Wehby wants review of Jamaica's compliance with Int'l standards
Government Senator Don Wehby has proposed a comprehensive review of Jamaica's compliance rate with international standards in all areas where adoption and implementation procedures are required.
This, he said, in order to determine whether these procedures need to be strengthened, thereby ensuring that Jamaica is fulfilling its international obligations.
"We need to do more to ensure that we meet implementation deadlines for international standards and best practices we have committed to. In addition, any required updates to those standards and practices should be done in a timely manner," Wehby said.
He also proposed ongoing peer reviews to effectively monitor the implementation of international standards, the results of which, he said, should be shared with the public "so that we can have a high level of accountability".
He was making his contribution to the debate on the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 during Friday's sitting of the Senate at Gordon House.
Wehby argued that Jamaica should not wait until there is "a threat of blacklisting, a threat of losing major investments, severe public pressure (or) other potential backlashes" before taking action to implement the standards.
"The implementation of these international standards has implications for some of the key areas we have to tackle as a country if we are to achieve economic success," he said.
These, the senator noted, include money laundering and terrorism financing, corruption, lack of transparency and poor corporate governance, which the Companies Act amendment is aimed at addressing.
The bill will also provide information relating to beneficial ownership, which should be made available for the public record.
Additionally, the bill will require foreign companies that have their central management corps based in Jamaica to maintain ownership information, and to provide information on holders of share warrants.
It further seeks to address the areas of records maintenance and compliance with international tax laws.
The bill, which will go back to the House of Representatives for further review, was passed by the Senate with 27 amendments.