Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 23, 2023 (SKNIS): The Federal Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis passed three key Bills, namely, the Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023, Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, 2023 on Wednesday, February 22. The Bills, which received safe passage through the House, seek to further strengthen the Federation’s good governance agenda.
“This is a momentous day in the history of our country. It is telling our people and the international community that we are serious about cutting out corruption from our society,” said Attorney-General and Mover of all three Bills, the Honourable Garth Wilkin. “We are telling the people in this country that there will be no corruption in this government, and that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is by passing the legislation that will govern us to show the people, we are serious about doing good for them and this is not about personal gain.”
Attorney-General Wilkin said that public office must be influenced by good ethical behaviour, hence, the idea of ensuring that the government’s good governance agenda is fulfilled. This, he said, will be done systematically.
“As part of our systematic way of doing things, the first tranche of good governance legislation is the Anti-Corruption Act, the Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Act, and the Freedom of Information Act,” said Attorney-General Wilkin. The second tranche is intended to be the Procurement Act – which is greatly flawed, whistleblower legislation…, as well as the Public Accounts Committee Act – and giving all three of these pieces of legislation teeth.”
The Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023, is a BILL to define and create criminal offenses of corrupt conduct and to create the office of a Special Prosecutor to receive complaints, investigate and prosecute acts of corrupt conduct of persons in public life in Saint Christopher and Nevis.
The Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is a BILL to amend the Integrity in Public Life Act, Cap. 22.18, while the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is a Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act, No. 6 of 2018.
Additionally, the Official Gazettes Bill, 2023, which was passed in the Federal Parliament on February 08, 2023, also forms part of the government’s good governance agenda. Attorney-General Wilkin noted that legislations such as these provide transparency, openness and the ability for the public to have access to laws.”