First tabled by the Douglas Administration in the Federal Parliament 15 years ago in 1996, and again reintroduced in 2000, the bill allows for “civil servants and ministers of government to ensure that there is integrity in their public and in their public service and there is appropriate accountability to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis with regard to their service and their assets et cetera,” Dr. Douglas explained.
At the time, he was speaking on his weekly radio programme, “Ask the PM” and was answering a caller who questioned about the bill and whether or not it would be better if the bill, having been passed, would be an effective means of the public holding ministers of government accountable.
Dr. Douglas expressed that Integrity in Public Life legislation has generated much debate and serious challenges surrounding the legislation have been observed in another territory.
“This is something that has always generated quite a bit of debate in St. Kitts and Nevis and in other countries. We continue to observe how this particular type of legislation has unfolded in other countries. We know of serious challenges that were registered with regard to the situation in Trinidad and Tobago.
“We know of several models that have been used in the Caribbean region. The government of St. Kitts and Nevis, I am sure, when it becomes necessary to have this as part of our own legislative agenda, would no doubt, have this properly instituted and would come to the parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis for Parliamentarians to debate upon it and thus having it passed when the time is right.”
He indicated that, when the Integrity in Public Life Bill becomes part of his administration’s legislative agenda, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will be engaged.
“As the moment it is not, as far as I am concerned, part of the legislative agenda of this administration at this particular time. When it becomes part of the legislative agenda, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will be engaged as the parliamentarians of this country will be engaged on this matter.”