MARAT IS RIGHT, O'NEILL'S ICAC BILL IS WATERED DOWN, NOT INDEPENDENT, SHUTS DOWN TFS

by MELL LAKA
I would like to shed some light with you on the proposed Bills that are being pushed by the government to be passed in parliament, namely the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) 2014.

First of all it must be understood that any alteration to the Constitution must be passed by an
absolute majority vote in parliament as per section 14 of the Constitution which means that the government needs the opposition's number. The introduction of the Bill (ICAC) was introduced 2014 where we saw a number of politicians and high profile individuals being investigated and prosecuted
by several bodies that were not subjected to the directions of the NEC or for that matter.

The purpose of the bill before parliament is to alter the Constitution by inserting a new Division under Part VIII of the constitution and that is Division 3. The purpose of Division 3 is to give
effect or establish a Commission called the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The main function of the Commission is to investigate and combat any corrupt conduct defined under an
Organic Law, this means that all investigation in relation to corrupt conduct shall be received by the Commission and will be considered whether to further the investigation or not.

Note that section 220B (3) of the proposed bill provides that the appointment of the Commission shall be appointed by the Head of State acting on and in accordance with the advice of the Appointment Committee, the proposed bill is not clear on the appointment committee however like all Commission, the Chairman of the appointment committee will be headed by the head of the NEC which is the Prime Minister, let me elaborate on that.

Look at the appointment of the police commissioner under section 9 of the Police Act, s 9 of the Act provides that the commissioner is appointed under section 193 of the Constitution, now section 193 (2) provides that the Police Commissioner shall be appointed by the Head of State acting on and in accordance with the advice of the NEC the head of the NEC is the Prime Minister. Let’s look at another example, the appointment of the Electoral Commissioner, section 5 (3) of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government provides that The Electoral Commissioner shall be appointed by the Head of State, acting with, and in accordance with, the advice of the Committee, section 6 (a) of the act provides the chairman of the appointment committee shall be the Prime Minister.

There are number of Constitutional offices similar to the one that is being proposed and pushed forward by the government to be passed which are directly or indirectly subjected to the direction of the NEC which is headed by the Prime Minister.

I don’t want to sound obnoxious or whatever but we have seen Commissioners being compromised (I’m not implicating) my point is, why is the government in a hurry to control and regulate all investigation against corruption, what happened to the Taskforce Sweep Team, oh right!! they investigated the wrong person. I hope this vital Commission wont be manipulated should the bill be passed, the Alliance opposition should do the Right thing!!

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