Office of National Security Advisor Critical for Coordination among Agencies

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (right) and former Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson, exchange words as they focus on activities during a closing ceremony for Phase II of Exercise Tradewinds 2016, at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) polo field at Up Park Camp on June 28. (File Photo)

Story Highlights

  • The Office of the National Security Advisor will be critical to enabling coordination among the various security agencies towards achieving benchmarks set out in Jamaica’s standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • This is according to recently appointed National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Major General Antony Anderson, who was speaking in a Jamaica Information Service ‘Issues & Answers’ interview.
  • Mr. Anderson said his office will be able to implement broad-based strategies for medium- to long-term objectives and create important synergies that are usually difficult for other agencies, due to the pressing nature of crime and other security concerns.

The Office of the National Security Advisor will be critical to enabling coordination among the various security agencies towards achieving benchmarks set out in Jamaica’s standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This is according to recently appointed National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Major General Antony Anderson, who was speaking in a Jamaica Information Service ‘Issues & Answers’ interview.

Mr. Anderson said his office will be able to implement broad-based strategies for medium- to long-term objectives and create important synergies that are usually difficult for other agencies, due to the pressing nature of crime and other security concerns.

“Security is broader than just crime. In that sense, we have to look beyond what’s facing us currently, to what is facing our partners, the rest of the world and our region,” he pointed out.

Additionally, Mr. Anderson said his office, supported by a group of technical personnel, will be providing guidance to the National Security Council and support to the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in decisions on national security.

“The Prime Minister has made it clear that he has particular interest in the safety and security of citizens, and it’s important that he has technical advice as he makes decisions in the national interest on security,” he said.

Mr. Anderson noted that it is important for Jamaica to give the assurance of safety to visitors and citizens, and to show responsiveness to incidents that threaten the Government’s commitment to economic growth through tourism and investment.

“What we will do is take that broad view, create the forum for agencies that don’t normally interact, for them to interact, to coordinate some of our intelligence effort to ensure the best visibility and provide the Government with the best information to make decisions,” he said.

The office’s immediate mandate is to work with the executing agencies to see to the achievements of the benchmarks under the IMF standby agreement, signed last month, he added.

Mr. Anderson, who is the former Chief of Defence Staff, has served in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for 32 years, and worked closely with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

He has led deployment exercises in response to natural disasters locally and regionally and also headed a group organising the national security efforts in various countries ahead of the Caribbean hosting of the Cricket World Cup in 2007.

Prime Minister Holness announced the creation of the Office of the National Security Advisor in November, noting that the move is consistent with international best practices in other jurisdictions and was being done in pursuance of strategic national-security management.

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