Letter of the Day | Dirk Harrison has smeared the integrity of the commission
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Open letter to the Integrity Commission:
I am never into the business of calling for the resignation of anyone or applying partisan lens to the dismissal of any civil servant, especially one in good standing. But as the old adage says, in substance, ‘evil thrives when good men do nothing’, so it would be remiss of me to see such egregious harm being done to the reputation of my country and its servants, as well as the investors, by one individual, with not even a shred of evidence to substantiate his far-reaching claims, and say nothing.
Frankly speaking, I have no issues with a board writing to a portfolio minister for his opinion on certain matters or to keep him in the loop. The Cabinet of Jamaica would be the one to add its final seal of approval to such a sale, so why not appraise the political directorate? It is the principled thing to do, since they will be blamed and told to take ultimate responsibility if anything went wrong, knowing the culture and modus operandi of our parliamentary opposition and, by extension, civil society.
The key point, though, is that Mr Dirk Harrison has compromised his office and has also sought to erode the integrity of the commission and its commissioners. I believe collectively, your judgement, reputation and capacity is unquestionable, and so does the rest of Jamaica, yet Dirk Harrison was hard-headed and defied your request to revisit the report, as it was obviously of poor judgement, lacked proof and objectivity, and would bring the Integrity Commission into disrepute one year into its operation.
His Machiavellian approach and hard-headedness must be considered strongly. His misguided attempts to undermine the commission must not be taken lightly as well. He has also overstepped, in my view, the boundaries of his responsibilities by promulgating an argument that he has a right to question and sanction negotiations of a government agency. Does he want a seat at all agencies? What really is/was the remit of his office, and did he overstep?
My final argument is that he has brought the integrity and judgement of many, including yourselves, into question and cast a shadow on Jamaica. If that wasn’t enough, he has smeared and sought to erode public trust in agencies of government, ministries, ministers, the prime minister, the Cabinet and our investment partners. These are people of high morale standing, impeccable and proven character, and integrity. His action was all in a veiled attempt to malign one minister, one man and without proof. His was a clear abuse of his office and the trust we reposed in him, and you need to do the honourable thing and separate him from his position before he brings the office into further disrepute.