Cabinet decided yesterday to remove the Anti-Corruption Bureau from under the purview of the Attorney General, to the Commissioner of Police in order to remove any perception of political interference within the office.
“This administration is not prepared … to allow any cloud to take place over anything the TTPS may be doing into corruption and public officers (now and in the future),” Communications Minister Stuart Young told reporters at the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s yesterday.
There had already been such debate, Young said, and the government wants to stop it from going any further. He added that it was only when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) raised the issue, that the Cabinet discussed it and made this decision.
“The sole reason is that we do not want to allow – and we are seeing on the horizon – people utilising this nefarious, nebulous argument that there has been political interference in this process,” he said.
Young insisted that the office already acted independently of the AG’s office. The 54 members of the unit were police officers and the work they did was police work, and finding into its “investigations of infractions to established procurement procedures and corrupt practices” were reported directly to the police commissioner and the DPP.
The AG’s office provided funding and resources, including legal advice and access to forensic accountants and auditors. Otherwise, rather than report to the AG’s office, it was to keep it informed.
Young said now that Cabinet has made its decision, the transition would be smooth and immediate.