Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, says an advisory committee has been set up to see to the early implementation of legislation for the establishment of the proposed single anti-corruption body.
Minister Golding, who made the announcement on May 30 official opening of Transparency International’s 2012 Regional Meeting of the Americas, held at Super Clubs Breezes Hotel in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, said the committee “is constituted of men and women of integrity and expertise throughout their careers."
He said the committee will "examine the matter, consult with the relevant stakeholders, including the various institutions with an anti-corruption mandate, in formulating new proposals, and report to me with an optional design for Jamaica’s institutional and legislative anti-corruption arrangement."
Minister Golding informed that the body has already had its first meeting and is to report to him by the end of June.
“Following this, a submission will be made to Cabinet outlining the specific policy arrangements and seeking approval for instructions to be issued to commence implementation of the legislative framework,” he informed.
Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in his Throne Speech earlier this month, said Government will be establishing a single anti-corruption agency, which will have appropriate powers to tackle effectively, the pervasiveness of corruption in Jamaica.
The Justice Minister told today’s meeting that Jamaica is committed to tackling the scourge of corruption through a robust and effective anti-corruption institutional and legislative framework.
He said the Global Corruption Perception Index ranked Jamaica 86 of 182 countries with a score of 3.3, proving that corruption was highly pervasive in Jamaica.
He called upon every Jamaican to commit to acting with personal integrity in their dealings with each other and with relevant institutions. “Let us not be a nation perpetually crippled by our very challenging situation, but face it with integrity and a commitment to transparency that will engender the confidence to achieve higher heights” he urged.
Minister Golding also commended Transparency International for placing corruption high on the international political and business agenda over the last 18 years, and for the “unrelenting commitment to higher standards of conduct” in the overall fight against corruption.
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message which was read by Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple-Phillibert, said that corruption in Jamaica is high on the list of national concerns.
He said that Jamaica has made recognisable efforts to pass legislation to address the scourge, citing the Contractor General’s Act, Parliamentary Integrity of Members Act, Corruption Prevention Act, Access to Information Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The regional meeting, which is being held over three days, has attracted representatives from Transparency International’s 20 national chapters located in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
By Glenis A. Rose, JIS Reporter