Transparency urges ethical protocol for ministers

Issued by Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute



The Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (Transparency) urges the government to establish an ethical protocol for the cabinet.

Following on the Report of the Integrity Committee to the Executive Committee of CONCACAF, and in accepting Jack Warner’s resignation as Minister of National Security, the time is right for government to formalize systems to ensure that its credibility and integrity are upheld in all circumstances.

One of the requirements under such a protocol is that any member who has a serious allegation levelled against them is required to step down until the allegation is disproved or otherwise. Under the Westminster system of government, on which our own model is founded, the Prime Minister wields the power to appoint and dismiss ministers to the Cabinet.

However this control is discretionary and the system also assumes that elected officials are honourable, and will do the right thing when their actions are perceived to bring the government, and therefore the nation, into disrepute. Failing this, formalizing rules leads to greater consistency in decision-making, creates a predictable and transparent environment, and levels the playing field for all.

As the national chapter of Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption, Transparency collaborates with government, civil society and other stakeholders to raise the levels of accountability and transparency, and to press for necessary reforms in a non-partisan manner.


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