Sun | Sep 24, 2017

PNP has proposed nothing new to fight corruption - Christie

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2016 | 2:30 AM
Christie ... the government has spent the past four years crafting a bill that it hopes will lead to the creation of the new anti-corruption agency.

Former contractor general Greg Christie, is contending that the People's National Party (PNP) has proposed nothing new to fight corruption in Jamaica if it's reelected to office. 

Christie, who has been advocating for stronger anti-corruption measures, was reacting to the publication of the PNP's manifesto yesterday containing 21 proposals for the next five years. 

The PNP has said it will establish a single anti-corruption agency to replace the parliamentary Integrity Commission, the Office of the Contractor General and the Commission for the Prevention  of Corruption. 

The single anti-corruption agency has been in the making for several years, following a proposal by Christie six years ago. 

Commenting on Twitter yesterday, Christie said the ruling PNP has brought "absolutely nothing new" to combat corruption including bribery in Jamaica.

The former contractor general noted that the government has spent the past four years crafting a bill that it hopes will lead to the creation of the new anti-corruption agency. 

Christie reiterated his views that the Integrity Bill before the parliament is weak especially because it does not include any minimum fines or custodial sentences for corruption-related offences.

He has also criticised the proposed law for being without the expressed power to monitor or investigate government-owned asset divestments, or real property asset acquisitions that are undertaken by the government.

In early 2011, when the PNP took over government, Christie wrote to Prime Minister Simpson Miller urging her administration to give urgent consideration to implementing the single anti-corruption body.

He had recommended that the mega anti-corruption agency would be vested with the exclusive mandate to criminally investigate and prosecute all corruption and related criminal offences.