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Jamaicans participate in US State Department-sponsored sub-regional programme on combating corruption

Published:Thursday | March 24, 2016 | 3:00 AM

Recognised in their fields as emerging leaders in areas of law enforcement and governance, Omar Cover of the Jamaica Defence Force; Cecile Maragh, senior director in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service; and Andrew Wildes, legal officer in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, participated in a United States Department of State-sponsored International Visitor Leader Program (IVLP) themed 'Combating Corruption'.

The IVLP, which ran from March 7-5, covered several areas, including the vital role of public-private partnerships in supporting good governance and discouraging corruption; the dynamics of political campaign financing and government procurement and the mechanisms that enable citizens to foster good governance; ethical standards; and accountability at the local and national levels.

Commenting on the success of the programme, Joshua Polacheck, counsellor for public affairs at the US Embassy, said: "The impetus on law enforcement to have well-trained leaders who have the requisite skills is vital, in large part, to national development and good governance of any nation. The US Embassy in Kingston is pleased to support this exchange, which strengthens the partnership between the United States and the country and people of Jamaica."

During the weeklong programme, participants, including persons from Suriname, The Bahamas, and Guyana, were also given an overview of the US federal system, government ethics and standards - including mechanisms to maintain transparency and honesty in the federal government - and the whistle-blower protection programme.

The Office of International Visitors manages and funds the IVLP, which seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed professional visits to the United States for current and emerging foreign leaders.

Jamaican participants in previous IVLPs include Prime Minister Andrew Holness; former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller; Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn; and Alison McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports.