Thu | Dec 14, 2017

JCC calls out government on corruption

Published:Monday | October 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Corruption

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) is seeking answers from the Government about any recent, meaningful efforts to cut the staggering level of institutionalised red tape which, it claims, has created, and continues to feed, an environment in which corruption has taken root and continues to flourish

In a statement issued at the meeting of its board of directors at 58 Half-Way Tree Road last week, the JCC reiterated its view that Jamaica's bureaucratic maze continues to be a major impediment to the establishment and growth of business. While acknowledging that there have been improvements in the processes in areas of the public sector, there is still a very long way to go, the business advocacy group insists.

The JCC weighed in on the recent public outcry by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn about the lack of resources which continues to stymie the work of her office, despite the necessary approvals months ago for the money to be spent.

"The issue occurred at a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that crime and the justice system are, without doubt, the important problem facing Jamaica. An action of the highest national priority was compromised by bureaucracy," the statement said.

It continued: "The mechanisms do not seem to be in place to hold accountable the person or persons whose responsibility it may have been to treat this national priority with the urgency it demanded. If there is no accountability, there is little or no incentive for more efficient and effective performance, and if poor performers are treated in the same way as highly effective members of the public sector, then ultimately all plans for the transformation of the public sector will remain moot."

Acknowledging that it was disturbed by the incident, the JCC goes on to warn that "until we address the root causes of crime in this country, our economic and social progress will be severely impeded".