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Richards may get to name replacements

Terms near end for 4 Integrity members

THE appointment of new members of the Integrity Commission may be on the agenda of President George Maxwell Richards before he demits office.

The Express understands that the tenure of the members of the Integrity Commission (excluding its chairman Ken Gordon) will expire at the end of March.

Gordon was appointed by Richards last year and still has two years to serve. The other members of the Commission are Justice Gladys Gafoor, Seunarine Jokhoo, Neil Rolingson and Prof Ann Marie Bissessar.

Sources told the Express that informal discussions were taking place with respect to possible new appointments.

According to the Integrity in Public Life Act section 4 (4), the chairman and other members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Section 8 (1) of the Act states that a vacancy in the membership of the Commission occurs—(a) on the death, resignation or revocation of the appointment of a member; (b) on the absence of a member from three consecutive meetings from the Commission, unless the absence is approved by the President after consultation with the Chairman; or (c) on the expiration of the term specified in a member's instrument of appointment.

Contacted yesterday by phone, Commission chairman Gordon said that while he does not have the authority to appoint members, he wants to be prepared to offer his input if he is called upon to so do by the President.

"Obviously I need to know if people are interested in being re-appointed or not in the event that this comes up by the President.

As of now there has been no formal move on this front at all apart from discussions. There's not much more I can say, I am not formally appointed to do anything but I am assuming that in the course of things before anything is done I may well be contacted and I need to be able to answer intelligently," said Gordon.

"Whoever is in office, I happen to be chairman, I will be continuing for another two years because I was appointed as you may recall only a year ago. I need, whether it's this President or any other President and I'm assuming it's this President because he has a responsibility I think to make sure that a Commission is in place and if an enquiry is made of me I want to be in a position to answer it," he added.

Asked if any enquiries were made, Gordon said even if there were, he cannot say as that would be a matter of confidentiality.

—Anna Ramdass

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