The United Nations International Anti Corruption Awareness Day was on Sunday, December 9, 2012, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Integrity Commission said it believes that this is an opportunity for everyone to consider the destructive impact corruption has on society.
“Corruption undermines democratic institutions and is a key barrier to effective economic development. It exacerbates poverty, inequality and social instability,” the Commission said in a statement.
The Commission joined the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in his message for 2012 when he said, "Corruption is not inevitable. It flows from greed and the triumph of the undemocratic few over the expectations of the many.”
Since its inception as an anti-corruption agency in 2010, the commission has made significant progress in discharging its primary responsibility to promote integrity, honesty and good faith in public life within the Turks and Caicos Islands. It has expanded the category of persons in public life who are now subject to the Integrity Commission Ordinance and the recently published Code of Conduct. The Commission has also introduced 'whistle blowing' provisions into the Integrity Commission Ordinance to protect those who report suspected inappropriate or corrupt activity within the public sector.
The Commissions' enforcement powers have also been enhanced. Furthermore, the Political Activities Ordinance (2012), which came into force in August 2012, has allowed the Commission to regulate the financial activity of political parties and candidates engaging in the democratic process in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Commission is currently actively investigating allegations of corruption and conducting a number of good governance reviews.
Eugene Otuonye QC, director of the Integrity Commission, stated, "It is incumbent upon all of us, politicians, government officials, civil servants, business leaders, civil societies and all the citizens and residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands to say no to corruption. In 2013, we will continue our relentless pursuit of a corruption free Turks and Caicos Islands and trust your continued support to realise this vision."