(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Damian Kelsick, Franklin Maitland and Mrs. Carol Boddie were appointed to the Integrity of Public Life (IPL) Commission today and received Instruments of Appointment from His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton.
Kelsick, an attorney-at-law, was appointed by the Governor-General as Chairman of the Commission; Maitland, a certified Accountant, was appointed under the recommendation of the Prime Minister; and Mrs. Boddie, a certified accountant, was nominated under the recommendation of the Leader of the Opposition.
Monday’s ceremony to present the Instruments of Appointment to the Commission members effectively gives life to the Integrity in Public Life Act, which was passed in 2013, but was never operationalized.
The Act is intended to make provisions for a Code of Conduct and declarations of interest for public officials; for the offences of abuse of office, misconduct and neglect of duty. The Act also provides for the establishment of the Commission, its powers and functions, and to provide for related or incidental matters.
Addressing the ceremony, H.E. Governor-General Tapley reminded the members of the IPL Commission of their important role and urged them to execute their duties with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.
“I expect everybody to work together,” Sir Tapley said. “This is not a political affair, notwithstanding the fact that the Act prescribes nominations by certain office holders, but it is intended to be a national entity and undertaking. All of these persons [Commission members] bring to these positions significant qualifications and we repose tremendous confidence in them to be able to discharge their functions.”
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said the fulfillment of the good governance agenda, which is one of the two platforms on which his Team Unity movement campaigned on ahead of the 2015 elections, remains a priority for the Government.
He said, “The good governance agenda is a catalyst for empowering our people and it must bring changes to the institutions and the society at large, and hence it must become a driver for an enhanced quality of life for all of our people.”
The honourable prime minister further noted that he is quite pleased that his Team Unity administration stands committed to its promise of delivering greater accountability and transparency to the governance of the twin island Federation.
“The matter of Integrity in Public Life is not new to the region, and indeed in some respects it has not been new in St. Kitts and Nevis” Dr. Harris said. “It has been part of the political vocabulary for a very long time and indeed in 2013 an attempt was made to have this come into law. The bill was passed but it lay comatose for a while. I am pleased that that my administration has determined to move forward with the Integrity in Public Life, and we have done so while appreciating that the Bill, lengthy and detailed as it is, is not a perfect bill.”
Prime Minister Harris expressed his confidence in Kelsick, Maitland and Mrs. Boddie to carry out their duties diligently, faithfully and impartially “to assist the country with its good governance agenda.”
The Commission members were all required to subscribe to the Oath of Office and the Oath of Secrecy before they were able to begin their duties.