Tue | Sep 19, 2017

PNP should return to past standards

Published:Friday | September 2, 2016 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The dispute surrounding the issue of deployment of campaign donations to the People's National Party (PNP) has brought to the fore the need for the implementation of a more refined and effective accounting system for that party.

Former General Secretary of the PNP Peter Bunting is on record as recommending the implementation of stricter policies regarding the collection of donations for election campaigns as pertained during his tenure as general secretary, when externally audited accounts were presented each year and published on the party's website.

The party had also maintained strict standards of accountability in terms of soliciting funding via its finance committee, and tracking of and accounting for those funds.

Although the current allegations have not been proven, there must be cause for concern. These events must have future implications for the PNP's ability to regain the confidence of donors.

Many would agree with me that the PNP had been making huge strides following its defeat in 2007 in terms of improved accountability. Indeed, there was no similar transparency from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in terms of publishing its accounts, etc., that I am aware of.

It is interesting and quite ironic, too, that this drama is being played out now after the past PNP administration had piloted the landmark Campaign Finance Bill through Parliament shortly before demitting office.

That excellent legislation had addressed matters of increasing transparency and accountability of donors. I would recommend that the PNP return to its recent past performance standards and get on with the business of improving Jamaica's democracy.

Christene Black

Red Hills