68 matters under investigation and… Integrity Commission probes street name

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The Integrity Commission was last year asked to investigate the naming of a street.

A complaint was filed against a regional corporation challenging the naming of the street.

But no information was provided in support of the alleged breach of the Integrity in Public Life Act, and the Commission has listed the investigation as “completed.”

This is one of 68 matters which engaged the attention of the Commission last year.

Matters included “complaint alleging the making of a false complaint”, request for an investigation into a news release by a State entity, complaint of “conduct conducive to corruption” and non-receipt of severance benefits.

The Commission was also asked “to determine whether a person in public life received a monetary interest.”
This was referred to the Commission’s Compliance Section.

Other complaints included “favouritism in the performance of public functions”, an allegation that “an individual is falsely claiming ownership of property” and “fraud in the purchase of lands.”

There was a complaint of “corruption and efficiency at a State entity,” according to the Commission’s just-released 2015 annual report.

Also before the body are claims against a former prime minister of breaches against the law in the award of land and construction of the Church of the Lighthouse.

Investigations are continuing.

The Commission was asked to probe “receipt of a sum of money by a minister of government from the general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.”

Also, there was a complaint that a government minister breached the integrity law “in his role as a special advisor”.

Those two investigations have been completed.

There are allegations against government ministers and Members of Parliament for contravention of the Integrity in Public Life Act.

Investigations are continuing into a complaint that a former government minister solicited donations from contractors.

A claim was filed alleging “collusion, bid rigging and corruption relative to services rendered by a contractor”.

There was an allegation of impropriety in the award of contracts at Cipriani Labour College.

A number of complaints pertained to the award of contracts.

It was alleged that a senator “may have abused his power or misbehaved in public office in a request to the Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority.”

A complaint alleged irregularities in hiring practices at Public Transport Service Corporation.

There was a complaint alleging conspiracy to defraud National Quarries Company Ltd.

One matter alleged “irregularities in the importation of vehicles by a minister of government.”

A complaint was filed claiming “human resource issues” at National Lotteries Control Board.

The Commission was asked to probe an anonymous claim of “failure by public bodies to address complaints.”
No information was provided and the investigation was deemed to be completed.

There was a request for assistance in having a “State entity” make an ex-gratia payment.

One complaint was a “letter requesting that a public official indicate whether an improper approach was made to them.”

There was a request for an investigation into the circumstances “where legal briefs were given.”

One complaint alleged “failure by a person in public life to disclose property.”

The Commission said it conducted 65 investigations last year, and 38 were completed.

There were 1,316 declarations to the Commission, a 60 per cent increase over the 822 of 2014.

Commission Chairman Justice Zainool Hosein said that in 2015 “there were several challenging investigations…”

The Commission “moved to ensure efficiency and overcome hurdles…”

Nine completed matters were referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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