Accountability of the work of the Cabinet and the operations of the Public Service must be s
ignificantly improved through the proper functioning of the Public Accounts Committee. Therefore, the Public Accounts Committee should be given the resources to allow it to function properly, which include up-to-date audited statements of all government agencies and statutory bodies.
There should be full debates in Parliament of the reports of the director of audit, with an accompanying report of the Public Accounts Committee, which must include the steps that the relevant government agencies have been mandated to take to ensure compliance with the findings of the report of the director of audit.
There should be a requirement, enshrined in legislation, for every Cabinet Minister to present an annual report to Parliament on the performance of his or her ministry, which must include detailed information on the achievements of the government department and the manner in which the monies that were approved in Parliament during the debate on the Estimates were used.
Fairness and Transparency in the Award of Contracts
There must be fairness, equity and transparency in the award of Government contracts. Therefore an Office of Contractor General should be established to oversee the procedures for the award of contracts by Central Government.
The practice of the use of Direct Award of contracts by the Minister for Finance should be strictly restricted to emergency situations or instances when a rapid response is require to address an urgent situation.
Zero Tolerance for Corruption of Any Kind and at Any Level
Acts of corruption or illegality committed by Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers or Public Officers must not be accepted or tolerated and there must be strict penalties to deal with corruption in government.
The Integrity in Public Life Act should be strengthened and the Office of the Integrity Commission must be given the requisite resources and autonomy for it to ensure that corruption in government is identified, whenever it occurs, and speedily and appropriately dealt with, regardless the perpetrator.
Investigation of Complaints
The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman was established to investigate complaints from members of the public who believe that they have suffered injustice because of the actions of a government department, have been treated unfairly or are the victim of poor service. It is a critical element of our democracy. Therefore, it must be strengthened and given the human and financial resources, with strong supporting legislation, for it to work effectively and efficiently in the interests of the people.
The Police Complaints Commission should be strengthened and given total independence from the Saint Lucia Police Force so that it may operate efficiently, fairly and effectively.
Legislation should be passed and the appropriate mechanisms put in place to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers who report on illegal, corrupt or unethical actions in government.