standard across the Caribbean” and were present in countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Corruption, and the perception of corruption, erodes public trust, undermines the rule of law, and hampers social and economic development. It is imperative that we take decisive action to address these issues and ensure that our public institutions operate with the highest standards of integrity. The establishment of an Integrity Commission is not just a necessary step but an urgent one,”its statement read. 

ORG noted that recent allegations involving high ranking police officers demonstrates the need for independent and transparent mechanisms to vet out claims of corruption against government officials and members of law enforcement.

“As an organization dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance, we believe it is essential to establish systems and policies that promote integrity and build public confidence in our justice system,” ORG added.

“ORG has long advocated for the establishment of an independent Integrity Commission as a vital and sustainable solution for the Bahamas. Such a body, operated independently from the government, would be instrumental in reducing the incidence and perception of corruption, investigating allegations, and holding individuals accountable for their actions.”

The body acknowledged Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander’s pledge to launch an independent investigation with its international partners into allegations stemming from voice notes that led Chief Superintendent Michael Johnson, head of CID, to take garden leave, saying it was a step in the right direction.

“ORG commends Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander's announcement of an independent investigation into these allegations, with potential assistance from law enforcement agencies in the UK and the US, is a critical step in ensuring impartiality and thoroughness,” it added.

“This decision presents an opportunity for the authorities to proceed with transparency and diligence. A comprehensive investigation that leaves no room for doubt about the integrity of the process benefits both the public and government. It also supports the legal mandate that all individuals involved are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and encourages the public to respect the integrity of the legal process.”

ORG said it remains committed to supporting efforts to ensure transparency and good governance in The Bahamas and noted a recent Anti-Corruption Conference it attended in Lithuania, where international experts and stakeholders met to to discuss best practices and strategies.

“The conference highlighted the importance of strong institutional frameworks, independent oversight bodies, and active civic engagement in promoting transparency and integrity. The lessons learned and connections made at this conference reinforce our commitment to advocating for an Integrity Commission in The Bahamas.”

“ORG remains committed to supporting efforts to enhance transparency, accountability, and good governance in The Bahamas. We will continue to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote these values and work with all stakeholders to build a more just and equitable society.”

The statement added: “We urge the Bahamian public to stay informed, engage in the democratic process, and hold our leaders accountable.”

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 week, 1 day ago

Please exercise some stealth do you all really believe that the man making the video some one came out of the blue sky and shot him the shooter was a poor shooter , the Tribune may see fit to stop giving him the lime light, I Do have much land on the moon to sell to you all

ThisIsOurs 1 week, 1 day ago

Exercise some "stealth"?? Brain misfire

Yes birdie we believe that. Because we've heard not one, not 2 but numerous incidents of people being shot while in front of or in their homes by people coming "out of the blue". Some lived to tell the tale carrying multiple bullet wounds and others died.

ExposedU2C 1 week, 1 day ago

Sadly, someone like Matt Aubry will never make the National Honours List for his many noble efforts on behalf of all Bahamians. He and so many other well-intentioned individuals in our society, whether white, black, yellow or brown, are nothing but annoying distant voices to this most corrupt Davis led PLP government.

Porcupine 1 week, 1 day ago

You are exactly right. The more I learn, the more I realize the entire country is screwed. There is no hope. Those who can see the writing on the wall will soon leave. The politicians know exactly what they have done and are taking as much as they can before it all collapses. As usual, those who are the poorest will pay the highest price. The PLP seems to be a criminal organization.

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