The Dr. Terrance Drew-led Administration to Move Its Integrity Agenda Swiftly Forward

Hon. Dr. Terrance DrewHon. Dr. Terrance Drew

At long last, the enactment of a suite of Integrity in Public Life legislation in St. Kitts and Nevis will become a reality when the Dr. Terrance Drew-led administration tables three bills in Parliament on Wednesday February 22, 2023. The administration has announced its plan, as part of its efforts to curtail and eliminate corruption in government, to pass the Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023; and Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

In 2013, the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led administration, in the wake of a wave of charges of a lack of effective response to public corruption at that time, introduced Integrity in Public Life Legislation in an attempt to allay public concern. Despite its passage, however, the law had not been brought into force, thereby leading to wide accusations that it had merely been passed to satisfy a transient political agenda.

On July 11, 2018, after overwhelming public outcry over mounting systemic public corruption and rampant nepotism, the then Dr. Timothy Harris-led Unity administration was forced to bring the law into force. But, with the Integrity Commission still not activated, a move which many say was a deliberate attempt to frustrate the effective activation of the Integrity in Public Life agenda, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party under the leadership of Dr. Terrance Drew, waged a hugely successful campaign leading up to the elections of August 4, 2022, to introduce sweeping improvements.

Wednesday’s sitting is much anticipated, and citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as national, regional and international institutions await it with great expectations.

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