Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Electoral Commission honours long servers

Published:Friday | October 23, 2015 | 10:00 AM
Orette Fisher

Former Governor General of Jamaica Sir Kenneth Hall is cautioning the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) against complacency as it continues to carry out its mandate.

Sir Kenneth Hall, who was guest speaker at the organisation's long service awards on Wednesday, opined that all around Jamaica, institutions were experiencing significant challenges to maintain levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

"It, therefore, makes it difficult for us to ignore a glaring truth, that success is not always sustainable, nor guaranteed." Sir Kenneth also said it was imperative that the ECJ focus on the changes occurring in the country and the world in electoral matters.

"I am suggesting that those changes in the environment can quickly undermine the proud tradition that you built over these 30-something years," he said.

Sir Kenneth Hall said some circumstances may not be under their control, for example, the delineation of electoral boundaries and the fact that some deceased persons were still on the voters' list. He noted that even one incident could undermine all the good work. He lauded the ECJ staff for their work, which he admitted often went unnoticed.

 

fair and free

 

"The work you do is not often seen as important," he said. "Where its importance appears is if you do not fulfil the high expectations of the Jamaican electorate. What you have done, in short, is to make elections in Jamaica credible and to make elections in Jamaica fair and free. That's the essence of your work." He encouraged the ECJ leaders to ensure there was

proper succession planning in place to ensure that the good work continues after the present leadership has moved on.

Director of Elections Orette Fisher noted the loyalty of staff, who were awarded for service between 10 and 35 years.

"The office of the Electoral Commission is a family, and once you enter the organisation, you find yourself caught up in what we do and you're committed to the job at hand, and ultimately, to country," he said.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com