By HELEN TARAWA
THE Independent Commission Against Corruption will complement rather than duplicate the functions of the Ombudsman Commission, the Public Prosecutor and police, says Justice Minister and Attorney-General Davis Steven.
“The argument that there will be duplication in powers and functions of existing governance organisations is unfounded and misguided,” Steven said.
The ICAC Bill was passed unanimously (96-0) in Parliament yesterday.
Steven said the commission would investigate cases such as those relating to “unexplained wealth”.
“We have legislation that is currently prepared to ensure that the question of unexplained wealth of not just for leaders but people in the civil service must be dealt with,” he said.
“There’s no point in having an ICAC that does not question how people get rich overnight.
“We have sought constitutional law experts on these issues and we are working to ensure that the points raised by the committee and debated in the House are accommodated in legislation and regulations.”
Steven said there would be no prosecution by ICAC without the approval from the Public Prosecutor.
The commission is formed to deal with official corruption.
“For any anti-corruption agency to be effective, it must be independent from the executive arm of government,” he said.
“We are careful to ensure the appointments, operations, functioning, decision-making, staff, resourcing are protected from other forms of government.
“For ICAC to function, there must have strong whistleblower protection to encourage men and women to come and report.
“Whistleblowers can be a danger and threat if we do not control how much space we give them.”
By HELEN TARAWA