RECENTLY, JAMAICA received a failing grade based on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2012.
The CPI is a measure of perceptions of public-sector corruption held by business leaders and non-resident analysts. The CPI does not capture the reality of corruption. In other words, the reality could be worse or better.
Jamaica has systemic corruption problems that are pervasive and popular.
Unfortunately, the fight against corruption has been focused on the process of selecting a contractor general. Some who think that Greg Christie, former contractor general, did a good job, want a different process to select the next contractor general, failing to recognise that approximately seven years ago, the governor general, prime minister and the leader of the opposition consulted and gave us Christie. Therefore, the existing process can deliver good persons. We would need to change the process if we believe that the present holders of the three offices are not as good as those of seven years ago, or we feel that we do not want someone similar to Christie. And worse, we could get another Christie and the perception of corruption remains the same. In fact, Christie has bemoaned being toothless in some crucial aspects.
focus on positives
What is needed is to recognise what Christie did very well, such as getting 100 per cent reporting compliance from government agencies, and to implement his suggestions which will
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller pledged during the election campaign to strengthen the Office of the Contractor General. Therefore, we need to use this time to implement measures to be more successful in the fight against corruption.
support critical offices
Therefore, we should not do anything to undermine offices that can help with the fight against corruption.
What is needed is to respect and strengthen institutions in the fight against corruption.
Rev Devon Dick, PhD, is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete' and 'From Rebellion to Riot'. Send Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.