House votes for anti-graft commission

National, Normal

The National, Thursday February 20th, 2014

 THERE has been overwhelming support from the public for the government to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said.

O’Neill presented the ICAC Bill to parliament yesterday which was unanimously passed 91 votes to 0. 

He said this had been one of the government’s main priorities to establish an independent commission and was the first step towards establishing a fully functioning ICAC.

He said the first step was to amend the Constitution to establish the commission, the next step to establish an Organic Law which would contain the full details of how the ICAC should operate.

“I plan to bring the Organic Law to parliament later this year, however, under the constitutional requirements the first thing to do is to pass this constitutional amendment. 

“The bill has been developed through an extensive public consultation process covering the four regions.

“From the consultations, it is very clear that our people overwhelmingly support its establishment. 

“They want ICAC to be free from undue political influence and to work without fear or favour.”

O’Neill said people wanted to see ICAC be different from other anti-corruption institutions and should be able to receive and initiate investigations and do the prosecutions on its own accord.