Legislation to combat Corruption

Trinidad & Tobago Parliament

After approximately two and a half years, the Civil Asset Recovery and Management and Unexplained Wealth Bill, 2019 was eventually passed in both Houses of Parliament on April 16th and assented to on April 23rd, 2019. This Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 22nd 2019, by the Attorney General, the Honourable Faris Al-Rawi and passed with the support of the Government and Opposition.

In light of this, Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) extends commendations to the Government, the Opposition and all other relevant stakeholders who were instrumental in the passage of this key piece of legislation, which once proclaimed is expected to be a major asset in the fight against corruption and ensure that perpetrators of criminal activities, particularly white collar criminals, are compelled within a judicial process, to explain and account for their wealth.

TTTI also notes that the Whistleblower Protection Bill 2018 was piloted in the Parliament on Tuesday 30th April, 2019 by the Attorney General. This is long outstanding and will provide much needed support and encouragement to victims and witnesses of corrupt activity.

The fact that these matters are receiving the Parliament is a significant one and must be noted. They are major steps in the right direction.

To complement the existing corpus of legislation addressing corruption and those before the Parliament, TTTI emphasises that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act, 2015 must be fully proclaimed and implemented. As well and fundamentally, Campaign Finance Legislation must be brought to the Parliament, proclaimed and implemented as promised and ahead of the upcoming 2020 General Elections. We need to make inroads at the policy and operational levels if we are to be successful in the fight against crime and corruption.

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