The Standards in Public Life Law has been sitting stagnant since it was passed five years ago.
The governor calls it’s coming into full force a matter of urgency.
Governor Roper joined Commonwealth Secretariat Patricia Scotland at Monday (3 June) morning’s opening of a regional anti-corruption conference.
The Commonwealth Caribbean Association of Integrity Commissions and Anti-Corruption Bodies is aiming to take a bite out of the big business of corruption.
“Globally, we are facing a tidal wave of corruption, the IMF estimates that bribery costs roughly $1.5 to $2 trillion annually,” said Ms. Scotland.
With these social and economic consequences at stake, Ms. Scotland said the Commonwealth has developed 22 anti-corruption benchmarks. They cover topics ranging from sanctions for corruption offences to investigating and prosecuting authorities, political lobbying, and disclosure of asset ownership.
“I really hope that since Cayman has been at the forefront of a lot of these issues, that they will help by taking up the benchmarks, by helping us to implement them,” said Ms. Scotland.
And while Cayman can hold its head high, Governor Roper said more can still be done to stem the tide.
“I attach the greatest importance to the law on standards in public life being implemented as soon as possible and the premier has assured me that he is committed to doing so,” said Mr. Roper.
The Standards in Public Life Law was passed five years ago and has not been put into force. It’s currently under review.
“So many people think that corruption is a victimless crime, but regrettably it isn’t,” said Ms. Scotland.
She told Cayman 27 that corruption siphons off money that could otherwise be used for projects of public benefit like roads, schools, and hospitals.
Ms. Scotland said she’s optimistic the 22 anti-corruption benchmarks now under development are endorsed by the 53 Commonwealth states and adopted next year during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting as a global standard.