Barbara Gayle and Edmond Campbell
Senior Staff Reporters
Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Dirk Harrison's appointment as contractor general has been welcomed by his predecessors in the post, as well as the head of the office he leaves behind.
Harrison, whose appointment was announced by the governor general's office at King's House yesterday, would only say: "I am humbled."
DPP Paula Llewellyn yesterday described Harrison as a very accomplished professional.
"He is very, very committed to public service and is an extremely hard worker," Llewellyn said.
In his remarks, former Contractor General Greg Christie said: "I harbour no doubt that he will be a committed contractor general."
Congratulating Harrison on his appointment as Jamaica's fifth contractor general, Christie said members of the Office of the Contractor General's (OCG) investigation team had worked closely with the senior deputy DPP for years.
"We have relied upon his counsel and guidance and I have, at all times, found his advice, as a criminal law practitioner, to be sober, comprehensive, sound and incisive," Christie said.
He said the new contractor general would inherit an office which has been transformed into a highly visible, active, professional and, "above all, apolitical anti-corruption organisation".
Bringing his own style
Acting Contractor General Craig Beresford said he and the team at the OCG were looking forward to working with Harrison.
Beresford noted that the new contractor general would no doubt be bringing his own style of leadership to the oversight body.
He stressed that the staff at the OCG was ready to "give him 100 per cent support".
King's House said Harrison's appointment would take effect on March 1.
The Gleaner had reported last November that Harrison would succeed Christie, who did not renew his contract last year.
Beresford has been acting as contractor general since December 1, 2012.
Under Section 10 of the Contractor General's Act, the governor general, after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, might appoint someone whom he believes is fit and qualified to serve as contractor general.
Yesterday, Harrison's colleagues described him as a person whose integrity could not be questioned and a very suitable candidate for the job. They also described him as being fair but fearless.
Harrison, who is a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School, has more than 12 years' experience as a prosecutor. He has appeared in many high-profile cases.