ACC chair says inquiries will remain under wraps

| 30/09/2016 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service

Richard Coles, Chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission

(CNS) The new civilian chair of Cayman’s Anti-Corruption Commission has said that the inquiries it is overseeing will remain confidential. Following the first meeting of the newly appointed oversight board, Richard Coles said that confidentiality was “an integral part” of its work and premature releases of information could undermine the cases. The all-civilian board, which was appointed last month following changes to the legislation, met for the first time last week, officials said in a release Thursday, but the ACC is keeping mum on its investigations.

Among the issues raising public interest is whether or not the new ACC is looking at the local football association following the trial of Canover Watson at the beginning of this year for corruption regarding a contract with the Health Services Authority.

While police officers seconded to the ACC investigated the case, which included the involvement of former Cayman Islands Football Association president Jeffrey Webb, a number of serious issues emerged about how Webb and Watson were transferring cash from CIFA to their business and personal bank accounts. Auditors for CIFA also raised red flags about the association’s books. Although an NGO and not strictly a public body, CIFA had until recently received an annual grant from government of some $120,000.

But the ACC remains tight lipped about its current probes and said in the release that all of its members have agreed that details of investigations will not be released into the public domain “as premature release is prejudicial to the effective operations of the commission and to the rights and interests of relevant parties”. Updates would be released “when appropriate”, the release stated.

“Confidentiality is an integral part of any investigation and especially for the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission,” Coles said. “The confidence and trust of the community in the commission is critical to its success.”

During its first meeting the ACC members signed an inclusion and confidentiality agreement, made statements as to the absence of any current conflicts of interest of their own and discussed amendments to its policies and procedures, including the introduction of a code of conduct for members.

The members considered forging relationships with other local, regional and international bodies as a necessary component of carrying out its functions. They also agreed that commission meetings would be held on an as-needed basis and at least quarterly. Minutes of meetings will continue to be made public via the ACC’s website, which is currently under redevelopment.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    ACc investigator should have all the authority of the police but not be a police. The police still answers to the commissioner. who knows they might have to investigate him. The ACC should be completely independent.

  2. Henry Waxman says:

    The longer the findings remain “confidential” the chances of anything happening becomes bleaker. In the end it will all be swept under the rug.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a dream team of ACC members. For peaks sake give them a chance.

    They have investigators to carry out investigations ask Canover if you don’t believe me.

    Plus we have the civilian oversight we have been asking for.

    I can’t understand what the problem is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How is it possible for a Master Mason Lodge person be head of anti-corruption?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is Cayman. Chief Justice, Attorney General, Premier, New Head of Police, most MLAs head of most statutory authorities, head of prisons, head of CIMA, all judges, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Cayman is due an enema.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I sure hope the ACC do find the time to investigate the AIS Cayman contract and make public who was responsible for giving US$1.8M of our money away and deal with the person or persons responsible for same..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Give’em a chance…and it should stay confidential until the job is done and the findings acted upon or not.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I almost hate to post this but my bet is that the work of the ‘ACC’ would be safer in the hands of RCIPS.

    Behind the fancy title there doesn’t seem to be any real investigative capacity.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Confidentiality in the Cayman. ROFLOL

  9. Anonymous says:

    The make up of the ACC guarantees nothing will remain confidential in the cocktail circuit and at domino sessions

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