Government deliberately undermined and starved” the Integrity in Public Life Commission of funds, opposition leader says

St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has been accused of “deliberately undermining the effectiveness of the recently established Integrity in Public Life Commission. The Commission’s chairman, attorney at law, Damian Kelsick, who was appointed in October last year submitted his resignation to Governor General His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton last month.

Dr Dnezil Douglas, leader of the opposition St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party has made the allegations.

Dr. Douglas is also claiming that the Timothy Harris led administration did not want the Integrity in Public Life Commission Chairman to function with fairness and impartiality.

Douglas has indicated that he has not been officially informed by the Governor General of the resignation of Kelsick.

In March Kelsick complained that the Integrity in Public Life Commission was without adequate funds. Persons were interviewed for the positions of Director and Office Manager and Accountant.

He said there was also no Regulations in place fixing a prescribed date for the submission of declarations by public officials despite writing to Attorney General Hon Vincent Byron Jr. on October 12, but had received no response.
In March after sending another letter, Kelsick said he was informed orally that he should expect a written response indicating “that the government is still working on the S R & O.”

“Government commenced this legislation back in 2018 that 8 months later the government is still working on a regulation of no more than 25 words.”
Public officials are expected to complete and file declarations each year detailing their income, assets, liabilities and private interests with the Commission.

The legislation also calls for public officers to adhere to a code of conduct for the offences of abuse of office, misconduct and neglect of duty aimed at ensuring that public officers give the highest standard of service free from corruption.