The ICAC, although operating as an independent body, is also accountable, both administratively and judicially. There are basically two mechanisms put in place to ensure proper checks and balances in the functioning of the ICAC.
The Parliamentary Committee is established by virtue of Part VI of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002. Part VI covers issues such as the proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee as well as its functions and powers. The Parliamentary Committee ensures administrative accountability of the ICAC by monitoring and reviewing its activities in various matters.
The Parliamentary Committee is composed of 9 members of Parliament. One of the members is designated as Chairperson by the Prime Minister. The Parliamentary Committee meets at least once a month and on such other date as the Chairperson may determine.
The Parliamentary Committee monitors and reviews the manner in which the Commission fulfills its functions under the Act, reviews the budgetary estimates of the Commission, and issues such instructions as it considers appropriate with regard to the financial management, and the staffing requirements of the Commission, as well as the allocation of resources to the various operations of the Commission.
The Parliamentary Committee’s role does not extend to monitoring a matter related to any investigation being carried out by ICAC or the findings of the Commission in relation to a particular investigation. The ICAC accounts for its investigative decisions through a separate mechanism, i.e. to the judiciary.
From left to right: Hon. M. S. Abbas Mamode, MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary; Hon. Dharmendar Sesungkur, MP; Hon. Maneesh Gobin, MP, Chairperson; Hon. Rajesh Anand Bhagwan, MP, Opposition Whip; Hon. Vedasingam V. Baloomoody, MP, Chairperson Public Accounts Committee; Hon. Shakeel A. Y. A. R. Mohamed, MP;
(absent from picture: Hon. Satyaprakashsing Rutnah, MP, Deputy Chief Government Whip; Dr the Hon. Zouberr H. Joomaye, MP; Hon. Kalidass Teeluckdharry, MP)
In matters where the Commission is of the view that an investigation has disclosed prima facie evidence against a person and considers prosecution, the matter is referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). No prosecution can be instituted by ICAC except with the consent of the DPP.
The DPP is an independent authority, established by virtue of Section 72 of the Constitution of Mauritius. Section 72 also provides for the role and powers of the DPP, who has the powers inter alia, in any case in which it considers it desirable to do so, to institute and undertake criminal proceedings before any court of law.
Moreover, those investigations carried out by the ICAC which are prosecuted before the courts come naturally under judicial scrutiny and are therefore subject to the Court’s judgments.