Fri | Feb 28, 2020

PSOJ, JAMP urge bipartisan response to corruption

Published:Wednesday | January 22, 2020 | 10:11 AM
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The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP) say they are concerned about the frequent incidents of poor governance and improper use of public funds by government entities and boards.

The organisations say they noted certain revelations that are alarmingly consistent within three of the last four audit reports tabled in the Parliament, that is Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Jamaica Constabulary Force and Rural Agricultural Development Authority, surrounding public procurement.

They pointed out that all three audit reports reveal significant operational deficiencies in public institutions, without the promised accountability measures that would reduce or prevent recurrence.

“These findings are by no means limited to the referenced reports nor to those revealed in the recent CMU audit. They are consistent with decades of reports under different administrations and point to very poor internal controls, woefully inadequate checks and balances and a culture of low accountability,” the organisations said in a joint statement.

The PSOJ and JAMP argue that these issues are inarguably systemic and must be addressed by a comprehensive effort, demonstrating bipartisan political will from both the Government and Opposition.

“While we acknowledge the institutional framework that has been put in place to investigate and bring alleged cases of corruption to court, we remain disturbed that in a number of instances the regulations necessary to allow effective implementation are still missing or incomplete.

“A glaring example is the unaddressed matters bedevilling the effectiveness of the Integrity Commission, the most recent being the high-level resignations from the Commission and the consequent impact on its ability to execute its mandate.”

PSOJ and JAMP are calling for the urgent appointment of the Integrity Commission Parliamentary Oversight Committee as contemplated by the act to strengthen the commission’s public credibility and to hold them to account.

The organisations are also calling for the government to urgently deliver on the pledge to act on these audit findings and on the recommendations for correction made by the Auditor  General and by those actions, send a clear message that respect for the law and for strict adherence to established policies and regulations is the only way to do business in Jamaica.

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