Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Morgan responds to Integrity Commission on leadership code

Published:Tuesday | June 6, 2023 | 8:10 PM
Minister with responsibility for information Robert Nesta Morgan. - File photo.

Minister with responsibility for information Robert Nesta Morgan says he is not averse to signing the Leadership Code of Conduct formulated by the Integrity Commission.

“I am very willing to sign the code of conduct but (it) - [Integrity Commission] - has to discuss with me what are the implications of this code,” Morgan said in a Gleaner interview.

He said the commission would also have to outline why he should sign the code and why it was formulated.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Integrity Commission said it was surprised at comments made by Morgan in relation to the code.

Morgan told a post-Cabinet press briefing in April that he had not been presented with a code of conduct or had been asked to sign any document relating to the code.

The anti-corruption body suggested that Morgan's remarks may have caused confusion in the public domain.

The commission said that Morgan has direct responsibility for the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

According to the commission, the JIS, from the very outset, benefitted directly from extensive clarifications, from the commission, regarding the code.

However, Morgan sought to brush aside the commission's assertion.

“That was never my argument. My simple argument was you never sent the code to me. You are asking me to sign a document based on media reports when I have never seen the document,” he maintained.

He noted that the commission's interaction with JIS was not material to him signing the code.

Morgan told The Gleaner that he became a Cabinet minister in January 2022 and as such did not participate in good governance and anti-corruption training offered by the Integrity Commission between November 9, 2020, and February 15, 2021.

“At no point did they say they wanted me to sign a code,” said Morgan, noting that he did not receive any correspondence from the Integrity Commission or the Cabinet inviting him to any anti-corruption training.

“They wrote to the prime minister, they never wrote to me so I did not know about a code of conduct until I saw it in your paper,” Morgan insisted.

He said the issue about a code of conduct was put to him by a journalist at a post-cabinet press briefing.

The information minister said he told the journalist that he could not sign a document that he had never seen.

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