Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Greg Christie, the colourfully energetic former contractor general who for seven years commanded attention by fearlessly taking on public officials on both sides of the political divide, has been appointed consultant/principal adviser to the National Integrity Action (NIA).
Executive director of the NIA, Professor Trevor Munroe, who yesterday confirmed Christie's appointment, told The Gleaner that Christie's tenure commenced January 2, 2013, under a one-year contract that comes to an end on January 1, 2014.
Christie told The Gleaner he embraced the opportunity to continue his battle against the scourge that has for many years blighted Jamaica's prospects.
"The opportunity to work with the NIA in an independent advisory and professional capacity is one which I welcome," said Christie. "I harbour no doubt that it will enable me to provide a further and meaningful contribution to the fight (against) the relentless scourge of corruption which has now overshadowed our beloved country."
Munroe said Christie would report directly to him and would provide, as required by the NIA, independent inputs and advice to assist the organisation in the continued advance of its objectives of combating corruption and building integrity in Jamaica on a non-partisan basis.
Munroe also stressed that Christie's engagement to the NIA was not exclusive.
"The NIA is free to retain other consultants and Mr Christie may provide similar services to other organisations," he said.
He added that Christie's appointment may be renewed for a further period of one year.
Under the arrangement, Christie is expected to bring his plucky expertise to bear on advancing the principal objectives of the one-year old NIA's objectives that were crafted prior to its launch in December 2011.
The NIA is, among others things, mandated to give priority to building public demand for change as well as advocacy of key anti-corruption legislation.
Prior to this appointment, Christie, who was Jamaica's fourth contractor general, demitted office in November 2012.
He previously served in a range of senior managerial capacities for 13 years with the Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Corporation, completing his tenure in 2004 as the assistant general counsel and vice-president for government affairs for the corporation's Global Commodities Business Unit in Florida.
Christie has also worked throughout the Caribbean as a legal consultant and attorney-at-law, and has tutored and lectured for 10 years at the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, and at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.
The NIA, since its formation in 2009, has pushed for Government to put in place policies including the implementation of legislation which would rationalise Jamaica's institutional arrangements for fighting corruption by consolidating them into a single, strong anti-corruption agency with appropriate safeguards against the abuse of power.
The non-governmental organisation has also sought government action, including the passage of effective campaign finance regulation, initially raised by Professor Munroe in the Senate in 2002.
In 2012, Parliament adopted a report with recommendations from the Electoral Commission for campaign finance reform and the Government, in response to queries from the NIA, committed to legislation by March 2013.